Crystal Rose Tower at Phipps Conservatory, 2007 will be on view at Union Square this Fall.

From 14th Street’s Art in Odd Places to Ai WeiWei’s Fences, October is sure to bring a lot of exciting installations that will undoubtably engage viewers in conversation. As if weary from the political storm, however, the month will also include a host of artistic festivities, celebrating femininity, music, the 100th birthday of ‘Dizzy’, and 50-years of art in our parks.

Viewers will marvel at a Rose Crystal Tower going up in Union Square and the Atlas being installed in East Harlem, among other notable works. Fall is kicking off with a colorful and hopeful start with our roundup of 17 not-to-miss installations and exhibits this October:

17. Josh Lehrer: My Shot, Portraits from Hamilton

United Photo Industries will host the photographic exhibit, Josh Lehrer: My Shot, Portraits from Hamilton, a series of photos taken by the acclaimed photographer using an antique camera lens from the mid-1800s (just after Hamilton’s time). The exhibit’s silver gelatin prints of the original Hamilton cast will be on view through November 22 at United Photo Industries, 16 Main Street B, in DUMBO, after a recent showing at Photoville. This exhibit is part of Art in DUMBO October 5th First Thursday Gallery Walk from 6-8pm.

While in DUMBO, visit the exhibit, A Catalog of Difference by artist Andrew Lucia, a study of change across material and perceptual environments, on view at UsagiNY, 163 Plymouth Street through October 28.

16. Atlas: The Third Millennium by Artist, Jorge Luis Rodriguez Coming to East Harlem

Atlas: The Third Millennium by renowned sculpture artist, Jorge Luis Rodriguez, will be installed in Marcus Garvey Park this month. The installation symbolizes the “magnificent multiplicity of Harlem and East Harlem, the cross-section through time of stellar individuals who have called Harlem and East Harlem their home, and those who continue to live, work and contribute to its cultural vibrancy.” The 14-foot tall steel sculpture, in the form of a ‘universe’ of stars, represents and pays homage to actors, writers, musicians, artists, educators, activists, entrepreneurs and leaders  — an entire community, inspiring each other as they face present-day challenges.

The sculpture was constructed entirely out of steel, with six five-foot modules composed of 312 stars that were combined to form a huge orb. The orb is placed on the back and extended arms of a crouched human figure, and sits atop a 7-foot tall column, on a star based plate that spans 5-feet in diameter.

The artist has a forty-year connection with both East Harlem and Harlem: he recently presented four sculptures spread throughout the two locations (through The Public Art Initiative), as well as at the Center for Puerto Rican Studies Library and Archives (CENTRO). His first large-scale, permanent installation, Growth, is the first public work completed by the Percent for Art Program of the New York Department of Cultural Affairs in 1985.

Atlas: The Third Millennium is presented by NYC Parks Art in the Parks, and the Public Art Initiative (a program created by the Marcus Garvey Park Alliance). The installation will be installed in mid-October and on view through August, 2018 in Marcus Garvey Park (the Northeast lawn located near 123rd Streets, on the Madison Avenue side in East Harlem).

15. Trigger: Gender as a Tool and a Weapon at New Museum

The New Museum, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary, continues to explore gender’s place “in contemporary art and culture at a moment of political upheaval and renewed culture wars” in the exhibition Trigger: Gender as a Tool and a Weapon. The exhibit will feature more than 40 artists working in a variety of mediums and genres, from film, video and performance to painting, sculpture, craft and photography. Commissioned performances will include a three-part musical by Morgan Bassichis, live music organized by Simone Leigh, a series of performance-lectures on masculinity by Gregg Bordowitz, and a special three-episode reunion of The Dyke Division’s Room for Cream, the live lesbian soap opera presented at La MaMa theater in New York from 2008 to 2010.

Trigger: Gender as a Tool and a Weapon is curated by Johanna Burton, Keith Haring Director and Curator of Education and Public Engagement, with Natalie Bell, Assistant Curator, and Sara O’Keeffe, Assistant Curator. It will be on view at The New Museum, 235 Bowery, until January 21, 2018.

14. Chihuly’s Rose Crystal Tower Arriving in Union Square

Dale Chihuly’s Rose Crystal Tower will be arriving at Union Square East, near 14th Street this month. The 31-foot tall sculpture, which some believe resembles a stick of pink rock candy, consists of thousands of layers of pink crystals, held together with a glass-like resin. The Rose Crystal Tower itself is 22-feet tall, and will be perched on a nine-foot base. The materials used to create this piece are meant to withstand the harshest of urban elements. Rose Crystal Tower by Dale Chihuly is presented by Union Square Partnership, NYC Parks Department and Marlborough Gallery.

There is still time to view the installation, Chihuly, at the New York Botanical Garden, on view until Sunday, October 29.

13. Katie Merz ‘Brooklyn Glyphs’ @ 80 Flatbush

80 Flatbush Avenue, at the intersection of State Street, 3rd Avenue, and Schermerhorn Street

The proposed mixed-use project by Alloy Development in Downtown Brooklyn, known as 80 Flatbush, may have a construction date several years away, but the current building will speak volumes for the next several years thanks to a collaboration between Brooklyn-based, commissioned artist, Katie Merz, and Brooklyn residents. The artist will work with the community to “compile a rich and diverse dossier of gathered stories and information,” which will spread across the surface of the buildings, from the sidewalk to the top floor, in the form of Merz’s signature black and white hieroglyphs.

When complete, 80 Flatbush will add 700 new school seats between the two new public schools. One of the schools will serve as a replacement facility for the Khalil Gibran International Academy, which is New York City’s first public school focusing on Arabic language and culture. The second school will be a new elementary school. In addition, 80 Flatbush will also include 200 new units of affordable housing and 700 new units of market rate housing, 200,000 square feet of office space and 40,000 square feet of neighborhood retail space. The highlight of the project will be the preservation and adaptive reuse of two historic structures, and the repositioning of one of the historic buildings into a 15,000-square-foot cultural space.

If you can’t stop by and say “Hi,” you can follow the 80 Flatbush Mural, The Brooklyn Glyphs, on Instagram. If you have a Brooklyn story to share, post it with the hashtage #mystory80, and make sure to follow the artist at Katie Merz.

12. Art in Odd Places 2017: SENSE

This year, Art in Odd Places (AIOP) presents SENSE: with its staged, provocative works of interactive art, it’s welcoming gestures that awaken “dormant perceptions within individual pedestrians, and arouse one-on-one or group synergies that promote sighting, feeling and self-healing.” The public performances will take place from Thursday, October 12 through Sunday, October 15, along 14th Street from Avenue C to the Hudson River, with a festival reception on Sunday, October 13 on 14th Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues.

Art in Odd Places: SENSE is curated by Nicolás Dumit Estévez Raful – with Rocío Aranda (El Museo) and Jodi Waynberg (Artists Alliance Inc)

11. Word on the Street in Times Square

Times Square Arts and House of Trees have joined together to bring political and poetic signage to the streets of New York in the current installation, Word on the Street. The signage, which is displayed on street pole banners and trash receptacles, is produced by female international artists in collaboration with female refugee fabricators based in Texas. The installation showcases quotes as part of an “ongoing Public Art Protest Initiative” celebrating free speech, encouraging social action and emphasizing the “requirements of citizenry.” Notable artists and writers participating in the project, include Anne Carson, Amy Khoshbin, Carrie Mae Weems, and Wangechi Mutu.

Word on the Street, part of Times Square Arts, will be on view to February, 2018.

10. Geostories: Another Architecture for the Environment at Cooper Union

Reconsidering climate change through a manifesto on the environmental imagination, The Cooper Union presents the exhibition, Geostories: Another Architecture for the Environment. The exhibition brings together four speculative research projects by Design Earth that visualize climate change on a planetary scale.

Thirty-three large-scale drawings “consider a series of environmental questions and fictional interpretations of their answers from a physical, economical, and representational point of view,” says Rania Ghosn (Architect, Design Earth). This Design Earth project, led by Ghosen and Jazairy, is presented at The Cooper Union for the first time after being on view at the Venice Architecture Biennale, Oslo Architecture Triennial, Sharjah Biennial, and Seoul Biennale.

Questions raised within the exhibition truly run the gamut: from issues regarding energy use to crises in our oceans and topics focused on the geography of the Persian Gulf’s Das Island (extraction), the Strait of Hormuz (transit logistics) and Bubiyan Island (climate change).

The exhibit, Geostories: Another Architecture for the Environment is presented in association with Archtober 2017, Architecture and Design Month by The Cooper Union, and will be on view from October 17 through December 2, 2017 at The Cooper Union, Arthur A. Houghton Jr. Gallery, 2nd Floor at 7 East 7th Street, between Third and Fourth Avenues. An Opening Reception will be held on Tuesday, October 17 at 6:30pm. Free and open to the public.

9. Education is Not A Crime Celebrates Dizzy at 100

From L-R, Artist Brandan Odums (@BMIKE) ~ Artist Marthalicia Matarrita (@Marthalicia)

Over the years, Education is Not A Crime has created various art campaigns to bring to light the plight of those banned from higher studies in Iran due to their beliefs. Once again, #NotACrime, and the curator and producer of this project, Street Art Anarchy, have arrived in Harlem. This year’s mural is completed in time for the 72nd regular session of the UN General Assembly, which will focus on the theme: “Focusing on People: Striving for Peace and a Decent Life for All on a Sustainable Planet.”

@BMIKE, or Brandan Odums (from New Orleans) of Studio Be, created one of the five-story murals of a young Dizzy. The bottom part of his mural (with the yellow background) is filled with signatures from people in the neighborhood, as well as images based on the album cover for “Gene Norman Presents Dizzy Gillespie in Concert.” In addition to his website, you can also follow Brandan Odums on Instagram.

Harlem-based artist Marthalicia Matarrita’s five-story mural features Dizzy surrounded by a sea of clouds. In keeping with the #NotACrime tradition, she included images of children in a classroom setting. You might recognize her name from her Black Vulture mural, painted as part of the Audubon Mural Project (2014). She was also a participant in the Harlem Arts Festival, the Heath Gallery/Public Art Initiative, among other exhibits and projects. You can follow Marthalicia on Instagram.

The double Dizzy Murals by #NotACrime can be found at 229 West 135th Street between Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd and Frederick Douglass Blvd, North side of the street. The unveiling and celebration will be held on the day of his birth, October 21st. Continue to follow #EducationIsNotACrime on Facebook.

8. National Geographic Brings ‘Encounter: Ocean Odyssey’ to Times Square

National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey will be opening in Times Square on Friday, October 6. The installation is an immersive entertainment experience that will transport audiences to a “breathtaking undersea journey from the South Pacific across the ocean to the west coast of North America.” Viewers will go “on a digital ‘underwater’ dive, and come face-to-face with life-size photo-real versions of some of the largest and most interesting creatures of the sea,” including sharks up to 20-feet long, a 50-foot Humpback whale, playful sea lions, and a pair of battling Humboldt squids, which could have as many as 40,000 teeth each!

A world-class team of creators and producers have been collaborated for this project, including the design firm and visual effects team (Falcon’s Creative Group) behind the Game of Thrones. National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey will be on view at 226 West 44th Street, between Seventh and Eighth Avenues, Times Square. Follow it on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

7. Ai Weiwei Builds ‘Good Fences Make Good Neighbors’ with The Public Art Fund

The Washington Square Park installation would feature a 16-ft-high opening in the outline of two embracing people. Rendering via Frahm & Frahm

Inspired by the current immigration crisis in the United States and around the world, the well-known, Chinese-born artist, Ai Weiwei, will erect fences that symbolize a ‘gateway to the United States’ for millions of immigrants. The multi-site project, entitled Good Fences Make Good Neighbors, will include installations in 300 locations throughout the five boroughs — in both iconic and historic places, in addition to rooftops and bus shelters.

The largest installations will be at the Doris C. Freedman Plaza (a large walk-in cage), Flushing Meadows Corona Park and under the Washington Square Park Arch, where a controversial 50-foot cage will displace the Park’s 45-foot Christmas tree this season. Smaller interventions will be featured at the Essex Street Market; the building at 48 East 7th Street, where WeiWei lived in the 1980s; on the rooftops at 189 Chrystie Street and 248 Bowery, and on the north facade of Cooper Union at Astor Place, just to name a few. In addition, 200 lamppost banners will feature portraits of immigrants and images will be displayed on LinkNYC kiosks. With the intention of keeping this topic front and center, Good Fences will overwhelm our five boroughs with the “physical manifestation and metaphorical expression of division.”

Good Fences Make Good Neighbors, part of the Public Art Fund 40th Anniversary, will be on view from October 12, 2017 to February 11, 2018.

6. Rob Fischer installs ‘City, 2017’ on Park Avenue

The site-specific installation, City, 2017, by Brooklyn-based artist, Rob Fischer, is a glorious combination of his work in every medium. Known for his glass houses/boats and glass renderings of everyday objects like luggage and backpacks, the colorful, boxed-glass installation seems quite fitting set in front of the Lever House glass skyscraper on Park Avenue at 54th Street. The multifaceted installation combines glass, steel, screen print ink, acrylic and latex paint, cast aluminum, furniture, tree stumps, moss, water, construction adhesive, and silicone. Rob Fischer ‘City, 2017’ will be on view through November 15, 2017. This installation is presented by The Fund for Park Avenue, NYC Parks, and Derek Eller Gallery.

5. Live at the Archway: Oktoberfest in DUMBO

On October 6 at 5:00pm, and again on October 7, The DUMBO Archway will be transformed into a traditional German Beer Hall to celebrate, Live at the Archway: Oktoberfest. The two-evening event will be filled with arts and crafts, food and themed-entertainment, including performances by Melina and the Oompahs and classic polka favorites. An Oktoberfest menu of pretzels, brats, sauerkraut and the like will be served by the Lighthouse each day. And what would Oktoberfest be without Beer? It will be served in limited edition DUMBO Oktoberfest beer steins “by lederhosen-wearing bartenders.”

Live at the Archway Oktoberfest will be held on October 6 and 7 beginning at 5:00pm. The DUMBO Archway is located under the Manhattan Bridge, on Water Street between Anchorage Place and Adams Street.

4. Hell Gate Cairns in Riverside Park

The installation, Hell Gate Cairns, by artist Samantha Holmes is on view in Riverside Park South, near 66th Street. The sculptures are comprised of a series of stacked stone pillars, or cairns, that “stand watch over the western coastline of Riverside Park.” The artist brings attention to her choice of material, boulders, which were remnants of the great earth moving projects of the 20th century “that cleared the city’s waterways, including the perilous Hell Gate.” The cairns are a symbol of the ancient sign of treacherous waters, and their vertical placement is a symbol of the skyline. Hell Gate Cairns will be on view to August 11, 2018.

3. Color Me America at Federal Hall

Mel Ziegler’s A Living Thing: Flag Exchange opened on September 6, 2017 in New York City’s historic Federal Hall. Curated by Hesse McGraw, the show features hanging U.S. flags from public and private locations like schools, homes, and hospitals. From 2011 to 2016, Ziegler traveled all over the country to collect the flags from all 50 states. Each has its respective state name embroidered onto it. The exhibition perfectly encapsulates the spectrum of our allegiance to the American flag and the various meanings people ascribe to it.

The exhibition’s location in Federal Hall — the United States’ first capitol building under the newly minted Constitution, where George Washington was inaugurated in 1789 — makes a powerful statement. Mel Ziegler’s A Living Thing: Flag Exchange is located at 26 Wall Street, in Manhattan’s Financial District, and will be on view through November 10, 2017.

2.  #XOLA = Stay in Peace Mural in Tribeca

The new Department of Transportation (DOT) Mural, #XOLA (Stay in Peace), is a colorful representation of feminine energy. The artist, Imani Shaklin Roberts, hailing from Washington, D.C. and now based in New York, creates work that focuses on her own exploration of African-American femininity, sexuality and identity. The mural, which spans two-lanes in Tribeca, on Franklin Street and West Broadway, represents the South African iconic figure, Ndebele artist, Esther Mahlangu, who has been painting for 70 years.

1.  Art in the Parks: Celebrating 50 Years with ‘It’s Happening! Festival’

We end the roundup this month with New York City Art in the Parks: Celebrating 50 Years ~ It’s Happening Festival ~ which takes place on October 21st at East Pinetum Field in Central Park. The celebration will transform Central Park into a stage, museum, and art studio for a free day of public events, including performances and workshops from 11am to 3pm (enter at East 84th Street, behind the Metropolitan Museum of Art). Since it began in 1967, Art in the Parks has featured over 2,000 works of art.

Check out 21 Must Visit Spots in Chelsea. Take a Walking Tour of New York Art Deco Architecture, or Tour the Remnants of Gritty Old Times Square. Get in touch with the author at AFineLyne.

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