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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.

Celebrating 50 Years of Art in the Parks

Join us in celebrating the 50th anniversary of our Art in the Parks program! Visit more than 50 public artworks currently on view in our parks, and celebrate with us at our upcoming anniversary events!

Celebrate 50 Years of Art in the Parks

Public Art Map and Guide

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

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2017

Manhattan

Photo by Ai Weiwei Studio, courtesy of Public Art Fund

Ai Weiwei, Gilded Cage, Good Fences Make Good Neighbors
October 12, 2017 to February 11, 2018
Central Park, Manhattan
Central Park, Manhattan

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

Description:

For the entrance to Central Park, Ai has created a giant gilded cage that simultaneously evokes the luxury of Fifth Avenue and the privations of confinement. Visitors are able to enter its central space, which is surrounded by bars and turnstiles. Functioning as a structure of both control and display, the work reveals the complex power dynamics of repressive architecture.

This work is part of the citywide exhibition Good Fences Make Good Neighbors. Ai Weiwei conceived this multi-site, multi-media exhibition for public spaces, monuments, buildings, transportation sites, and advertising platforms throughout New York City. Collectively, these elements comprise a passionate response to the global migration crisis and a reflection on the profound social and political impulse to divide people from each other. Visitors will discover that Ai’s “good fences” are not impenetrable barriers but powerful, immersive, and resonant additions to the fabric of the city.

This exhibition is presented by Public Art Fund.

Image courtesy of Hudson Square Connection

Various Artists, Hudson Square: Through Our Eyes
July 12, 2017 to February 1, 2018
Spring Street Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

Consisting of photographs taken in the neighborhood around Spring Street Park, this exhibition features the work of students from Chelsea Career & Technical Education High School. Magic Box Productions teaching artist Jon Appel and visiting artist Martin Crook worked closely with the senior students as a photography, documentary team on this project. Magic Box Productions addresses the growing need for exemplary media arts education in New York City’s public K-12 schools, particularly those serving disadvantaged students with limited access to art and technology. The images capture the unique aspects of history, commerce, architecture and other features of the Hudson Square neighborhood.

This exhibition is presented by Hudson Square Connection and Magic Box Productions.

Aaron Schraeter, Birdhouse Repo
January 30, 2017 to January 1, 2018
First Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

Birdhouse Repo reflects on the effects of a constantly growing population alongside income disparities in one of the world’s fastest moving cities. This oversized birdhouse, which is boarded up and placed under foreclosure, sits in the heart of a neighborhood that is one of the most historical and notable examples of New York City’s gentrification and the real estate bubble. Simply put, the city has become so expensive that even the birds cannot afford to live here. This work is Aaron Schaeter’s first public sculpture exhibition.

This exhibition is presented by First Street Green.

Photo by Toby Tenenbaum, courtesy of Randallâ??s Island Parks Alliance

Rose DeSiano, Island of Empirical Data and Other Fabrications, FLOW.17
May 6, 2017 to November 30, 2017
Randall's Island Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

Rose DeSiano’s Island of Empirical Data and Other Fabrications uses historical records, statistical data, photo archives and government documents - data points portraying a web of American values and struggles - to explore the complexity and reflexivity of culturally-constructed histories. Focusing on Randall’s Island Park as a microcosm of urban planning and transformation, DeSiano will photograph buildings, sites, and landmarks representing this data, mining the city’s archives to fill in gaps.

Welcoming park visitors at the touchdowns of crossings from East Harlem and the South Bronx, each series will comprise a multi-paneled, oversized photographic predella, visualizing the Island’s historical and socioeconomic data. The predella structure will reference Northern Renaissance altarpieces, elaborately-painted panels using Biblical characters to display challenges facing kingdoms. DeSiano’s panels will loom over Park visitors, extending the periphery and enveloping them within the city’s history of challenges and triumphs; at the same time, their own images will be reflected and superimposed upon the scene, in turn updating the archival images within modern-day Randall’s Island Park.

FLOW.17 is presented by Randall’s Island Parks Alliance and The Bronx Museum of the Arts.

Barbara Kruger, Untitled (Skate), Photo by NYC Parks

Barbara Kruger, Untitled (Skate)
November 1, 2017 to November 19, 2017
Coleman Skate Park, Manhattan
Coleman Playground, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:
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Created in partnership with NYC Parks and skate park designer Steve Rodriguez, Barbara Kruger employs her signature effects and strategies to broadcast messages that engage issues of and ideas about power, desire, adoration, contempt, and capital at New York’s most popular skate park underneath the Manhattan Bridge.

Barbara Kruger has been employing media effects and strategies to create her own political, and social messages around consumerism, mass media, and feminism on billboards, buses, newspapers, buildings, and parks for the past four decades. Her instantly recognizable—and frequently appropriated—visual style of delivering highly charged, terse phrases in white Futura Bold font over red blocks has radiated its influence on other visual artists, graphic design, street culture, and skate fashion, and now fills the interior of this new public skate park.

This exhibition is presented by Performa.

KAWS, New York Made: Stanton Street Courts, photo courtesy of Nike

KAWS, New York Made: Stanton Street Courts
November 17, 2016 to November 16, 2017
Sara D. Roosevelt Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

New York Made: Stanton Street Courts by KAWS encompass two side-by-side full basketball courts (approximately 116 by 80 feet), as well as four hoops. “My approach to the courts was very similar to how I would work on canvas. I wanted to create something that was true to my language, but also considerate of this being a court that people are playing on,” the Brooklyn–based, world–renowned artist Brian Donnelly (KAWS) explains. “I wanted to find the sweet spot where it works visually and functionally – how its broken up by the game’s lines and works with my images. It will have an intimate effect on the players that use the court.”

KAWS first moved to Manhattan in 1996, and lived on the corner of Clinton and Stanton Street. His familiarity with the park and its neighborhood is thus extremely personal.

This exhibition is presented with Nike.

Courtesy of Derek Eller Gallery

Rob Fischer, City
September 11, 2017 to November 15, 2017
Park Avenue Malls at 54th Street
Park Avenue Malls, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

City consists of a multi-chambered structure made of glass, steel, and cast aluminum. Each chamber is at least partially see-through, with some revealing their enclosed contents through clear glass, while others are empty or partially obscured by swaths of colorful silkscreen ink. With its tower like components, this sculpture refers to the ambition of building skyscrapers, of setting out, of going from one place to another, in search of success. It is a poetic sea and strata of bold colors filled with art history reference, pop influence, noise of the streets, billboard imagery, and the signage and literature of the city. As with much of Fischer’s work, City will change over time, creating a singular and ever-evolving experience.

This exhibition is presented with the Fund for Park Avenue and Derek Eller Gallery.

Image courtesy of Public Art Fund

Katja Novitskova, EARTH POTENTIAL
June 22, 2017 to November 9, 2017
City Hall Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

EARTH POTENTIAL is an exhibition of new works by artist Katja Novitskova that explores the relationships among science, technology, fiction, and our image-based culture. Scattered throughout the park are seven large aluminum sculptures featuring online-sourced, digitally-printed images of the Earth, celestial objects, and enlarged, seemingly alien but terrestrial organisms. These striking images were originally created through advanced imaging techniques like a microscope that can magnify an organism by 10,000 times or a satellite orbiting the Earth. These new sculptures explore worlds unseen by the naked eye by employing photography, scale, and juxtaposition to transform the park into a seemingly Sci-Fi landscape. Through both scientific and poetic lenses, Novitskova invites us to reflect on the ways in which we see–and comprehend–the potential of the Earth.

This exhibition is presented by Public Art Fund.

Josiah McElheny, Prismatic Park
June 13, 2017 to October 8, 2017
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:

Prismatic Park features three large sculptures of painted wood and prismatic glass by artist and MacArthur Foundation Fellow recipient Josiah McElheny. The minimal, almost architectural forms create new spaces within the Park for the creation of music, dance, and poetry: a curvilinear, translucent blue sound wall for experimental music; a circular, reflective green floor for vanguard dance; and a vaulted-roofed luminous red and yellow pavilion for poetry. Each will refract the surrounding natural light, beckoning the passerby and regular Park visitor. The three structures will form open, stage-like platforms for the collaborating choreographers, dancers, musicians, and poets who will be working next to them, on them, and under them in the summer of 2017.

Throughout the exhibition, three nonprofit art organizations based in New York–Blank Forms, Danspace Project, and Poets House–will “inhabit” the Park to realize new commissions. The resident artists will create ambitious new work that summons the potential for imagination, creativity, and performance inspired by spontaneous audiences and chance encounters that only a public place, like an urban park, can offer.
This exhibition is presented by Madison Square Park Conservancy.

Amanda Long, Wishing Well, photo courtesy of the artist

Amanda Long, Wishing Well
October 29, 2016 to October 3, 2017
Dyckman Farmhouse Museum, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

Wishing Well, a playful, site-specific, interactive sculpture, is an updated, technological interpretation of a fairy tale wishing well, a popular theme in European folklore. Wishing wells were believed to grant requests by way of magical waters or deities residing within. Visitors of all ages are encouraged to speak a wish into the well. The words are translated into a video ripple inside, and an echo repeats the words back. Turning the well’s crank activates video and microphone recordings, which are captured in a database inside the sculpture. The recordings will be curated and presented on a dedicated website, wishingwellnyc.org, bringing the artwork beyond the physical space of the park.

The Dyckman Farmhouse, a Dutch Colonial style farmhouse built c. 1784, was opened as a museum in 1916. Today it is nestled in a small garden and is an extraordinary reminder of early Manhattan and important part of the diverse Inwood neighborhood. The original well has long been absent from the house, although a replacement well-head was constructed around 1915-1916 during the restoration of the farmhouse. This well-head was removed sometime in the 1980’s and replaced by a simple wood platform. Installed at the site of the original well on the Dyckman property, Long’s video sculpture enlivens the vacant well site as a fantasy restoration.

This exhibition is presented by the Dyckman Farmhouse Museum and the Historic House Trust, with support from the New York State Council on the Arts.

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