dachal-choi-and-matthew-suen-for-socrates-sculpture-park-untapped-cities-afinelyneAQ625: Site on the Move by artists Dachal Choi and Mathew Suen. Image via Socrates Sculpture Park

October is filled with fantasy, from outdoor installations in Socrates Sculpture Park to a miniature Redwood forest growing in Brooklyn. As we fantasize about how we would change our landscape in a growing city, our imaginations take us far away to a Fancy Animal Carnival. In our artistic travels, which will take us from the Bronx, through Manhattan, to Brooklyn, we will stop at a historic chess club for a photographic view of life in Uganda, and finally step onto a restored 131 year old ship returning to the South Street Seaport. Here are 12 installations and exhibits not to miss this October.

12. Christopher Walken and More in The Socrates Sculpture Garden

bryan-zanisnik-for-socrates-sculpture-garden-untapped-cities-afinelyneMonument to Walken by artist Bryan Zanisnik

Did you know that the actor Christopher Walken was born in Astoria, Queens? The artist Bryan Zanisnik did, and created an entire installation entitled Monument to Walken, featuring 10 heads of Walken and a comic that chronicles Mr. Walken’s adventures in the park and his history in the neighborhood.

The annual Emerging Artist Fellowship Exhibition (DAF) at Socrates Sculpture Park has opened.  The fifteen emerging artists were chosen from an open call process that attracted hundreds of candidates, and reviewed by the park’s 2016 curatorial advisors, Larissa Harris (Curator, Queens Museum, and Amanda Hunt, Assistant Curator, Studio Museum in Harlem. They will be exhibiting their work from September 25, 2016 to March 13, 2017.

At the opening of this article the floating Socrates Sculpture Park, high above the city, is part of AQ625:Site on the Move, a web-based project by Dachal Choi and Mathew Suen. The billboard works in conjunction with a working website that hosts a series of six artist projects.

For images of each of the fifteen winning artists see this follow up article.

11. A Mini Redwood Forest Grows in Downtown Brooklyn


A living micro forest representing 790 acres of the Redwood National Park in California will be on view at MetroTech on October 1st. The exhibit, Spencer Finch: Lost Man’s Creek, is a partnership between The Public Art Fund, and developer Forest City Ratner Companies. Save the Redwoods League provided critical data to Finch for the construction of the model. This will be the longest running Public Art Fund installation to date, on view through May 13, 2018. Spencer Finch: Lost Man’s Creek will be located at 1 MetroTech Center in Brooklyn.

10. unSeen Green at Green-Wood Cemetery

The interior and exterior of Green-Wood Cemetery Chapel will be criss-crossed with hundreds of pink parachute cords for a two week site-specific installation by Brooklyn artist Aaron Asis from October 5 to 20. This is just one of many interventions Asis will be performing on the “lesser appreciated elements” of the National Historic Landmark cemetery over the course of nine months, in a project entitled “unSeen Green.” According to the Green-Wood Historic Fund, the aim is to celebrate these locations within the cemetery as “places of both memorialization and of public congregation” and to juxtapose the “seen and the un-seen.”

9. Storefront for Art and Architecture Is Literally A Work in Progress


The space occupied by Storefront for Art and Architecture has itself succumbed to our city’s current construction boom. A green construction fence will enclose the Storefront’s gallery, with a new exhibit on the scaffolding walls and inside the organization’s normal space depicting alternative visions of ongoing construction sites throughout New York City. The exhibit, entitled “Work in Progress” portrays new landscapes that invites the viewer to think about our growing city. This photographic survey will be on view through October 22, 2016, located at 97 Kenmore Street.

8. Enter Off-Limits Locations in the Historic Wavertree Ship at South Street Seaport


South Street Seaport has a beautiful new resident. It is the historic sailing vessel, Wavertree. Built in 1885, the Wavertree arrived in New York City ten years later, en route to Calcutta. The ship was acquired by the South Street Seaport Museum in 1968 and recently underwent a major renovation. Untapped Cities toured the ship, and would like to bring you along on our next tour of Wavertree, where you will view not only the officer’s accommodations, captain’s cabin and saloon, but also a part of the ship generally off-limited to the public, the immense hull:


Sign up for advance notice of this behind the scenes tour here:

7. A Fancy Animal Carnival at the Garment District Plaza


Eleven large-scale, colorful sculptures entitled A Fancy Animal Carnival are now along the Broadway Pedestrian Plaza in the Garment District. Created by Taiwanese artist Hung Yin, the whimsical sculptures reflect folk culture as well as region, and represent a narrative expressed through traditional Taiwanese symbols, which are believed to bring luck. They also represent the artist’s view of everyday life. A Fancy Animal Carnival is produced in collaboration with The Garment District Alliance, Emmanual Fremin Gallery, InSian Gallery Taiwan, Orangenius, and the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT). The installation will be on view through April 2017 and can be found on Broadway between 37th Street and 41st Street.

6. Bronx Tracks Street Art Installation at Railroad Park in the Bronx

Inspired by French muralist Nelio, the site-specific Bronx Tracks was created by artist Diana Perea to run alongside the courthouse center at Morris Avenue, and the less trafficked blocks running to Elton Avenue. The large-scale, and colorful installation was designed to create a more pedestrian-friendly experience, and was installed by a team of young DreamYard artists along with volunteers. Entitled Bronx Tracks, the mural is present by WHEDco and The DreamYard Project, in partnership with the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), and will be on view to July, 2017. The mural is located at Railroad Park and East 161st Street in the South Bronx.

5. Behold the Giant Grocery Shopping List on Fifth Avenue

public art fund 59th st

We all live by our lists of things to do, and The Public Art Fund, has memorialized that fact in the installation David Shrigley: MEMORIAL at the Doris C. Freeman Plaza. MEMORIAL explores the historical significance of both the granite public monument and the mundane act of making a grocery list in the comedic 17 foot by 7 foot installation. Associated programming at The New School will take place this Fall. David Shrigley: MEMORIAL is curated by Emma Enderby and will be on view at The Doris C. Freeman Plaza, Fifth Avenue at 59th Street, through February 12, 2017.

4. The Christa Project: Manifesting Divine Bodies at St. John the Divine

Keith Haring at St John the DivineThe Life of Christ by Keith Haring was a gift to the Cathedral by the Keith Haring Foundation

In 1984, the sculpture Christa was displayed in the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, surrounded by great controversy about the sexualized bronze portraying Christ’s body as female. The artist, Edwina Sandys intention was to allow all people to see themselves fully represented. St John the Divine will bring Christa back to the Cathedral, alongside the works of twenty-one contemporary artists, exploring symbolism, art and rituals associated with the historic concept of the Christ image, manifested in each and every person, crossing genders, race, ethnicities, sexual orientation and abilities. In addition, a choreographed series of performances, many in collaboration with poets and musicians, will be part of the related programming, along with workshops and panel discussions.

St. John the Divine is known for not only their extraordinary art installations, but also for their permanent collection, which includes The Life of Christ by Keith Haring (above), permanently located in the Chapel of Saint Columba. This was the last sculpture piece created by the artist before his death in 1990. It was gifted to the Cathedral by the Keith Haring Foundation.

The exhibit Christa will be on view from October 6, 2016 through March 12, 2017.  The Cathedral of St. John the Divine is located at 1047 Amsterdam Avenue at 112th Street.

3. “Beauties” Bloom in the Iconic Grace Building

at the W R Grace Building

Beauties created by artist John Monti in the lobby of the Grace building

The marble lobby of the iconic Grace building on 42nd Street has turned into a playful garden of colorful flowers. The new installation, entitled Beauties, is a site-specific cluster of seven sculptures created by artist John Monti and presented by Arts Brookfield. The installation will be on view through November 11 at the Grace building, located at 1114 Avenue of the Americas, on 42nd Street.

2. Into The Human Light: Uganda Exhibit at Marshall Chess Club

dora-leticia-martinez-documentary-untapped-cities-afinelyneGarden-level room set up for tournaments, with exhibit lining the walls

The documentary photographer and filmmaker, Dora Leica Martinez worked for more than three years to create the new exhibit entitled Into The Human Light: Uganda. Through her photographs, she documents the Smart Girl Chess Program in Uganda as well as the human struggle of everyday life for the children and their families in their villages. The exhibit, Into The Human Light: Uganda is on view at The Marshall Chess Club, 23 West 10th Street, through October 14, 2016.

1. Crossroads, A Series of Paintings Arrive at the Kaufman Arcade Building

Crossroads, a series of paintings created by Italian artist Umberto Squarcia Jr. is now on exhibit at the Kaufman Arcade building. Through his work, Squarcia hopes to show the viewer the intricate pathways and crossings that humanity faces every day. His work symbolizes how choices are made, how people meet, opportunities arise, luck changes and destinies collide. The paintings feature monochromatic paint layers on reclaimed wood. Crossroads is presented by the Garment District Alliance and will be on view through November 11. This is a free exhibit, located at the Kaufman Arcade building, 132 West 36th Street.

Next, check out more outdoor art installations from September that are still up. Join us for an upcoming behind the scenes Untapped Cities Tour. You can contact the author at AFineLyne.