Public Art Exhibits by Women on Display at NYC Parks

This Women's History Month, join us in celebrating women in art and their powerful stories about representation, sexism, culture, immigration, and community that they bring to life in NYC's parks. Take a look at just some of the featured art installations in our parks by women artists, and visit our Art in the Parks page to discover still more temporary public art exhibits by female artists that are currently on display in our parks.

La Flor De Mi Madre by Naomi Lawrence | Eugene McCabe Field in Manhattan

Colorful mural made of crocheted flowers attached to a fence of the park.
Image courtesy of the artist

Naomi’s crocheted flowers are beloved and familiar accents around the East Harlem neighborhood. Using acrylic yarn, Naomi has created a colorful mural made of crocheted flowers that celebrate the diversity of people who make up the East Harlem. There is a trio of giant flowers including a pink dahlia for Mexico, a purple and yellow Christmas orchid for Colombia, and a red hibiscus for Puerto Rico. These are surrounded by smaller flowers like white frangipani representing the Ivory Coast, lush pink bayahibe representing the Dominican Republic, and impala lilies representing Ghana. On view through June 25, 2020. Learn more about La Flor De Mi Madre by Naomi Lawrence 

Respecting Black Women and Girls in St. Albans by Tatyana Fazlalizadeh | Daniel M. O'Connell Playground in Queens

A diverse group of women walk by giant portraits of black women and flowers on a playground fence with accompanying text that reads: Women don't owe you anything. Teach boys to respect women and girls instead of teaching girls to cover up and hide themselves. Protect black girls.
Photo credit: Daniel Avila/NYC Parks

Tatyana’s mural is intended to place, front and center, the voices and images of women of color and challenge societal norms that allow sexism and racism to persist. The mural features the images of several faces, inspired by local Queens-based women she has met within community conversations, and text capturing the experiences of community members facing the daily indignities of anti-Black racism and sexism. Tatyana's work has also been featured in the Netflix reboot of Spike Lee's She's Gotta Have It as the artwork of main character Nola Darling, and she is the artist behind the Stop Telling Women to Smile art project. On view through April 11, 2020. Learn more about Respecting Black Women and Girls in St. Albans by Tatyana Fazlalizadeh

Alley-Oop by Saya Woolfalk | Marcus Garvey Park in Manhattan

Photo credit: NYC Parks

Saya Woolfalk is a New York-based artist who uses science fiction and fantasy to re-imagine the world in multiple dimensions. Through a series of multi-year projects, Saya has created the world of the Empathics, a fictional race of women who are able to alter their genetic make-up and fuse with plants. With each body of work, Saya continues to build the narrative of these women's lives, and questions the utopian possibilities of cultural hybridity. In her design for Marcus Garvey Park, Saya has turned the court into a fantastical, colorful mandala. Her court has been painted with the nonprofit youth development organization Publicolor, which uses design-based programs to engage at-risk students in education, college, and career. On view through May 24, 2020. Learn more about Alley-Oop by Sara Woolfalk

Brick House by Simone Leigh | High Line in Manhattan

Photo credit: Adrian Sas/NYC Parks

Brick House is the first monumental work in Anatomy of Architecture, Simone’s continuing series of sculptures that combine architectural forms from regions as varied as West Africa and the American South with the human body.  Brick House is a sixteen-foot-tall bronze bust of a Black woman. The torso is a combination of the forms of a skirt and a clay house. The sculpture references numerous architectural forms: Batammaliba architecture from Benin and Togo; the teleuk of the Mousgoum people of Cameroon and Chad; and the restaurant Mammy’s Cupboard in the southern U.S. All three references inform both the formal elements of the work—the conflated image of woman and architecture—and its conceptual framework. Leigh’s magnificent Black female figure challenges visitors to think more immediately about the architecture around them, and how it reflects customs, values, priorities, and society as a whole. On view through September 30, 2020. Learn more about Brick House by Simone Leigh

Wayfinding by Chloë Bass, St. Nicholas Park in Manhattan

Photo credit: Adrian Sas/NYC Parks

This monumental commission features twenty-four site-specific sculptures that gesture toward the structural and visual vernacular of public wayfinding signage. The exhibition begins with and revolves around three central questions, poetically penned by the artist and featured throughout the park in billboard form: How much of care is patience? How much of life is coping? How much of love is attention? On view through September 27, 2020. Learn more about Chloë Bass: Wayfinding by Chloë Bass

Ecology Sampler: 40.684523 Latitude, -73.886898 Longitude by Daniele Frazier | Highland Park in Brooklyn

Image courtesy of the artist

This 6’ x 10’ handmade flag depicts fifteen notable creatures that live or migrate through Highland Park and the Ridgewood Reservoir in Brooklyn. The flag is flanked by eight additional flags along the yardarm that highlight the silhouettes of local tree leaves. Atop the 30-foot flag pole is an eight-inch diameter, hand-painted earth. Through educating the community about its unique flora and fauna, Daniele hopes to inspire a new generation of citizen conservationists to keep urban communities safe and clean for all wildlife species. On view through March 19, 2020. Learn more about Ecology Sampler by Daniele Frazier

Roots on Fire by Susan Stair | Harlem Art Park in Manhattan 

Image courtesy of the Marcus Garvey Parks Alliance

Within the roots and trunk of the tree, unfurling flags represent a call to preserve the cultural heritage of the diverse ethnic groups that have come to live together in East Harlem over the past 150 years. Roots on Fire is an invitation to celebrate the East Harlem’s continuous growth and strength, extending to outsiders and newcomers to learn about the cultural forbearers of a historically immigrant community. On view through August 1, 2020. Learn more about Roots on Fire by Susan Stair

POOLTIME by Cheryl Wing-Zi Wong & Dev Harlan | Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens

Image courtesy of the artists

POOLTIME aims to revive the concept of the Pool as social hub by creating the experience of being in (or under, in this case) the water of the pool. POOLTIME pays homage to the historic Aquacade aquatic amphitheater constructed for the 1939 World’s Fair, and reused during the 1964 World’s Fair. Now demolished and largely forgotten, the Aquacade was a large community hub and heart of the park even decades after many of the other World’s Fair attractions had fallen into decay and disuse. This artwork draws awareness to the Aquacade’s social and spatial impact after the conclusion of the World’s Fair as more than just an architectural relic. The artists are interested in the pool’s history as a vibrant site for working-class families to convene. On view through June 8, 2020Learn more about POOLTIME by Cheryl Wing-Zi Wong & Dev Harlan

The Immigrant Journey — Past Meets Present by Sundog Theatre, Inc. with Lina Montoya and students from PS 39 | Arrochar Playground on Staten Island

Image courtesy of Sundog Theatre

This piece is a tribute to the immigrant communities of all times and an homage to New York Harbor. The installation is the result of a Residency Program with artist Lina Montoya and Sundog Theatre at P.S 39, a public school directly adjacent to this playground. The residency’s theme was cultural immigration and Ellis Island history, and the resulting design was inspired by the Staten Island Ferry and the boats that came to Ellis Island full of people. The central image is a large boat full of butterflies. The iconic Statue of Liberty is included in the design, as well as an airplane and a square figure in the lower right corner that references the southern border, an "open wall." On view through June 12, 2020. Learn more about The Immigrant Journey — Past Meets Present

Flora_Interpretations by Rose & Mike DeSiano | Clinton Community Garden in Manhattan

Image courtesy of the artist

This mural is inspired by two native New Yorkers and members of several community gardens who understand the value of green space in a big city. The artists invited local residents to the garden to take photos during a guided tour. The images were transformed into a wall covering mural and were installed with their help. The mural reflects the beauty of this local garden that is possible through the hard work of the volunteers. On view through October 31, 2020. Learn more about Flora_Interpretations by Rose & Mike DeSiano

Pieces of Poetry: a community mosaic celebration by Courtney McCloskey | Fort Greene Park in Brooklyn

Courtesy of the Marcus Garvey Park Alliance

Pieces of Poetry: a community mosaic celebration is an artist-led, community-generated project. Hundreds of broken glass shards were transformed into a mosaic celebrating three of Fort Greene’s literary greats—Walt Whitman, Richard Wright, and Marianne Moore. The mosaic depicts a bookshelf containing books that display the titles of famous works by Whitman, Wright, and Moore on their spines. On view through April 12, 2020Learn more about Pieces of Poetry: a community mosaic celebration by Courtney McCloskey

Was this information helpful?