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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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2015

Manhattan

Gimhongsok, Bearlike Construction, Photo Courtesy of NYC Parks

Gimhongsok, Bearlike Construction
May 5, 2014 to March 31, 2015
Tribeca Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

Humorous and ironic, Gimhongsok’s work challenges the viewer to consider the contradictions and blurred boundaries of fact and fiction, originality and the copy, banality and the spectacular. He often uses everyday materials to engage his audience in a dialogue about preconceived and conventional values found in communities and in art. In Bearlike Construction, the form is immediately recognizable as a teddy bear, but is assembled out of cast bronze garbage bags rather than the conventional soft fur. The piece, which measures over five feet square also wittily echoes the ubiquitous piles of garbage bags found on street corners throughout New York City.

Courtesy of Times Square Alliance

Stereotank, HeartBeat
February 9, 2015 to March 8, 2015
Father Duffy Square, Manhattan

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

Description:

This sculpture consists of a massive heart glowing to the rhythm of a strong, deep and low frequency heartbeat sound which changes its rate as visitors approach, move around and engage with it by playing various percussion instruments and joining the base rhythm of the heartbeat. The audience is invited to come together and creatively play, listen, dance and feel the vibrations of the heart while enjoying the warm pulsating light.

Brooklyn-based design studio Stereotank’s design was selected for the 2015 Times Square Valentine Heart. Times Square Alliance partnered with The Architectural League of New York and invited architecture and design firms to submit proposals for a public art installation celebrating Valentine’s Day in Times Square.

This exhibition is presented by the Times Square Alliance and The Architectural League of New York.

Sui Jianguo, Blind Portraits, photo courtesy of NYC Parks

Sui Jianguo, Blind Portraits
October 28, 2014 to February 20, 2015
Doris C. Freedman Plaza
Central Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

These monumental cast bronzes are not portraits in the traditional sense. All of them have features that resemble faces, but none depict specific people. This is not surprising given that they were enlarged from small clay models created by Sui Jianguo while blindfolded. The “portraits” are the intuitive results of the artist manipulating his material without the benefit of sight.

For Sui, this apparent limitation is a means of finding a different – and equally valid – method of creating sculpture. In this way, the artist brings together traditions of Chinese aesthetics and Western modernism, both of which share an interest in exploring the essential nature of materials and the effects of chance.

This exhibition is presented by the Public Art Fund

Tony Smith, Points of View, Photo by Yasunori Matsui

Tony Cragg, Walks of Life
September 18, 2014 to February 8, 2015
Madison Square Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

Tony Cragg’s Walks of Life consists of three monumental bronze sculptures on three lawns in the Park. His work supplants any longstanding art historical division between abstraction and figuration: his sculptural innovation is to fuse both styles in one work and to make bronze into a malleable material. Cragg’s sculpture is characterized by repeated facial profiles and torqueing imagery that reshapes the experienced world. These forms intermingle to create vital objects where contours shift and morph, provoking the viewer to differentiate between a work of humanism and a work of dynamism.

Installed on the west gravel section of the Park, Cragg’s Caldera is a strapping, tumultuous sculpture that rests on three points. Viewers will have the opportunity to walk beneath the work to experience its massive presence. At eighteen feet high, Mixed Feelings will command a northern lawn. Three times human height, the object is simultaneously immense and elegant. Points of View is a tripartite work of sinuous forms which interact with one another and with the viewer on the Park’s Oval Lawn. Facial profiles zig and zag across each column’s surface. All three sculptures in this exhibition were cast specifically for Madison Square Park.

This exhibition is presented by Mad.Sq.Art

Queens

Wendy Klemperer, Shadow Migration
November 7, 2015 to November 7, 2016
Court Square Park, Queens
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

Shadow Migration exhibits animal silhouettes cut from steel plates and installed throughout the park. Klemperer investigates animal populations that were threatened in the 20th century, but are now rebounding and showing up in “our backyard.” Wild animals are finding their way into suburban and urban environments as human populations sprawl into their natural habitats. While many species have been devastated, some are adapting and thriving on the largesse of urban life. Hawks dive from high rise cornices to feast on the rich urban population of pigeons and rats; bears walk through New Jersey neighborhoods; and just several blocks from Court Square Park, a coyote found its way to a rooftop in Long Island City.

Klemperer’s animal silhouettes are steel forms, punctuated with cutouts in the shape of countries from around the world. Each animal is a melting pot, bearing countries on its body that are also represented in Queens’ population—the most diverse community in the world.

This exhibition was made possible by the Clare Weiss Emerging Artist Award.

Jade Chan, In Flight, Courtesy of NYC Parks

Jade Chan, In Flight
July 2013 to June 2016
Shorefront Parkway between Beach 77 Street and Beach 107 Street, Queens
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

The Rockaway Barrier Beautification Project is the longest mural in New York City, covering a 1.5 mile stretch of road along the beach in Rockaway, Queens. NYC Parks invited artists and designers to envision the surface of these ordinary barriers as canvases for art. Members of the community helped to select the top three designs that grace the surface of these barriers and paint the murals.

This project was made possible thanks to a partnership between NYC Parks and the NYC Department of Transportation, the Community Affairs Unit (CAU) of the Office of the Mayor, NYC Service, and community groups, including the Rockaway Beach Civic Association, Rockaway Artists Alliance, and Friends of Rockaway Beach. Benjamin Moore generously donated 420 gallons of paint to the MayorâΑΑs Fund to Advance New York City for this initiative.

Jade Chan's design for the Rockaway barriers is titled In Flight. When she visited Rockaway Beach, she was inspired by the warmth, the sun and the colors that jumped out at her from the sky, water and sand. The sound of the surf and the breeze upon her skin was exhilarating. She observed the birds in flight and was inspired by this free and liberating vision. Chan sees In Flight as a representation of the freedom and strength of the human spirit.

Learn more about the Rockaway Barrier Beautification Project.

Patty Harris, Ride the Wave, Courtesy of NYC Parks

Patty Harris, Ride the Wave
July 2013 to June 2016
Shorefront Parkway, Between Beach 74 Street and Beach 107 Street, Queens
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

The Rockaway Barrier Beautification Project is the longest mural in New York City, covering a 1.5 mile stretch of road along the beach in Rockaway, Queens. NYC Parks invited artists and designers to envision the surface of these ordinary barriers as canvases for art. Members of the community helped to select the top three designs that grace the surface of these barriers and paint the murals.

This project was made possible thanks to a partnership between NYC Parks and the NYC Department of Transportation, the Community Affairs Unit (CAU) of the Office of the Mayor, NYC Service, and community groups, including the Rockaway Beach Civic Association, Rockaway Artists Alliance, and Friends of Rockaway Beach. Benjamin Moore generously donated 420 gallons of paint to the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City for this initiative.

As an artist, Patty Harris has created animations of floods and is fascinated by the way water moves. Experienced in looking closely at the sea, she pulled a few simple forms that suggest the movement and pattern of a wave. For the Shore Parkway barrier, Patty painted shapes that express the undulating movement of a wave. She added curved shapes that hold water of a slightly different color—just as actual water displays a range of hues. To this rhythmical simple pattern, Harris included the silhouetted forms of surfers at the crests of the waves.

Learn more about the Rockaway Barrier Beautification Project.

John Garcia, Untitled, Courtesy of NYC Parks

John Garcia, Untitled
July 2013 to June 2016
Shorefront Parkway, Between Beach 74 Street and Beach 107 Street, Queens
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

The Rockaway Barrier Beautification Project is the longest mural in New York City, covering a 1.5 mile stretch of road along the beach in Rockaway, Queens. NYC Parks invited artists and designers to envision the surface of these ordinary barriers as canvases for art. Members of the community helped to select the top three designs that grace the surface of these barriers and paint the murals.

This project was made possible thanks to a partnership between NYC Parks and the NYC Department of Transportation, the Community Affairs Unit (CAU) of the Office of the Mayor, NYC Service, and community groups, including the Rockaway Beach Civic Association, Rockaway Artists Alliance, and Friends of Rockaway Beach. Benjamin Moore generously donated 420 gallons of paint to the MayorâΑΑs Fund to Advance New York City for this initiative.

As a surf regular of Rockaway Beach, John Garcia pays tribute to Rockaway BeachâΑΑs surf culture in his barrier mural. He has painted images of Rockaway surfers riding waves, along with the birds that often keep them company on the water and on the shore. These images of birds and surfers sit on top of an aquatic abstract backdrop that captures the mystery and beauty of the ocean. The barriers also include the text âΑΑWelcome to the RockawaysâΑ as an invitation for others to experience the waves and serenity of Rockaway Beach.

Learn more about the Rockaway Barrier Beautification Project.

Fanny Allié, A Bench for the Night, Photograph Courtesy of the Artist

Fanny Allie, A Bench for the Night
May 18, 2015 to May 1, 2016
PS1 Greenstreet (Jackson Avenue and 46th Avenue), Queens, Queens
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

Artist Fanny Allié raises awareness about homelessness in her public art installation A Bench for the Night. Her wooden bench is shaped in the silhouette of a sleeping person, a reminder that a public bench is a potential bed for some New Yorkers.  She is interested in personifying the bench while subtly referring to the dehumanization of people living on the streets.

A Bench for the Night is a continuation of Allié’s focus on this important social issue. In 2014 she took part in the Engaging Artists Residency organized by the Artist Volunteer Center and More Art, which primarily focused on homelessness. Engaging Artists encourages local artists to deepen their understanding of socially engaged art through volunteer opportunities and interactive workshops with professionals in the fields of fine art and activism. During this six–week program, participants were required to volunteer at least a half a day per week at a local charitable organization.

In 2013, Allié also exhibited the public artwork Serendipity in Tompkins Square Park. The sculpture was a life–size, steel silhouette of a formerly homeless man who spent much of his time in the park. Furthermore, A Bench for the Night is the continuation of her earlier neon sculpture The Glowing Homeless created in 2011 for Bring to Light: Nuit Blanche New York in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. The Glowing Homeless was a neon outline of a human form that rested on a park bench. By rendering the homeless person in neon light asleep amongst the park’s crowds she created an alluring object using an attractive material that reversed the normal reaction of avoidance and instead drew people towards the form on the bench. Allié’s new A Bench For the Night will invite the audience to sit on the bench, an interaction between the public and the artwork that was not possible with The Glowing Homeless.

While A Bench For a Night primarily alludes to homelessness, the piece also reflects one’s desire to seek an isolated place to rest and remove oneself from the continuous movement of the city. When preparing for this exhibit, Allié noticed a lack of seating in the immediate vicinity. By placing the bench–sculpture in this small plaza, she has created a new social space that simultaneously raises awareness on homelessness among the general public, as well as artists and art–lovers visiting MoMA PS1 located across the street.

Charlotte Becket and Roger Sayre, Full Tilt, photo courtesy of NYC Parks

Various Artists, EAF15: 2015 Emerging Artist Fellowship Exhibition
September 27, 2015 to March 13, 2016
Socrates Sculpture Park, Queens
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

Fifteen years ago Socrates Sculpture Park inaugurated the Emerging Artist Fellowship (EAF) Exhibition and launched what would become an annual exhibition of “artists to watch.” By providing an open studio along with financial, administrative, and technical support, the EAF program offers a rare opportunity for the realization of original, large–scale complex work. From May through September EAF artists work on–site, negotiating the physical and conceptual challenges of production in the park’s outdoor studio space, becoming energetic fuel for the park’s popular summer programming.

This year’s Emerging Artist Fellows were selected through a highly competitive process that attracted over 350 applications, a record number for the program, by the park’s 2015 Curatorial Advisors, Gary Carrion–Murayari (Curator, New Museum) and Nora Lawrence (Curator, Storm King Art Center). The 2015 Emerging Artist Fellows are: Kenseth Armstead, Charlotte Becket & Roger Sayre, José Carlos Casado, Torkwase Dyson, Carla Edwards, Davey Hawkins, Lena Henke, David Horvitz, Charlotte Hyzy, Melanie McLain, Kirsten Nelson, Freya Powell, Leah Raintree, Aaron Suggs, and Noa Younse.

This exhibition is presented by Socrates Sculpture Park.

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