August is heating up with artists embracing the current political climate, the urban environment, providing a means of escape, and more. From an artist-designed pop-up pool to a celebration of 50 years of art in the parks, to community driven art pieces, there is something for everyone this last month of summer.

Here are 19 outdoor installations not to miss in New York City this month:

19.Treasure the Green Arrives on Broadway in Soho


The SoHo Broadway Initiative
 and NYC DOT Art will unveil the installation, Treasure the Green, by SoHo-based artist Zigi Ben-Haim on August 9th at 11:30am. This site-specific installation is located on the Broadway bus bulb between Grand Street and Howard Street, on Broadway.

Treasure the Green was inspired by the artist’s experiences living in SoHo for over 40 years, and was fabricated in a studio just around the corner from the exhibit site. It symbolizes how little green space there is in this neighborhood. The leaf as a symbol has also been used in Ben-Haim’s work for the past 30 years, bringing attention to the importance of nature in everyday life. Treasure the Green will be on view through June, 2018.

18. NYC’s Colorful Pop Up Pools


Photo courtesy Manhattan Park Pool Party by Tim Williams

If you haven’t been to visit some of the city’s artistic, colorful pop-up pool yet, August is the month to get out there! The Manhattan Park Pool on Roosevelt Island, is one of our favorites, sporting new designs each year by a different artist. Two years ago, HOT TEA created a psychedelic, fluorescent ombre pattern and last year Andrew Farris went for a subtler, pastel concoction. This year, artist Gregg Emery has added more figurative flourishes with the work entitled “Waves of Roosevelt Island,” covering the 8,000 square foot pool and deck.

The Brooklyn Bridge Park Pool is another colorful pop-up pool to check out, designed by Marc Gordon of Spacesmith.

17. Art in the Parks: Celebrating 50 Years

Since Art in the Parks was created in 1967, the public has viewed over 2,000 installations in all five boroughs. Some of the installations as notable as Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s The Gates in Central Park, and Alexander Calder’s mobiles, bringing more people to our parks than ever before and initiating additional park activities like free summer movies, outdoor fitness, music, plays and even camping. Taking advantage of technology, NYC Parks added Periscope, an educational virtual ‘walk in the park.’

Now celebrating 50 years of Art in the Park, New York City Parks has scheduled events all summer long, leading up to the October 21st anniversary event, which will be the day that Central Park is transformed into “a stage, museum, and art studio for a free day of public art to celebrate this milestone.”  As part of the summer-long activities, and in celebration of the Rockaway installation On the Rock 2017,  the public is invited to bring a camera and take part in Sunset Photography with John J. Grillo. This free event will take place on August 17th from 7:00-8:30pm, meeting at Bungalow Bar, 377 Beach 92 Street, Rockaway.

16. Mulberry Street Gang Exhibit in an Empty Houston Street Lot

We love finding quirky pop-up exhibits in New York City, and we were recently excited to discover one in an empty lot at 49 East Houston Street. The exhibit, created by Steve Stollman, is small but honors something big—people who have shown bravery in challenging some of the most pressing social and political issues of their times.

The exhibit will be there until September 15, honoring the “Mulberry Street Gang” consisting of Jacob RiisTeddy RooseveltNikola TeslaMark Twain, and Joseph Keppler (founder of the barrier-breaking, satirical Puck magazine).

15. LUMEN at MoMA PS1

The Young Architects Program winner for 2017 is LUMEN, a structure by Jenny Sabin Studio which adapts to heat and sunlight. The one-million yards of digitally knitted fiber that make up the canopy display photo-luminescent color under sunlight and emit glowing light after sundown.

LUMEN, which will serve as the setting for the 20th season of Warm Up (outdoor music series), “applies insights and theories from biology, materials science, mathematics, and engineering — integrating high-performing, formfitting, and adaptive materials into a structure where code, pattern, human interaction, environment, geometry, and matter operate together.” LUMEN will be on view at MoMA PS1 until September 4, 2017.

14. “Battle for the Ballot” Exhibit at Governors Island Honors 100 Years of Women’s Suffrage

Image courtesy of Rugan Lewis via the New-York Historical Society

As a part of of the New-York Historical Society‘s Centennial Summera museum-wide series of free events presented in conjunction with exhibitions, films, and programs commemorating 1917– Governors Island is hosting an exhibit called “Battle for the Ballot” to celebrate the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage. Every Saturday and Sunday from now until October 1, 2017, visitors can view this teen-curated, satellite exhibition in the Patricia D. Klingenstein Library to see historic artifacts and reproductions of art from the women’s suffrage movement.

13. ArtBuilt, Studio in the Park: What is Wild

Studio in the Park 2016-Nathan Kensinger Chance Ecologies Flushing River-NYCPhotos via Queens Museum

The fifth residency of the Studio in the Park at Flushing Meadows Corona Park is titled, What is Wild, a collective nature documentary project, primarily involving youth. With a focus on the question, What is Wild, the project moves toward gathering a collective perspective on the natural plant-life and wildlife within this specific park, and how it connects all of us, regardless of who we are, and exhibits how accessible nature is to all.

The residency takes place in a 150 square foot mobile studio situated adjacent to the Queens Museum in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. The Studio in the Park residency is presented by ArtBuilt and the Queens Museum. ArtBuilt, Studio in the Park: What is Wild will be on view to August 15, 2017.

12. Creative Time’s New Flag of Allegiance

This summer, Creative Time launched the program, Pledges of Allegiance, with sixteen artists creating sixteen flags portraying a cause worth fighting for. The first in the series, hoisted above the Creative Time Headquarters in June, was the flag entitled RESIST by artist, Marilyn Mintner, with the same flag also flying above 67 Hudson Street (facing the Freedom Tower) and on the campus at the University of South Florida’s Contemporary Art Museum in Tampa. In July, the flag Dignity Has No Nationality by artist Tania Bruguera is flying at the same three locations, and August will bring a new flag.

The project hopes to advance discussion on targeted issues of particular concern in our current political climate. Share your photos each month with the hashtag #PledgesOfAllegiance, or by tagging @CreativeTimeNYC.

11. On the Rock 2017 at Rockaway Beach

On the Rock 2017: An Exhibition of Sculpture is a group exhibition comprised of 16 sculptures, created by 15 artists at 14 sites adjacent to the newly completed boardwalk on Shore Front Parkway. Celebrating the spirit and beauty of the Rockaways, the exhibition runs from Beach 73 Street to Beach 108th Street.

On the Rock 2017 is presented by 14 Sculptors Inc. with support from the Queens Council on the Arts, in partnership with the City Council and with public funds from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. The event, “Carmen and Laura Frank’s Life in the Rockaways and Rockaways history” on Wednesday, August 23rd is part of the On the Rock Lecture Series. This multimedia presentation will be led by Rockaway historians Marty Nislick and James Supple, highlighting Carmen and Laura Frank’s sculpture Life in the Rockaways, which is part of the On the Rock 2017 exhibition.

The installations will be on view until October 9, 2017, with events, special programs and tours each month, all free to the public

10. Scatter My Balloons at Bergdorf’s

Scatter My Balloons at Bergdorf’s: A Beautiful Balloon Instation will arrive at Bergdorf Goodman August 5th. The window installation of ceramic balloons are the creation of Israeli artist, Sivan Sternbach, who has been sculpting ceramic balloons at her studio in Tel Aviv for notable recipients for the past six years. Sternbach, who was born in New York but moved to Israel with her family when she was seven, was so taken with the documentary “Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s,” about the iconic New York City department store, that she contacted Bergdorf’s long-time senior director for visual presentation about an installation.

Sivan Sternbach will showcase about 100 ceramic balloons in different shapes and colors, plus an installation titled “A Pile of Four Balloons” which will feature four gigantic balloons made of fiberglass. Scatter My Balloons at Bergdorf’s: A Beautiful Balloon will be on view beginning August 5th. Bergdorf Goodman is located at 754 Fifth Avenue at 57th/58th Street.

9. Brooklyn’s OY/YO Sculpture Returns

Photo courtesy of Douglaston Development

Yo Brooklyn! The installation OY/YO by artist Deborah Kass is back. This time at the Williamsburg Waterfront. OY/YO was installed at the esplanade, built by Douglaston Development in collaboration with the New York City Department of City Planning and New York City Parks, at the North 5th Street Pier. Brooklynites will see the installation as OY/YO with Manhattan in the background, and Manhattanites can see the installation from some skyscrapers, where it will read YO/OY with Brooklyn in the background. OY/YO will be on view to July, 2018.

8. One Map of Many Moments in Fort Greene Park, Brooklyn

One Map of Many Moments is a community generated project, transforming trash into art by using broken glass shards collected from Fort Greene Park and creating a mosaic map in the park. This was an interactive project, beginning with drawings from park visitors, which included favorite park activities and historic park figures.

The map highlights the role of community in preserving urban green spaces, showing what park goers find most important in their local park. The exhibition, One Map of Many Moments, is presented by the Fort Greene Park Conservancy, and will be on view to May 25, 2018.

7. Divergence in Cuyler Gore Park, Brooklyn

Divergence by artist William Soltis is an experiment with human form. The welded metal structure portrays both positive and negative relationships, along with the “interplay between the figure and a sculptural environment.” The installation is located in a “gore”, which is a small triangular park – and part of the name of the park housing Divergence, Cuyler Gore Park, which has a history dating back to 1845, when the western portion of this gore was purchased by the City of Brooklyn for one dollar. It is one of several gore parks that are part of the New York City Parks Department.

Divergence will be on view to October 31, 2017. Cuyler Gore Park is located at the intersection of Carlton Avenue, Fulton Street, and Green Avenue in Brooklyn.

6. Rene at Valentino Pier, Brooklyn

The installation entitled Rene in Red Hook, Brooklyn by artist Jacob Farber brings a powerful message to not only that particular community, but also to all communities who are feeling forgotten, as their neighborhoods develop. The installation is composed of scrap wood found in Gowanus, formed into an exhibit with the intention of engaging conversation related to sustainability and usefulness. It references businesses and artists forced out by neighborhood change. The name Rene relates to “finding a voice, being found, and through cooperation and collaboration, being reborn.”

Rene will be on view from August 13, 2017 at Louis Valentino Jr. Park and Pier, Ferris and Coffey Streets, Brooklyn.

5. Neighborhood Stories in Rainey Park, Queens

Inspired by the artwork of Romare Bearden, Red Grooms, and Faith Ringgold, children at the Sunnyside Community Services at Woodside Housing, led by artist Penelope Eleni, created the installation titled, Neighborhood Stories. The ceramic tiles, which are made up of images of city scenes, were initiated through a series of children’s art workshops. They now flank iron columns at the entrance to Rainey Park.

The exhibition is presented by The Friends of Astoria Heights Park, with support from Sunnyside Community Center at Woodside Houses, and will be on view to November 2017. Rainey Park is located on Vernon Boulevard, between 33 Road and 34 Avenue.

4.  New York Talking Statues

The much anticipated project, New York Talking Statues, has arrived, beginning its conversation at the New York Historical Society in early July. The project, which originated with David Peter Fox in Copenhagen, allows 35 famous New York statues to project their story through the use of smartphone technology. Next to each statue is a sign with a QR code, which can be scanned by smartphone, allowing for a download to activate.

Each recording was written by a modern author, and voiced by an actor, and can be heard in a variety of languages. Each statue was chosen based on how pertinent the historical figure was to New York City culture, highlighting immigrants who have made enormous contributions to this city.

3. Once Upon a Plaza in Times Square

Once Upon a Plaza, by artist Aman Mojadidi, is a timely, interactive installation addressing issues and concerns of immigration from fellow New Yorkers. According to the Pew Research Center, by the year 2065, one in three Americans will be an immigrant or will have grown up with immigrant parents. In the installation, Once Upon a Plaza, viewers are invited to step into one of three repurposed telephone booths, pick up the receiver and listen to personal stories — oral histories of immigrants living in New York. Written histories can be found in phone books attached to each booth, giving more information about the storytellers. in total, rhere are 70 different stories that last between two and 15 minutes.

Once Upon a Plaza was commissioned by and created in residence with Times Square Arts, and is located in Times Square at Duffy Square, 46th Street and Seventh Avenue. The installation will be on view until September 5, 2017.

2. Sea Paddles, Part of Arsenal Gallery Plant Patterns Exhibit in Central Park

The outdoor installation, Sea Paddles, was created in conjunction with Arsenal Gallery’s current exhibit, Plant Patterns. The colorful, painted, large sculptures are the work of artists Adam Frezza and Terri Chiao, and are a pulp/paper versions of their installation at this year’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.

Along with its indoor counterpart exhibit, Sea Paddles will be on view in the Arsenal Gallery garden bed, across from the Central Park Zoo, until September 1, 2017. The Gallery is located at Fifth Avenue and 64th Street. Frezza and Chiao also have exhibits inside the Plant Patterns show.

1. Prismatic Park at Madison Square Park

Three large, painted wood, and prismatic glass sculptures entitled Prismatic Park, created by artist Josiah McElheny are in Madison Square Park. The large-format, curved forms not only create new spaces, but also serve as vessels for “curvilinear, translucent blue sound walls for experimental music, a circular, reflective green floor for vanguard dance, and a vaulted-roofed luminous red and yellow pavilion for poetry.” The three open-form structures with stage-like platforms come into play for the collaborating choreographers, dancers, musicians, and poets, who are associated with three nonprofit art organizations based in New York. Artists from Blank FormsDanspace Project, and Poets House will be performing all summer.

McElheny is encouraging the artists to also use the space for rehearsals, or impromptu workshops. This interactive installation also invites the public to get creative, share their “unique voice” in the way that historically our public parks have become important political stages. Since the park welcomes more than 60,000 daily visitors, expect to see a lot of talent. This is the thirty-fourth art installation by Madison Square Park Conservancy. Prismatic Park by artist, Josiah McElheny will be on view to October 8, 2017.

Many of the art installations from June and July are still on view. Take a Central Park Walking Tour during this 50th Anniversary of Art in the Park. Get in touch with the author at AFineLyne.

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