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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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2018

Manhattan

Photo credit: courtesy of the artist.

Kathy Ruttenberg, Kathy Ruttenberg on Broadway: in dreams awake
April 27, 2018 to February 24, 2019
Dante Park and Broadway Malls from 64th Street to 157th Street
Broadway Malls, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:
The six large-scale, figural sculptures in this exhibition mark the internationally known artist Kathy Ruttenberg's first major outdoor sculpture installation. Ruttenberg is admired by critics and curators for her fantastical narrative sculptures that combine human, animal, and plant forms. Taken out of the gallery and onto the streets, her characters embrace even greater significance as they interact with the urban environment. Ruttenberg has painstakingly studied the sites along Broadway, and her carefully placed polychrome players blur the lines between dream and reality. In the Broadway malls installation, she explores a broad mix of sculptural media including patinated bronze, glass mosaic, transparent cast resin, and carefully orchestrated LED lighting. The interaction between color, form, opacity, transparency, and light itself as an artistic medium highlights the inherently theatrical nature of the visual storyteller’s art. 

The sculptures are on display at Dante Park and Broadway Malls from 64th Street to 157th Street.

This exhibition is presented by Broadway Mall Association.

Image credit: B. Wurtz, Kitchen Trees, 2018, Stainless steel frame with powder coated colanders, aluminum and stainless steel pots and pans, and plastic fruits and vegetables. Courtesy of the artist; Metro Pictures, New York; Kate MacGarry, London, Maisterravalbuena Madrid/Lisboa; Richard Telles Fine Art, Los Angeles. Photo: Jason Wyche, Courtesy of Public Art Fund, NY

B. Wurtz, Kitchen Trees
August 7, 2018 to December 7, 2018
City Hall Park, Manhattan
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Description:

Kitchen Trees is the debut public art commission by New York-based artist B. Wurtz. This playful exhibition temporarily transforms the civic space of City Hall Park with five imaginative arboreal sculptures. They appear to grow like an oasis around the park’s historic fountain, echoing its circular forms and the spray of its jets with a splash of whimsy. Their composition is poised between meticulous order and energetic spontaneity, just as they simultaneously mimic and contrast the natural flora nearby.

This exhibition is presented by Public Art Fund.

Patricia Cazorla & Nancy Saleme, Once You Hear Me, You Won't Forget Me, Courtesy of the Artist

Patricia Cazorla & Nancy Saleme, Once You Hear Me, You Won't Forget Me
November 17, 2017 to November 16, 2018
Howard Bennett Playground, Manhattan
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Description:
Once You Hear Me, You Won't Forget Me is a colorful 30-foot landscape along the fence at Howard Bennett Playground. The installation depicts the imagined journey of a coqui, a small frog native to Puerto Rico known for its unique call, and his journey to New York. Funding for this project was made possible by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as part of an initiative to create health-inspired public art installations that encourage park use and strengthen community connections. 

This exhibition is part of Art in the Parks: Active Open Space presented by El Museo del Barrio with the Department for Health and Mental Hygiene, the Fund for Public Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Image Credit: Patricia Cazorla & Nancy Saleme, Once You Hear Me, You Won't Forget Me, Courtesy of the Artist

Bulow, Onkel Oskar's Suspenders
July 9, 2018 to November 14, 2018
Sherman Creek, Manhattan
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Description:
This installation consists of six carved wood and mixed media sculptures placed throughout Sherman Creek Park. Drawing on his family and childhood recollections, New York-based artist Peter Bulow has created a garden within a garden: a personal garden of his childhood, populated by monumental statues of his family. Visitors will find his great aunt Trude and great uncle Oskar from Berlin, his Hungarian mother Giselle, depicted when she was living in India and wearing a sari, and the artist himself as a five year old boy next to Oskar, wearing identical suspenders, showing a tiger he had made out of clay.

Image Credit: Adam Pendleton, Black Dada Flag (Black Lives Matter, Courtesy of the artist and Pace Gallery

Adam Pendleton, Black Dada Flag (Black Lives Matter)
May 1, 2018 to November 1, 2018
Randall's Island Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:
?Adam Pendleton’s monumental Black Dada Flag (Black Lives Matter) (2018) is planted on the bank of NYC Parks’ Randall’s Island near what is now officially called Scylla Point – noted on historical maps as “Negro Point”, positioned close to Hell Gate – where the East and Harlem Rivers meet. Previously exhibited at the Venice Biennale’s Belgian National Pavilion in 2015, the new, larger scale flag dances over its new territory, indexing unlikely correlations: state-sanctioned violence and Modernist abstraction, the street march and the Bauhaus, Negro and Scylla. 

Image credit: courtesy of NYC Parks

Tony Cragg, Monumental Sculptures
May 30, 2018 to October 31, 2018
52nd Street, 57th Street, 67th Street, 72nd Street, and 79th Street
Park Avenue Malls, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:
Installed at five sites on the Park Avenue Malls between East 52nd Street and East 79th Street, these five monumental, abstract sculptures present an opportunity for a leisurely stroll over near 20 blocks on this storied thoroughfare. The commanding sculptures exemplify Cragg’s experimentation with materials like fiberglass, stainless steel and bronze. Mean Average, at 52nd Street, is a weighty composition made of bronze, while Elliptical Column at 57th Street is a nearly 20-foot tall spire made of shiny, almost liquid-like stainless steel. The white and cream fiberglass used for Runner and Hammerhead at 67th and 72nd Streets, respectively, make these sculptures pop against the surrounding urban landscape. At 79th Street, Cragg uses bronze again for Tommy, which has a blue-green patina. The vertical forms seemingly defy gravity while giving the impression of upward motion and kinetic energy, though they are static.

This exhibition is presented with the Fund for Park Avenue  and Marian Goodman Gallery.

Image Credit: Kenseth Armstead, Washington 20/20/20

Kenseth Armstead, Washington 20/20/20
September 1, 2018 to October 30, 2018
Union Square Park, Manhattan
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Description:
Washington 20/20/20 was composed as a companion to the first sculpture on New York City park land, the George Washington Statue in Union Square. The piece’s design is taken from the elaborate frescoes of Tiebele, Burkina Faso, the royal court of the Kassena people, where every home is hand-painted. Armstead’s public artwork transforms the two-dimensional marks into translucent perforated steel forms on a two-ton angle iron steel frame.

Washington 20/20/20 is an African architectural adornment to the solid granite base of the existing park monument. The work references the 20% of the colonial population that were enslaved Africans; the 20,000 slaves in New York State in 1776 when Washington retreated from New York City; and the 20% of Washington’s continental army that was African at Yorktown, Virginia, where he was able to defeat the British in 1781.

Image caption: Courtesy of NYC Parks

Yinka Shonibare MBE, Wind Sculpture (SG) I
March 7, 2018 to October 14, 2018
Doris C. Freedman Plaza
Central Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Created from fiberglass and covered with an intricate pattern, the 23-foot-tall Wind Sculpture (SG) I will rise above the plaza, reminiscent of the untethered sail of a ship billowing in the breeze. Its unique, hand-painted pattern in turquoise, red, and orange — colors that the artist associates with his childhood on the beaches of Lagos — is inspired by Dutch wax batik print, which Shonibare has called the “perfect metaphor for multilayered identities.” This is the first work in a second generation of his celebrated Wind Sculpture series and continues Shonibare’s ongoing examination of the construction of cultural identity through the lens of colonialism. The work creates an opportunity to reflect on social issues, including the movement of people and ideas across borders and the role of monuments in heterogeneous societies. 

This exhibition is presented by Public Art Fund.

NYC Parks/Daniel Avila

Dale Chihuly, Rose Crystal Tower
October 6, 2017 to October 5, 2018
Union Square Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

The Rose Crystal Tower stands 31-feet tall and is composed of Polyvitro crystals and steel. Polyvitro—an invention of Chihuly Studio—is the artist’s term for a plastic material which he casts into individual chunks which resemble glass, but are lighter and more resilient. Chihuly first used Polyvitro crystals in the composition “Crystal Mountain,” a 40-foot sculpture featured in the artist’s landmark exhibition, Chihuly in the Light of Jerusalem 2000.

Dale Chihuly is an American artist known for revolutionizing the Studio Glass movement and elevating the perception of the glass medium from the realm of craft to fine art. Over his 50-year career, the artist has become known for his iconic glass sculptures and ambitious architectural installations in historic cities, museums and gardens around the world.

Courtesy of Marcus Garvey Park Alliance

Jorge Luis Rodriguez, Atlas of the Third Millennium
November 10, 2017 to October 1, 2018
Marcus Garvey Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:
Atlas of the Third Millennium represents the cross-section of stellar individuals who have called Harlem their home and those who continue to live, work and contribute to its cultural vibrancy. It is a "universe" of stars celebrating actors, writers, composers, musicians, painters, sculptors, educators, historians, activists, entrepreneurs, and community leaders. Atlas of the Third Millennium pays homage to and renews the resilience and endowment of all daughters and sons of Harlem.

This exhibition is presented by the Marcus Garvey Park Alliance Public Art Initiative .

Image credit: Courtesy of Marcus Garvey Park Alliance

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