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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Sandro

Sandro "Sen2" Figueroa and James "SEXER" Rodriguez x Chase, US Open Art Courts x Chase
September 18, 2018 to September 17, 2019
Highland Park, Brooklyn
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

The USTA, in partnership with NYC Parks, commissioned Figueroa and Rodriguez to turn the Highland Park Tennis Courts into their canvas. A block of eight 36-foot courts, designed for youth to learn and play, are part of Art Courts, an extension of the USTA and Chase’s Return the Serve program.

“Sen2,” whose original name is Sandro Figueroa Garcia, is a Puerto Rican self-taught graffiti writer and artist. Since 2001, his artwork has been on display around the globe, exhibiting in numerous solo and group shows in America and Europe. James “SEXER” Rodriguez, has managed to make art his life’s work. Born in Puerto Rico and raised in the South Bronx, he began dabbling in cartoons as a youngster, but by the age of ten he was exhibiting his work at Gimbel’s Department Store in Herald Square. 

Rendering of Waiting for the session to begin by Bryan Rodriguez Cambana

Bryan Rodriguez Cambana, Waiting for the session to begin
July 19, 2019 to August 4, 2019
Boardwalk Pavilion at West 21 Street
Coney Island Beach & Boardwalk, Brooklyn
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

Waiting for the session to begin is a public art installation by Bryan Rodriguez Cambana that reflects on the seemingly disparate spaces in which music, therapy, and the confines of the criminal justice system commingle. Comprised of a sound installation and outdoor sculpture, Waiting for the session to begin, depicts observational drawings of sleeping correctional officers and incarcerated youth in Rikers Island. The title refers to the artist’s time as an educator working on a hip hop project inside the prison over two years (2017-2019). During his tenure, the artist noticed both correction officers and youth operating in a contagious trance-like state or completely asleep in what seemed like a stress-induced coma. Here, Rodriguez explores the surreal experience of sleeping under a shared toxic circumstance, in which these individuals, regardless of their different (and contrasting) roles, may cosmically engage with each other—perhaps in a common desire to escape the confines of the prison or more broadly the punitive system which defines American criminal justice.

The installation will be activated with spinning records and sound 3-7pm on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays throughout the summer installation.

This exhibition is presented by More Art.

Jorge Luis Rodriguez, Palenque, photo by NYC Parks

Jorge Luis Rodriguez, Birdhouse, Fish Spine, Hummingbird and Palenque
June 20, 2015 to May 30, 2016
Harlem Art Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

Birdhouse, Fish Spine, Hummingbird and Palenque are Rodriguez’s early works that are on view for the first time. He created these works shortly after Growth with scrap metal from the metal shop where his permanent work was fabricated. They equally represent Rodríguez’s interest in nature and the cultural exchange derived from travel to different countries. They are fabricated in painted welded steel, one of his favored techniques, and stand between seven and nine feet tall.

Birdhouse was inspired by Pablo Neruda’s poem “Las aves maltratadas,” (“The Brutalized Birds”) references the conduct of birds that assemble en masse in public places. Fish Spine references Rodríguez’s recollection of fishing adventures in the Caribbean Sea with his brother. The symbiotic relationship between fauna and flora is captured in Hummingbird. Palenque is inspired by Mayan architectural devices used to record the passing of celestial events.

In addition to the installation at East Harlem Art Park, Rodriguez’s sculpture The Oracle of the Past, Present and Future is on view at Tompkins Square. The Oracle of the Past, Present and Future in the East Village and Birdhouse, Fish Spine, Hummingbird and Palenque in Harlem celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Growth, Rodríguez’s large-scale, permanent work that was New York City’s first completed Percent for Art commission.

Jorge Luis Rodriguez, Oracle of the Past, Present and Future, Courtesy of the Artist

Jorge Luis Rodriguez, Oracle of the Past, Present and Future
June 6, 2015 to May 1, 2016
Tompkins Square Park, Manhattan

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

Description:

The Oracle of the Past, Present and Future is a 12-foot-tall structure that consists of geometric interlocking parts with elements of steel, wood, glass, and a magnificent dome that adds to its mystical symbolism. The work is inspired by the study of celestial bodies: the influence of the sun, moon, planets and zodiac constellations on human affairs and the natural world. Rodriguez invites the public to consider the mysteries of astrology and engage in contemplation and inner reflection while walking through the sculpture. The sculpture is located on the lawn just inside Tompkins Square Park at St. Mark’s Place and Avenue A.

In addition to the installation at Tompkins Square, four sculptures will accompany his permanent sculpture Growth at the East Harlem Art Park at 120th Street and Sylvan Place. "I have tried to capture the interaction between trees, birds, insects, flowers, and man. My sculpture may portray a seed sprouting from the ground, an insect transforming into a flower, or a bird changing into a tree. I hope to create an art piece that will serve as a source of enjoyment and inspiration to the community,” stated Rodríguez about Growth in 1985. These additional artworks echo his original concept as they emerge from different areas of the park.

The Oracle of the Past, Present and Future in the East Village and Birdhouse, Fish Spine, Hummingbird and Palenque in Harlem celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Growth, Rodríguez’s large-scale, permanent work that was New York City’s first completed Percent for Art commission.

Courtesy of Marcus Garvey Park Alliance

Jorge Luis Rodriguez, Atlas of the Third Millennium
November 10, 2017 to October 1, 2018
Marcus Garvey Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:
Atlas of the Third Millennium represents the cross-section of stellar individuals who have called Harlem their home and those who continue to live, work and contribute to its cultural vibrancy. It is a "universe" of stars celebrating actors, writers, composers, musicians, painters, sculptors, educators, historians, activists, entrepreneurs, and community leaders. Atlas of the Third Millennium pays homage to and renews the resilience and endowment of all daughters and sons of Harlem.

This exhibition is presented by the Marcus Garvey Park Alliance Public Art Initiative .

Image credit: Courtesy of Marcus Garvey Park Alliance

Barbara Kruger, Untitled (Skate), Photo by NYC Parks

Barbara Kruger, Untitled (Skate)
November 1, 2017 to November 19, 2017
Coleman Skate Park, Manhattan
Coleman Playground, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:
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Created in partnership with NYC Parks and skate park designer Steve Rodriguez, Barbara Kruger employs her signature effects and strategies to broadcast messages that engage issues of and ideas about power, desire, adoration, contempt, and capital at New York’s most popular skate park underneath the Manhattan Bridge.

Barbara Kruger has been employing media effects and strategies to create her own political, and social messages around consumerism, mass media, and feminism on billboards, buses, newspapers, buildings, and parks for the past four decades. Her instantly recognizable—and frequently appropriated—visual style of delivering highly charged, terse phrases in white Futura Bold font over red blocks has radiated its influence on other visual artists, graphic design, street culture, and skate fashion, and now fills the interior of this new public skate park.

This exhibition is presented by Performa.

Image courtesy of Art in FLUX

Aya Rodriguez-Izumi, Reflections
May 31, 2017 to September 30, 2017
Morningside Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

Reflections is a grouping of three interactive public sculptures that utilize the collective ideas of art and yoga as platforms for healing, harmony, and reflection while simultaneously encouraging inclusivity and diversity in two practices that are historically non-diverse. The sculptures utilize readily-available materials such as PVC pipes and Mylar flag canopies to create environments for contemplation and reflection. Each of the three canopies has circular openings that reveal a view of the sky above. A non-profit community partner, Three and A Half Acres Yoga, will present free introductory community yoga classes around the structures on the second Saturday of each month throughout the exhibition.

Reflections is presented by his exhibition is presented by Art in FLUX , FLUX Art Fair , and Three and a Half Acres Yoga, with public funds from Creative Engagement / Creative Learning, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and administered by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.

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