Photo of LuminoCityPhoto by Yunkai. Courtesy of LuminoCity Festival.

December this year is going to be an unusual holiday season for many New Yorkers, with winter ahead amidst a worsening pandemic. Despite this, the holiday spirit is high in New York City, with many exciting, socially distanced art events and installations coming this month. Whether you are spending Christmas and New Year’s Eve alone or with family and friends, don’t forget to check out the many vibrant holiday light shows throughout the city. Brookfield Place is returning strong this month with Luminaries and Light Up Metrotech, while LuminoCity Festival is coming back to Randall’s Island Park.

Besides the light shows, a new Flatiron Plaza art installation invites New Yorkers to contemplate connections with each other amid the COVID-19 pandemic and to move forward together. A sound installation unveiled by NYC AIDS Memorial captures the history of the AIDS epidemic. Remember to wear a mask as you check out these art events and installations. Here are the public art installations on display in New York City this December:


Photograph by Ben Hider/The New York Botanical Garden 

This holiday season, let it GLOW at The New York Botanical Garden in an all-new outdoor experience illuminating NYBG’s landmark landscape and the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. With lots of room to spread out, explore a glowing world of color and light featuring the Haupt Conservatory as the centerpiece—its iconic exterior a glittering canvas. Washes of brilliant colors, thousands of dazzling lights, and picture-perfect installations fill the Reflecting Pool and enliven surrounding gardens and collections. Also during your visit, enjoy artistic ice sculpting, music, and pop-up performances by The Hip Hop Nutcracker. Due to COVID, the annual Holiday Train Show will only be open to NYBG Members, Patrons, and Bronx Community Partners.

2. NYC AIDS Memorial

Photo of NYC AIDS Memorial InstallationPhoto by John Moore

On December 1st, the World AIDS Day, New York City AIDS Memorial is installing Hear Me: Voices of the Epidemic, a daily, hour-long outdoor sound installation composed of historical texts, poetry, speeches, music, and more that capture the history of the AIDS epidemic. The installation is the organization’s most ambitious program in its history and will include a powerful speech by activist Vito Russo, a touching song composed by Michael Callen, historic recordings of an ACT UP-led protest made by artist David Wojnarowicz, and a contemporary poem by artist Kia LaBeija.

This program will run nightly beginning at 7 PM. Hear Me will be preceded each day, beginning at 10 AM, by a recording featuring the names of over 2,000 New Yorkers lost to AIDS and read by What Would an HIV Doula Do?, a group of activists, caregivers, friends, long-term survivors of HIV/AIDS, and people living with HIV today.


Photo of LIGHT YEARPhoto by Julienne Schaer

Socially distant winter video art installation Light Year returns to Dumbo this month. Some of the largest outdoor video art installations in New York City will be projected on the Manhattan Bridge each first Thursday of the month from dusk to 10pm at dimensions of 65 by 40 feet. The full installations are approximately 30 minutes in length, and on December 3rd, the first installation, ”Thresholds and Beyond 1”, will show the places where disparate realities meet, overlap and create hybrid realities.

You can also stream the installations on Facebook Live from 2pm to 10pm on the scheduled projection day, and at dusk, the works can also be viewed online in real time from the projection site also on Facebook.

4. Light Up MetroTech

Photo of Light Up MetroTechPhoto by Shane Drummond, courtesy of Brookfield Properties

Celebrate the start of the holiday season safely and get in a festive spirit with Light Up MetroTech in Downtown Brooklyn, presented by Brookfield Properties. The event takes place during varied hours over December 2 and December 3, and visitors can walk amongst an exhibition of beautifully carved ice sculptures celebrating “nature emerges” by the talented NY-based Okamoto Studio.

This event is free and open to the public, however, for health and safety reasons, a limited number of people will be admitted into the ice sculpture exhibition at MetroTech Commons on Myrtle Street between Bridge and Lawrence Streets at one time.

5. LuminoCity

Photo of LuminoCityPhoto by Yunkai. Courtesy of LuminoCity Festival.

LuminoCity Festival, the stunning holiday spectacular light sculptures, is coming back at Randall’s Island this month, with a brand new theme and never-before-seen art installations. Visitors will have the opportunity to venture into a wonderland of fantastical ancient civilizations, lush illuminated jungles, and mystical towering light art displays. The sparkling light park invites visitors on a 30-45 minute walking journey through distinctly themed sets and dreamlike worlds. At the center of the adventure is Lumi, a magical light bulb and the host of the festival.

According to the festival’s website, the inspiration behind LuminoCity Festival comes from a combination of the traditional art of Chinese lantern festivals with modern design and unique storytelling. By bringing the two-thousand-year history of the Chinese lantern festival to New York City through an extraordinary new light artform, the LuminoCity Festival creates a new reality full of magical wonder and thrilling adventure for all to enjoy. This festival runs from through January 10.

6. Luminaries

Photo of LuminariesPhoto Courtesy of Berlin Rosen

The holiday installation Luminaries returns to Brookfield Place in Lower Manhattan this month, with a series of mesmerizing light shows and new touchless wishing in the Winter Garden. Designed by the LAB at Rockwell Group, the light show features a canopy of colorful lights emitting from hundreds of lanterns suspended among the palms, along with contactless wishing stations located on the ground. These wishing stations allow visitors to send a motion-activated wish to the canopy of lanterns above, prompting a magical display of lights and colors to appear. For each wish made at the stations, Brookfield Place will donate $1, up to $25,000 to Relief Opportunities for All Restaurants (ROAR). Luminaries runs from November 27 to January 3.

7. The Max Murals

Photo of The Max MuralsPhoto Courtesy of karlssonwilker

A team of painters from ArtFX Murals who specialize in large, exterior high-rise work are unveiling one of the largest murals in New York City at The Max, TF Cornerstone’s apartment complex in Hell’s Kitchen. The design makes use of both micro and macro views for onlookers. Perspective plays a strong role in the design – different points of view result in different standpoints and interpretations of the mural, which are unique to the individual viewer.

In the works since 2016, this project began by exploring the rich history of the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood, culminating in a vision of TF Cornerstone’s evolving skyline within New York City’s historical landscape.

8. Holiday Window Displays

Bloomingdale's 2020 department store holiday windows

The department store windows along Fifth Avenue at iconic New York City shops like Bloomingdale’s, Bergdorf Goodman, and Saks Fifth Avenue are bursting with holiday cheer. This year’s holiday window displays are colorful, sparkly, and bright. More than ever, the designs aim to bring share messages of hope, gratitude, and togetherness.

At Bloomingdale’s you’ll see a giant smiley disco ball created by local New York artist Allison Eden. You can even smell the scenes! Scents like peppermint, pine and evergreen are piped into the street to create a multi-sensory experience. At Bergdorf Goodman, each window highlights a core value of goodness, traits that have helped get us through the difficult year. The annual Macy’s window display is a tribute to frontline workers. See all of the 2020 window displays here!

9. Timberwolf

Photo of TimberwolfPhoto Courtesy of the artist

Artist Alex “Rocko” Rupert’s wolf head wooden structure TimberWolf at Maria Hernandez Park in Brooklyn takes utilitarian materials like reclaimed lumber to beautify this corner of the park and serves as a metaphor for how everyday materials can be repurposed. It plays into the importance of resourcefulness, breathing use back into what is considered to be “used-up.” The artwork takes the form of a dog’s head, a nod to the popular nearby dog park.

At the end of the public art installation period next October, TimberWolf will be donated to another public space to be enjoyed. The possibility to be reused or repurposed with additional functionalities gives this living installation another life. The installation will be on site through October 25, 2021.

10. Torso II, Swinging II, Messenger of the Gods

Photo of Torso II, Swinging II, Messenger of the GodsPhoto by Reiko Yanagi, courtesy of the artist

Long Island City-based sculptor, Jack Howard-Potter, makes large, often kinetic, figurative steel sculptures that can be seen in city governments, sculpture parks, and public art shows around the country. The outdoor public arena is the perfect setting for the academic roots to be easily recognizable and accessible, bridging the gap between the fine art institution and the public. It all comes together in an effort to brighten the landscape and shift one’s gaze to break the daily routine with something beautiful.

Torso II, Swinging II, Messenger of the Gods will be on-site at Court Square Park in Queens through September 12, 2021.

11. Floating Woman

Photo of Floating WomanPhoto by Daniel Avila, courtesy of NYC Parks

Located in Hunter’s Point South through next September, this work is one of French sculptor Gaston Lachaise’s best-known, monumental works dating from the late 1920s. The buoyant, expansive figure represents a timeless earth goddess, one Lachaise knew and sought to capture throughout his career. This vision was inspired by his wife, who was his muse and model, Isabel, that “majestic woman” who walked by him once by the Bank of the Seine. This work is a tribute to the power of all women, dedicated to ‘Woman,’ as the artist referred to his wife, with a capital W.

Lachaise devoted himself to the human form, producing a succession of powerfully conceived nude figures in stone and bronze that reinvigorated the sculptural traditions of Auguste Rodin and Aristide Maillol.

12. Point of Action

Photo by Cameron Blaylock

The Ninth Annual “23 Days of Flatiron Cheer” season kicked off this week with the unveiling of a new Flatiron Plaza art installation, Point of Action. The public art piece invites New Yorkers to contemplate connections with each other amid the COVID-19 pandemic and to move forward together. Designed by Nina Cooke John of Studio Cooke John, Point of Action is part of the 23 Days of Flatiron Cheer campaign to support local businesses in the Flatiron and NoMad.

The interactive piece provides multiple opportunities for connection with fellow viewers and with passersby while maintaining a safe social distance. Six-foot circles affixed onto the Flatiron Public Plazas create nine “spotlights,” each with its own vertical metal frame. Ropes weave through each frame and part, like a curtain figuratively pulled aside, to make room for the viewer to take the spotlight, connect with other viewers across the Plazas, and take action as they move out and beyond. Lighting emitted from a halo above each circle strengthens the framing; lights embedded into the sides of each frame add another layer to the viewer.

13. RBG Mural

RBG mural in the Lower East Side

Earlier this year, the nation mourned the death of Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Now, a three-story mural has gone up in the East Village in her honor. The mural will celebrate the life of the Brooklyn-born justice and trailblazing feminist. ELLE, a New York City street artist, is painting the larger-than-life portrait.

The completed mural will feature motifs of the Supreme Court justice’s legacy. Iconic symbols of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Statue of Liberty represent Ginsburg’s New York City roots.

14. Times Square Midnight Moment

Photograph by Maria Baranova. Courtesy of Times Square Arts.

Throughout the month of December, Times Square’s billboards will light up with the work of multimedia artist Rashaad Newsome. Newsome’s Black Magic video installation joins improvisational performance with animated graphics. Viewers will see footage from FIVE, a live vogue performance. Newsome tapped local New York-based talent for this project, asking performers to explore their own idea of ‘Black Magic.’ Edited together with the performances is an animated graphic pattern. The pattern is inspired by the architecture, design, and decorative wallpaper of a typical New Orleans lounge.

On Thursday, December 10th there will be a special live performance to accompany the video presentation. The open-air event will take place in a specially cleared space that allows for proper social distancing between live dancers and guests. All guests are required to wear masks. The show begins at 11:30pm.

15. Mother Earth at Rockaway Beach

Mother Earth sculpture by Kris Perry

On August 12, a new, 35-foot-tall steel sculpture named Mother Earth was unveiled at Rockaway Beach in Queens. The installation is the brainchild of artist Kris Perry. It is a part of NYC Parks’ Art in the Parks, a program that brings both experimental and traditional pieces of artwork to public locations throughout the five boroughs.

The towering statue is made of Corten steel, a material that is meant to evolve and change with the seasons and the site. Mother Earth will be located at the Beach 98th Street entrance to Rockaway beach, two blocks away from the A-Train until August 11, 2021. Rockaway Beach is also serviced by the NYC Ferry.

16. Medusa Sculpture Across from NYC’s Criminal Courthouse

Photo of Medusa Sculpture

A seven-foot-tall bronze sculpture of Medusa was unveiled in Collect Pond Park in October, across from the New York County Criminal Court in Lower Manhattan. A collaboration between Medusa With The Head Project (MWTH) and New York City Parks, Medusa With The Head of Perseus is meant to question Medusa’s portrayal and narrative in Greek mythology and reimagine an inverted narrative.

Garbati made the original Medusa sculpture in 2008. He posted photos of it on social media in 2018, at the height of Me Too movement and the year the Argentine Senate rejected a bill that would fully decriminalize abortion during the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. The photos went viral, and the sculpture became a symbol of resistance for women. Garbati seeks to change the traditional narrative of Medusa by portraying her in a somber moment of self-defense, holding the head of her slayer. According to the organizers of the sculpture, Medusa With The Head of Perseus has been deliberately sited across the street from the courthouse where “high profile abuse cases, including the recent Harvey Weinstein trial.”

17. Prospect Park Bandshell

Photo of art at Prospect Park BandshellPhoto by David Andrako

Prospect Park Bandshell has turned into a venue for artists lately, with the unveiling of a public art project commissioned by Brooklyn artist collective Brooklyn Hi-Art! Machine. Helmed by BRIC and Prospect Park Alliance in their partnership with NYC Parks, the art project utilizes the words of the poet Lucille Clifton to offer “a message of resilience and perseverance.” “This public art work provides a message of strength and joy, celebrating and uniting our community during these difficult times,” said Kristina Newman-Scott, BRIC’s President, in a press statement. “We are delighted to continue our important partnership with the Prospect Park Alliance through this meaningful activation of the Bandshell inspired by a local and engaged arts collective.”

Displaying the themes of racial equity and a different narrative on unoccupied public spaces in the background, Brooklyn Hi-Art! Machine’s project will be on view from October, 2020 through May 2021.

18. Light of Freedom at Madison Square Park

Photo of Light of Freedom

Amidst the greens of Madison Square Park is a torch whose fire is made up of the arms of blue mannequins. An outdoor art project, Light of Freedom speaks on the latest political turmoil engulfing the nation, with a global pandemic that affects the lives of tens of millions of Americans and large-scale social justice protests for racial equality that is long overdue. The torch is meant to represent the beacon of democracy by closely resembling the torch held by Lady Liberty that had been displayed in the same park before.

The artist Abigail DeVille said that the project is inspired by the words of abolitionist Frederick Douglass. “In my research, I have found that the first Blacks to be brought to New York City were eleven Angolans in 1626. That makes people of African descent the second-oldest group of settlers in New Amsterdam, after the Dutch,” DeVille said on Madison Square Park’s website. “Unfortunately, history has erased the contributions and victories of this group. I want to make something that could honor their lives and question what it means to be a New Yorker, past, present, and future.”

19. Ziggy and Out-of-Office on Water Street

Ziggy sculpture

The Downtown Alliance is taking over Water Street this month with two new art installations enriching the street’s scenery. Designer studio Hou de Sousa’s “Ziggy” at 200 Water Street brilliantly combines steel structure and vibrant lights with cords, and FANTÁSTICA’s “Out-of-Office” transfers the workspace environment to an outdoor setting, seemingly responding to the current time as people are no longer commuting to offices for work due to the pandemic.

“These works will animate public space at a time when we are appreciating our open spaces more than ever,” said Downtown Alliance President Jessica Lappin on the organization’s website. “Ziggy is whimsical and uplifting, and ‘Out-of-Office’ provides a practical and inspiring take on a new approach to public seating in the COVID era. We can all use a little more beauty and some fresh ideas these days.”

20. Shantell Martin Mural at Rockaway Playground

Photo of Rockaway Hotel MuralPhoto by Jorge Marrón

Undulating and interwoven white lines on the black surface of the “Big Yard” Seaside playground at Waterside Children’s Studio School make up a new 16,000-square-foot mural by award-winning artist Shantell Martin. Located near the new Rockaway Hotel and used by 700 students and numerous community members, the outdoor recreational space provides the ground for Martin to showcase her mural to pedestrians as well as guests who look down from the rooftop of the Rockaway Hotel.

The mural consists of iconic, monochromatic black and white interconnected lines, Martin’s signature style of drawing, that come together in various text and image formats in an effort to inject more energy and aesthetics into the Rockaway community and its urban beach landscape. “Because of the scale, there are multiple ways to experience the piece. What you have on the ground is very different from the experience you have of it from a higher perspective where you get to see how the lines, words, and faces are actually interacting with each other,” Martin said. “It’s all about discovery and letting people interact with it the way they naturally feel inclined to.”

21. CoVIDA at Roger Morris Park

Photo of CoVIDAPhoto Courtesy of Morris-Jumel Mansion

Internationally renowned artist Andrea Arroyo brings glimmers of hope and optimism to a world otherwise consumed by a devastating global pandemic. “CoVIDA-Homage to Victims of the Pandemic” pays tributes to those who have lost their lives to the pandemic while praising the resilience of the community and applauding those who continue to work on the frontline.

With flower garlands in the cempasúchitl color that resembles flowers used for Latin America’ Day of the Dead, the outdoor public art installation showcases wing figures that symbolize the wings of freedom and cityscape’s silhouette that conveys the city’s recovery on the gates and fences of Roger Morris Park. CoVIDA will be on view from November 2nd to December 31th.


22. Mother Cabrini Statue in Battery Park City

Mother Cabrini Statue in Battery ParkPhoto: Kevin P. Coughlin / Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

A statue designed and created by the sculptors Jill Burkee-Biagi and Giancarlo Biagi dedicated to Mother Cabrini was unveiled by Governor Andrew Cuomo in New York City’s Battery Park in October. Located just south of the South Cove on the Battery Park Esplanade, the statue is in honor of Saint Frances Xavier (Mother) Cabrini. Born in Sant’Angelo Lodigiano in modern-day Italy in 1850, Mother Cabrini was the first American citizen to be made a saint by the Roman Catholic Church.

Governor Cuomo announced plans for the creation of a Mother Cabrini statue and memorial on Columbus Day 2019. The announcement came in the wake of controversy surrounding the She Built NYC initiative from Mayor de Blasio and his wife Chirlaine McCray. She Built NYC will add five new statues of women in New York City, including one of Shirley Chisholm, the first African-American woman to serve in Congress. The five women were selected in part through a public voting process, and although Mother Cabrini won the vote, she was not chosen to be honored. A spokesman for She Built NYC stated at the time that she had not been selected because tributes already existed.

23. Jim Rennert Sculptures in the Theatre District

Photo of Jim Rennert's SculpturePhoto Courtesy of Cavalier Galleries

Artist Jim Rennert’s two new sculptures in the Theatre District reflect the current time by emphasizing the struggles to make a living through the form of athleticism. Over 8.5-feet tall, Walking the Tightrope and WTF are representative of the artist’s past works that highlight both the physical and psychological difficulties of living in a world dominated by corporate competitions.

“As an entrepreneur, whether dealing with employer’s products, home life or working our way up the corporate ladder, the visual juxtaposed figure on a tightrope is something that resonates with us all,” said Jim Rennert in a press statement. “Once you’ve thought big, and then found a perspective of where you fit in, you can sometimes have a WTF moment. And in 2020, WTF seems to describe how we all feel about dealing with this year.”

24. AfroPick at Elmhurst Sculpture Garden

AfroPick at Elmhurst Sculpture GardenPhotograph Courtesy of Elmhurst Sculpture Garden

“Artist Yvonne Shortt’s newest sculpture African American Marbleization: AfroPick: Bantu Knots and the Underground Railroad is the latest addition to the African American Marbleization series, a collection of outdoor sculptures by the artists that pays tributes to people of color and commemorate their history. Based on ancient wood and stone designs made from 5,500 years ago, the sculpture sits in Elmhurst Sculpture Garden which was created in 2016 by a group of volunteers who cleaned up the area.

The face of the sculpture is fractured in order to signify the anguish African Americans experienced in their lives, and the piece presents the path they took in their request for freedom, extending from the U.S. South to New York and all the way up to Canada.

25. Doors for Doris at Doris C. Freedman Plaza

Doors for Doris at Central ParkPhoto by Nicholas Knight, Courtesy Public Art Fund

At Doris C. Freedman plaza there are three newly created stone sculptures made with a hybrid of imported and native materials. The mastermind behind the installation is artist Sam Moyer who uses this creation as an opportunity to pay homage to Public Art Fund founder Doris C. Freedman. 

According to Public Art Fund’s website, “these polished stones bear the markings and shapes of their original uses. They also display the unique colors, patterns, and geological history of their sources — quarries in Brazil, China, India, Italy, and beyond. Each stone in Moyer’s mosaic compositions takes on an even more striking hue against the others and the locally-quarried rock, an apt metaphor that encourages us to consider the diverse character of our city and our interconnected lives within it.” The installation will run from September 16, 2020 to September 12, 2021.

26. Bowery Graffiti Wall Mural

Mojo's Bowery Wall Mural

On the Bowery graffiti wall, Groundswell has completed the newest mural to be seen at the street art site in a year. The work was designed by artist Raul Ayala and painted by a team of ten youth artists  The last piece, by Japanese artist Tomokazu Matsuyama “Matzu” was completed in September of last year. The mural for 2020 coincides with the 25th anniversary of Groundswell, an organization that uses art for change. The new mural at the Bowery graffiti wall, located on Houston Street between Bowery and Elizabeth streets, incorporates numerous portraits of Black figures and also has a seafaring folklore theme with mythical creatures pulling down statues. On the left side, the skyline of Manhattan appears.

Equidorian-born Raul Ayala has said, “For me, building imagination and sharing knowledge alongside a younger generation of artists is a great manifestation of the fruits of this shift. With this mural, we are also bringing intergenerational participation into a future that honors our past while actively creating a different path of existence.”

27. Poetry Path in Battery Park City

Photo of Poetry PathPhoto by Daniel Terna

If you walk along the northern length of Battery Park City ,you will find words and phrases from famous poets on benches, banners, pathways, pavers and signs. These words are the work of Poets House and Battery Park City Authority. Together, the organizations launched the Poetry Path which showcases more than 40 poets and their works.

The poems explore the relationships between people, nature and the urban landscape. The installation will be up through 2021.

28. King Nyani at Hudson Park

King Nyani Giant Mountain Gorilla

The largest bronze gorilla statue in the world has arrived in New York City. King Nyani is on display at Bella Abzug Park in Hudson Yards. The statue is designed to raise awareness about the endangered mountain gorilla species, of which only around 1000 remain worldwide, and to change the perception of gorillas among New Yorkers. Instead of terrorizing New York City atop the Empire State Building, this gorilla will be giving out free hugs to any willing New Yorkers. In fact, its giant hands are designed to hold 2 to 3 people at a time.

King Nyani is a continuation of a series of works by Gillie and Marc, donated to place around the world, which have highlighted endangered species as part of their initiative Love the Last. Their statues of the last three northern white rhinos were on display in Astor Place in 2018 (now only two of the rhinos remain). King Nyani is based on an actual gorilla, the head of a family of mountain gorillas that Gillie and Marc met on a trip to Uganda. It is almost 23 feet long, 8.5 feet high and weighs 4,766 pounds. See more photos here. King Nyani will be on display through April 2021.

29. Met Roof Garden Commission, Lattice Detour

Lattice Detour Met Roof Garden Commission Hector ZamoraThe 2020 Met Roof Garden Commission by Héctor Zamora, Lattice Detour. Photo courtesy of the artist.

It’s the last week to see this year’s Roof Garden Commission by Héctor Zamora, Lattice Detour up until December 7th. From a distance, Lattice Detour looks like an abstract sculpture, its material construction not completely obvious. What’s apparent is the disruption it provides to the view so traditionally celebrated and embraced by past exhibitions. But this move is deliberate. According to the Museum, Zamora “intends for us to have this initial response: such is the impact of barriers that thwart access to open, expansive outlooks on the world.” It perforates our view but intrigues us, and its position on the roof, invites visitors to go around it.

The terra cotta bricks, made of Mexican earth, which form the basic unit of Lattice Detour are open to allow for light and air. It is meant to reference “celosia“, “openwork brick structures found in vernacular architecture of the Middle East, Africa, Iberia, and Latin America that provide shade and ventilation,” states the museum. See more photos here.

30. New Sculpture Paying Homage to Harlem

New Harlem art installationPhoto courtesy of the Department of Transportation.

The New York City Department of Transportation’s Art Program, Harlem based non-profit, the Marcus Garvey Park Alliance and New York-based artist Kenseth Armstead recently unveiled the Boulevard of African Monarchs monument. Located at 116th Street and Adam Clayton Powell Blvd/St. Nicholas Avenue in Manhattan, the sculpture features representations of the multiple African kings. The sculpture itself is equally grand, a 10′ x 10′ x 10′ monument made to emulate the style of Tiebele house paintings, a style of artwork made by African women long before the transatlantic slave trade began its cruel existence.

Boulevard of African Monarchs is the first sculpture in Armstead’s Sankofa_series. The works are meant to celebrate Africans and their diaspora and to proclaim that Black Lives Matter with bold, three-dimensional artwork. The work is a monument to Black beauty, and is free for all to view in public.

31. A Monumental Work at Socrates Sculpture Garden

Socrates Sculpture ParkJeffery Gibson; ‘Because Once You Enter My House It Becomes Our House; 2020; Courtesy the Artist; Socrates Sculpture Park; Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York; Kavi Gupta, Chicago; Roberts Projects, Los Angeles; Image by Scott Lynch.

A massive new piece, named Because Once You Enter My House, It Becomes Our House, is now on display at Socrates Sculpture Garden in Queens. The vibrantly colored sculpture was created Jeffery Gibson, recipient of the 2019 MacArthur Foundation “Genius Grant.” It is meant to serve as a monument to inclusion and diversity.

Because Once You Enter My House, It Becomes Our House draws inspiration from and pays visual homage to Indigenous North American peoples, pre-Columbian Mississippian architecture, and to modern-day queer camp aesthetics. The multi-tiered structure is a reference to the architecture of the ancient city of Cahokia, the largest city of the North American Indigenous Mississippi people. The installation will be up until March 14, 2021.

32. Reverberation at Brooklyn Bridge Park

Davino Semo's Reverberation bells from Pier 1Photo: Nicholas Knight, Courtesy of Public Art Fund, NY

Reverberation, a piece by sculptor Davina Semo is on display along the waterfront in Brooklyn Bridge Park. The large-scale installation is made up of interactive bells and is meant to evoke public modes of communication that harken back to New York City’s maritime history. Located adjacent to the Brooklyn Bridge, the piece explores our relationship to industrial material and the built environment. And yes, park visitors can ring the bells! Reverberation will be on view through April 2021.

The installation is supported by the Public Art Fund and was curated by Daniel S. Palmer. The Public Art Fund uses contributions from individuals, corporations, and private foundations to support works of art throughout the five boroughs, including the artwork at LaGuardia Airport’s new Terminal B.

33. Simone Leigh: Brick House on The High Line

Simone Leigh, Brick House, 2019. A High Line Plinth commission. On view June 2019 – September 2020. Photo by Timothy Schenck. Courtesy the High Line

Simone Leigh’s Brick House has been admired from afar as it loomed over 10th Avenue this past year. This month, visitors can get an up close look at the giant sculpture when the Spur, the newest section of the High Line last year. It was the first sculpture to be displayed in the new space, which will host a series of rotating exhibits.

Brick House, a sixteen-foot-tall bronze bust of a black woman. Her head is adorned with an afro and cornrow braids along her hairline. The figure sits atop the Plinth, a new exhibition space at on the plaza of the Spur. Brick House is the first work in the series Anatomy of Architecture by Simone Leigh. The series of sculptures will intermingle architectural forms from West Africa to the American South with the human body. Brick House has been extended until Spring 2021.

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