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

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Kota Ezawa, still from animated video City of Nature, Courtesy of Kota Ezawa

Kota Ezawa, City of Nature
March 31, 2011 to May 15, 2011
Madison Square Park, Manhattan

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

Kota Ezawa is a German-born, San Fransisco-based video artist and illustrator who creates simple, graphic illustrations over film footage to produce short, witty narrative videos. City of Nature, Ezawa’s original video commission for Mad. Sq. Art, weaves together excerpts from popular films, ranging from Fitzcarraldo to Twin Peaks in which nature is the only character featured onscreen.  These short clips are edited together to form what the artist calls a “video collage” or seamless montage, before being translated through freehand, computer assisted digital animation.  The resulting animated video stands as a visually striking and original work containing subtle, but deliberate echoes of iconic cultural moments embedded in our collective unconscious.  In much the same way that Madison Square Park presents a cultivated and aestheticized side of nature, wildlife and green space amidst the urban landscape of central Manhattan, City of Nature examines the ways in which popular culture presents aestheticized images of the natural work, “unnatural” visions of nature that embed themselves in our cultural memory and media landscape more deeply than we may consciously know.

This is a project of the Madison Square Park Conservancy.

Jim Campbell, <em>Scattered Light</em>, courtesy of the Madison Square Park Conservancy and James Ewing

Jim Campbell, Scattered Light
October 21, 2010 to February 28, 2011
Madison Square Park, Manhattan

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

Scattered Light is the New York public art debut of pioneering new media artist Jim Campbell. Campbell’s exhibition features three new major public art commissions, including his largest and most ambitious work to date.

With Scattered Light, Campbell has hung nearly 2,000 LED lights, encased in standard light-bulb casings, from a massive suspension truss standing 20 feet high and stretching 80 feet down the center of the Oval Lawn. These LEDs have been programmed and sequenced by Campbell to turn and off in such a way that from the pathways of Madison Square Park—and from the major avenues beyond the park’s boundaries—it will appear as though the shadows of people and animals are passing across a massive, gently-undulating amorphous field of light.

Broken Window will be an additional work, situated near the main entrance to Madison Square Park at 23rd Street and Fifth Avenue, in which an array of LEDs encased in a glass-brick wall create illuminated moving images that gently pass across the glass plane. Voices in the Subway Station Eighteen features eighteen glass tablets embedded in the grass that emit gentle pulses of light—communicating like passengers on the subway.

This is a project of the Madison Square Park Conservancy.

Art Students League, Mask, Van Cortlandt Park

Art Students League, Mask (Model to Monument)
June 28, 2011 to May 2012
South of Van Cortlandt House
Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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


​The Art Students League of New York, one of America’s premier art schools, presents the Model to Monument Program (M2M), a collaboration with the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation that has culminated in the installation of one monumental sculpture, Mask, at Van Cortlandt Park.

The sculpture was created by an international team of seven selected League students during a nine-month program led by master sculptor Greg Wyatt.  The decision to sculpt a theatrical mask grew out the artists’ visits to Van Corltandt. The site is near the Red Steps below the Van Cortlandt House Museum, where public theater events are being introduced by Van Cortlandt Park Conservancy. The artists are: Elizabeth Allison, John Balsamo, Allston Chapman, Akihiro Ito, Selva Sanjines, Noa Shay, and Matthew White.

Model to Monument provides a project-driven program, site-specific for the students that focuses their artistic and professional development and their ability to respond to an environment. The artists’ experience working with the City gives them the ability and background to create new public works for people to contemplate and enjoy in the years and decades to come.

Mask is made possible by the Art Students League’s Model to Monument Program

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