We might be in the midst of a huge snowstorm, but February is always a great month for new public art. Once you can dig yourself out, check out everything from the annual Times Square Heart unveiling to more timely works that are a commentary on COVID-19 and social justice, plus art exhibitions in surprising locations. Outdoor art installations are even more critical in the pandemic, with some shuttered businesses taking advantage of their exterior facades to communicate artistically with the public. Here are the new public art installations to see this month in New York City!
1. Times Square Heart Competition
On February 10th, the 2021 Times Square Design Competition: Love in Our Times winner will be unveiled. This year’s winner is called Love Letters, designed by Soft-Firm (from Lexi Tsien and Talitha Liu), curated by Reddymade and developed in consultation with worthless studios. Visitors can leave love letters inside the sculpture, which forms two hearts when viewed from above. The sculpture’s material is intended to be a reference to New York City’s building facades, “using plywood as a material of public engagement to mimic a scrolling storefront.” The plywood is alternated with mirrored windows that will reflect the public space around it. The sculpture will also provide seating a multiple levels. Love Letters will be on view from February 10th to March 10th.