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Official Website of the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation

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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Richard Artschwager, blps
October 25, 2012 to February 3, 2013
Various Locations. Gansevoort Street to West 34th Street, between 10th & 11th Avenues
The High Line, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

High Line Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art present a series of blps by acclaimed artist Richard Artschwager, in conjunction with the artist’s retrospective Richard Artschwager! at the Whitney. These public interventions consist of black or white lozenge-shaped marks that inspire focused looking, and draw attention to architecture, structures, and surfaces that usually go unnoticed.

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.


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.

Elad Lassry, Women (065, 055), 2012. Courtesy Friends of the High Line.

Elad Lassry, Women (065, 055)
August 1, 2012 to September 7, 2012
Billboard next to the High Line at West 18th Street and 10th Avenue
The High Line, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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


Los Angeles-based artist Elad Lassry presents a new commission for the 25-by-75 foot billboard next to the High Line.

Over the course of his career, Elad Lassry has investigated the history and power of images through different mediums, such as photography, film, sculpture, and performance. His small-scale photographs, usually presented in frames that take their color from the main hue of the photograph, are still lifes of mundane objects or portraits depicting individuals and animals from vintage magazines, film archives, or original images shot at Lassry’s studio. Lassry’s photographs are highly staged, intense in their vivid colors, and, at times, puzzling in their visual openness. Removed from their visual context, they question the tradition of photography while investigating – at times ironically – the power of the image and our contemporary engagement with them.

Invited by High Line Art to present on HIGH LINE BILLBOARD, Lassry has created an alluring new image of two young women, both dressed alike, gazing out of two small portholes into a sea of green. Detached from any visual history or context, the image is both mesmerizing and elusive, familiar and remote. It allows the viewers to create their own conceptual space and visual context for the image.

This exhibition is presented by the Friends of the High Line and The Kitchen

Gaston Lachaise, La Montagne, Courtesy of Parks Art & Antiquities

Gaston Lachaise, La Montagne (The Mountain)
September 23, 2011 to June 4, 2012
Tramway Plaza, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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


​La Montagne (The Mountain) was modeled in 1934 by American Modernist sculptor Gaston Lachaise (1882-1935). The sculpture is the culmination of a series begun in 1913 by Lachaise in New York, where he lived and worked from 1912 until his death in 1935. The work represents at once a landscape and the figure of Isabel Dutaud Nagle, the artist’s muse, model and eventual wife. Lachaise envisioned a piece that was “great and solemn.” He later admitted, “You may say the model is my wife. It is a large, generous figure of great placidity, great tranquility.” Some recognize in Lachaise a revival of the feminine ideal that had flourished for centuries in the voluptuous stone carvings on Hindu temples. Lachaise’s wife inspired virtually all of Lachaise’s sculptures of the female form. “You are the Goddess I seek to express in all my work,” he wrote to her in 1915-16.

This exhibition was made possible by The Lachaise Foundation and The Frelinghuysen-Morris Foundation.

Folly, Jermone Haferd and K Brandt Knap, Curtain
July 14, 2012 to October 21, 2012
Socrates Sculpture Park, Queens
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

​Exploring the intersections between architecture, design, and sculpture is Socrates Sculpture Park’s exhibition and residency, Folly. Architects Jerome Haferd and K Brandt Knap submitted the winning proposal for this exhibition, titled Curtain, exploring and investigating materiality, spatial interaction, and concepts about our built environment. The project is composed of a series of frames of slender wood posts, defining a space of 20 feet wide on each side with a roof canopy. The horizontal planes of the structure are articulated by a dense series of plastic white chains, fixed in some places, hanging free in others, creating “rooms” that viewers can occupy, offering changing spatial experiences within the fixed wooden framework.  The piece alludes to the material quality of the chain as it reacts to the breezes off the East River as well as a word play on the architectural term “curtain wall.”

Prompted by an increased interest among younger architects and designers in fabrication technologies and materials, Folly is an exciting opportunity for these emerging minds to rediscover the pleasures of craft and explore the process of making. The result of collaboration between Socrates Sculpture Park and The Architectural League is presented in the park’s waterfront location, offering a rare and immediate connection to the landscape and the public.

Civic Action, Socrates Sculpture Park

Various, Civic Action: A Vision for Long Island City
May 13, 2012 to August 5, 2012
Socrates Sculpture Park, Queens
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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


Civic Action features the work of artists Natalie Jeremijenko and xClinic, Mary Miss, Rirkrit Tiravanija, and George Trakas - all known for their innovative works in the public sphere. Civic Action is the second half of a two-part exhibition with The Noguchi Museum and is curated by Amy Smith-Stewart. The artists were asked to proffer alternative visions and an imaginative future for the northern industrial stretch of Long Island City, Queens that encompasses both organizations - Socrates and Noguchi. In 2011, each artist formed a team (listed below) comprised of architects, urban planners, writers, historians, and other consultants to re-imagine the area in response to increasing residential development, rezoning, and ecological threats. Their findings were exhibited as models, installations and drawings at The Noguchi Museum from October 13, 2011 to April 22, 2012. Now at Socrates, their ideas, which address accessibility, sustainability, community building, and urban environment, will be realized through sculpture, site-specific installations, earthworks and participatory, social activities.

This exhibition is presented by Socrates Sculpture Park and the Noguchi Museum.

Mary Miss, SUNSWICK CREEK: Reflecting Forward, photograph courtesy of Socrates Sculpture Park

Mary Miss, SUNSWICK CREEK: Reflecting Forward
May 13, 2012 to August 5, 2012
Sixteen Oaks Grove, Queens
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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


Part of Civic Action: A Vision for Long Island City at Socrates Sculpture Park, this project looks at the former Sunswick Creek as an armature to explore and learn about Ravenswood’s history and its influence in New York City.

The intention of this project is to engage citizens in the development of their community by revealing the histories that have helped to shape present-day Ravenswood, Long Island City, and Astoria. Sunswick Creek was a substantial lifeline for the surrounding area that aided in social and agricultural growth. Through this past, historic connections can help to provide insight into growth in the area and suggest how a natural ecology changes with local development.

This exhibition is presented by Socrates Sculpture Park and the Noguchi Museum.

Mary Mattingly, Flock House. Courtesy of the artist.

Mary Mattingly, FlockHouse
June 16, 2012 to August 15, 2012

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

​The Flock House initiative examines questions of mobile, self-sufficient living units becoming building blocks for future cities.  Reflecting the future of urban space and building upon existing structures, Flock House comprises a group of mi­gratory, public, sculptural habitats that imagine a world where created envi­ronments are adaptable, collapsible, portable, and modular. As expanding urban populations face environmental, social, and economic change, Flock Houses can be built in, transported to, and survive in and among urban cen­ters along three planes of living (sub­terranean, ground, and sky).

The form and function of Flock House is inspired by current patterns of global human migration, immigration, and pilgrimage. Through workshops, organized events, an interactive website, and narrated cell phone tours, the Flock House project catalyzes and enhances community-interdependence, resourcefulness, learning, curiosity, and creative exploration.

Mobile Flock House living systems are interstitial, autonomous, and dependent on local community relationships to maintain, share, and operate. As living systems, they function as bridges for cross-discipline, cross-boundary, and cross-border notions of property and polity.

Built collaboratively upon re­claimed, recycled, redesigned, and rethought materials, Flock House promotes wider adoption of natural systems including rainwater capture, inner-city agriculture, and solar and human-powered energy technologies.

Flock House #3 - Microsphere:
June 17 - 30: Battery Park, Manhattan. Inhabitants:  Brian Zegeer, Rob Colvin, Mary Mattingly.
July 2 - 14: Coleman Oval Park, Lower Manhattan. Inhabitant: Scott Beiben
July 15 - August 30: Bronx Museum, Bronx. Inhabitant: William Lamson (July 15-July 30), Lonny Grafman (August 1-15), Scott Weiner (August 16-25)

Flock House #7 - Terrapod:
June 15 - 30: Queens Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
Inhabitant: Christopher Robbins (Ghana ThinkTank).
July 1 - 14: DUMBO, Pearl Street Triangle, Brooklyn. Inhabitant: Amelia Marzac
July 15 - 31: Snug Harbor, Staten Island. Inhabitant: Kelly Loudenberg
August 1 - 15: Bronx – Van Cortlandt Park. Inhabitants: Esteban Silva and Harley Aussoleil.

Flock House # 8 - Chromasphere:
June 27 – September 6: 125 Maiden Lane, Manhattan.  Inhabitant: Greg Lindquist.

Flock House #4 - Cocoon:
June: Rooftop, Downtown Brooklyn, NY. Inhabitant: Mary Mattingly
July 7 – September: Architecture Omi Sculpture Park, Ghent, NY.

This project is presented in conjunction with the support of generous sponsors.

NYC Parks

Art Students League, BioMask (Model to Monument)
June 22, 2012 to November 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 the monumental sculpture, BioMask, 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.  In its second year,  ASL altered the 2011 “Mask" sculpture. In the artists will turn the mask to face the sky instead of the park and insert branch and leaf forms as if the mask were slowly but surely growing in an organic fashion like the surrounding trees.  Included in the exhibition are Sequoya Aono, Roberto Franzone, HakSul Lee, Damien Armondo Vera, Olga Rudenko, Michael Cloud Hirschfeld, and Renata Pugh.

A collaborative installation created by the team is also on concurrently on view in Riverside South Park in Manhattan.

This work was made possible by the Art Students League’s Model to Monument Program.

Merián Soto, Branch Dances

Merián Soto, Branch Dances
October 2011 to June 2012
Wave Hill, Bronx
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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


Wave Hill has commissioned award-winning choreographer Merián Soto to return to the Bronx, her artistic home, to develop and perform Branch Dances at Wave Hill. This year-long work consists of an outdoor performance each season, with the first in October. Five dancers, Beau Hancock, Shavon Norris, Jumatatu  Poe, Olive Prince and Marion Ramirez, and musician Robert (Tigger) Benford connect body, mind, place and natural elements to stillness in locations that respond to Wave Hill’s brilliant foliage, sweeping vistas and sculptural trees.

Schedule of Performances

  • Saturday, October 29, 2011 (Target Free Morning)
  • Saturday, January 7, 2012 (Target Free Morning)
  • Sunday, April 22, 2012*
  • Saturday, June 23, 2012 (Target Free Morning)*

*Dates are tentative

This is a project by Wave Hill

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