Planeta Abuelx, Disease Throwers, Guadalupe Maravilla, Socrates Sculpture Park Image by Sara Morgan.
Planeta Abuelx, Disease Throwers, Guadalupe Maravilla, Socrates Sculpture Park and PPOW Gallery. Image by Sara Morgan.

June is reopening month for New York City! With the weather warming up, the city has lots of outdoor art premiering in fun destinations to check out. The month seems to be full of one-stop-shopping for art happenings. Take a ferry to Governors Island for a rare career survey of artist Meg Webster, among with other installations on the island, or tour the Rockefeller Center campus for its first solo-artist exhibition with multiple pieces by artist Sanford Biggers. There are lots more to choose from, so enjoy new public art this June and be sure to keep reading to catch installations still on view from previous months!

1. PUBLIC WATER at Prospect Park

Public Water, Mary Mattingly
Public Water, by Mary Mattingly

PUBLIC WATER is an eco-conscious, active ten-foot geodesic dome installation in Prospect Park that invites the public to consider this precious resource. According to artist Mary Mattingly, “The sculpture draws from the minerals and geologic features of the watershed to filter water. PUBLIC WATER brings attention to New York City’s drinking water system in order to build more reciprocal exchanges between people who live in New York City’s drinking watershed and its drinking-water users in the city, to promote care and commons.”

The project includes a water-filtering sculptural ecosystem and a self-guided walking tour through the park’s watershed, designed in connection with the launch of ecoWEIR, a natural filtration pilot project for the park’s manmade watercourse. It is on view through September 7, 2021.

2. 88 LILAC Mural Installation On Lighthouse Tender Lilac

Lilac smokestack
88 LILAC mural on the stacks of Lilac, America’s only steam-powered lighthouse tender.

A new mural titled 88 LILAC celebrates the history of the LILAC on Pier 25 in Lower Manhattan. The LILAC is a retired Coast Guard cutter that maintained buoys and carried supplies to lighthouses from 1933-1972. The paper mural, created by Aaron Asis, Untapped New York’s Artist in Residence, displays large-scale historic images wheatpasted along the ship’s historic stack. When up close, you can listen to a dramatic account of an important moment in LILAC’s history titled “Aids to Navigation,” written by Untapped New York’s Chief Experience Officer Justin Rivers. The public can access the experience via a QR code on Pier 25 while viewing the mural.

As America’s only steam-powered lighthouse tender, revitalization efforts for the LILAC are run by the non-profit LILAC Preservation Project. Its goals are to rehabilitate the ship to operate once again on its original steam engines, promote maritime education, provide a venue for history and art, and offer a community-friendly space for meetings and events. The grand re-opening of the museum ship is slotted for July. In the meantime enjoy a view and a story about its history from the fresh air of Pier 25 in Lower Manhattan.

3. Sanford Biggers takes over Rockefeller Center

A 25-foot†bronze†sculpture,†titled†Oracle, by artist Sanford Biggers is unveiled at Rockefeller Centerís Channel Gardens,
A 25-foot bronze sculpture titled Oracle, by artist Sanford Biggers is unveiled at Rockefeller Center’s Channel Gardens, (Diane Bondareff/AP Images for Tishman Speyer)

Sanford Biggers is a multi-disciplinary artist who has transformed Rockefeller Center this month. The 25-foot tall bronze sculpture titled Oracle is part of his ongoing Chimera series combining African masks and traditional European figurative forms.

Oracle is the centerpiece that welcomes visitors at the Fifth Avenue entrance to the Channel Gardens. There are multiple pieces by the artist being exhibited at the Rockefeller Center site.

4. Planeta Abuelx at Socrates Sculpture Park

Planeta Abuelx, Disease Throwers, Guadalupe Maravilla, Socrates Sculpture Park Image by Sara Morgan.
Planeta Abuelx, Disease Throwers, Guadalupe Maravilla, Socrates Sculpture Park and PPOW Gallery. Image by Sara Morgan.

Through Planeta Abuelx, on display at Socrates Sculpture Park, artist Guadalupe Maravilla expands on their interest in Indigenous holistic healing practices through sculpture. The piece was created in response to a curatorial invitation to use the park’s five-acre landscape as a sanctuary for recuperation. Made on site, Maravilla’s work focuses on physical and emotional health through mutual and holistic care works in harmony with the park’s sheltered green space.

Over the course of the Planeta Abuelx exhibition, Maravilla will activate the projects on view through a series of public programs including community workshops and therapeutic sound baths. The exhibition will be on view through Sept. 5.

5. Pollinator’s Pavilion

A Slice of Pollinator_Pavillion_Harrison Atelier at The Bee Conservancy, Governors Island
A Slice of Pollinator Pavilion, Harrison Atelier at The Bee Conservancy, Governors Island. Photo credit Adam Elstein 2021

One of the many attractions to the sustainability-focused programming at Governors Island in June is the Pollinator’s Pavilion. The pavilion is a beautifully designed structure for the education and advocacy of climate resilience. The pavilion introduced these overlooked yet critical pollinators to the broad public. A slice of the pavilion will be on view through summer.

Using machine learning, the pavilion communicates data harvested from its monitoring system to collect scientific knowledge on native bees. Created by Pratt’s School of Architecture professor, Ariane Harrison; the Harrison Atelier team, Seth Harrison and Pratt graduate Yuxiang Chen Pollinators Pavilion is an artificially intelligent habitat for native bees helping to promote biodiversity. The public will be able to view the Pollinators Pavilion throughout the summer.

6. The Arts Center at Governors Island Reopening Exhibitions

Meg Webster, Concave Room for Bees (detail) (2016), installation view: Landmark at Socrates Sculpture Park, Long Island City, NY. Photo: John Hatfield. © Meg Webster. Courtesy Socrates Sculpture Park and Paula Cooper Gallery, New York.

Meg Webster’s art is firmly rooted in nature. For the Wave exhibition at The Arts Center on Governors Island, her work includes visual language of geometric forms and organic matter that enlightens viewers on such topics as nature, ecology, sustainability and technology. Webster’s site-specific installation Wave is comprised of both new and existing work from across Webster’s career. Also on view is work by Onyedika Chuke, an artist and archivist whose ongoing project, The Forever Museum Archive, will be presented in a site-specific display. This most recent iteration of the archive, which joins a unique collection of sculpture, text, and images will feature sculptural work cast by the artist alongside historical artifacts, framed within a labyrinth of Quaker pews.

Conceived by LMCC (Lower Manhattan Cultural Council) as an incubator for creative exploration and a gathering space to engage in dialogue, The Arts Center at Governors Island is located within the Governors Island Historic District, just minutes away from Manhattan by ferry. Both exhibitions take place from June 12-October 31 All programming and events at The Arts Center are free and open to the public with advance tickets required.

7. Rashid Johnson’s Red Stage at Astor Place

Astor Place
Astor Place. Photo by Shubhra Mishra. Courtesy of the Village Alliance Business Improvement District

Rashid Johnson makes YOU the artist with Red Stage, an interactive structure, stage, and creative hub. The stage and arena invites the public to present their own productions as New York City reopens. Consider it a return to the public square.

Astor Place has long been a gathering place for protest and political action. Its inhabitants have been driving forces behind arts, culture, and political engagement in NYC. Presented by Creative Time, the public platform awaits you at Astor Place, where the presenters encourage visitors to “meet at Rashid Johnson’s Red Stage from June 5 – July 4 for collaboration, expression, and experimentation.”

8. The Roots of Tuckahoe Marble Sculpture

The Roots of Tuckahoe Marble by artist Lara Sagat
The Roots of Tuckahoe Marble by artist Lara Sagat. Photo Max Yawney

The Roots of Tuckahoe Marble is an eight-foot-tall public sculpture made of Tuckahoe marble, bronze, and glass by Lara Saget. Historically used for building many of New York’s iconic landmarks like Washington Memorial Arch in Washington Square and Manhattan’s historic New York Marble Cemetery, the story and the supply of Tuckahoe marble has been lost.

Saget creates a homage to this victim of time with a sculptural installation using Tuckahoe marble encased inside of molten glass, generating a transparent, crystalline form. This form is embedded in a bronze cast piece of an organism known as Pando found in Utah’s Fishlake National Forest. Incorporated into the installation is The Sound of Pando, in collaboration with Jerry J. Adams and the SoundMapApp, the recorded electrical differential between Pando’s leaves and roots translated into sound. You can scan a QR code to hear the recording. The sculpture is on view through May 22, 2022 at Clumber Corner, Prospect Street and Adams Street, Brooklyn.

9. Silent Spikes Midnight Moment in Times Square

Kenneth Tam, Silent Spikes video
Kenneth Tam, Silent Spikes video still courtesy of the artist

Kenneth Tam’s Silent Spikes reexamines the roles of Asian Americans in Western culture. Presented across over 75 digital billboards in Times Square every night this June, the work features Asian American men of all ages dressed in traditional cowboy garb acting out typical cowboy and rodeo gestures. The work takes on the issue of idealized myth of Western masculinity. Silent Spikes is presented in partnership with The Queens Museum.

Midnight Moment is the world’s largest and longest-running digital art exhibition, synchronized on electronic billboards throughout Times Square nightly from 11:57pm to midnight. Silent Spikes runs from June 1–30, 2021.

10. Celebrating The Wins Photo Exhibit at The Seaport District

Celebrating the Wins outdoor photo exhibit at the Seaport, Fulton St.
Celebrating the Wins outdoor photo exhibit at the Seaport, Fulton St. Photo Mike Szpot @ILLKONCEPT

Celebrating The Wins, an outdoor gallery open for a three-month residency at the South Street Seaport, features the work of 24 emerging artists that highlights and celebrates the city. Featuring original photography, an original illustration by artist Patrick O’Keefe, and a manifesto penned by poet/writer Joekenneth, the exhibition will showcase work at 1 Fulton Street and adjacent buildings at the Seaport. The exhibition is a collaboration with Street Dreams magazine with support from The Howard Hughes Corporation.

There are some extra activities going on in conjunction with the exhibit, including Steve’s Flea Market, a pop-up shop for local brands and Street Dreams partners to showcase their products and sell exclusive items to the community in partnership with Tone Customs. Celebrating The Wins will be up through July 30th.

11. The Green at Lincoln Center

Curved chair at The GREEN at Lincoln Center's Restart Stages
The Green at Lincoln Center. Photograph © Sachyn Mital, Courtesy of Lincoln Center

Time to hang outside at “The GREEN” at Lincoln Center. The grass-covered shapes and furniture in the Josie Robertson Plaza encourage you to touch, climb, and relax on this formerly stone plaza. The green space has been reimagined for the summer re-opening of New York by set designer and MacArthur Genius winner Mimi Lien.

The installation acts as the physical centerpiece of Restart Stages, Lincoln Center’s initiative to help kickstart the arts sector and New York City’s revival. “The GREEN” features grass-like recyclable, bio-based SYNLawn material, and is designed in a mobility-friendly way with cane detection for blind or visually impaired people integrated into the architecture.

12. Massive Bulldog Guarding Domino Park 

Will Kurtz bulldog
Photo courtesy Will Kurtz

A massive bulldog made of kibble by artist and animal lover Will Kurtz will be guarding Domino Park in Brooklyn for one week in June. The sculpture was commissioned by Freshpet foods and is titled One Sad Kibble Dog. The piece serves as a testimony to the overly processed dry dog food industry. Kurtz’ bulldogs previously stood guard over the Garment District last year.

The nine-foot sculpture will be unveiled June 9 at 5 p.m. and will be there for one week with Freshpet representations on site. Domino Park Dog Run is located at 15 River Street at South Fifth Street.

13. Community Murals Project

Courtesy of NYC Health + Hospitals

The Community Murals Project of the New York City Health + Hospitals system has unveiled four new murals. Artist Viktoriya Basina created three new murals at Gotham Health/Dyckman Hospital in Inwood celebrating the Dominican community as well as the heroism of the hospital staff. Also unveiled this month is the mural For the People By The People by Daryl Myntia Daniels. Located in the Pediatric waiting room of Gotham Health Sydenham, it depicts notable figures associated with the history of Sydenham and street signs from the Harlem area where the former hospital is located. All the murals were created with community input.

When complete, The Community Murals Project will be the country’s largest public hospital murals program since the Work Progress Administration/Federal Art Project in the 1930s and 1940s. As part of the NYC Health + Hospitals Arts in Medicine program, the project encourages community participation with an artist leader. By the end of summer, there will be 27 murals across the hospital system.

Continue reading to see what is still on display from previous months in NYC!

14. Ghost Forest by Maya Lin

Maya Lin’s Ghost Forest, a towering stand of 50 haunting Atlantic white cedar trees placed in Madison Square Park, is a newly commissioned public artwork. Lin brings her vision as an artist and her agency as an environmental activist to this project, which embodies a memory of germination, vegetation, and abundance, as well as a harsh symbol of the devastation of climate change.

The height of each tree, around 40 feet, stands as a metaphor of the outsized impact of a looming environmental calamity. The trees in Ghost Forest were all slated to be cleared as part of regeneration efforts in the fragile ecosystem of the Pine Barrens, New Jersey. Ghost Forest will be in the park from May 10 to November 14.

15. Untitled (drone)  by Sam Durant at the Highline Plinth

Rendering of Sam Durant’s Untitled (drone). Courtesy of High Line.

One of several public art installations along The High Line, Sam Durant’s Untitled (drone) is the second High Line Plinth commission. With this work, Durant seeks to make visible the intentionally obscured drone warfare perpetrated by the United States, and to remind the public that drones and surveillance are a tragic and pervasive presence in the daily lives of many living outside—and within—the United States.

This large-scale fiberglass sculpture in the shape of an abstracted drone atop a 25-foot-tall steel pole continues High Line Art’s mission of presenting new, powerful, and thought-provoking artworks that generate and amplify some of today’s most important conversations Untitled (drone) is on view through August 2022

16. Three Public Art Installations by Jim Rennert

Public Art, May 2021, Inner Dialogue by , Jim Rennert, Pershing Square Plaza West.
Inner Dialogue by Jim Rennert is one of the sculptures in Pershing Plaza West, Grand Central. Photo courtesy Cavalier Galleries

Timing, Inner Dialogue, and Listen are three life-size works by artist Jim Rennert that will be installed in Pershing Square Plaza West across from Grand Central Terminal. Each sculpture stands at over six feet tall and depicts the daily struggles and achievements of everyday people. The sculptural installations are facilitated as part of the New York City Department of Transportation’s Temporary Art Program.

Rennert’s works represent the meeting point between the business world and the everyday lives of ordinary people, similar to how Pershing Square represents the fusion of business and community of the neighborhood surrounding Grand Central Terminal. The sculptures are available through December 2021

17. BEACON, a Shining Light in Flushing, Queens

BEACON interactive sculpture. Photo courtesy of Beam Center.

BEACON is a monumental 12-foot interactive sculpture inspired by American inventor Lewis H. Latimer. It was fabricated by youth in Red Hook, Brooklyn. The installation is designed to illuminate its immediate surroundings with light based on the viewer’s proximity and direct interaction with the structure. It is on view at the Lewis Latimer House Museum in Flushing, Queens.

BEACON was created in partnership with interdisciplinary artist and educator Shervone Neckles, representing the collaboration of young adults from around New York City recruited from NYC Human Resources Administration’s Youth Services. Beam Center is a Brooklyn-based non-profit that produces ambitious, collaborative projects with more than 7,000 NYC youth annually. BEACON is on view through August 15, 2021.

18. Avery SPOT installed at Columbia Campus

Avery SPOT 2, Colombia campus
The Avery SPOT is designed and built by Columbia GSAPP students for the Spring 2021 seminar The Outside Project led by Professor Laurie Hawkinson and Associate Professor of Profession

The Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (Columbia GSAPP) is now presenting the outdoor pavilion Avery SPOT. The temporary pavilion structure was erected by students in the plaza between Avery, Fayerweather, and Schermerhorn Halls on Columbia University’s Morningside Heights Campus.

The pavilion was used for GSAPP events and celebrates the reunion of students and faculty on campus during the April 29 and May 1, 2021 Columbia GSAPP commencement activities and is still up for view. The canopy uses a rain chain to divert water from the platform and to prevent water buildup and additional weight. The platform program features social distancing circles organized in three colored arrangements to accommodate casual meetings, outdoor seminars, and formal lectures.

19. The Wash at Port Authority Bus Station

The Wash art installation at Port Authority Bus Station
The Wash art installation at Port Authority Bus Station. Photo by PANYNJ / David Compton

In recognition of Earth Month, the Port Authority bus terminal is hosting a new exhibit that focuses on the collection and clean-up of marine debris from New York City beaches. The Wash features 29 photographs framed in a portal motif that resembles a line of washing machines.

The new outdoor mural is the creative inspiration of Brooklyn-based artist Basia Goszczynska, in partnership with the Port Authority and local artist collective ChaShaMa. The public art piece highlights the need to keep marine life clean and healthy.

20. Not for Nutten Mural at Governors Island

Mural in the Ferry Building, Governors Island by artist Duke Riley. Photo Credit: Timothy Schenck

In his large mural work for the Governors Island Ferry Building, artist Duke Riley expands on the ships in a bottle tradition of preciously crafted objects by using a more common bottle of today—single-use plastic containers found floating in oceans worldwide. However, unlike their blown glass and wood-ship-in-a-bottle counterparts, Riley’s painted vignettes appear etched like scrimshaw on the surfaces of items that plague our waterway ecosystems, such as detergent bottles and caulking tubes.

“As a historic center for the arts, Governors Island is proud to welcome yet another celebrated artist to enliven our public spaces,” said Clare Newman, President and CEO of the Trust for Governors Island. “Riley’s work marries the Harbor’s rich history with the Island’s present focus on the pressing issues of the ongoing climate crisis. This intricately beautiful mural looks to both the past and the future, giving visitors the chance to pause and reflect as they enjoy everything the Island has to offer.” The mural will remain on exhibit for the long term.

21. The Parts exhibition of Text and Images

The Parts by artist Chloë Bass at Brooklyn Library

The Parts is a piece by Brooklyn-based conceptual artist Chloë Bass, Brooklyn Library’s Katowitz Radin Artist in Residence for 2021. The piece is a multiform physical installation, realized as text and images, installed in the exterior landscape of Central Library at Grand Army Plaza.

The installation includes two double-sided flags activating the exterior of BPL’s recently inaugurated Center for Brooklyn History. The flags contain images of the artist’s daily life and reflective personal texts, “which reside at the intersection of aphorism, diary entry, and prose poetry.” The project started on Instagram and will now be on display at several library branches. It will be on view through September 20, 2021.

22. SeaGlass Carousel at Battery Park

The SeaGlass story began in the early 2000s, when The Battery Conservancy was designing the park’s interior. The southern end of the park needed more light, so the design team came up with the idea of an aquatic carousel to conjure The Battery’s history as the first home of the New York Aquarium. Inspired by the chambered nautilus, the spiraling pavilion of glass and steel brings art, architecture, and music to children of all ages.

The George Tsypin Opera Factory created a mystical underwater experience that you can take part in this month at the carousel. The rider sits within iridescent fish that glide through the sights and sounds of a 360° aquatic adventure. Tickets are $5.00. Be sure to check times and dates on the carousel’s website. The carousel is open through September.

23. Melvin Edwards Retrospective in City Hall Park

Melvin Edwards Song of the Broken Chains, 2020 Courtesy Alexander Gray Associates, New York; Stephen Friedman Gallery, London © 2021 Melvin Edwards/ Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Nicholas Knight, Courtesy of Public Art Fund, NY

The Public Art Fund has announced a survey of Melvin Edwards’ work. a collection of six sculptures titled Brighter Days. The displayed work will feature both newly commissioned pieces and five sculptures made between 1970 and 1994. Edwards was the first African American sculptor to have a solo exhibition at The Whitney, doing so in 1970.

Edwards often uses chains in his work, a symbol of bondage and oppression as well as connection. The location of City Hall Park, located on a 1700’s African American Burial Ground, is a fitting and powerful one. The Brighter Days exhibition on display through November 28 is free and open to the public.

24. Ruth Bader Ginsburg Statue in Brooklyn

Ruth Bader Ginsburg statue at City Point Downtow Brooklyn
Ruth Bader Ginsburg statue at City Point in downtown Brooklyn. Photo by Bob Krasne

Artist duo Gillie and Marc created this bronze of late U.S. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to commemorate her fight for gender equality and human rights. The statue is one of ten statues of notable women installed in New York City to increase the representation of women in public sculpture from three to ten percent. The statue is on view from noon to 8 p.m. daily in the lobby of City Point in Downtown Brooklyn.

25. Reclining Liberty Comes to Morningside Park

Reclining Liberty by Zaq Landsberg, Marcus Garvey Park
Rendering of Reclining Liberty by Zaq Landsberg, Morningside Park. Photo courtesy of the artist

Reclining Liberty by artist Zaq Landsberg is set to premier, after much delay, in Morningside Park on April 26. The slightly weary looking Lady Liberty seems to be waiting, like most of us, for better days that surely are coming. The artist, in explaining his draw to monuments, states, “They are literally where the political and the aesthetic meet.”

You can visit the statue at the base of the stairs at 120th Street and Manhattan Avenue in Harlem. Reclining Liberty will remain on view through April 25, 2022.

26. Giant Pin Cushion installation of Flowers and Willow welcomes Spring in the Garment District

Giant Pin Cushion art installation on the street in the garment district created with colorful botanical materials
Giant Pin Cushion art installation incorporated into the Garment District Alliance kiosk district created with colorful botanical materials by Floratorium artists. Courtesy of Garment District Alliance

The enormous bronze needle and button sculpture you may have seen on 7th Avenue next to the garment district info kiosk has a companion for the summer titled Pin Cushion. The giant floral arrangement has transformed the Garment District Alliance kiosk into a delightful place to stop, look, and get information about the district.

Pin Cushion was created by Patricia Gonzalez and Carlos Franqui of Floratorium and is made up of more than 50 bales of curly willow, nine wisteria bales, and hundreds of faux hydrangeas, poppies, greenery, and butterflies. New Yorkers are encouraged to stop by and visit the exhibit through July 31.

27. Sound installation loved at Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Cherry tree esplanade wherethe sound installation loved by Michael Gordon plays
loved, a sound installation by composer Michael Gordon was written in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and will be played hourly in Brooklyn Botanic Garden cherry esplanade. Courtesy of BBG

In commemorating the one year anniversary of the pandemic, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden has done its own reflection by working with composer Michael Gordon to install his composition loved. Performed by percussionist David Cossin, the meditative composition for seven vibraphones plays hourly on Cherry Esplanade and runs for five minutes and 28 seconds. You can meditate in the natural beauty of the blossoming trees as this haunting and uplifting piece is broadcast throughout the esplanade.

28 KUSAMA: Cosmic Nature at New York Botanical Garden

Narcissus Garden by Yayoi Kusama NYBG
Narcissus Garden by Yayoi Kusama Photo Courtesy of New York Botanical Garden

The long-delayed garden exhibition KUSAMA: Cosmic Nature is now open at the New York Botanical Garden. The exhibition will be a comprehensive survey of the Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama and her lifelong obsession with the natural world. KUSAMA: Cosmic Nature will include programs, a publication, and exhibits both in the gardens and within the surrounding buildings of the 250-acre landscape.

The artist’s spectacular sculptures, signature polka-dotted organic forms, and mesmerizing paintings of plants and flowers will be presented along with archival material never before publicly exhibited. The change of seasons will complement the spectacular works during the exhibit’s six-month run. The exhibit is on view from April 10 through October 31, 2021. Tickets are available through the New York Botanical Garden’s website.

29. The séances aren’t helping at the Met

Seances aren't wokring sculptures in The Met Facade
Courtesy the artist and David Zwirner. Image The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photo Bruce Schwarz

The séances aren’t helping by Carol Bove will be the second commission featured on the facade of The Met Fifth Avenue. The spaces Bove’s work will fill have historically been empty. Though the niches were intended to contain art, they were empty for 117 years. Bove’s four massive works are sculpted into nonrepresentational forms that “resonate with modernist styles such as Art Deco and abstraction.”

Bove’s piece contrasts the classical style of Richard Morris Hunt‘s facade design,  which “subtly calls for us to reevaluate and reckon with the legacies of tradition.” The tile also, The séances aren’t helping, further emphasizes the ongoing struggle to reckon with our past. The sculptures will be on display until November 2021.

30. Largest Tile Mosaic by Rashid Johnson

Rashid Johnson mosaic
Courtesy of the Artist

The works of Rashid Johnson employ a wide range of mediums to explore the themes of art history, individual and shared cultural identity, personal narratives, and materiality. His work often includes diverse materials rich with symbolism and personal history.

The mosaic Untitled Broken Crowd is composed of handmade ceramics, wood, brass, oyster shells, spray paint, wax, soap, and mirrors. The soaring piece spans 14 by 33 feet. Located at 200 Liberty Street at Brookfield Place, visitors will be able to contemplate Johnson’s extraordinary piece mounted in the lobby entrance. The glass facade of the building also allows the piece to be highly visible from the surrounding streets.

31. Awol Erikzu Bus Shelters

Bus shelter art by Awol Erikzu
Photograph Courtesy of the Artist

New Visions for Iris is a 200-site photography exhibition by multidisciplinary artist Awol Erikzu on display in JCDecaux bus shelters across the city. Creating visual poems, the Ethiopian-born, Bronx-raised artist imagines an inclusive reinvention of our shared public spaces. The portrait and still life compositions include a diverse and colorful array of motifs and references that challenge the status quo of typical commercial images.

A map published online is available to view locations in New York City. Presented by Public Art Fund, New Visions for Iris is Erikzu’s first solo public exhibition and will be on view from February 24 through June 20, 2021.

32. Intertwining Colors

Intertwining Colors mural
Photo courtesy of ArtBridge

Intertwining Colors, a large-scale, hand-painted mural by artists Hisham Akira Bharoocha and Maria Lupianez, is now on display through June 2021 at NYCHA‘s Fulton and Elliott-Chelsea Houses in Manhattan. The mural features portraits of members of the local community, who according to the ArtBridge, the organization behind the work, are “each dancing joyously, alone yet still connected.” The project was also made possible by Facebook Open Arts and NYC Cultural Affairs.

Intertwining Colors is 355 feet long, painted across 55 panels of outdoor construction scaffolding. You can find it along 17th Street between 9th and 10th Avenues and on 26th Street between 9th and 10th Avenues.

33. Jim Rennert Sculptures at Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza

Photo Courtesy of Jim Rennert/Cavalier Galleries

Five monumental sculptures by artist Jim Rennert, all standing over 12.5-feet tall, have been installed in the Theater District and Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza. The pieces belong to two collections by Rennert, Walking the Tightrope and WTF. Rennert’s work explores the physical and psychological challenges of the competitive corporate world.

“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 Rennert in a press statement. You can find Walking the Tightrope and WTF at the entrance to 1700 Broadway, and they will be on display through 2022. Rennert’s three other sculptures, TimingInner Dialogue and Commute, are located at Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza on East 47th Street and can be viewed through August 2021.

34. Mundillo at West Farms Square Plaza

Mundillo sculpture in the Bronx
Samantha Holmes, Mundillo (Little World), 2020, Steel, 14 x 8 x 10 feet, Commissioned by the Bronx River Arts Center and the NYC Department of Transportation, as part of its Arts Community Commissions series. Courtesy of JHB Gallery

At West Farms Square Plaza in the Bronx, artist Samantha Holmes has crafted a giant steel sculpture that looks dainty but is strong and resilient. The painted steel sculpture, tilted Mundillo (Little World), is a “monument to women’s work and the cultural dynamism of the Bronx.” Holmes takes inspiration from the patterns of traditional Puerto Rican lacework to represent softness, while the steel reveals strength.

Openings in the sculpture’s lace-like surface allow it to seemingly weave into the fabric of the surrounding neighborhood, as those holes are filled with the colors and sights of the neighborhood. Holmes’ sculpture was commissioned by the Bronx River Arts Center and the NYC Department of Transportation as part of its Arts Community Commissions series. The piece will be on view adjacent to the East Tremont Avenue subway station through September 2021.

35. TimberWolf

Photo of Timberwolf
Photo Courtesy of the artist

Artist Alex “Rocko” Rupert’s wooden wolf head structure TimberWolf at Maria Hernandez Park in Brooklyn takes utilitarian materials like reclaimed lumber to serve as a metaphor for how everyday materials can be repurposed. The structure plays into the importance of resourcefulness, breathing use back into what is considered “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.

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

Photo of Torso II, Swinging II, Messenger of the Gods
Photo 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 at city government buildings, 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.

37. Floating Woman

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

Located in Hunter’s Point South through September 2021, Floating Woman is one of French sculptor Gaston Lachaise’s best-known 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 Isabel, who was his muse and model, the “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.

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.

38. 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.

39. Doors for Doris at Doris C. Freedman Plaza

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

Artist Sam Moyer created a massive three-part hybrid sculpture called Doors for Doris using imported stones and rock indigenous to New York to pay homage to Public Art Fund founder Doris C. Freedman. The sculpture stands at the plaza named for her outside Central Park.

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 is running from September 16, 2020 to September 12, 2021.

40. Poetry Path in Battery Park City

Photo of Poetry Path
Photo by Daniel Terna

Poets House and Battery Park City Authority (BPCA) launched the Poetry Path, an immersive public art installation featuring work from more than 40 poets. Poetry Path occupies the northern length of Battery Park City, from Nelson A. Rockefeller and Teardrop Parks to the North Cove Marina.

The works of the poets, with themes of the relationships between people, nature, and the urban landscape, are reproduced on bench slats, banners, pavers, pathways, and signs. The installation will be up through 2021.

Next, check out our upcoming tours to explore more of New York City!