The High Line

Summer Art In The Parks: A Round-Up

Wednesday, July 7, 2010
No. 56

This summer, Parks & Recreation presents twenty public art projects throughout all five boroughs. These projects range from international exhibitions in flagship parks to local, community works in neighborhood parks and traffic islands. While many of these public art exhibitions are on view throughout the summer, some end in just several weeks, so now is the time to get outside and enjoy the summer weather, the city’s parks and a wide variety of artwork. Below, please find a selection of our public art exhibitions. For a full list of our current projects or for more information, please visit

A View from the Lunch Table: Students Bringing Issues to the Table, LEAP (Learning through and Expanded Arts Program)
On view through September 2010, Citywide
School may be out for the summer, but you can still take a seat at inventive lunchroom tables around the city. Ten New York City public middle schools, working with leading artists such as Christo, Chuck Close and Emma Amos, have transformed cafeteria tables into personalized canvases and created colorful works of public art that touch upon critical social issues in their community and across the globe.

Key to the City, Paul Ramírez Jonas, Creative Time
Sites are open through September, Citywide Exhibition
In the month of June, Creative Time handed out thousands of keys that open locks at 24 public and private sites around the city. With key in hand, you are launched into a citywide exploration—turn on a lamppost in Bryant Park, stop by Eddie’s Sweet Shop in Queens for an extra helping of your favorite treat or take a walk on the beach to a bayside pavilion at Conference House Park, Staten Island.

Myrtle Avenue Bird Town, Daniel Goers and Jennifer Wong
On view through December 10, 2010, Person Square and Fort Greene Park, Brooklyn
This summer, do not forget to look up as you stroll along Myrtle Avenue in Fort Greene, or you might miss one of the most enlivening neighborhoods in the city. Artists Daniel Goers and Jennifer Wong employed recycled materials and experimental building techniques to construct a micro-community of birdhouses. As colorful and energetic as the birds that inhabit them, this collection of birdhouses will be the stage for an ongoing performance as birds feed, nest, build, and care for offspring.

Bike Guy, Scott Taylor
On view through October 15, 2010, McCarren Park Brooklyn
Warm weather means it is time to break out the bicycle. As you are cruising by McCarren Park, be sure to visit Scott Taylor’s Bike Guy. Taylor takes the familiar bicycle lane insignia and transforms the logo into 3D. Taylor’s universal symbol highlights the city’s growing use of alternative transportation.

Ribbons of Memory, Jean Pierre Rives
On view through September 3, 2010, Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, Manhattan
Well known for his world famous exploits as Captain of the French Rugby team in the 1970s, Jean Pierre Rives expresses the same irresistible burst of strength as a sculptor. Jean Pierre Rives’ sculpture Ribbons of Memory is a construction of cut and bent welded steel I-beams.

Baritone, French Kiss, and Juggler, Mia Westerlund Roosen
On view through August 28, 2010, Park Avenue Malls 52nd -54th Streets, Manhattan
As a burgeoning artist working during the feminist movement, Westerlund Roosen used lead, encaustic, and textiles to study gender identity. As her practice matured, she embraced concrete stucco as her medium of choice, as it allowed her to create hand-molded pieces that retained a sense of vulnerability despite their significant corporal mass. Her exhibition on Park Avenue continues her exploration of voluminous curves, palpable surfaces, and the sensual body, which she attributes to her continued fascination with dance.

A Bell for Every Minute, Stephen Vitiello
On view through June 23, 2011, Blaichman Tunnel, The High Line, Manhattan
A Bell for Every Minute incorporates sound recordings of bells taken from all over New York City and beyond. Sounds range from the iconic rings of the New York Stock Exchange bell to personal sounds of bike bells, diner bells, and neighborhood church bells. During park hours, an individual bell will ring each minute from speakers placed throughout the tunnel. A chorus of the selected bells will play at the top of each hour, filling the space.

Eleven Heavy Things, Miranda July
On view through October 3, 2010, Union Square Park, Center Lawn, Manhattan
Eleven Heavy Things is a series of eleven cast fiber-glass designed for interaction. Children and adults alike will flock to the pedestals, tablets with holes (for both faces and arms), and abstract headdresses. July invites the picture — eleven photo opportunities, in a city where one is always clutching a camera. Though the work begins as sculpture, it becomes a performance that is only complete when visitors’ photos are uploaded onto personal blogs and sent in emails.

Statuesque, organized by the Public Art Fund
On view through December 2010, City Hall Park, Manhattan
Statuesque features 10 major works of art by six international artists—Pawel Althamer, Huma Bhabha, Aaron Curry, Thomas Houseago, Matthew Monahan, and Rebecca Warren. Statuesque celebrates the return of figurative sculpture, but not in the classical sense. Neither literal portraits nor traditional monuments, these works push the expressive potential of sculptural forms and materials.

Cityscape: Surveying the Urban Biotope
On view through August 1, 2010, Socrates Sculpture Park, Queens
Cityscape: Surveying the Urban Biotope explores the presence of nature in the fabric of urban life, with eleven new works by artists: Saul Becker, George Boorujy, William Cordova, David Kennedy Cutler, Lillian Gerson, Janelle Iglesias, Katherine McLeod, Ester Partegàs, Zena Verda Pesta, Christine Howard Sandoval, and Mark Lawrence Stafford.

Founded in 1967, Parks & Recreation's temporary public art program has consistently fostered the creation and installation of temporary public art in parks throughout the five boroughs. Collaborations with arts organizations and artists have produced hundreds of public art projects in City parks.

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