This summer, artists have been hard at work addressing social issues through art in New York City’s parks, on walls, and even on lamp posts. September brings a host of new works: The Studio Museum extends outside of its walls in Harlem to bring site-specific art installations to four parks from 113th Street to 145th Street. We hunted down glass pigeons on lamp posts throughout Brooklyn and Manhattan, works which harken to those of Mosaic Man, who also recently brought back his work to the East Village, and checked out mural works throughout the city.
Here are 12 outdoor art installations not to miss in September:
The Spring 1956 Edition of The Negro Travelers’ Green Book via The University Libraries Digital Collection
Whether traveling to a National Park or just driving down to the shore, road trips are an integral part of American culture. However, during the age of Jim Crow, African American travelers faced insurmountable hardships when trying to plan their road trips. In order to publicize the discrimination he faced and to help his fellow African American travelers, Victor Hugo Green published. The Negro Travelers’ Green Book (also known as The Negro Travelers’ Green Book or just The Green Book). The Green Book was published between 1936 and 1964 in order to provide African Americans a list of establishments in which they were welcome.
As Green was from Harlem, the book was originally New York focused, but eventually included much of North America. While the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Heart of Atlanta Motel Supreme Court case made the book obsolete, the locations listed still possess incredible historical meaning.
Listed below are five New York City sites that were welcoming to African American travelers in an age when that was revolutionary.
TatsCru at work on mural for #NotACrime Mural Project
In an effort to raise awareness about human rights abuses, religious persecution, and denied access to higher education, the organization Education is Not A Crime will be putting this agenda front and center when the President of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, arrives in the United States for the United Nations General Assembly meeting on September 13. The campaign, known in social-media as #NotACrime, will be comprised of fifteen murals painted on walls all over Harlem and East Harlem.
The murals are curated by the New York based group, Street Art Anarchy, in partnership with the #NotACrime campaign, and have brought to this project street artists from all over the World, as well as renowned artists in our own backyard – with names like TatsCru, Astro, Franco the Great, Alexandre Keto, Ricky Lee Gordon, Rone, and Elle.
The Victoria Theatre, photo taken on July 29, 2016, a day after the fire
Last week, a fire erupted inside the historic Victoria Theatre on 125th Street in Harlem. The fire, which began on the first floor, quickly spread to the third floor. Preservationists held their collective breath for a building which began life in October of 1917. Designed by architect Thomas W. Lamb, it was said to be one of the largest and most beautiful theaters in the New York area, built at a cost of $250,000 with a seating capacity of over 2,400.
Photo via Flickr/John Keefe/WNYC
As New York City grew and developed in its earliest years, several cemeteries became iconic public grounds. In many cases, the removal of burial sites that contained the bodies of African Americans erased the unpleasant and violent history of a city built on slave labor. In the past twenty years, at least three New York City sites were discovered to have been African burial grounds where slaves were exclusively buried.