Photo by Tim Williams, courtesy of Pliskin Architecture

Summer 2018 is in full swing and this may be the most comprehensive month of outdoor art installations launching we’ve seen in New York City ever. So much so, you’d need to visit more than one a day to catch them all! This month, art installations will take you all over the five boroughs and to many of the city’s islands. The works will entice all of your senses, with numerous sound installations and events that combine food, visual art, and sound. Discover them starting here!

1. Artifact Walk in New Domino Park

Photo by Daniel Levin, courtesy of Domino Park.

Domino Park will open on June 10th to the public and one of the highlights is the Artifact Walk, which features over 30 large-scale, hand-picked pieces of salvaged factory machinery from the Domino factory complex that are now placed along the waterfront. The walk “acts as a threshold and entrance. It’s a gesture to get people to inquire about the history of the place,” says landscape architect Lisa Switkin of James Corner Field Operations.

Starting from the south side of the park, a bucket conveyer will greet visitors, followed by four blue syrup tanks with a rusting patina, then a series of screw convertors which shown abstractly look like a public art installation, mooring bollards and finally two teal cranes which rise above the elevated catwalk.

On opening day, you can take a tour of the new Domino Park for free, led by Untapped Cities in partnership with Two Trees from 12 – 4 PM. The tour will run every hour from 12:30 PM on. There are no advance reservations but you can join the tour if spots are available in person! See photos of the construction of Domino Park here.

2. Capture Your Freedom Photo Exhibition at Four Freedoms Park

Courtesy of Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park, © Iwan Baan

Four Freedoms Park Conservancy will launch Capture Your Freedom, the Conservancy’s very first on-site photography exhibit at FDR Four Freedoms Park starting on June 14th. The photographs, all original works submitted to the Conservancy’s photo contest by photographers of all skill levels from around the world, will be displayed on four large-scale cubes that each represent one of the four freedoms: freedom of speech & expression, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear.

Join Untapped Cities Insiders to get free tickets to the opening party on June 14th. Take in the stunning views of Manhattan and Queens from the waterfront park with beer, wine and light refreshments.

3. Governors Island’s 2018 Public Art Commissions

Never Comes Tomorrow by Jacob Hashimoto in the Liggett Hall archway

Governors Island has unveiled two impressive site specific art installations, both by Jacob Hashimoto. In the archway of Liggett Hall (a former Army barracks building that is the size of the Chrysler Building on its side), is an installation made of hundreds of wooden cubes and enormous steel funnels. The work, entitled Never Comes Tomorrow is meant as a threshold that connects Governors Island’s Historic District and the new parks, which include The Hills.

Eclipse, also by Jacob Hashimoto in the St. Cornelius Chapel on Governors Island

Another work by Hashimoto, Eclipse, is located in the St. Cornelius Chapel, featuring thousands of rice paper kites that adapt to the architecture of the historic space, while obscuring the elements. Eclipse was originally installed at the 57th Venice Architecture Biennale at the Palazzo Flangini.

The two installations will be viewable until October 31st this year.

4. A Hot Dog Bus from Public Art Fund

Erwin Wurm’s Hot Dog Bus is the first of three works from Public Art Fund this summer. The bus, which will travel up and down the Brooklyn Bridge Park‘s waterfront, is a vintage Volkswagen Microbus transformed into a bright yellow food truck that will actually be serving hot dogs. All fun aside, Hot Dog Bus is intended to also question capitalistic consumption, from the bloated size of the bus itself to the “additive sculptural process of eating itself,” according to Wurm. Hot Dog Bus is a reimagining of the artist’s “Fat Car” series specifically for New York (which took form as the “Curry Bus” in Austria).

Hot Dog Bus will be running from June 9th to August 26th.

5. Coney Island Art Walls

Coney Island Art Walls-2016-Street Art-Thor Equities-Brooklyn-NYC-017Three-dimensional piece by John Ahearn at Coney Island Art Walls

The Coney Island Art Walls are back for the third year, having reopened for Memorial Day Weekend featuring 41 pieces. The walls are located in what was previously an empty lot along Coney Island‘s main drag. The project is sponsored by developer Thor Equities and curated by Joseph J. Sitt and Jeffrey Deitch.

You’ll find works by street artists like  DazeIcy & SotTats CruNychosStephen (ESPO) PowersLady Pink, Aiko, Haze, Buff Monster, Sheryo & The Yok, IRAK, Lee Quinones and more.

6. Manhattan Park Pool

Photo by Tim Williams, courtesy of Pliskin Architecture

The Manhattan Park Pool, a summer highlight each year, is an 8,000 square foot immersive mural painted around the pool at a rental complex on Roosevelt Island. The annually changing mural is part of the design by K&Co and Pliskin Architecture, using a  similar color palette but with different artists each year. This year’s work is by Technodrome1, using a design he transformed from a 2 inch computer doodle into the full installation, color by color, across about a week of painting. The pool opened Memorial Day weekend.

Previous year’s artists include HOT TEA, who painted the inaugural 2015 year pool and Gregg Emery last year.

7. Spot, a 30 Ft Dalmatian Puppy Balancing a Taxi

Along Manhattan’s East Side, a 30 foot Dalmatian puppy is balancing a New York City yellow cab on its nose. This new permanent sculpture, “Spot” by artist Daniel Lipski will be fully unveiled this summer as the public art of a new building, the Helen L. and Martin S. Kimmel Building, part of NYU Langone at 34th Street and First Avenue. In the meantime, you can catch it rising above construction barriers.

As reported by amNEWYORKthe cab is an actual Prius yellow cab, donated by Toyota, and although it does not have a motor, the windshield wipers will work when it’s raining. The female puppy dog is made of fiberglass and steel. Lipski is known for his playful, oversized sculpture installations that often play on iconic objects.

8. Spirit of the City at A/D/O for Greenpoint Open Studios

MINI and United Visual Artists, a firm based in London, have installed Spirit of the City at A/D/O, the Greenpoint creative space. Nine-foot high golden, mirrored rectangular columns, intended to evoke the skyscrapers of Manhattan and Brooklyn waterfront, will rotate. The cubes will be illuminated at night.

You can see it as part of Greenpoint Open Studios on June 3rd, or anytime until September 3rd.

9. City of Dreams Pavilion on Governors Island

Image courtesy FIGMENT

Focusing on the importance of sustainable design, the annual City of Dreams Design Competition on Governors Island asks teams to create an architectural pavilion with consideration to the environmental impact of their work. In the past, winners have reused plastic cupsdiscarded hangers and aluminum cans.

This year’s winner, which will be viewable starting at the FIGMENT festival June 23 and 24, is Austin+Mergold’s Oculi, a design that will repurpose disused grain silos from upstate New York. The interior of the silos will be painted with different shades of “New York sky blue,” which means that the installation interior will match the sky during certain times of the day. Following use for the project, they will then be reconstructed as an experimental housing cluster in central New York, a “House-in-a-Can.”

Hosted annually by FIGMENT and the Emerging New York Architects Committee (ENYA) of the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter (AIANY), the City of Dreams competition is now in its 8th year.

10. Democracy Lab at Brooklyn Library

An inflatable, semi-transparent bubble pavilion will bring Democracy Lab to the Soldiers and Sailors Arch at Brooklyn’s Grand Army Plaza in front of the Brooklyn Library from June 11th to 17th. There will be 50 public programs “focused on civic engagement, social justice, public space, utopia and democracy—including daily readings of The New York Times moderated by artists and community members, chair-making workshops, artist-led walks, a concert series, literary cabarets and debates, and presentations on green architecture.”,

The inflatable pavilion, called the Spacebuster, is designed by raumlaborberlin, and was previously seen in New York at the Ideas City festival, under the Manhattan Bridge archway from the Dumbo Improvement District, and at the Hester Street Fair. This version will be presented by Brooklyn Public Library in partnership with Prospect Park Alliance, raumlaborberlin, Storefront for Art & Architecture, and visitBerlin.

11. Sing for Hope Pianos

One of the 2018 Sing for Hope Pianos

The 2018 Sing for Hope pop-up pianos will launch around the city on June 4th, with 51 artist-painted pianos located on the streets and in the parks  across the five boroughs of New York City. On June 4th, catch the official unveiling at Liberty Park where all 51 pianos will be performed in unison to Bach’s Minuet in G. You can already check out the map of pianos here and learn about the artists and the works they’ve painted on the pianos. Following the festivities this summer, the pianos will get permanent homes in New York City public schools.

This year, Sing for Hope is partnered with MINI and there will be one piano, the “MINI Piano” that will drive around the city which can be followed using the Sing for Hope app.

12. “Out of Thin Air” in City Hall Park

Collectively tuning our senses to “Out of Thin Air” in City Hall Park. Photo courtesy of More ArtPhoto by Vanessa Teran

More Art will bring a sound installation, “Out of Thin Air,” to City Hall Park by Brooklyn artist Sari Carel. The installation is a recording that unfolds along a walk towards City Hall, featuring sounds of breathing (huffs, and delicate inhaling and exhaling), along with beats, crackles, and rustles. According to The New York Times, Carel led workshops with New Yorkers who have asthma, using their breathing sounds in the sound installation with one aim of the work to “prompt listeners to think anew about people who live with chronic illness.” According to More Art, the installation also aims to “think about breathing in all its intimacy and enormity.”

On Thursdays at 6 PM visitors can take a blindfolded, guided walk through Out of Thin Air with a docent. At 4 PM on Thursdays, youth programs on mindful breathing will take place. The installation will be up until July 8th. See the full list of programming associated with Out of Thin Air here.

13 – 23. Uniqlo Park Expressions Brings 10 Art Installations to the 5 Boroughs

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As part of the Uniqlo Park Expressions grant, each borough of New York City will get two site-specific art installations by emerging artists. The program is part of NYC Parks’ ongoing initiatives to bring greater equity to parks via cultural programming.  Manhattan will have James and Karla Murray’s Mom and Pop LES, a bodega/storefront installation in Seward Park featuring several local businesses that have been lost. Harumi Ori will use industrial mesh in the sacred orange color of Japan to make three-dimensional pieces in Thomas Jefferson Park at 113th Street and 1st Avenue.

The Bronx will get works in Joyce Kilmer Park by Dionisio Cortes Ortega (with seating inspired by neighboring Bronx County Courthouse) and in Virginia Park by Cara Lynch (with a colorful ground mural in a play on parquet flooring).

Brooklyn’s Fort Greene Park will have a work by Tanda Francis that explores African presence in public parks and Herbert von King Park in Bedford-Stuyvesant will have by Robert Visani that is inspired by indigenous figures in West African art.

In Queens, Zaq Landsberg will recreate islands from the Unisphere at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park and place them in parts of the park as seating, stages, and meeting places. In Rufus King Park in Jamaica, Mirrored Monuments by Rose Desiano will look at the complex history of displacement and immigration in the neighborhood.

In Staten Island, Jackie Mock will install handmade vitrines that contain antique pencils and writing instruments, a reference to the Eberhard Faber Pencil Company, whose founder Johann Eberhard Faber once had a mansion on the site of Faber Park. And in Tappen Park, Stick Stump &  The Lawn Lumps by Adam Frezza and Terri Chiao will feature five colorful sculptures that can be used for a multiplicity of purposes, from seating to performance, relaxation or public interactio.

24. Live at the Archway

Stephen Yang courtesy DUMBO BID

Live at the Archway is an annual summer art and music series that takes place weekly. As a part of the event, a flat pack, modular pop-up gallery will be situated under the archway that is a 32-foot replica of the DUMBO gallery This Friday or Next Friday. Each week, a different Brooklyn artist is featured at In the Gallery, “a twofold art experience that jointly exhibits an artist’s work in a small pop-up gallery, and also includes an opportunity for audience members to directly engage with the artist and create a new collaborative piece each week.”

The season’s launch of Live at the Archway begins June 14th.

25. Swale

Swale, the floating forageable food forest that has visited sites all around New York City’s waterfront in the last few years has arrived at Pier 4 of the Brooklyn Army Terminal. Built on a 130 x 40 foot barge, with 5,000 square feet of an edible perennial garden, the goal of Swale is educate and empower New Yorkers about fresh, healthy food – to get families and children in the local communities where Swale docks to build “ecological resilience through promoting food as a public commons.”

On June 8th, Untapped Cities Insiders will receive a free tour with Swale founder Mary Mattingly of the floating food forest! Swale will move to Governors Island in July.

26. El-Space Installation in Sunset Park

During NYCxDesign Week, we were honored to be a partner of The Design Trust for Public Space in the launch of El-Space, a long-term pilot installation located under the Gowanus Expressway in Sunset Park at 36th Street and 3rd Avenue, just adjacent to Industry City. El Space is the product of a five year, critical exploration in how New York City can better activate the forgotten, unfriendly spaces beneath aging elevated infrastructure and culminates in this first pilot installation that showcases what an alternative walkway beneath the Gowanus Expressway could look like.

El-Space was designed with input from the diverse local community through charettes and on-site pop-up workshops, including work with students at Sunset Park High School and members of a Community Advisory Board.The design tests strategies for lighting, green infrastructure, and urban design for replicability, aesthetics, and of course, how the public uses and engages with it. El-Space will be installed for about a year, used to test and refine strategies for future permanent activations. For the passerby, it’s a cool visual addition to an industrial space and for the community, it has created a new meeting spot.

27. High Line Art Installations

Phyllida Barlow’s prop. Photo courtesy the High Line

In addition to the Agora commissions we featured the last few months, the High Line launched two new installations at the end of May. Kerry Tribe’s Exquisite Corpse is a film that follows the entire 51-mile length of the Los Angeles River chronicling “the river’s neighbors—animal, human, and vegetal—and their stories with one minute devoted to each mile,” according to High Line Art. The film plays daily on The High Line at 14th Street at dusk.

Then, Phyllida Barlow’s prop is a teetering concrete sculpture, reimagined from a work displayed at the 2017 Venice Biennale, and the first work to be displayed on the Northern Spur Preserve of the High Line at 16th Street, a section that once connected directly to a refrigerated warehouse that was part of the Nabisco cookie factory.

28. Midnight Moment

Photograph Courtesy of Ka-Man Tse for Times Square Arts

Midnight Moment, presented by Times Square Arts, is the world’s largest, longest-running digital art exhibition, synchronized on electronic billboards throughout Times Square nightly from 11:57pm to Midnight. On June 1st, the Midnight Moment will change to a work by Jeff Scher called Quasi Una Fantasia, an abstract dance film using paint. As Times Square Arts writes, “created by the renowned experimental filmmaker as an improvisational visualization of Beethoven’s “Moonlight” sonata, the work loops and builds on itself in loud colors and percussive chromatic transitions, growing in richness and density until its explosive conclusion.”

29. “Built” at Socrates Sculpture Park

Virginia Overton; ‘Untitled (Gem);’ 2018; Courtesy the Artist, Socrates Sculpture Park, Bortolami Gallery, and White Cube; Photo by Nicholas Knight.

Socrates Sculpture Park has a park-wide installation, “Built,” all by one artist, Virginia Overton. The works, which include a crystal shaped sculpture of industrial architectural support systems, a 1990 Ford F250 pickup truck, a water feature and aquatic garden in the bed of Dodge Ram, explore the repurposing of industrial objects within a former industrial site, the park itself on the Long Island City waterfront.

30. “Neighbors Project” at First Street Green Art Park

Photo by John Raymond Mireles courtesy of State PR/First Street Green Art Park

The First Street Green Art Park, a formerly abandoned lot converted into open art space for the Lower East Side, has an exhibition along its perimeter fence by artist John Raymond Miles showcasing portraits he took in all fifty states in America of people of all ethnicities, ideologies, and income levels. There are 86 larger than life-size portraits on 300 feet of park fence.

The project began in a San Diego community where Miles lived and later expanded to include the entire country. According to the press release for the project, “Mireles’ goal is to encourage empathic connections across differences and promote solidarity by offering viewers the opportunity to better know and relate to their fellow residents of the United States of America.”

Located at 33 East 1st Street, First Park on First Avenue and First Street has been known for its vibrant art scene since its inception in 2008. Neighbors Project will be on view until June 30th. The project is intended to travel around the country.

31. Armored Knights on the Cloisters Lawn

NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver with the ARMORS. Photo by Malcolm Pinckney courtesy NYC Parks

Icelandic artist Steinunn Thorarinsdotti has created ARMORS, a site-specific installation for the Cloisters Lawn in Fort Tryon Park, featuring suits of armor cast from 3D scans of armors in the Metropolitan Museum of Art permanent collection. The three casts sit “in dialogue” with one another, according to the Fort Tryon Park Trust website, which has a description of the artist and her work:

“The project’s incorporation of armor—a form that is both distinctly iconographic and foreign to the artist’s own hand—marks an aesthetic and conceptual divergence for Icelandic Thorarinsdottir, who in her home country is a celebrated pioneer (the first female sculptor to have two solo shows at the Reykjavik Art Museum, 1982 and 1987) whose androgynous figure installations have since 1976 been mounted in dozens of prominent sites around Reykjavik and beyond.”


32. Sculptures Made of Discarded Steel Cables from the World’s Tallest Skyscraper

Photo by Lynn Lieberman/Gotham to Go

The Garment District Alliance and NYC DOT’s Arterventions has brought seven of Taiwanese artist Kang Muxiang’s large works to the Garment District Plazas between 36th Street and 38th Street. The sculptures in the series Rebirth are made from discarded steel cables from Taipei 101, Taiwan’s tallest skyscraper and the world’s tallest building from 2004 to 2010. The largest sculpture is over 10 feet tall and 3,500 pounds in weight. You can read more about each sculpture on the Garment District Alliance website.

This is the second Taiwanese artist to grace the malls of the Garment District, with Hung Yin’s A Fancy Carnival in 2016.

33. ‘We Come in Peace’ Comes to Met’s Rooftop

Image by Hyla Skopitz courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s rooftop site specific installation, titled We Come In Peace, is now on view to the public until October. Created by Pakistani artist Huma Bhabha, this rooftop installation is The Met’s sixth in a series of site specific commissions for the outdoor roof space. The sculptures consist of the 12-foot-tall five-headed intersex figure “We Come in Peace,” and the 18-foot-long prostrate Benaam — an Urdu word that translates to “without name.”

We Come in Peace borrows its title from the classic American science-fiction film The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951), a tale of first contact between humans and aliens. The sculptures are cast in bronze, but were initially handcrafted to scale by Bhabha using ephemeral materials, such as cork, Styrofoam, air-dried clay, and plastic.

34. ‘Delirious Matter’ in Madison Square Park

Photo by Lynn Lieberman/Gotham to Go

On view from until September 3rd, Madison Square Park will welcome a new public art exhibition, Delirious Matter, by Brooklyn-based artist Diana Al-Hadid. Delirious Matter is Al-Hadid’s first major public art project, and The Madison Square Park Conservancy’s thirty-sixth exhibition, which will feature six new sculptures to be installed across the park’s central Oval Lawn, peripheral lawns and northern reflecting pool.

The Madison Square Park Conservancy notes that Al-Hadid’s integration of sculpture with plant material is a first for the program. The walls, which deceivingly appear fragile, will stand in direct contrast to the concrete and steel skyscrapers surrounding the park. For more on the project, visit madisonsquarepark.org, and join the conversation via social media by using the hashtags #MadSqArt, #DianaAlHadid, and #MadSqDeliriousMatter.

35. 30-Foot-Wide Winged Creation at Rockefeller Center

Photo by Lynn Lieberman/Gotham to Go

From May 2nd to July 22nd, 2018, a winged sculpture can be found above Rockefeller Center’s Channel Gardens, between 49th and 50th Streets in Midtown Manhattan, facing Fifth Avenue. It’s the first site-specific outdoor public sculpture from prominent German artist Anselm Kiefer ever to be commissioned for the United States. Titled Uraeus, the work consists of a gigantic open book with eagle’s wings, spanning 30 feet and made of lead, sitting on top of a 20-foot-tall lead-clad stainless steel column.

The column’s base will feature giant lead books, while a large snake coils up its length. The sculpture’s title, Uraeus, refers to the erect shape of the Egyptian cobra, associated with the serpent goddess Wadjet and a symbol of power and divine authority. For more, check out Public Art Fund’s write up on the sculpture.

36. Kathy Ruttenberg on Broadway: In Dreams Awake


Photo by Lynn Lieberman/Gotham to Go

The Broadway Mall Association has debuted Kathy Ruttenberg on Broadway: In Dreams Awake. The new exhibit, which was installed the week of April 15th, includes six works featured on the Broadway center mediums, located on 64th, 72nd, 79th, 96th, 116th, and 157th Streets.

Each sculpture — described as a combination of human, animal and plant forms — is made from cast silicon bronze, and range between 6 feet to 15 feet in height. (Some even feature LED lighting!) The exhibit will be on view through February 2019.

37. AGORA Group Installation on The High Line

AGORA has debuted on The High Line! This outdoor group exhibition by nine artists explores the role of art and artists in defining, creating, and using public space. The name of the exhibit is inspired by the same ancient Greek word, which literally translates to a gathering place — a fitting name as New York City’s public spaces have served as a home to a plethora of artworks over the decades, ranging from WPA murals to graffiti tags.

AGORA will focus on the power of art to change society. As such, it addresses current issues, including women’s rights, mass incarceration, the environment and immigration. For instance, the work above, “C.R.E.A.M.,” by Sable Elyse Smith, is an altered replica of the Hollywood Sign that reads IRONWOODLAND — a reference both to the Ironwood State Prison and to “Hollywoodland,” the segregated real estate development that was advertised by the original sign. The exhibit will be on view until March 2019 at various locations along The High Line.

38. Oversized Blow Up Flowers on Avenue of the Americas

Photo by Lynn Lieberman of GothamToGo

Grown Up Flowers by Playlab, Inc. is now on view on the Avenue of the Americas through July 2018! Sponsored by the Avenue of the Americas Association, the exhibit is comprised of six giant inflatable flowers installed between 44th Street to 55th Streets.

Untapped Cities contributor AFineLyne, also the author of GothamToGo, writes that each flower has its own name and is lit from the inside for nighttime viewing. The New York-based creative studio, Playlab, Inc., that give rise to the installation is also the mastermind behind the +POOL, the world’s first water filtering floating pool in New York.

39. Giant QUIÉN MANDA Billboard

Image Courtesy of Giovanni Valderas

Artist Giovanni Valderas has designed a giant billboard that reads QUIÉN MANDA against the backdrop of a piñata for, 14×48, a non-profit arts organization that posts public art in the New York City area. The location is yet to be announced but the installation will go up in June.

QUIÉN MANDA, a Spanish idiom which most precisely translates to “Who rules?” poses an emboldened question of agency. Giovanni Valderas’ body of work, which began in Latinx neighborhoods in Dallas, Texas, focuses on engaging with the Latinx community (many of whom are not familiar with contemporary art) through guerrilla and public installations and incorporates Spanglish idioms often used in Chicano/Latinx communities.

40. Shed Murals at the World Trade Center

Vesey mural by Chinon Maria and Sebastian Mitre

While construction of 2 World Trade is on hold, a collection of corrugated metal sheds housing mechanical equipment have been spruced up by artists from around the world to make the area look less like a construction zone and more like a hip pedestrian throughway. The sheds, which are bounded by Greenwich, Vesey and Church Streets and the Oculus transportation hub, feature murals by Australian illustrator Brolga, Los Angeles-based artist Todd Gray, Korean-born Joohee Park, aka Stickymonger, the husband and wife team of Chinon Maria and Sebastian Mitre, Japanese-born, New York resident Riiisa Boogie, and Bronx native Hektad. When all of the murals are complete there will be 8 colorful works to see!

Mural by Todd Gray

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