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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LEAP opening reception in Union Square, Courtesy of NYC Parks

LEAP, A View from the Lunch Table: Students Bringing Issues to the Table
June 4, 2013 to August 31, 2013
Various Locations

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


Students from ten New York City public middle schools, with two schools representing each borough, have transformed school lunchroom tables into personalized canvases and created colorful works of public art that touch upon critical social issues in their community and across the globe. The tables, which have been installed in ten community parks across the five boroughs, are a way of giving young teens the chance to voice their opinions and reach out to the public in hopes of inspiring social change through their art. This exhibition was created by LeAp’s Public Art Program in cooperation with NYC Parks and marks the largest student exhibition in the history of NYC Parks and the first to span five boroughs. The program has included visits with distinguished artists such as Emma Amos, Mark di Suvero, Audrey Flack, Christo, Mel Kendrick, and Sanford Biggers, among many others. For 33 years, LeAp (Learning through an Expanded Art Program) has provided arts–based education to over two million students K-12 throughout New York City.

Artworks can be found through August at: Central Park and Marcus Garvey Park in Manhattan; Kaiser Park and Detective Joseph Mayrose Park in Brooklyn; Van Cortlandt Park and Claremont Park in the Bronx; Juniper Valley Park and Forest Park in Queens; and Willowbrook Park and Snug Harbor Cultural Center in Staten Island.

For more information visit the LEAP website.

Deanna Aguinaga, piano for Pelham Bay Park: Orchard Beach, Bronx

Sing for Hope, Pop-Up Pianos
June 1, 2013 to June 15, 2013
Various Locations

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


This summer, from June 1st through June 16th, the Sing for Hope Pianos return to our city streets. In one of New York City’s most vibrant public art installations, 88 artist-designed pianos (one for each key on a piano) are placed in parks and public spaces throughout the 5 boroughs for anyone and everyone to enjoy.

Once on the streets, neighborhood associations and community organizations serve as “piano buddies” and supervise each piano throughout the duration of the project, making sure they are protected from inclement weather. The Sing for Hope Pianos unite our city, as artists from all walks of life create daily spontaneous concerts and neighborhoods come together around the shared gift of music and art.

For more information and a list of locations visit Sing for Hope’s Pop-Up Pianos website. Sing for Hope is presented in cooperation with the City of New York.


Art Students League, Flock
May 14, 2013 to May 13, 2014
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, Flock, 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 third year, ASL created a 15-foot swirl of birds in flight—making note of the amazing bird watching opportunity in the Bronx park. Flock, a collaborative piece also uses the birds to represent the diversity of the Bronx. Included in the exhibition are Beñat Iglesias Lopez, Anna Kuchel Rabinowitz, Anne Stanner, Sherwin Banfield, John N. Erianne, Reina Kubota, and Morito Yasumitsu.

A collaborative installation created by the team is also on concurrently on view in Riverside South Park in Manhattan. This exhibition is presented with the Art Students League.

Courtesy of NYC Parks

Katherine Daniels, Ornamental Paths
June 7, 2012 to April 2013
Joyce Kilmer Park, Bronx
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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


Katherine Daniels transforms everyday objects and materials into elaborately woven ornamental forms in her site specific installation, Ornamental Paths. The large-scale pieces are currently on view on the Grand Concourse between 161st and 164th Streets in the Bronx. “The placement of the weavings defines the inner triangular shape at the heart of Joyce Kilmer Park and creates a place where people can enter into a spatial drawing.” The brick and mosaic Art Deco patterns that have historically defined the neighborhood’s architectural landmarks are interpreted through Daniel’s interlaced geometric forms, horizontal stripes, and vertical bands that grace the park’s permanent wire fencing. Transcendent of an ordinary walk through the park, a stroll through Ornamental Paths will be a new experience full of color and history.

This exhibition is presented by the Clare Weiss Emerging Artist Award.

Dianne Smith, The Couple, courtesy of the West Harlem Art Fund

Dianne Smith, Organic Abstracts
March 7, 2013 to April 15, 2013
Bartow Pell Mansion
Pelham Bay Park, Bronx
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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


The West Harlem Art Fund and Bartow Pell present two works by artist Dianne Smith on the grounds of this historic house. The Couple is two androgynous heads approximately twenty feet wide and ten feet tall. The heads rest on one another and are made from everyday discarded materials such as, packaging, paper, cans, fabric and magazines, bound together with string and rope. The Couple represents the idea of the environment, community and family respect. The concept of heads resting on one another, plays on the old adages “two heads are better than one” and “it takes a village.” They symbolize the idea that we all need each other and the environment to live harmonious and balanced lives.

Flying High is a site specific installation constructed out of brown butcher paper. The varnished paper, hanging between two trees, is crunched, crumpled, rolled, twisted, interlocked, woven and manipulated. For Smith butcher paper is a metaphor for the treatment of people in developing countries, as well as consumption in the global market. People use butcher paper for many everyday activities and throw it away once they are done with it. Some of its uses include wrapping meat, crafting, and packing shipped.

This project is presented by the West Harlem Art Fund and Bartow Pell Mansion.


Nick Hornby, Bird God Drone, Courtesy of the artist

Nick Hornby, Bird God Drone
November 1, 2013 to October 31, 2014
Clumber Corner, Brooklyn
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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


In Hornby’s Bird God Drone, the outline of Michelangelo’s David – one of the most famous and widely reproduced sculptures in the world – has been extruded vertically over 12 feet to converge at a single point. In Bird God Drone, the silhouette of David’s conquering and classical Renaissance body lies horizontally, flush with the ground, and visible from above: by workers peering out of windows, tourists crossing the Brooklyn Bridge, birds, gods, and drones.

The sculpture is robotically carved from a synthetic composite to the accuracy of a fraction of a millimeter. The figurative perfection of Michelangelo’s sculpture is juxtaposed against the Platonic ideal of geometry.

Hornby has derived his outline, not from the original marble carving, but from a white plaster copy from the late 1800s located in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Here, in Brooklyn, Hornby’s sculpture is repositioned in another historical moment of belief in technological progress. It is no longer God and nature alone that view from above, but also drones and satellites, the components of our industrialization of space.

Accompanying this sculpture is a video of the work shot from above by a surveillance drone. The sculpture is designed specifically for this bird’s-eye view, inverting the ‘man on a plinth’ monument which is traditionally viewed from below. The video will be available on YouTube, accessible via smart-phones, and disseminated by social media, revealing Michelangelo’s outline dropped like a Google pin point (the hallmark of contemporary travel) in the urban landscape.

This exhibition is presented by Two Trees Management Co.

Nate Larson and Marni Shindelman, Geolocations: DUMBO, Photo courtesy of the artists

Nate Larson and Marni Shindelman, Geolocation: DUMBO
September 18, 2013 to September 17, 2014
Washington Street and Prospect Street, Brooklyn
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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


Geolocation: DUMBO is a new Twitter-inspired public art piece from photographers and self-described “virtual flâneurs” Nate Larson and Marni Shindelman. Wrapping 190ft around the corner of Washington and Prospect, this work was commissioned by the DUMBO Improvement District in collaboration with United Photo Industries.

Geolocation: DUMBO embraces the neighborhood’s digital culture. To create the piece, Larson and Shindelman used publicly available embedded GPS information in Twitter updates to track the locations of user posts and take photographs to mark the location in the real world. Each of the photographs is taken at the site of the update and paired with the originating text. According to the artists, the “act of making a photograph anchors and memorializes the ephemeral online data in the real world and also probes the expectations of privacy surrounding social networks.” Local sites depicted in the piece include Brooklyn Bridge Park, Etsy and the parking garage at 20 Jay.

The piece was commissioned by the DUMBO Improvement District and United Photo Industries in partnership with NYC Parks. For additional information about the project, click here.

Ben Snead, Fish Farm (Brooklyn Snappers)
September 28, 2012 to September 27, 2013
Clumber Corner, Brooklyn, Brooklyn
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Three large fish heads, including a lane snapper, a yellow tail snapper and a rock hind, sprout from the corner of this slopping lawn bordered by the Brooklyn Bridge and the Brooklyn Queens Expressway.  All three species are found in local fish markets throughout Brooklyn. The fish live in tropical waters such as the Caribbean and are transported to New York City for human consumption. By enlarging them and placing them on the grass, they are taken even further out of context.

This project is presented by Two Trees Development.

Akihiro Ito, Tomorrow.  Image courtesy of the Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership.

Akihiro Ito, Tomorrow
September 27, 2012 to August 2013
Northeast Corner at Myrtle Avenue and Washington Park
Fort Greene Park, Brooklyn
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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


The Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership presents Tomorrow, a temporary installation by Akihiro Ito. From September 27, 2012 through August 2013, the piece will be installed at the northeast corner of Fort Greene Park (Myrtle and Washington Park).

Akihiro Ito’s sculpture, Tomorrow, illustrates the harmony between humans and their natural surroundings, and reminds us of the importance of preserving our environment. Tomorrow is made of 600 pieces of laminated dimensional wood (Douglas fir) which form the shape of a baby – a symbol of future generations. He used this material to draw the connection between people and nature. Wood is environmentally friendly as it emits no pollutants, is a familiar resource that has been utilized for millennia, and instills feelings of warmth, serenity, and relief in people. Mr. Ito says, “Nowadays, we are facing serious environmental problems such as global warming, waste and resource depletion. We have to preserve nature and save our earth for our future generations and for all living beings. I hope this sculpture provides an opportunity for people to think about humanity’s connection to nature, and reminds us that we are all part of earth’s family.”

“Bringing sculpture to Myrtle Avenue is part of the Partnership’s larger public art initiative to underscore the neighborhood’s creative spirit and highlight our public spaces with art,” says Meredith Phillips Almeida, the Partnership’s Deputy Director. Throughout the duration of the installation, an informational card about the artist and work, designed by the Partnership, will be available at the site. The Partnership will also develop a site visit guide for local schools.

Please visit the Partnership’s website for more information about the organization and their initiatives.

Kate Newby, How Funny are You Today, New York
July 12, 2012 to January 13, 2013
Fort Greene Park, Brooklyn
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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


Fort Greene Park welcomes New Zealand artist Kate Newby’s latest site-specific sculpture exhibition, “How funny are you today, New York.” The new work builds on her ongoing interest in creating work that is ephemeral and often peripheral that is integrated into public environments.  Situated in the historic setting of Fort Greene Park, a place where art, life, tradition, and culture have coalesced for centuries, Newby finds her muse in a pronounced boulder locals call “the Grey Painted Rock.” Creating a space where semi-precious and industrial materials get integrated seamlessly into the urban landscape, Newby’s installation invites park visitors to stop and rest or play while simultaneously forcing the viewer to address the artist’s reconsideration of the environment’s norms.

This exhibition is presented by the International Studio and Curatorial Program.

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