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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.

2015

Citywide

LeAp,A View from the Lunch Table: Students Bringing Issues to the Table
June 1, 2015 to September 13, 2015
Various Locations

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

Description:

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 Jenny Holzer, Crash, Kehinde Wiley, Emma Amos, Christo, and Lorna Simpson among many others. For 34 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 September in Seward Park and Morningside Park in Manhattan, Fort Four Playground and Crotona Park in the Bronx, Washington Park and Tiger Playground in Brooklyn, Juniper Valley Park, Forest Park (Dry Harbor Playground), in Queens, and Silver Lake Park and Snug Harbor Cultural Center in Staten Island.

This exhibition is presented by LeAp.

View a map of all of the LeAp installations

Courtesy of Sing for Hope

Sing for Hope,Pop-Up Pianos
June 5, 2015 to June 21, 2015
Various Locations

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

Description:

This summer, from June 5th through June 21st, the Sing for Hope Pianos return to our city streets. In one of New York City’s most vibrant public art installations, 50 artist-designed pianos 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.

Bronx

Chat Travieso,Boogie Down Booth
June 25, 2015 to June 24, 2016
Seabury Park, Bronx
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Boogie Down Booth, a colorful new public installation bringing Bronx music, solar–powered lights, seating, and community art to the area under the elevated tracks is on view at Seabury park on Southern Boulevard and 174th Street in the Bronx. The second Boogie Down Booth follows last year’s temporary pop–up at Southern Boulevard and Freeman Street, under the 2/5 line.

This new rendition features an updated, linear design from Chat Travieso, designer of the first Booth. Like the previous installation, the Booth provides seating, solar–powered LED lighting, and speakers streaming music from Bronx artists. The playlist, curated by the Bronx Music Heritage Center, covers a variety of genres born in or inspired by the Bronx, including salsa, jazz, Afro–Caribbean, hip–hop, Garifuna, and blues.

New to this booth are interactive elements like a community bulletin board to learn about local events, and a mural wall painted by middle and high school students from East Bronx Academy for the Future and youth from the Children’s Aid Society, who will host community events at the Booth. The installation, which recycles much of the material from the previous Booth, will be open until July 2016.

This exhibition is presented by WHEDco and the Bronx Music Heritage Center.

The Art Students League of New York,Water, Gift of life
June 11, 2015 to June 10, 2016
Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

The Art Students League of New York, one of America’s premier art schools, presents the Model to Monument Program (M2M), a collaboration with NYC Parks that has culminated in the installation the sculpture, Water, Gift of Life, at Van Cortlandt Park.

In response to this year’s theme of Patterns in Nature, the artists created a sinuous steel twisted sculpture. The fluke of a tail runs down like a rolling wave and culminates to form the head of a water drop. The downward flow of the fish-wave form echoes the landscape of the hill of the Van Cortlandt House Museum, which drops quickly down a Southward hill, and the south-running Tibbett’s Brook through Van Cortlandt Park down to the City.

The shiny stainless-steel sculpture reflects the park in a similar way that water’s surface reflects the surrounding trees. Additionally the sculpture is a nod to the water sources that surrounds the piece–the Nature Center to the North which provides an exploratory, scientific perspective of the parks ecosystems. To the West, the Pool is run with engineered water systems. By contrast, Van Cortland Lake is located to the east and wetlands to the south.

This collaborative installation was created by artists Lee Apt, Caroline Bergonzi, Kate Jansyn, Sukyung Kim, Donat King, Paola Morales, and Ken Shih. The group also has works concurrently on view in Riverside South Park in Manhattan.

This exhibition is presented with the Art Students League.

Gaston Lachaise, Long-Tailed Peacock and Short-Tailed Peacock

Gaston Lachaise,Long-Tailed Peacock and Short-Tailed Peacock
May 7, 2015 to May 7, 2016
Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum
Pelham Bay Park, Bronx
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

These elegant and graceful peacocks designed in 1920 were intended for a formal garden such as that on the grounds of the Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum. The garden was conceived and constructed circa 1916 by the prominent architectural firm of Delano & Aldrich and recently restored in 2013.

Animals were a theme to which Lachaise returned throughout his artistic career. He sculpted peacocks, seagulls; swans, dolphins. The animals he chose to represent were generally peaceful animals. The commissions for his animal works came through his employer, the artist, Paul Manship (1885-1956) or architects with whom he worked, including Welles Bosworth (1868-1966) and Philip Goodwin (1885-1958).

In the case of the short-tailed peacock, John Deering commissioned Lachaise in 1920 to make two sculptural peacocks in stone to sit atop eight decorative spiral columns in the Marine Garden of the home he was building outside of Miami, called Vizcaya. Philip Goodwin commissioned the long-tailed peacock for a fountain on the wall of his mansion on Long Island. In a poetic twist, Goodwin worked for Delano & Aldrich between 1914-1916.

This exhibition is presented by the Lachaise Foundation, the Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum and the Historic House Trust.

Courtesy of the Art Students League

Art Students League,Tree of Life
June 12, 2014 to June 1, 2015
Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

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

The sculpture was created by an international team of seven selected League students during a nine-month program. In its fourth year, ASL created worked closely with the naturalists from Van Cortlandt Park to identify specific invertibre that are native to the area. The information they discovered was used by the artists to recreate artistic interpretations of the specimens. These interpretations are attached to a 12 foot tree-like structure. Tree of Life will be an educational experience for park visitors. The artists are: Laura Barmack, Janet Fekete-Bolton, Ana Sofìa Martì, Lindsay McCosh, Phyllis Sanfiorenzo, Natsuki Takauji, and Minako Yoshino.

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.

Brooklyn

Ruth Hofheimer, Lenape Variations, Photo by the artist

Ruth Hofheimer,Lenape Variations
November 15, 2015 to November 15, 2016
Washington Park, Brooklyn
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Ruth Hofheimer’s design contains imagery of the Lenape tribe that once inhabited the Brooklyn area, as well as native plant life and abstract forms. These elements are rendered in a flat style to evoke Native American art and pattern which was typically flat and symbolic.

This project is presented by Arts Gowanus  and the Old Stone House & Washington Park

Photo credit: Etienne Frossard

Deborah Kass,OY/YO
November 11, 2015 to August, 2016
Brooklyn Bridge Park, Brooklyn
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Walking the line between respectful homage and brazen appropriation, Brooklyn-based artist Deborah Kass mimics and reworks the signature styles of iconic 20th century male artists —including Frank Stella, Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock, Ed Ruscha, and Robert Indiana – often with a feminist twist. OY/YO is sourced from urban and Brooklyn slang, the statement “I am” in Spanish, and the popular Yiddish expression, as a riff on Ruscha’s iconic word paintings.

OY/YO has been a significant and reoccurring motif in Kass’ work since its first appearance in 2011, taking form in paintings, prints, and tabletop sculptures. Set alongside the iconic bridges of Brooklyn’s waterfront and visible to viewers from Manhattan, Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Main Street lawn is an apt location for a monumental installation of OY/YO. Similar to the City of New York’s “Leaving Brooklyn: Oy Vey!” sign at the Williamsburg Bridge and the “Leaving Brooklyn: Fuhgeddaboudit” sign on the BQE, OY/YO references Brooklyn’s ethnic communities with whimsy and warmth.

Commissioned by Two Trees and presented in partnership with Brooklyn Bridge Park, the work will be on view through August 2016 and is presented on the occasion of the artist’s exhibition No Kidding opening at Paul Kasmin Gallery in Chelsea December 9, 2015. For more information about this artwork, please visit the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy’s website.

Michael Clyde Johnson, Untitled Benches, Patios, Planters in Arrangement (Parklet for Ennis Playground), photograph by Patryce Bak

Michael Clyde Johnson,Untitled Benches, Patios, Planters in Arrangement (Parklet for Ennis Playground)
August 31, 2015 to August 30, 2016
Ennis Playground, Brooklyn
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

As a parklet within a park, the goal of Untitled Benches, Patios, Planters in Arrangement (Parklet for Ennis Playground) is to provide additional public amenities to Ennis Playground, and by extension to the wider Gowanus neighborhood. These amenities are multi-faceted: the project includes three modular components – patios, benches, and planters – which, when combined, serve to create additional distinct lounge and play areas within the park. By extending the idea of a parklet – generally conceived as an extension of sidewalk space into the street to provide additional seating and green space – to encompass the extension of these same functions within an existing public space, Parklet for Ennis Playground serves to augment existing facilities.

This project was made possible with funding from Councilmember Brad Lander, in partnership with Arts Gowanus and the Old Stone House & Washington Park

Beka Goedde, Fictitious Force, photograph courtesy of the artist

Beka Goedde,Fictitious Force
April 20, 2015 to April 19, 2016
Washington Park, Brooklyn
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

Constructed from nearly 1,000 colorfully dyed concrete tiles, Fictitious Force is a temporary public art installation by artist Beka Goedde embedded in the lawn of the Old Stone House & Washington Park. The piece is arranged in concentric circles to resemble an early American hooked or braided rug, and intended to be trod upon like paving stones. This historic site of the American Revolution is particularly suited to host a work that references traditional American craft. While meditative and still, the pattern of the piece conveys a sense of movement that echoes the energy of the nearly 3,000 people attracted to the park daily.

Fictitious Force is presented with The Old Stone House & Washington Park. This exhibit is sponsored, in part, by the Greater New York Arts Development Fund of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, administered by Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC).

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