Parks@Home Banner. The words parks at home in white are placed on a green background

Poe Park Visitor Center: Art from the Heart

Featuring artwork by NYC Parks' very own parkies! 

The Poe Park Visitor Center proudly presents Art from the Heart an exhibition that illuminates the talents of NYC Parks employees. It is no surprise that many of NYC Parkies are multi-talented!

About Poe Park Visitor Center

Poe Park Visitor Center is a community hub at Poe Park in the Bronx that offers art, literature, fitness, and community events. Due to the pandemic, the center is closed until further notice and the gallery has temporarily moved online. 

Karen "KayLove" Pedrosa

To spread love, soul, truth, and power through art.

illustration of an individual with pink, green, purple, and blue hair flowing along a sign that reads Do not touch the artwork

Do Not Touch

* Click on left image to zoom in
* Click a thumbnail below to view/change image on the left

illustration of an individual with pink, green, purple, and blue hair flowing along a sign that reads Do not touch the artwork
a woman in a yellow swimsuit in front a background with white and red stripes that fade to orange and yellow prepares to take a photo with a handheld camera while smoking
portrait painting of Frida Kahlo
portrait painting of Jean-Michel Basquiat
portrait painting of a topless individual wearing a hat and holding on to a boombox

About the artist: Karen "KayLove" Pedrosa is a Bronx-born and based, first-generation Puerto Rican artist who draws her inspiration from the vibrant, gritty, soulful streets of New York City, the lush campos of Puerto Rico, and all the places in between. A child of the '80s, she was inspired by the museums that the trains provided, the rooftops murals, tags, and colors that brightened up a once dirty and destroyed Bronx. Karen carried with her a notebook trying to draw what she saw. Soon the beats and streets of the Bronx gave birth to KayLove. Karen is a graduate of the legendary High School of Art & Design, The Mecca of graffiti and urban streetwear. She majored in Art with a concentration in Painting at Lehman College and a minor in Secondary Education. She took an apprenticeship and studied mural painting with El Barrio’s favorite artist Manny Vega as an assistant at the Legacy High School. Throughout the years, she has been featured in two graffiti documentaries, has exhibited in group shows, and continues to spread her love for graffiti by teaching youth workshops. Karen Pedrosa is currently the Chief of Recreation in the Bronx.

Malcolm Pinckney Sr. 

Malcolm Pinckney, Senior Photographer at NYC Parks, shares moments in parks while on various assignments spanning nearly 30 years.

photo of Beyonce performing in a park

Beyonce Performs Live at Good Morning America Summer Concert Series

Central Park, 2011

* Click on left image to zoom in
* Click a thumbnail below to view/change image on the left

photo of Beyonce performing in a park
a red lighthouse under a bridge is surrounded by fog at night
an elderly couple kisses in front of an art exhibition of reflective hearts
aerial view of what remains of an old concrete plant in a park along the Bronx River
a child holds up a fish caught from the lake at Crotona Park
green holiday lights outline the Arsenal, a castle like building in Central Park, which is the headquarters of NYC Parks
An artist and guest re-enact the pose of a photo captured and displayed in the exhibition
photo of George Clinton performing on stage
the gates of the zoo, illuminated by the lampposts, welcome guests into the park covered in snow
Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver raises his fists in the air as he crosses the finish line
Mayor Bill de Blasio poses alongside former Mayor David N. Dinks as he prepares to speak at a podium
black and white photo of former Mayor David N. Dinks posing for a photo at the Brooklyn Promenade which features a view of the Twin Towers towering over the Manhattan skyline

About the artist: Malcolm has had a curiosity of how a picture could appear on paper since his freshman year at Harren High School in Manhattan where he took basic photography and advance photography. From there, he also took advanced courses at Bronx community college when he first started working for NYC Parks in 1975. He has held various titles during his tenure with the City, from Recreation Specialist to Urban Park Ranger to Bronx Borough photographer before being promoted to the Arsenal Press Office at Central Park and later becoming City Hall Photographer. He has contributed invaluable work to the NYC Park's photo collection steadily since day one. But decades of experience haven't left Malcolm Pinckney complacent; he introduced digital photography to the Parks photo unit in 1998 and continues to innovate and adapt to new technology with his vast experience.

Malcolm Tydre Pinckney Jr.

illustration of Kendrick Lamar wearing a hoodie with the hood up and a crown on his head

King Kendrick

* Click on left image to zoom in
* Click a thumbnail below to view/change image on the left

illustration of Kendrick Lamar wearing a hoodie with the hood up and a crown on his head
illustration of R&B group TLC
illustration of an individual with a rose tattoo on her neck
illustrations of Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman, and Will Smith

About the artist: Malcolm Tydre Pinckney Jr., son of Parks photographer Malcolm Pinckney Sr., was born and raised between Mount Vernon and Bronx, NY. His love and passion for art began beating strong in his heart at a very young age. Malcolm took his family by surprise when he picked up a pencil and started drawing as young as five years old. It wasn’t long before Malcolm found himself participating in youth art community programs with NYC Parks and art competitions, as well as winning art awards in school. Malcolm attended and graduated from the High School Of Art & Design for Cartooning in 2014. He would then go on to Virginia State University, majoring in Art but later switching his major to Mass Communications. Even though he switched his career path, he became involved with numerous community affairs and created art/music events on campus until receiving his BA for Audio Production in 2018. Back in New York, he continued his love for art through his seasonal work with NYC Parks' summer camp for the past 9+ years. Malcolm has just recently received a certificate from Stonybrook University for their Audio Podcasting Fellowship program.

Jamie Ong

photo of Manzanar National Historic Site

Heartbreak, hope, and healing at Manzanar

photography, 4 x 6, 2002

I took this photograph in 2002 at the Manzanar National Historic Site in California during my time as a seasonal intern at Yosemite National Park. In the wake of increasing anti-Asian violence, I revisit this portrayal of strength amid loss during a deeply troubling period of American history that is rarely discussed. 

* Click on left image to zoom in

About the artist: Jamie Ong, Environmental Protection Project Manager at NYC Parks, has nearly 20 years of experience in wetland and riparian restoration, watershed planning, and green infrastructure design. At Parks, she is piloting innovative salt marsh enhancement techniques, managing design of urban stream restoration projects, and developing watershed-wide recommendations for water quality improvement, waterfront access, and citizen engagement. She is a native New Yorker and enjoys finding beauty in the communities and natural areas of her current home borough, Queens.   

Leonora Restas

Artist statement: In most of my work, there is a clearly defined element — a stencil structure component intertwined with an impartial background. My work reflects the modern industrial world where precise lines and forms are easily replicated versus that of nature where figures grow free and wild. Using ink on paper, my monotypes create harmony between the manufactured man-made world and the innate richness of our unrefined surroundings.  

brown element on fiery red and orange background

Spathi_03

monoprint, 20 x 30, 2012

* Click on left image to zoom in
* Click a thumbnail below to view/change image on the left

brown element on fiery red and orange background
green element on a midnight blue background
blue element on a midnight blue background

About the artist: Leonora Retsas’ monotypes draw inspiration from her childhood on a small village farm in Evia, Greece, as well as her formal education in architecture. These two facets of her life, respectively representing nature and structure, complement each other within her prints. In most of Leonora’s work, there is a clearly defined element — a stenciled structure intertwined with a nebulous background. Consistent with the way a home is constructed, Leonora starts with a base (the color brown referring to the earth‘s foundation); she then adds layers of other colors and patterns to build spatial depth. Her work reflects this struggle between, on the one hand, the modern era of industrial, mechanical production where precise lines and forms are easily replicated and the eternal element of nature where figures grow wild and free. Using ink on paper, her monotypes fuse these two elements. Leonora holds a Master’s Degree in Architecture from Syracuse University’s program in Florence, Italy. She presently lives and works in New York City, and has exhibited her work throughout the United States. Leonora is a Project Manager for Facilities at NYC Parks.

Jacqueline Lavin

Artist statement: My interest in art stems from my adolescent days of visiting paintings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and from my own tendency to get lost in a painting.

illustration of a dancer at the center of the stage in an amphitheater style location in the Tent of Tomorrow at Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Guests to the show look on as the dancer performs. Text on the image reads: Amphitheater over a model of the 1964 World's Fair.

Tent of Tomorrow Rendering

painting, 8 x 10, 2016

* Click on left image to zoom in
* Click a thumbnail below to view/change image on the left

illustration of a dancer at the center of the stage in an amphitheater style location in the Tent of Tomorrow at Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Guests to the show look on as the dancer performs. Text on the image reads: Amphitheater over a model of the 1964 World's Fair.
black and white illustration of the architecture at Grand Central
Black and white illustration of city with tall highways, buildings, and bridges
illustration of the architecture in Rome
portrait painting of an individual

About the artist: I am an artist based in Queens, NY. Much of my work involves architectural drawings and elements of fantasy. I have a Bachelors of Fine Art and a Bachelors of Architecture from the Rhode Island School of Design. Jacqueline is an Architectural Designer at NYC Parks.

Middle Passage, Tomasia Kastner

 

About the artist: Tomasia is a poet dedicated to social justice, working across various fields and genres including rap, spoken word, essay, documentary, communications, digital media, and community work. She interrogates issues of race, class, and gender and seeks to address social inequity. She has been a teaching artist; has co-founded, co-directed, and managed two community-based arts organizations; and has worked to provide free arts, media, and education programming in NYC for over ten years. Tomasia has also performed in NYC’s legendary venues like Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Blue Note, and Joe’s Pub as well as NYC’s notorious jails on Riker’s Island. Tomasia has opened for the legendary poet Gil Scott-Heron and has performed with the likes of grammy-nominated Me’Shell NdegeOcello. She has recorded one album, one EP, and is a featured artist on many records including Ursula Rucker’s (of Roots fame) album Ruckus Soundsysdom, produced by King Britt. According to Okayplayer, “Tomasia’s rhymes are like a hybrid between MC Lyte and Angela Davis, a poisonous combination.” Tomasia’s documentary about racial ambiguity in America, entitled Middle Passage, has been screened at the International Center of Photography. She holds a master’s degree in media studies from the New School and currently works as the communications manager for Partnerships for Parks where she uses new media for community outreach to support widespread public engagement in local parks and green spaces. Tomasia lives in Brooklyn with her 18 year old daughter, Twilight Jones.

Laura Alvarez

Artist statement: Ecology, tradition, life, change, and self-improvement are elements present in my work. I'm obsessed with calligraphy and making words a tangible image in the eye of the viewer. I see words as a thesis to an emotion or idea, and it is a necessity for me to transmit that message. Multiplicity, repetition, and accumulation of elements are a big part of my artwork, where each element is part of the whole story that can only be told through the one to the many. This lifelong project helps me to understand myself and the world I live in and at the same time interact with my surroundings and the community I live in. 

colorful images fo bicycle wheels against the backdrop of the city. Text on the spokes reads Bike Ride

Bike the Boogie Down Bronx

mixed media, 16 x 20 x 3, 2020

* Click on left image to zoom in
* Click a thumbnail below to view/change image on the left

colorful images fo bicycle wheels against the backdrop of the city. Text on the spokes reads Bike Ride
illustration of yellow bicycle wheels against a view of the Bronx River. The following words are included on the illustration: Bronx River, Jonas Bronx, Fresh Water, Kensico, Clean Water, Animals, Fauna, Bike Parks, Bronx Park, and other names of parks, birds, and fish
illustration of of bike wheels against a background that reads Social Distance Ride
illustrations of bike wheels against the backdrop of the Manhattan Bridge, George Washington Bridge and Brooklyn Bridge
text against a colorful background of pink and yellow streaks with flowers reads: Bike Like a Girl: Like the Best Cause You Are, Bike Like a Girl: Fast, First, Best, Great, Bike Like. Girl: In the Front
illustrations of landmarks in the city, including Yankee Stadium, Bronx Botanical Gardens, and Poe Cottage

About the artist: Laura is an experienced illustrator, graphic designer, and artivist. She has been working for Parks since 2012 and combines her passion for art and culture with nature. In her spare time, she creates murals to inspire the community and start conversations on controversial subjects. She is an avid illustrator and volunteer. She believes everyone is an artist, for that she teaches art workshops with different organizations. Laura is the co-founder of the non-profit BxArts Factory, an organization committed to unlocking the inner artist in the Bronx community. She is also a board member for Artbridge, a non-profit that empowers emerging artists to transform urban spaces. She has exhibited in solo and group shows in the USA and Europe. She has created murals in NY, Puerto Rico, and Spain. Laura is a Recreation Program Coordinator at NYC Parks.

Susan Rosenstadt-Bresler

on the plate is a skeletal like image of a creature against the backdrop of a sun setting on a landscape

Monster You Will Not Conquer

fused glass, 16" dia., 2020

* Click on left image to zoom in
* Click a thumbnail below to view/change image on the left

on the plate is a skeletal like image of a creature against the backdrop of a sun setting on a landscape
patterns of fish in green, blue, and purple
patterns of fish in green, yellow, red, and orange
tapestry like design of blue and orange on
shades of orange, green, yellow, and blue like a weaving on the plate
flower like patterns on a bowl
tapestry like colors of red, orange, blue
various colors arranged to color a plate

About the artist: I am an architect and fused glass artist. I have been fortunate to have been working with glass for the past six years and have had the opportunity to study with artists from around the world at a local studio. My glass was selected for “Art Around Town” in Chappaqua, NY and I have been invited to participate in local vetted art fairs in the New York-Metro area as a result of exhibiting at holiday fairs in the area. I was awarded a prize for the best use of color last fall in a competition sponsored by a glass manufacturing company in Portland, Oregon. Working with fused glass has introduced me to a community of amazing artists and has opened my mind to countless possibilities in the visual world. It has been a joy to experience. As my pieces illustrate, I look forward to learning and experimenting with multiple techniques. Susan is the Deputy Chief of Architecture at NYC Parks.

Lucy Aponte 

Artist statement: Art is my breath, my being, my soul. It runs through every fiber of my being. Art is the vehicle through which I communicate what I feel. I am passionate about using art to help others to find the beauty within themselves, working with the homeless, single moms and their children living in shelters, underserved populations, and more. Anywhere I can bring art to engage my community, I will. I have decided to submit my earliest works to show what inspired me to create. I am still creating from miniature art to large murals.

Story in a Bottle Series

This series was inspired when I woke up one night with images in my head and did not immediately have available canvas to work with. I grabbed the nearest thing available, my grandson’s baby food jar. I quicky began working, not knowing whether using acrylic paint would work on glass. I was inspired to paint a little story of my grandson sleeping in a garden under a tree. It was beautiful and took my breath away. From there I went on to paint stories in wine bottles. It caught the attention of Latina Magazine, which featured these bottles in their Spotlight of the Week.

mixed media of a boy holding on to the stem of a glass bottle

Boy of Stone

mixed media, 10.5 x 12, 1994

Life can be harsh on a little child. What is his story? Something so delicate on hard surface.

* Click on left image to zoom in
* Click a thumbnail below to view/change image on the left

mixed media of a boy holding on to the stem of a glass bottle
content in a bottle placed and manipulated to form a scene representing a child in the woods
silver forms on the outside of a glass bottle

The Petit Art Series: Parchment 

The bottles inspired the Parchment Series. I wanted to try to paint on something else that had transparent quality like glass. Parchment paper is that, but more so, it is more delicate than glass. This posed a challenge that intrigued me. Could I paint on it and be careful enough to not damage it? It was a metaphor for the delicacy of children, who are the inspiration for most of my work. It is a project I use with children and others. It intrigues them as it has me. Working on such delicate material and one that has the properties of transparency allows my students to see beyond the here and now to create. It also teaches children how one action affects another. It is a tool for learning, discovery, and life consequences. 

Illustration of two sisters standing under a sun

Ooh Sister, Look

ink on parchment, 6 x 4, 2016

Inspired by memories of my sisters and I at the Botanical Gardens. The little girls are intrigued by the flowers.

* Click on left image to zoom in
* Click a thumbnail below to view/change image on the left

illustration of two sisters standing under a sun
illustration of a clown figure
black and white illustration of a girl in a sailboat in the park

Wood

Creating art on wood fascinates me. The juxtaposition of hard wood and delicate art is a metaphor for life. Wood is a living material. It has a story to tell. When I create on it, I feel as though I am bringing something that was hidden to life. The Two Girls remind me of my sisters and I when we were children. My grandmother often took us to the NY Botanical Gardens, so I create things about children in parks and gardens. This is just one of my wood series.

illustration of two girls under the moonlight

Two Girls

ink on wood, 5 x 3, 2018

Memories of visits to the Botanical Gardens. Again creating a delicate work on a hard surface.

* Click on left image to zoom in

About the artist: Lucy Aponte is a NYC born self-taught artist. She is a decades-long community leader and volunteer with NYC Parks. She retired from nursing to head the Poe Park Visitor Center. In this work, she has combined her love for parks and the arts in one job. She is the Founder of the Friends of Soundview Park. Aponte has received awards for Innovation in Early Literacy from the Literary Assistance Center, for Kids and the Classics from the Bronx Council on the Arts, and more. One of her public murals is featured in the book On the Wall: Four Decades of Community Murals in NYC by Janet Braun-Reinitz and Jane Weissman. At the Poe Park Visitor Center, she is the curator of the gallery, which exhibits the works of local, national, and international artists. She teaches 4th and 5th graders to read and perform the works of Edgar Allan Poe, teaching the history of Poe, the museum house, and the Poe Park Visitor Center in the Bronx. Ms. Aponte teaches non-fiction writing to special needs adults at the Poe Park Visitor Center, resulting in the publishing of an anthology of their work. Aponte has also done commercials and voice overs on television in Spanish and English. 

Was this information helpful?