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Art in the Parks

Through collaborations with a diverse group of arts organizations and artists, Parks bringsto the public both experimental and traditional art in many park locations. Please browse ourlist of current exhibits below, explore our archives of past exhibits or readmore about the Art in the Parks Program.

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Deanna Aguinaga, piano for Pelham Bay Park: Orchard Beach, Bronx

Sing for Hope, Pop-Up Pianos
June 1, 2013 to June 15, 2013
Various Locations

Please note: This is a past exhibit that is no longer installed in the park.

Description:

This summer, from June 1st through June 16th, the Sing for Hope Pianos return to our city streets. In one of New York City’s most vibrant public art installations, 88 artist-designed pianos (one for each key on a piano) are placed in parks and public spaces throughout the 5 boroughs for anyone and everyone to enjoy.

Once on the streets, neighborhood associations and community organizations serve as “piano buddies” and supervise each piano throughout the duration of the project, making sure they are protected from inclement weather. The Sing for Hope Pianos unite our city, as artists from all walks of life create daily spontaneous concerts and neighborhoods come together around the shared gift of music and art.

For more information and a list of locations visit Sing for Hope’s Pop-Up Pianos website. Sing for Hope is presented in cooperation with the City of New York.

Gan Golan, TimeSeed
August 15, 2019 to September 30, 2019
Thomas Greene Playground, Brooklyn
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Timeseed will feature an exhibit of seeds from all over the world, art builds for the Climate Strike, artmaking activities, and neighborhood storytelling. Together with community members, we will create our own "seeds of wisdom" and "seeds of hope" with some of Gowanus' oldest and youngest residents while listening to the stories they bring with them and their vision for the world they are fighting for. These stories will be combined into 3-Dimensional seed sculptures we create together. At the end of the project, the seeds containing our stories will be dispersed into the community as historical archives.

In partnership with ArtBuilt, NYC Parks, Queens Museum, Gowanus Canal Conservancy, Arts Gowanus, Textile Arts, Arts & Democracy, NOCD-NY, and Friends of Thomas Greene Park. This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, Surdna Foundation, The New York Community Trust and NYC Department of Cultural Affairs.

Image courtesy of the Fort Greene Park Conservancy

Amanda Patenaude, One Map of Many Moments
July 3, 2017 to May 25, 2018
Fort Greene Park, Brooklyn
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Please note: This is a past exhibit that is no longer installed in the park.

Description:

One Map of Many Moments is an artist led, community generated project that transforms trash into inspiring public art by turning hundreds of broken glass shards collected from Fort Greene Park into a mosaic map of the park. Drawings from park visitors depicting everything from historic figures of Fort Greene to the current day activities and horticultural wonders of the grounds are sprinkled throughout the map. Each piece of the larger whole offers a contemplative view of our neighborhood’s waste and deep dedication to our park and highlights the role of community in preserving urban green spaces.

This exhibition is presented by the Fort Greene Park Conservancy.

Nick Kozak, Opposition Position
November 1, 2018 to March 31, 2019
Inwood Hill Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Please note: This is a past exhibit that is no longer installed in the park.

Description:

Nick Kozak’s installation Opposition Position challenges us to examine our education system and to stage our own educational interactions in this classroom in the park. Here all are welcome to attend free workshops led by local students on the first Saturday of the month through March (rain date on second Saturday). Opposition Position is one of two artworks presented as part of the exhibition Persuasive Visions. Inspired by W. E. B. Du Bois’s conviction that propaganda through the arts can create social change, Persuasive Visions presents the work of two local artists, Gina Goico and Nick Kozak who respond to today’s constant deluge of (mis)information. Persuasive Visions was curated by Stephanie A. Lindquist.

This exhibition is presented by the Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance.

Alicja Kwade, Against the Run, Photo by NYC Parks

Alicja Kwade, Against the Run
September 10, 2015 to February 22, 2016
Doris C. Freedman Plaza
Central Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Please note: This is a past exhibit that is no longer installed in the park.

Description:

Nature provided us with a general way to measure time: dividing it into days, lunar months, and seasons. Since ancient times, however, we have invented ways of measuring time in smaller units with ever–increasing precision — from the sundial to the hourglass to the atomic clock. As clock making technology advanced during the Renaissance, handsome public clocks became a source of civic pride, as well as a useful amenity. In today’s digital age, they more often evoke a sense of nostalgia for another era.

In Against the Run, Alicja Kwade (b. 1979, Katowice, Poland) has created a clock that tells the correct time, but does so in a way that confounds expectations. Adapting a nineteenth–century design that we might typically see in New York City, the artist has reversed the conventional mechanism. The face of the clock rotates backwards while the second hand appears to stand still, pointing vertically at all times. Our understanding of how a clock should run is second nature, making this variation almost impossible to read, even as it continues to tell the right time. Kwade’s whimsical clock captures her interest in the systems we invent to make sense of our lives and the world. In doing so, it prompts us to see “reality” from a new perspective.

This exhibition is presented by Public Art Fund.

Rob Swainston, Who Owns the SkyΑ, Flow.15 Art and Music at Randall's Island
May 2015 to November 2015
Randall's Island Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Please note: This is a past exhibit that is no longer installed in the park.

Description:

Installed along Randall’s Island Park’s southeastern shoreline, Rob Swainston’s Who Owns the Sky is a large-scale semi-transparent billboard, hand-printed with images of clouds inspired by historic woodcuts and engravings of sky motifs. The viewer can observe their constantly shifting relation to cloud patterns both alongside the frame and behind the translucent fabric. These shifts, according to the artist, evoke and recreate the human quest for direction and meaning in the heavens.

Ownership of the heavens was left to the gods, as depicted in myths, described through religions, and displayed in art. However, with the advent of aerospace technology, constellations have ceded their dominion to planes, no-fly zones and drones. Globalization and global climate change further complicate this story. Who Owns the SkyΑ questions our attempt to assert power over a firmament in which our presence remains transient.

FLOW.15 is presented by Randall’s Island Parks Alliance, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, and Made Event.

Image courtesy of NYC Parks.

Monika Sosnowska, Fir Tree
October 24, 2012 to February 17, 2013
Doris C. Freedman Plaza
Central Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Please note: This is a past exhibit that is no longer installed in the park.

Description:

This 40-foot-tall steel sculpture by Monika Sosnowska marks the threshold between the urban environment of midtown Manhattan and the landscape of Central Park. The artist has used pulleys, cranes, and other heavy machinery to manipulate a spiral staircase to resemble an evergreen tree. No longer climbable, its stairs cascade around the central shaft of the sculpture like weighted tree limbs. The ribbon-like railing forms a twisting red line against the black silhouette of the sculpture. As if piercing the pavement with industrial force, Fir Tree (2012) conjures an image of skyscrapers with steel roots below the city.

For more than ten years, Sosnowska’s work has explored our psychological relationship to the built environment, creating complex installations that alter our perceptions of familiar objects and spaces. Based in Warsaw, Sosnowska often works with architectural elements associated with Eastern Europe during the Soviet period. Fir Tree echoes the industrial steel staircases found on the exterior walls of Polish housing blocks. Here, this once-functional object refuses to serve its intended purpose. Instead it becomes an animated and outsized metaphor, testing the bounds of a familiar form as it reaches toward the urban skyline.

This Exhibition is presented by the Public Art Fund.

Leo Villareal, Buckyball
October 25, 2012 to February 1, 2013
Madison Square Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Please note: This is a past exhibit that is no longer installed in the park.

Description:

Madison Square Park Conservancy’s Mad. Sq. Art presents a monumental sculpture by acclaimed artist, Leo Villareal. Largely inspired by the work of Buckminster Fuller, Villareal’s BUCKYBALL will apply concepts of geometry and mathematical relationships within a towering 30-foot tall, illuminated sculpture.

A commission of the Mad. Sq. Art program, Villareal’s BUCKYBALL will feature two nested, geodesic sculptural spheres comprised of 180 LED tubes arranged in a series of pentagons and hexagons, known as a “Fullerene,” referring to the form’s discovery by Buckminster Fuller. Individual pixels located every 1.2 inches along the tubes are each capable of displaying 16 million distinct colors and will be specifically tuned by the artist’s own software, creating a subtle and sophisticated palette to enliven the Park. Relying on LED technologies driven by chance, BUCKYBALL’s light sequences will create exuberant, random compositions of varied speed, color, opacity, and scale. BUCKYBALL will trigger neurological processes within the brain, calling on our natural impulse to identify patterns and gather meaning from our external environment.

Through basic elements such as pixels and binary codes, Villareal allows for a better understanding of the underlying structures and systems that govern everyday function. As he builds these simple elements into a full-scale sculptural installation that moves, changes, and interacts, this work ultimately grows into a complex, dynamic form that questions common notions of space, time, and sensorial pleasure.

This exhibition is presented by Mad. Sq. Art.

Carole Feuerman, Survival of Serena (rendering), courtesy of artist

Carole Feuerman, Survival of Serena
May 20, 2012 to September 23, 2012
Petrosino Square, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Please note: This is a past exhibit that is no longer installed in the park.

Description:

Petrosino Park offers respite from the heavily trafficked streets and sidewalks of New York City and Feuerman works to achieve a similar effect in her sculpture by capturing peaceful moments that are universally appealing. This tranquil swimmer resting in a dripping inner tube offers the public the opportunity to pause, even just for a moment, engaged and inspired by what stands before them. Survival of Serena seems like a moment frozen in time and exceeds the bounds of mere mimicry to become a larger than life symbol that invites us to consider our physicality and our own stories and commonalities.

Originally debuted in painted resin at the 2007 Venice Biennale, Survival of Serena was named in honor of Venice’s former name La Serenissima, which literally means 'the most/very serene’, a theme which transverses much of Feuerman's body of work. The sculpture went on to win first prize in the Beijing Biennale the following year. The artist has Petrosino Square to unveil her new bronze Survival of Serena for the first time given its proximity to many cultural institutions and diverse neighborhoods. 

Julianne Swartz's Digital Empathy. Image courtesy of the artist.

Julianne Swartz, Digital Empathy
June 8, 2011 to June 2012
Select locations throughout Sections 1 and 2 of the park
The High Line, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Please note: This is a past exhibit that is no longer installed in the park.

Description:

​Julianne Swartz's sound installation, Digital Empathy, will greet High Line visitors with a variety of messages. At some sites, computer-generated voices will speak messages of concern, support, and love, intermingled with pragmatic information. In other sites, those same digitized voices will recite poetry and sing love songs to park visitors.

Installed in 11 different locations throughout the park, the sound will be transmitted through the park's bathroom sinks, water fountains, and elevators. These sites are not only unexpected places in which to encounter public art, they are places designed for individuals or small numbers of people, allowing for intimate encounters within an otherwise sprawling, communal space. The locations for Swartz's sound interventions will be indicated by graphic—based signage created by the artist that mimics standard public information signs.

Digital Empathy plays on the notion that, in our culture, we turn to technologies like online social networking, blogs, and instant messages to meet our basic human need for friendship and personal connection.

This High Line Art Commission is presented by Friends of the High Line.

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