The changing seasons are on full display, and so are NYC Parks’ free Art in the Parks exhibits! Parks invites New Yorkers to check out the more than 50 temporary installations in parks across the five boroughs while enjoying fall and winter in the city.
These vibrant installations range from interactive sculptures to basketball court murals and use a variety of materials, including salvaged plywood, crocheted yarn, plants, and carved marble. With tributes to essential workers, creative reuse, community, and more, they express messages of renewal, hope, social justice, and remembrance.
Here are a few highlights:
KaN Landscape Design and Caroline Mardok, In honor of Black Lives Matter
On view through April 18, 2022
Poe Park, Bronx
This interactive installation of multiple cut-out figures made of plywood are applied with collage and photographs from artist Mardok’s @ny.strong photography project. As people walk through the portals they’re transported into the energy of the protests of 2020: the unified experience of citizens across ethnicities and genders fighting for freedom and justice for Black lives. The team has also collaborated with the Bronx River Art Center on a program focused on public art and activism, offered to a team of young adults who are creating their own sculptures and photographs. Their work will be shown in a group exhibition responding to the Black Lives Matter movement, in conjunction with the installation of KaN+Mardok’s sculptures at Poe Park in the Bronx.
This piece is one of the five created by the Plywood Protection Project, each installed in a different borough of New York City. The exhibition is presented by worthless studios.
Jasmin Chang and Trellis, Community Heroes
On view through August 9, 2022
Commodore Barry Park, Brooklyn
The Community Heroes photo exhibition aims to bring together residents in the neighborhoods of Bedford-Stuyvesant and Fort Greene and celebrate those who empower and nourish these neighborhoods. Individuals were selected to be photographed and profiled as representatives of the community, or heroes, from a pool of nominations collected during a community outreach process. Community Heroes seeks to tell the stories of the neighborhoods’ unsung heroes through the collaboration of newer residents and long-time residents, often people of color whose families have lived in the community for generations. Community Heroes continues to collect nominations for heroes and seeks photographers to take their portraits. This exhibition is on view in Commodore Barry Park as well as Fort Greene Park and St. Andrew’s Playground.
Bryce Peterson, Hanging Gardens
On view through August 20, 2022
Highland Park, Brooklyn
The Hanging Gardens of Brooklyn project proposes a public art installation and community gathering space, envisioned as the synthesis of an interactive sculptural pavilion and a hanging botanical garden. The pavilion supports a hanging garden which grows in spiraling channels mounted on the trellised roof. The garden will feature a mixed palette of vining flowers and vegetables and will employ an automated drip irrigation system.
This exhibition is presented by Brooklyn Arts Council, City Artist Corps, and SITU.
Faith Ringgold, Windows of the Wedding #1: Woman
On view through August 8, 2022
St. Nicholas Park, Manhattan
This basketball court mural is based on Faith Ringgold’s 1974 work, Windows of the Wedding #1: Woman. After exploring abstract shapes in the 1970s, Ringgold received acclaim for her narrative quilts created in the 1980s. The basketball courts at St. Nicholas Park begin as an abstract pattern, but as hundreds, if not thousands, of stories play out across the court’s surface it will be transformed into something of a living narrative quilt. Ringgold was born in Harlem in 1930 and graduated from City College of New York (adjacent to St. Nicholas Park).
This exhibition is presented by Project Backboard.
Felix Marzell, BIG APPLE
On view through September 12, 2022
Bella Abzug Park, Manhattan
Sitting in the Apple, users will be able to enjoy a 360-degree view of their surroundings at all times. Since the arrival of Covid-19, citizens have taken to the streets and local parks more frequently to get their daily exercise and enjoy a change of scenery. This Apple is BIG on ensuring that distancing measures are maintained while participants enjoy their urban discoveries. Not only is the modern cutout slices design airy, but the space also allows for only one family or couple at a time in the core.
This exhibition is presented by Hudson Yards Hell’s Kitchen Alliance.
Chinatown Yarn Circle with Naomi Lawrence, Stand Speak Shape
On view through October 8, 2022
Columbus Park, Manhattan
Chinatown Yarn Circle, led by Tina Lin, Naomi Lawrence, and local organizations, represents an intergenerational community mobilizing to STAND together; SPEAK up for justice; and SHAPE society through civic action and crochet. The flowers are in tribute to AAPI community builders, embodying collaboration, triumph over struggle, and inspiring future generations.
Stand Speak Shape is made possible in part with funding from OCM, Think Chinatown, Asian Americans for Equality, and Knitty City.
Judith Modrak, Endangered Fossils
On view through April 10, 2022
Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens
Endangered Fossils represents 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.
Afro Pick: Remembering & Moving Forward, Yvonne Shortt with Mayuko Fujino+ Joel Esquite + Queens Community
On view through July 11, 2022
MacDonald Park, Queens
The piece is a way to honor those who have died during COVID. It’s also a way to celebrate the community moving forward to make a better world for our youth by taking what we as a community have learned and working together for change. The Afro pick originated over 5,500 years ago in Africa as a way to honor, celebrate, educate, and empower.
Funded by RPGA Studio, Council Member Koslowitz, and ConEd.
Hive Public Space and The Urban Conga, The Ribbon
On view through September 30, 2022
Rafferty Triangle, Queens
This piece is a playful interactive platform that invites you to connect with LIC admirers, contribute a message, and engage with the surrounding space in new ways. It is part of a multisite installation throughout Court Square where kinetic units reveal “love notes” submitted by residents, workers, and visitors.
Lina Montoya and Jodi Dareal, Together We Are New York
On view through October 8, 2022
Skyline Playground, Staten Island
Sundog Theatre partnered with the 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.
About Art in the Parks
For over 50 years, NYC Parks’ Art in the Parks program 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 nyc.gov/parks/art .