Temporary Public Outdoor Art Guidelines
NYC Parks has consistently fostered the creation and installation of temporary public art in parks throughout the five boroughs. Projects range from international exhibitions to local, community works and may be displayed in prominent flagship parks, neighborhood parks and playgrounds, and traffic islands. Installations may last from two weeks to one year, typically remaining on view for three to six months. Exhibitions of shorter duration (two weeks or less) are classified as public events and will be overseen by Parks’ borough offices.
There are separate procedures for mural projects. To learn more, please visit our Mural Proposal Guidelines page.
- A written description of proposed artwork, including: title, medium, dimensions (height x width x depth), weight, installation method and anchoring procedure.
- If proposing existing work: photographs or slides of artwork; include reference to human scale.
- If proposing a new work: working drawings or photograph of maquette to scale.
- Artist’s statement and resume
- Installation budget, including a description of the sponsoring organization or other method of financing. Include the name, address and phone number of the contact person.
- Proposed duration and exhibition period of the exhibition
- Proposed location for the installation
- Up to ten images of the artist’s previous work. All images must be clearly labeled with the name of the artist, title of the work, media and dimensions.
- There is no deadline for proposals.
Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit materials at least six months prior to the intended installation date to allow time for proposal review and project development. Artists and organizations outside New York City may apply, but please be aware that the artist or sponsoring organization is required to be present for site visits, community board meetings, installation, maintenance and removal of artwork.
Submit your proposal by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to:
Public Art Coordinator
City of New York, Parks & Recreation
The Arsenal, Central Park, Rm. 20
New York, NY 10065
Proposal materials will not be returned and incomplete applications will not be reviewed.
NYC Parks Review Process
A departmental panel, including the NYC Parks Commissioner or their representative, reviews proposals. Issues of particular concern to include safety and durability of the artwork, and its suitability to the site. Following the approval of a proposal, a license agreement is issued to the artist and/or sponsoring organization. For many projects it will be necessary to obtain the approval of the local community board.
Where to Exhibit
Virtually any park in New York City can host a public artwork, and nearly one in ten parks has done so. Our Artist’s Guide to NYC Parks Public Art Sites highlights two dozen parks that show promise and potential as community art hubs. These parks are in highly visible and well-trafficked locations, but exist in neighborhoods that have been underserved by cultural programming.
Download the Artist’s Guide to NYC Parks Public Art Sites.
When exhibiting in a NYC park, the artist assumes responsibility for funding the project, as well as for obtaining insurance and site remediation. Other artist responsibilities include:
- Propose high quality art that responds to guidelines.
- Provide funding for fabrication, installation, maintenance, insurance, security deposit, deinstallation, and site restoration.
- Obtain necessary insurance policies naming the City of New York as additional insured.
- Some projects may require technical reports prepared by a licensed engineer.
- A security deposit, which will be returned to the exhibitor upon restoration of the site.
- Oversee installation of artwork (tools, materials and equipment not provided by Parks).
- Coordinate with NYC Parks Press Office.
- Monitor and maintain the artwork during the display period.
- Oversee deinstallation of artwork and site remediation.
- Grant NYC Parks the right to a royalty-free, perpetual license to use any depictions of the artwork for non-commercial purposes (credit will be given to the exhibitor).
- Review, select and coordinate projects recommended by the advisory committee based on Selection Criteria.
- Prepare legal documents for signature by artist or organization.
- Grant artist sole ownership and copyright of the final design and artwork.
- Provide general coordination assistance with press, mailing, and other city agencies.
- Produce identifying signage using NYC Parks design and sign shop. Alternative signage can be produced at cost to the exhibitor, subject to Parks approval.