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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Lo! The Fiery Whirlpool
Courtesy of artist

Anna Craycroft, Lo! The Fiery Whirlpool
October 17, 2007 to June 9, 2008
Barretto Point Park, Bronx

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


Anna Craycroft’s Lo! The Fiery Whirlpool is a study in contrasts. The thick base of the smaller-than-life-size corten steel lighthouse suggests permanency and a certain ruggedness that seems at odds with the filigree, almost lacy, cut-out at the apex of the structure. The form of the work suggests a lighthouse, a structure that is meant to be impervious to the weather. In contrast to this is the velvety, rusted texture of the steel, a literal testament to the structure’s vulnerability to water and air.

Craycroft’s work was previously shown at Socrates Sculpture Park as part of the Emerging Artists show in 2004, at P.S.1/MoMA, and at Governor's Island, among other locations.

George Sanchez-Calderon, Plinth, Monument, Stoop
Courtesy of George Sanchez-Calderon and ZieherSmith Gallery, New York

George Sanchez-Calderon, Plinth, Monument, Stoop
October 1 to December 15, 2007
Joyce Kilmer Park, Bronx

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


Plinth/Monument/Stoop literally describes the plywood structure that Sanchez-Calderon built to resemble a plinth for a classical monument on one side and a stepped entry on the other. He originally placed the piece in the Overtown, an economically challenged section of Miami, Florida. For two months, it remained outdoors for locals to use to their liking – activities that never resulted in its destruction. Sanchez-Calderon visited with his camera, asking those at the scene if they would like to be photographed. Explaining the plinth’s traditional purpose as a pedestal for a work of art instantly inspired participants to respond. Standing on the plinth, some choose to present poses in classical contrapposto or defiant gestures of power. Others lounged on the steps, transforming it into a symbolic stoop, a traditional social center for many of America’s urban centers.

Locating the work in a New York City park seemed appropriate to the artist, since parks are traditional locations for the type of monumental sculpture to which the plinth alludes, while the piece’s “stoop” side is homage to the entrances of New York City brownstones.

Sanchez-Calderon was born in New York City in 1967, the son of Cuban exiles. His family relocated to Miami, where he now lives and works. He received his MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and BFA from Florida International University. His work is in the permanent collection of the Miami Art Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami, the Margulies Collection, the Craig Robbins Collection, and the Carlos and Rosa de la Cruz collection. He has received the Oscar B. Cintas Fellowship, the South Florida Cultural Consortium Award, and is a finalist for the 2007-08 Rome Prize.

This project was organized by ZieherSmith Gallery, New York. It is funded in part by private support from the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City.

Malcolm Pickney, Parks & Recreation
Courtesy of the artist

Michael Milton, Bronx Boogie
October 1 to December 10, 2007
Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx

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

The sinuous, twisting form of Michael Milton’s foam-wrapped metal sculpture Bronx Boogie evokes both abstract art and the natural world. The project is the artist’s first public art installation.

Courtesy of Wave Hill

Simon Leung, Allison Smith & Amy Yoes, Poe and Twain Projects
September 8 to December 2, 2007
Glyndor Gallery
Wave Hill, Bronx

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

Jennifer McGregor, Senior Curator at Wave Hill, invited three artists to develop projects based on the writing of Mark Twain and Edgar Allen Poe. Alison Smith has taken Twain’s description of his experiences as a confederate soldier as inspiration for her installation of a period room. Simon Leung uses several of Poe’s works to inform his video project, which explores site-specificity, contemporary politics, language, and allegory. Amy Yoes’s installation also explores text from Poe through her sculptural work, a complex interlocking structure that is part furniture and part architecture.


Courtesy of the artist

Rebecca Pollock, Urban Ornament
October 8, 2007 to September 2008
JJ Byrne Park
J.J. Byrne Playground, Brooklyn

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


The artist says: “Decoration is often inspired by nature. For those of us living in the city, however, nature can be hard to come by. We surround ourselves with abstractions of flowers on wallpaper and silhouettes of birds on tote bags, but we often ignore the elements native to our everyday environment. The city, like nature, is filled with ordered and jumbled, messy, and lovely things--all of which deserve notice."

"The goal of this ongoing project is to showcase how the imperfect, charming objects found on the sidewalks of New York can be a source of inspiration every bit as compelling as traditional starting points. The images used for this installation are all derived from things found in and around Park Slope.”

Rebecca Pollock created a temporary mural entitled Become at Taffee Playground in 2006.

Funded by Forest City Ratner Companies.

Photo by Ken Ek
Courtesy of Steve Tobin

Steve Tobin, Steelroots
October 15, 2007 to May 18, 2008
Prospect Park, Brooklyn

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


Monumental sculptures of sinuous root forms are part of Tobin’s practice of exploring and recreating nature. Nature’s transient forms, like plant roots, are translated by the artist into the vernacular of bronze—making reference to classical sculpture and comparing nature’s forms with human-made beauty.

Tobin has worked in various media throughout his career, including glass, clay, bronze, and steel. His work often explores natural forms, and the artist cites nature as his earliest influence, one that continues to inform his work to date. The artist previously exhibited another of his works, Termite Mounds and Roots, at Theodore Roosevelt Park and Montefiore Park in 2001.

Photo by A. Dorlester, NYC Parks & Recreation

Arthur Simms, Real Estate for BirdsΑ
October 6, 2007 to March 17, 2008
Grand Army Plaza entrance
Prospect Park, Brooklyn

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


Arthur Simms takes mundane artifacts of daily life and industrial waste and turns them into creative objects loaded with cultural memories and spiritual references. Like many of his works, Real Estate for BirdsΑ is made from found materials: a telephone pole, rope, wood, wire, bird houses, glue, skateboards, bamboo, screws, nails, and bottle caps. Simms’s work frequently examines the cross-cultural dialogue between his native Jamaica and the United States. He lives and works in Queens, where he collects the various cast-off objects—bottles, rocks, wire, and scrap metal—that he incorporates into his work.

Simms was born in 1961 in Saint Andrews, Jamaica. He holds an MFA and BFA from Brooklyn College and also attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. His sculpture has been exhibited widely, including group shows at the Queens Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum, and P.S.1/MoMA. He is a recipient of the 2002-2003 Rome Prize, a 1999 Guggenheim fellowship, and was featured in the prestigious 2001 Venice Biennale, representing Jamaica. Just a short walk from Prospect Park, a new work by Simms is included in the exhibition Infinite Islands: Contemporary Caribbean Art at the Brooklyn Museum until January 27, 2008.

This project was presented in cooperation with the Prospect Park Alliance and made possible with funding by Forest City Ratner Companies and in-kind assistance from Con Edison.

Ripple, Osman Akan
Photograph by Kelly Barrie

Osman Akan, The Third Bridge
October 14, 2007 to January 18, 2008
Brooklyn Bridge Park, Brooklyn

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


The Third Bridge is a site-specific work of fiber optic grass fields temporarily surrounding the pathways of Brooklyn Bridge Park on the East River waterfront near the Manhattan Bridge in Dumbo, Brooklyn. The artist uses the site’s location, between the two physical bridges, to comment on the concepts of technology and network. This project marks the first of a series of solo commissioned works in a new program, Outer Space, being developed by the Dumbo Arts Center.

Osman Akan was born on the Black Sea coast of Turkey and since 1997 has lived and worked in the United States.

Presented by the Dumbo Art Center (dac).

Courtesy of artist

Anne Peabody, Fallen Nest
October 1 to January 11, 2008
Fort Greene Park, Brooklyn

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


New Yorkers are incredibly resourceful when it comes to carving out niches for dwelling, says artist Anne Peabody. Fallen Nest was inspired by the current proliferation of new housing in Brooklyn. The work is an enormous representation of a paper wasps’ nest that is lying on the ground as if fallen from a tree. In the fall, wasps abandon their elaborately built homes for more substantial shelter in winter.

Peabody holds a BFA from Washington University, St. Louis, and an MFA from the School of Visual Arts, New York. A native of Kentucky, she lives and works in Brooklyn. Her work has been shown in Louisville, Kentucky and New York City. This is her first public art project.

The work is located at the corner of Washington and DeKalb Streets. This project was made possible with funding from Forest City Ratner Companies.

Courtesy of the artist

David Hardy, Field Display #2
October 1, 2007 to January 5, 2008
Cadman Plaza Park, Brooklyn

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


David Hardy was thinking about the experience of looking at art when he made Field Display #2. At first glance, the sculpture looks like a familiar structure built to shelter information on a forest trail: a wooden display standing on two boxy legs with a shingled roof. Inside, a claw-footed goblet of unknown origin sits behind glass, and outside, planted in front, are two blue galoshes, empty except for lumps of black sludge. “I was thinking of the movie Repo Man, in which a man just explodes, leaving his boots behind,” says the artist. “I wanted to address the problem of public art and ‘the art experience,’ where the anticipation of the event is often so much more than the event itself. But what if the event itself was the cause of excitementΑ”

New York-based David Hardy has a BA from Brown, an MFA from Yale, and completed the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture program. His work was exhibited in group exhibitions at Socrates Sculpture Park, the Bronx Museum of the Arts, SculptureCenter, and in P.S.1’s Greater New York. He has had solo exhibitions of his work in Sweden, Chicago, and San Francisco.

Funded by Forest City Ratner Companies.

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