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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2022

Queens

Image credit: Photo courtesy of worthless studios

Tanda Francis, RockIt Black
May 15, 2021 to April 18, 2022
Queensbridge Park, Queens
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

RockIt Black is a continuation of sculptor Tanda Francis’ work, dedicated to undoing the stigmatization of Blackness by presenting Black identities as divine and the foundation of our shared humanity. The aim of RockIt Black is to open up the public’s consciousness to the divine feminine energy for the purpose of balance and healing. Mami Wata, Oshun, an African Goddess by the East River is the inspiration. She is a cleansing spirit for this world on fire. Rockit Black’s polished mirror ornament is inspired by Oshun’s mirror and its shape and surface is made to suggest a nestled and a portal to another dimension. The mirrored surface faces the tree-filtered rising sun and faces the neighboring Queensbridge Houses.

The Plywood Protection Project is an initiative to collect the plywood used by NYC businesses to board up their windows during the protests of 2020 and redistribute it to artists, extending and repurposing the life of this material. Arts not-for-profit worthless studios collected over 200 boards of plywood and initiated an open call for artists, eventually selecting five local makers to participate in a unifying public art project across all five boroughs of New York. This piece is one of the five created by the project, each installed in a different borough of New York City.

This exhibition is presented by worthless studios.

Image credit: Courtesy of the artist

Judith Modrak, Endangered Fossils
August 6, 2021 to April 10, 2022
Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens
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Please note: This is a past exhibit that is no longer installed in the park.

Description:

Endangered Fossils”represent an imagined archaeological excavation of New York State’s large fossil record. The sculptures are inspired by the trilobites, brachiopods and crinoids who flourished during the Devonian period, ~400 million years ago. These crab, clam, and starfish like organisms lived in marine environments very similar to the coral reefs of today. The project ponders the origin of the ecosystem we inhabit and our role, relationship, and responsibility to that environment in light of cataclysmic climate change and global pandemics.

Image: Yvonne Shortt, Jenna Boldebuck, & Kelly Li; â??African American Marbleization- An Act of Civil Disobedience: Hair Sanctuaryâ?? 2021; Image by Scott Lynch

Various Artists, Sanctuary: The 2021 Socrates Annual
October 2, 2021 to March 20, 2022
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:

Since its inception in 1986, Socrates Sculpture Park has been a sanctuary for artists and the public. Applicants to the 2021 open call were asked to submit proposals that addressed the many meanings of sanctuary – as spaces of rest and protection; as sacred sites; and as supportive environments. Most crucially, artists were asked: how can art function as a sanctuary, a place of refuge, rest and meditation – without resorting to escapism?

The eleven projects selected represent a range of interpretations, drawing from diverse communities, traditions, and artistic strategies to create unique sculptures and installations. Several threads emerge throughout the exhibition, including practices of self-care, the spiritual elements of natural phenomena, and meditations on the conditions that necessitate sanctuary. Some projects provide space for mourning modes of oppression and acknowledge that sanctuaries are not always spaces free from fear.

For many of the artists, sanctuary is not necessarily a fixed geographical location, but a time-bound space that is created and recreated against the backdrop of threats such as illness, climate change, the collapse of the social service systems, and violence of racism and colonialism. Sound – both musical and spoken words – situate and unite communities of sanctuary in many of these works, a visceral mode of communicating refuge. This exhibition is presented by Socrates Sculpture Park.

Image: River Whittle; â??LENAPEHOKING / LAND BACKâ??; Image by Scott Lynch

River Whittle, LENAPEHOKING / LAND BACK 2021
September 29, 2021 to March 6, 2022
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:

River Whittle renders the cityscape of what we now call Manhattan in deep blue and the stippled effect of half-tone newsprint. In bright red gothic-style script, the word “Lenapehoking,” the true name for the homeland of the Lenape People, is cut out of the city. The Lenape, the original inhabitants of this land, are also known as the Delaware, a name brought by European settler colonists, and who lived in the area surrounding the Delaware River and Hudson Valley River Sheds, including parts of present-day Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. The second part of the title references the campaign to return governing power, as well as physical land, back to Indigenous people in their ancestral territories, which globally have been misappropriated and degraded by white colonizers.

The image’s starkness, the outmoded printing technique, and Gothic script evince the traumatic past of the Lenape diaspora—systematic genocide, forced relocation, and centuries of oppression. The landmass spotted by Europeans upon arrival, now tower-filled Lower Manhattan, is hazy and suggests the difficulty of seeing the past horrors revealed in the present. The amalgamation of time and land markers with the demand for “land back” highlights the artist’s insistence that collective healing, land reparations, and historical reckoning are all deeply imbricated. 

This exhibition is presented by Socrates Sculpture Park.

Image credit: Courtesy of NYC Parks

Jeff Kasper, soft spots
August 31, 2021 to February 8, 2022
Rockaway Beach and Boardwalk, Queens
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

Soft Spots, is a mindfulness path that takes inspiration from the playful style of self-help and mutual aid graphics that gained popularity on social media during the pandemic. Subverting the language of "social distance" signage, Soft Spots, is designed for taking a moment to contemplate seeking support when you feel unsafe.

This exhibition is presented by ArtBridge, and Facebook Open Arts.

Staten Island

Image courtesy of Sundog Theatre.

Lina Montoya and Jodi Dareal, Together We Are New York
October 9, 2021 to October 8, 2022
Skyline Playground, Staten Island
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:
Sundog Theatre partnered with Association for a Better New York on their 5-borough project celebrating what it means to be a New Yorker, "Together We Are New York." Influenced by the thoughts of prominent Island community members, this mural also depicts what it means to be a Staten Islander. Artists Lina Montoya and Jodi Dareal incorporated themes of compassion, vibrancy, family, caring for others, and resiliency.

This exhibition is presented by Sundog Theatre and Association for a Better New York.

Image credit: Courtesy of Staten Island Urban Center

Various Artists, Waterfront: Access and Divide
May 21, 2022 to July 21, 2022
Tompkinsville Park, Staten Island
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

This public immersion experience exhibits local artists and invites spectators to create stories about Staten Island’s waterfront. Waterfront Access & Divide is an exhibition of 44 photos that offer a glimpse of people, places and things in the community. The photos shape potential stories of what is and what can be for this waterfront neighborhood. Photographers featured in this exhibition include Kelly Vilar, Shani Mitchell, Soraya Candelario and Everet.

This exhibition is presented by the Staten Island Urban Center.

Photo: courtesy of Alice Austen House

Design Trust for Public Space and SITU, Turnout NYC
June 9, 2022 to July 11, 2022
Alice Austen Park, Staten Island
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

Turnout NYC is creating equitable arts access across the five boroughs with a season of concerts, performances, workshops, and more. Turnout NYC is led by The Design Trust for Public Space, a nonprofit organization dedicated to activating and transforming shared public spaces to create a more just and sustainable city, and SITU, an architectural practice centered on social and creative impact, are leading this major, citywide effort to connect artists to the potential of public space, through new partnerships and infrastructure.

For a list of events hosted in conjunction with this initiative at this location, please visit at the Alice Austen House’s website

This exhibition is presented by Design Trust for Public Space, SITU, and Alice Austen House.

Musa Hixson, Healing Arch
June 21, 2022 to June 17, 2022
Tompkinsville Park, Staten Island
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

Healing Arch is an 8 ½ foot tall stainless steel sculpture that is inspired by a photo of Eric Garner. The artwork prompts others to stand in the shoes of the humanity of someone like Garner, to experience human love, imagining a hug, or standing in meditation as you take in a view of the surroundings. It gives us an opportunity for pause and reflection. Healing Arch is the result of a long community driven selection process managed by The Friends of Tompkinsville Park to find an artist who could create a symbol to launch their Peace Justice & Healing Community Campaign.

This exhibition is presented by The Friends of Tompkinsville Park.

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