Press Releases

Wednesday, November 14, 2018
No. 112


Recently opened public art installations now on view throughout city parks

Artistically painted surfaces can have an especially transformative effect on undervalued parks, making them welcoming, vibrant community spaces that spark residents’ emotional reinvestment and create enthusiasm for park improvements. Though NYC Parks has a long and storied history with murals in city parks, the exhibition and permitting process was only formalized in 2015 under Parks’ temporary public art program, Art in the Parks. Since then, murals have continued to pop up in parks citywide, with 15 installed over the past year alone. To foster a sense of community involvement, murals are often created by local organizations in partnership with an artist.

In addition to traditional walls, Parks’ new Creative Courts initiative uses colorful murals to reimagine dated sports courts and asphalt plazas. All murals are permitted for one year and proposal guidelines are listed on our website.

Below is a list of highlights in the mural collection:
Andre Trenier, “Rep Your Flag”
On view through September 19, 2019
Inwood Park, Bronx
Lifelong Bronx resident Andre Trenier presents “Rep Your Flag”—an homage to the immigrant communities that give the Bronx its strength. The 16 included flags were determined directly from community feedback: Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Ghana, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, Italy, Jamaica, Mexico, Pan-African, Puerto Rico, and Trinidad and Tobago. This exhibition is presented by the ArtBridge, and as part of Active Open Space, a partnership between Parks and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, in collaboration with the Fund for Public Health in NYC and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Cara Lynch, “I’m So Happy You’re Here”
On view through July 19, 2019
Virginia Park, Bronx
Cara Lynch explores the tension between high and low, and private and public space in “I’m So Happy You’re Here.” Its patterns reference traditional parquet flooring, typically found in homes of the wealthy as a symbol of status and importance. By recontextualizing these patterns in a public mural, the work challenges notions of value and accessibility, as well as destination and origin. This exhibition was made possible by the Art in the Parks: UNIQLO Park Expressions Grant.

Lady K Fever, “Pond”
On view through July 14, 2019
Mosholu Playground, Bronx
Lady K Fever’s mural creates the impression of a lush pond in the middle of the playground spray shower. The formerly worn utility now hosts vibrant images of plant life, turtles, and a spritely seal.
This exhibition is presented by the Friends of Mosholu Parkland.

Evan Bishop, “Hip-Hop for Hope!”
On view through June 14, 2019
Latinos Unidos Garden, Bronx
As an artist born and raised in the Bronx during the ’70s and ‘80s, Bishop was heavily influenced by the emergence of the Hip Hop culture. He worked alongside artists from ArTech, a Bronx-based art studio that is supported by AHRC, a family governed organization committed to finding ways for people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities to build full lives. The artists incorporated their artworks alongside the words: PEACE, UNITY, HOPE and LOVE. This project is part of NYC Parks GreenThumb’s Art in the Gardens - Shed Murals project, an initiative that provides local artists with the opportunity to collaborate with community gardens as a platform to create and display their art.

Sandro "Sen2" Figueroa and James "SEXER" Rodriguez x Chase, US Open Art Courts x Chase
On view through September 17, 2019
Highland Park, Brooklyn
The USTA, in partnership with Parks, commissioned Figueroa and Rodriguez to turn the Highland Park Tennis Courts into their canvas. A block of eight 36-foot courts, designed for youth to learn and play, are part of Art Courts, an extension of the USTA and Chase’s Return the Serve program. “Sen2,” whose original name is Sandro Figueroa Garcia, is a Puerto Rican self-taught graffiti writer and artist. Since 2001, his artwork has been on display around the globe, exhibiting in numerous solo and group shows in America and Europe. James “SEXER” Rodriguez, has managed to make art his life’s work. Born in Puerto Rico and raised in the South Bronx, he began dabbling in cartoons as a youngster, but by the age of ten he was exhibiting his work at Gimbel’s Department Store in Herald Square.

Meg Minkley, “Fiesta Forever”
On view through May 31, 2019
Powers Street Garden, Brooklyn, Brooklyn
“Fiesta Forever” celebrates the beginnings of Spring and the fun of Summer and honors the re-birth of color in the city. The mural is illustrative of the vast collection of flowers that bloom throughout New York City from Spring all the way through to Summer. This project is part of NYC Parks GreenThumb’s Art in the Gardens - Shed Murals project, an initiative that provides local artists with the opportunity to collaborate with community gardens as a platform to create and display their art.

ASKEW ONE, Artwork Inspired by “The Last O.G.” on TBS
On view through April 16, 2019
Marcy Playground, Brooklyn
A newly refurbished basketball courts and an artistic mural at Marcy Playground include new asphalt, four new polycarbonate backboards, and a mural designed by artist ASKEW ONE, recognized worldwide for his unique approach to graffiti art.

Jessie Novik, “Migrations”
On view through September 8, 2019
Jacob H. Schiff Playground, Manhattan
“Migrations” spans the retaining walls that line the central walkway of Jacob H. Schiff Playground in Hamilton Heights. As part of the Audubon Mural Project, this mural raises awareness about birds that are impacted by climate change – in particular, the following four threatened species: Bank Swallow, Common Redpoll, Northern Shoveler, and the White-faced Ibis. “Migrations” was completed through a rich collaboration among volunteers of the Jacob H. Schiff Playground Neighborhood Association; Paid Youth Apprentices and Teaching Artist Jessie Novik with Creative Art Works; and The Audubon Mural Project/Gitler& Art Gallery.

Creative Art Works, “Baby Park 2050”
On view through September 14, 2019
Queensbridge "Baby" Park (12th Street and 41st Road), Queens
This mural is part of the Long Island City Partnership’s “Community Arts Connection,” an arts-based strategy to better connect all areas of Long Island City to enhance cultural vitality. Youth residents of Queensbridge Houses and the Jacob Riis Neighborhood Settlement created this community art mural, which was inspired by responses to a survey of Queensbridge residents. The mural installation was led by artist Michael Mitchell and Creative Art Works, an organization that empowers young people through arts programming. The mural is presented by the Long Island City Partnership, Jacob Riis Neighborhood Settlement at Queensbridge Houses, and Creative Art Works.

Brittany Baldwin, “Steinway Cipher”
On view through June 10, 2019
Steinway Playground, Queens
For “Steinway Cypher,” Baldwin merged contributions of the Steinway family with elements of present-day Astoria to create a piece that reflects the visual landscape of the neighborhood. In 1870 William Steinway began building a company town, Steinway Village in what is now known as Astoria. The Steinway Piano Factory was built on this land accompanied by employee housing, a church, a library, a kindergarten, and a public trolley line. Steinway also founded the resort town North Beach and spearheaded a project to extend his town’s trolley lines under the East River, which led to the creation of the current subway tunnel. A large, white piano-like shape positioned in the middle of the mural commemorates the industry titan. Aquatic and seashell forms are a nod to North Beach and the East River. Arrows highlight the progressive nature of Steinway’s ideas. Some of Baldwin’s other shapes are a response to the mosaics seen on Mombar, a restaurant in Astoria’s Little Egypt. Additional elements of commerce are sprinkled throughout to honor local businesses that find their home on Steinway Street.

Amanda Long & Tommy Hartung, “Rainbow Mural”
On view through May 25, 2019
Forest Park, Queens
Rainbow Mural is a colorful reclamation of the concrete barrier at the Forest Park Greenhouse Playground near the historical carousel. A pixelated rainbow pattern animate the masonry and contrast with the natural green of the forest. The vivid paint transforms the wall from a mundane structure into a vibrant colorful marker for the play area. In addition, sections of the mural include chalkboard color blocks which can be activated by children throughout the exhibition. “Rainbow Mural” is a community art project. Volunteers of all ages guided by artists Amanda Long, Tommy Hartung and Friends of Forest Park painted the “Rainbow Mural” using vivid paints and a hand-drawn grid. Funding for the “Rainbow Mural” was generously provided by the New York City Council Parks Equity Initiative and a Capacity Fund Grant.

On view through February 27, 2019
Triborough Bridge Playground B, Queens
The “BTN x MADSTEEZ Basketball Court” brings color and life to an existing court that lacked vibrancy. The design splits the court into East and West Divisions, 7 schools in each, and uses the two main colors of each school. The mural covers the full basketball court and extends outside the court lines offering a blue sideline.

James Merlis, “Harbor Block”
On view through August 31, 2019
Mariners Harbor Playground, Staten Island
At Mariner’s Harbor Playground the sense of community has been rebuilt around family activities and youth recreation. For residents, this park has been a safe haven, meeting ground, sports complex, clubhouse, and as a place of neighborhood regeneration. Harbor Block celebrates the area’s unified efforts to enliven this park, and its excitement for the future. This project is presented by Friends of Mariners Harbor Parks.

Lina Montoya, “Ballena & Vallenato (Whale and Calf)”
On view through July 13, 2019
Barrett Triangle, Staten Island
“Ballena & Vallenato (Whale and Calf),” by Lina Montoya in partnership with 100 Gates Project is a colorful mural on the bus shelter at Barrett Triangle that depicts the endangered Right Whale and her calf. Sonic Gates is created by artist Volker Goetze. The public art project is an initiative of Future Culture, launched by Staten Island Arts and the Design Trust for Public Space to foster community connections and shape a vision for culture on the North Shore of Staten Island.

MADSTEEZ, “BTN x MADSTEEZ Basketball Court”
On view through October 18, 2019
St. Nicholas Park, Manhattan
Mark Paul Deren, aka MADSTEEZ is known for his vivid, large-scale, multi-layered paintings, where strange and familiar figures are integrated into abstract landscapes. His artistic approach is influenced by being almost blind in one eye, where he sees only abstractions and lines of colors, most notably reds, purples, and oranges, which appear frequently in his work. This exhibition is presented by Mountain Dew.

Lincoln Square BID, “Folk Art on the Broadway Malls”
On view through August 30, 2019
Broadway Malls 60th – 67th Street
Inspired by textile works from the American Folk Art Museum’s (AFAM) permanent collection, the Lincoln Square BID, AFAM and volunteers from New York Cares installed murals using stencils at seven Broadway Malls in the Lincoln Square BID’s boundaries, recreating works of art that represent the very best of the neighborhood. Mural locations include: 60th street (the “gateway” to the Malls), 63rd street (both sides), 64th street (northern side), 67th street (both sides), and 70th street (south side, the BID’s northern boundary).

For over 50 years, Art in the Parks has brought contemporary public artworks to over 200 of the city’s parks, collaborating with arts organizations and artists to produce over 2,000 works by 1,300 notable and emerging artists. For more information on works currently on view, and for tips on how to exhibit with Parks, visit our website.

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