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Art in the Parks

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

Celebrating 50 Years of Art in the Parks

Join us in celebrating the 50th anniversary of our Art in the Parks program! Visit more than 50 public artworks currently on view in our parks, and celebrate with us at our upcoming anniversary events!

Celebrate 50 Years of Art in the Parks

Public Art Map and Guide

Find out which current exhibits are on display near you, and browse our permanent monument collection.

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Search Current and Past Exhibits




Tom Otterness, Large Sad Sphere
Courtesy of the artist

Tom Otterness, Large Sad Sphere
October 1, 2007 to January 5, 2008
Hudson River Park, Manhattan

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


Otterness’s bronze sculpture Large Sad Sphere shows a hunched figure sitting on a block. The figure, with its rotund body and elongated legs, is recognizable as Otterness’s signature style and part of the cast of characters that populate the artist’s work. This work is another entry in the artist’s continued exploration of, and interest in, the interaction of the public with his work.

Tom Otterness has several previous works on permanent view throughout the city, including the MTA’s commissioned work Life Underground on view primarily in the 14th Street/Eighth Avenue subway station. Otterness’s work will be concurrently on view at Marlborough Chelsea in Tom Otterness: The Public Unconscious on view from October 4 through November 3, 2007.

Presented by Marlborough Chelsea, in cooperation with the Hudson River Park Trust.

Susan Watts, Milestone to Recovery
Photo by Arielle Dorlester, NYC Parks & Recreation

Susan Watts, Milestones to Recovery
June 28 to January 3, 2008
The Battery, Manhattan

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


Milestones to Recovery celebrates the rebirth Lower Manhattan has experienced over the past five-and-a-half years, through the exhibit of 30 4-foot by 6-foot photographs.

"In the aftermath of 9/11, New Yorkers gathered in their parks as they remembered, reflected and tried to recover," said NYC Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe. "Susan Watts's striking photographs in Milestones to Recovery eloquently and emotionally capture the spirit of this vibrant community as it overcame and thrived. We are proud to be a part of this recovery process and to welcome residents and visitors back to The Battery as they witness the remarkable resilience that Lower Manhattanites have demonstrated."

Susan Watts has been an award-winning photojournalist in New York for more than 13 years. A staff photographer at the Daily News since 1995, she covers top local, national and international news stories. Her 9/11/01 work is archived in the permanent photography collections of both the Smithsonian Institution and the Library of Congress.

A native New Yorker, Ms. Watts attended New York University and graduated in 1991 with a bachelor of fine arts in film.

Photo by A. Dorlester, NYC Parks & Recreation

Jim Johnson, Freedom of Movement
October 1 to December 29, 2007
Riverside Park South, Manhattan

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

According to artist Jim Johnson, there is the arguable theory that the Neanderthal tribe became extinct simply because of its reluctance to move, and accordingly, the subsequent depletion of their nearby food sources; in contrast, Homo Sapiens have circumnavigated the earth, and even set foot on our moon. The inherent desire to move is almost always the first freedom from which humans are deprived when their kingdoms are overrun by other warring tribes. In the case of the great white shark, the absence of a gill-pump requires the species to move continuously, mouth slightly open, directing an endless flow of sea water over the gills in order to extract oxygen: if they stop moving, they will die.

Courtesy of the artist

Seth Weiner, myOpticon
October 5, 2007 to December 20, 2007
Bowling Green, Manhattan

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


Seth Weiner’s myOpticon resembles coin-operated viewing devices often found in scenic parks and at the tops of skyscrapers. Rather than providing views of distant landscapes, Weiner’s myOpticon provides a thermal image of its immediate surroundings. The thermal image is created by a camera that filters out all visible light, constructing an image of only long-wave infrared radiation emitted by all objects in proportion to surface temperature. This appears equally as vivid in pitch-blackness as in broad daylight. Warmer surfaces glow brightly, while cooler surfaces appear dim.

Weiner’s myOpticon continues the artist’s exploration of the intersections between the public, art, and technology.  Weiner’s work, The Fortunate Islands, was previously shown in Thomas Paine Park in January and February of this year.

Funded by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.

Donna Dennis, Tourist Cabins on Park Avenue
Photo by Peter Mauss, courtesy of Peter Mauss / Esto

Donna Dennis, Tourist Cabins on Park Avenue
July 2 to November 29, 2007
from 52nd to 53rd Streets
Park Avenue Malls, Manhattan

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


Two smaller than life-sized tourist cabins—complete with interior lighting and a satellite sculpture—will inhabit the Park Avenue median at 52nd to 53rd streets. These sculptures come out of Dennis's continuing artistic discussion with the "cabin" as an icon both in the artist's personal lexicon and in the larger world.

Drawing inspiration from overlooked fragments of vernacular architecture both rural and urban, Dennis is known for her complex, lyrical, and metaphorical sculptural installations. The sculptures are presented with the support of the Fund for Park Avenue.

Courtesy of the Keith Haring Foundation

Keith Haring, Self Portrait
September 13 to November 23, 2007
The Arsenal
Central Park, Manhattan

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


Haring’s sculpture is the fourth in an edition of seven. The large-scale version was displayed on Park Avenue at 60th Street as part of a multi-site exhibition of Haring’s on the avenue in 1997. Sculptures by Haring, who painted the Crack Is Wack and Carmine Pool murals, were also displayed at Riverside Park in 1988 and Dante Park in 1992.

During his brief but prolific career during much of the 1980s, Haring was featured in over 100 solo shows and group exhibitions. Haring died of AIDS-related complications in 1990 at the age of 31. Prior to this death, Haring founded the Keith Haring Foundation to provide funding and imagery to AIDS organizations and children’s programs, as well as to expand the audience for Haring’s work through exhibition, licensing of his images, and publications.

Alexander Calder, Jerusalem Stabile
Photograph by Daniel Avila, NYC Parks & Recreation

Alexander Calder, Alexander Calder in New York
April 2006 to October 30, 2007
City Hall Park, Manhattan

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

This major exhibition of sculpture by Alexander Calder is the first multi-work presentation of the artist's iconic sculptures in New York's outdoor spaces. Alexander Calder in New York is the fourth exhibition sponsored by Forest City Ratner Companies that the Public Art Fund has organized in City Hall Park since 2003. The exhibition includes five of Calder's large metal "stabiles" (what Calder called his freestanding, nonmoving sculptures) and one of his signature hanging mobiles, which will be shown in the dramatic rotunda of City Hall.

It's My Park segment about Alexander Calder exhibition.

Damian Ortega, Obelisco Transportable
Photo by Seong Kwon, courtesy Public Art Fund

Damian Ortega, Obelisco Transportable
May 19 to October 28, 2007
Doric C. Freedman Plaza, Manhattan

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


Obelisco Transportable is artist Damian Ortega's variation on the ancient form of the obelisk. The artist characterizes Obelisco Transportable, which appears to have been uprooted from a previous location, as "a mobile landmark" that one could potentially move anywhere to commemorate anything. It offers a pragmatic yet wryly playful approach to a global society in which the balance of power is constantly in flux, and in which populations shift and drift from one place to another.

Damian Ortega was born in 1967 in Mexico City and now lives and works in Berlin. In 2003, his work was featured in the 50th Venice Biennale. His recent major solo shows include "The Beetle Trilogy and Other Works," Gallery at REDCAT (The Roy and Edna Disney CalArts Theatre) and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2005); and "The Uncertainty Principle," at Tate Modern, London (2005).

Organized by the Public Art Fund.

William Wegman, Around the Park, 2006
Courtesy of William Wegman

William Wegman, Around the Park
September 14 to October 28, 2007

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


Artist William Wegman presents Around the Park, a new video work, on four outdoor monitors near Madison Square Park’s popular food kiosk Shake Shack. The approximately seven-minute-long video stars Wegman’s favorite cast of characters as they enjoy a fall day in Madison Square Park.

Opening concurrently at Senior & Shopmaker Gallery on Madison Square Park is Wegman Outdoors, an exhibition of the artist’s landscape photographs dating from 1981 through 2007. William Wegman’s photographs, video tapes, paintings, and drawings have been exhibited in museums and galleries internationally. Funney/Strange, a retrospective of Wegman's work organized by the Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts, with a catalogue published by Yale University Press, completes its two-year tour this fall at the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Ohio.

A project of the Madison Square Park Conservancy.

Cheryl Farber Smith, Leaning Firm

Cheryl Farber Smith, Leaning Firm
January 2007 to July 2007
Columbus Park, Manhattan

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

Cheryl Farber Smith's aluminum sculpture fuses simple geometric shapes to create a composition that simultaneously suggests motion and repose. Painted with a high-gloss red finish, it stands 9'4" high, 7'5" wide, and 5'7" deep.

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