As New York City’s first full month completely reopened since the COVID-19 pandemic began, July will have many new art installations on display to enjoy. Tying into the summer season, many of these installations’ themes focus on New York City’s eclectic natural environments. Head to the South Street Seaport for an exhibit by aimed at targeting climate change’s impact on the country’s waterways, or explore the legacy of Prospect Park through breathtaking photography. With many other installations to choose from, spend time enjoying all the new public art on display this July. In addition, be sure to keep reading to learn more about installations still on display from previous months!
1. Re:Growth, A Celebration of Art, Riverside Park, and the New York Spirit
Through September 13, 2021, Karin Bravin‘s public art exhibition, Re: Growth, A Celebration of Art, Riverside Park and the New York Spirit, will be on display in Riverside Park, spanning from 64th Street to 151st Street. It was created in celebration of Riverside Park Conservancy‘s 35th Anniversary and as a testament to the City and Park’s resilience this past year. The exhibition includes 16 site-specific installations and ten flag and banner projects — centered around the theme of regrowth in the literal, metaphorical, poetic, and philosophical sense. Some of the featured artists in the exhibition include Jean Shin, Vanessa Albury, Weenie Huang, Mary Mattingly, David Shaw Jean Shin, Woolpunk, and many others, some of whom’s work will be discussed later.
“Public art engages visitors when they least expect it,” Bravin said of the exhibition. “I am inspired by this element of surprise, where art meets viewers in their own world. Projects like this, that remove gallery walls, make both art and nature accessible to all.”
2. Shoreline Change at Art at the BlueLine
From July 14 to August 2, 2021, The Howard Hughes Corporation will present Art at the BlueLine — a public outdoor exhibition that will use art as a means of calling for increased climate action — in Lower Manhattan’s South Street Seaport. Organized in partnership with the Waterfront Alliance, the exhibition will showcase work from three climate artists at the BlueLine, what will be the future high tide line of the city following the effects of climate change, to collectively highlight the risk people face from rising sea levels and coastal storms. In addition, the exhibition will serve as a continuation of the call for climate action demonstrated across the region on City of Water Day, July 10, 2021. It will run from July 14 to August 2, 2021.
One featured work in the exhibition will be Nate Dorr and Nathan Kensinger’s “Shoreline Change,” a collection of experimental documentary films about New York City’s waterfront. Each documentary explores specific coastal areas in a state of transformation to highlight the impacts of climate change, environmental degradation, and commercial development on the land and its surrounding communities. The documentaries will be projected onto various maritime landmarks throughout the Seaport starting on July 14th for six nights, linking the historic Seaport’s waterfront to the present dangers New York City’s shorelines face. In doing so, the documentaries will work to spark dialogue towards enacting future measures to prevent further damage.
3. Historic Doyers Street Gets An Artistic Makeover In Honor Of Pride Month
In honor of Pride month, Chilean-born street artist Dasic Fernández painted the historic Doyers Street in Chinatown in a range of beautiful colors from all across the rainbow. In the past, Doyers Street was once known as “the Bloody Angle,” for the amount of gang violence that took place in the early 20th century. The breathtaking mural that now covers the street spans 4,851 square feet in length and includes 44 unique colors, painted across a period of just three-and-a-half days. Fernández received information for the mural’s design from rice cultivation terraces—a common landscape seen throughout China. Using the Anamorphism technique, the mural appears 3D at certain points, most notably from the corner of Pell or Bowery streets, perfectly integrating the mural into its surrounding environment.
Doyers Street’s vibrant makeover is part of New York City’s Asphalt Art Activation series, which involves the partnership between NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) and artists to paint large scale-murals onto repurposed asphalt that are pedestrianized public spaces. Typical sites the program has transformed include curb extensions, slip lane closures, bike share lanes, and temporary plazas, with sizes ranging anywhere from 1,000 to 8,000 square feet. In addition, as part of the city’s Open Streets program, Doyers is fully closed to all vehicular traffic from Bowery to Pell streets daily from noon to 11:00 p.m. Given this, Doyers Street serves as the perfect venue for visitors to walk through and enjoy Fernández’s mural. The mural will be on display for the following 11 months, weather permitting.
4. There Are Holes In My Perception Of The Forest &Four Currents
This summer, New Jersey-based multi-disciplinary artist Wendy Letven will have two sculpture works on display in Riverside Park as part of Karin Bravin’s Re:Growth public art exhibition. The first, There Are Holes In My Perception Of The Forest, located at 125th and Riverside Drive, features an aluminum-cut structure painted in various shades of blue, brown, green, and yellow. The structure’s holes allow in the careful flow of light work to evoke the sensation of dappled light and the swirling effect of wind on trees. In addition, the artwork intentionally uses negative space to connote gaps in Letven’s perception of the world around her and the presence of the unseen forces of nature at work.
Letven’s second piece, Four Currents, is located at 83rd Street on the waterfront. It was conceived to represent the convergence of energies surrounding Riverside Park — the flow of the Hudson River, the park’s urban surroundings, the energy of the sun, and the area’s powerful wind forces. Both sculptures will be on display through September 13, 2021.
5. The Fabulous Plant of Rejuvenation in Rockaway Beach
The Fabulous Plant of Rejuvenation is a 90-foot-tall mural by Baxter St alum Ivan Forde, located on the façade of the newly built Rockaway Hotel in Rockaway Beach, Queens. The mural was curated by Michi Jigarjian, Managing Partner, Creative/Social Impact Officer, with support from 7G Foundation and Facebook Open Arts. Inaugurated on June 18th, 2021, the artwork draws inspiration from the legacy of Rockaway‘s’ Indigenous Lenape people and Forde’s own ancestry — including conversations with his father on the healing powers of water and vegetation. Included in the mural is a depiction of an underwater seascape of poetic sea characters alongside local fish and birds. Its centerpiece is the mythical plant from the ancient Mesopotamian poem The Epic of Gilgamesh. In addition, the mural features a series of healing plants, connected to Forde’s birthplace of Guyana, the Rockaways, and other cultures across the globe.
“My project takes cues from the structures of epic poetry, conversations with ecologists and botanists, and folk traditions our grandmothers and great-grandmothers knew,” Forde said. “These knowledge systems are paramount to the discussions the mural aims to hold space for and align with a symbiotic relationship to nature essential for healing both the human species undergoing a global pandemic and the planet itself.”
6. Head to PS1’s Outdoor Courtyard for an experiment in creative ecologies
For those visiting the Hunters Point area of Queens this summer, MoMA’s PS1 outdoor courtyard will feature an experiment in creative ecologies. As a leading space within the neighborhood’s community, the new installation will reimagine the use and access of the PS1 courtyard. It will feature Rashid Johnson’s Stage, a participatory installation and sound work, which draws on the history of the microphone as a tool of protest and public oratory. It will feature a yellow powder-coated stage, with Johnson’s signature markings engraved onto it, and five SM58 microphones of varying heights. Stage’s design echoes that of other unofficial sites of public intellectual and cultural life like Harlem’s 135th Street and Lenox Avenue. Visitors will have the opportunity to speak to the public on the stage, with their words being recorded and broadcasted in the courtyard. In addition, the stage will feature a number of performances from artists, activists, poets, and musicians.
Besides Stage, the PS1 outdoor courtyard will also host a series of Thought Collectives that test out new and creative propositions for the future usage of public spaces. One of these collectives will be Niki de Saint Phalle‘s 1967 sculpture La Femme et L’oiseau fontaine, part of a survey of Saint Phalle’s work Structures for Life on display through September 6th, 2021. The sculpture serves as a perfect example of the artist’s early Nana sculptures, which served as monuments of female empowerment and symbols of the growing movement to move the display of artwork outside the confines of indoor art gallery’s. Finally, along the wall surrounding Saint Phalle’s sculpture will be Raul de Nieves’ 2021 installation, The Stories of the Past Rejoice through Children’s Skies. The installation was influenced by Mexican craft traditions, with its structure resembling that of stained glass windows — forcing its viewers into a church-like space of reflection.
7. Parisian replica of the Statue of Liberty is coming to the U.S.
On July 4th, “Lady Liberty’s Little Sister,” a replica of the Statue of Liberty currently residing in Paris, will be inaugurated at Ellis Island. Afterward, it will travel to Washington D.C., where it will be displayed at the French Ambassador’s Residence for Bastille Day. This sculpture’s move is in honor of the 135th Anniversary of the Statue of Liberty’s journey across the Atlantic Ocean in pieces to the U.S. It is connected to a partnership between the Embassy of France in the U.S., the Conservatoire national des arts et métiers, and the shipping logistics company CMA CGM Group.
“The arrival of the new Lady Liberty will celebrate the most central value of the French-American partnership: freedom,” the press release reads. “The technological, artistic, and logistical challenges that had to be overcome to bring this new statue to America tell a modern tale of successful international cooperation.”
8. Hidden in Plain Sight: Joiri Minaya’s Containers
Throughout Riverside Park, passersby can search along the pathways for select photos from Joiri Minaya’s Containers series, as part of the Re:Growth program. Containers is a set of photographs, videos, and performances in which women wear bodysuits with prints that mimic tropical nature while interacting with man-made landscapes that appear natural at first. In each piece, the performer is made to adopt a pose that fits with the shape in which the bodysuit has been constructed in. These poses originate from images found while Google searching the term “Dominican women.” In each piece, Minaya directly incorporates her Dominican culture through their jungle and beach inspired backgrounds that reflect her country’s tropical climate. In essence, Containers aims to reflect on the constructions of femininity in our modern society in relation to nature as it is imagined through the male gaze
Additionally, the placement of the performers images within the city’s natural landscape works to bring poignant visual metaphors for for immigration, preservation, camouflage, assimilation, otherness, refusal, and (in)visibility into direct conversation with the New York scene. On display in Riverside Park will be Containers 2, 4, 5, 6, and 7.
9. Midnight Moment: Midnight Train To Georgia
From July 1 to July 31, 2021, Times Square Arts and the Up Until Now Collective will present Georgia, a daily midnight screening in Times Square. Georgia will feature the collective’s American Sign Language (ASL) cover of Gladys Knight & The Pips “Midnight Train to Georgia.” It will be performed by Deaf actor and dancer Mervin Primeaux-O’Bryant and Brandon Kazen-Maddox, a hearing Grandchild of Deaf Adults (GODA) and native third-generation ASL signer. Every night in the moments leading up to midnight, 75 screens in Times Square will synchronize Georgia, elevating sign language from occupying a supporting role to being at the center of attention.
Included in O’Bryant and Maddox’s rendition of the classic 1973 song are elements of Black ASL and Visual Vernacular to embody an invisible train, bringing to life the song’s seductive lyrics. In addition, throughout July, the Up Until Now Collective will present weekly live performances in Times Square that incorporate music, dance, and ASL.
10. Maritime Library at Art at the BlueLine
As part of Art at the BlueLine, “Maritime Library”, a floating installation constructed in the form of historic New York Harbor barges, will be featured. Created by the Tideland Institution, the installation follows in the tradition of former New York cultural institutions that have served the city’s community afloat, examples including oyster barges and floating children’s hospital ships. The library‘s collection will feature books on the history of the waterfront, children’s adventure series, and romance novels, all which seek to highlight water as a place of imagination. “Maritime Library” can be viewed from July 14 through August 2, 2021 on the north side of Pier 17 in Manhattan.
As leaders from the Tideland Institution asked others to consider, “What if New Yorkers treated our harbor as a place where culture could thrive? What if our cultural institutions treated the harbor as a place of inspiration and activation? What if you could discover that we weren’t always so disconnected from the water?”
11. Highlighting young emerging New York City artists in new Hudson River Park outdoor exhibition
This summer, the local arts non-profit NYC SALT will unveil a new public arts exhibition outside the West 30th Street Heliport in Hudson River Park. The exhibition will feature work from young emerging New York City artists who graduated from SALT’s visual arts program for underserved city youth. Curated by Polly Irungu, the exhibition will serve as a direct reflection of NYC SALT’s work, which focuses on engaging students from all backgrounds in a blend of rigorous professional photography instruction, college preparatory workshops, and career exposure into the art world.
The featured students’ work in the exhibition aims to portray their unique perspectives on the dynamic communities within the city which they are a part of. It will include 22 large scale works displayed on 7-by-9-foot vinyl panels, highlighting their fascination for discovery, play, and documenting visual histories for park goers. Some of the featured youth artists whose careers have been set in motion by SALT will be Emeraude Dorcelly, Varda Durandisse, Nora Molina, Andrew Morocho, Devin Osorio, and Malike Sidibe, among others.
12. Riverside Park’s brand new Source To Spout Installation
“Source to Spout” — created by multimedia artist and documentary filmmaker Adrian Sas — is a series of panoramic photographs wrapped around drinking fountains across Riverside Park from 64th Street all the way up to 148th Street. Through this series, Sas brings attention to the system of protected lands, reservoirs, and aqueducts that bring more than one billion gallons of water from upstate watersheds to these fountains and New York City’s taps everyday.
As part of the NYC Parks Art in the Parks program, Source to Spout connects to Sas’ larger work, which focuses on the connections between people and places. Some places where Source to Spout installations can be found are Red Shade Plaza on 64th Street, Hippo Playground at 91st Street, Riverside Promenade at 120th Street, and the Ball field dugout at 149th Street. The installation will be on display until October 29, 2021.
13. A celebration of Brooklyn’s backyard: Jamel Shabazz’s Prospect Park, My Brooklyn Oasis
Since 1867, Prospect Park has served as one of Brooklyn’s most influential natural outdoor spaces. In honor of the park’s legacy and the start of restoration on Lefferts Historic House, the Prospect Park Alliance has partnered with the non-profit Photoville to present Jamel Shabazz’s Prospect Park, My Oasis in Brooklyn, a site-specific photo exhibition of the Brooklyn scene. Shabazz is most known for his photography work of New York City during the 1980s which has been widely displayed in The Whitney Museum, The Studio Museum of Harlem, and the National Museum of African American History in Washington D.C.
His new installation, which will be displayed on the construction fencing of the Lefferts Historic House, will focus on photographs of Prospect Park taken over the last 41 years. In these photographs, Shabazz showcases how people have used the park as a means of embracing nature away from the city, with featured images offering views into reunion picnics, musicians, races, and dog walks across the park. The exhibition will be on display through December 1, 2021.
Continue reading to see what is still on display from previous months in NYC!
14. 88 LILAC mural installation on lighthouse Tender Lilac
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.
15. Planeta Abuelx at Socrates Sculpture Park
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.
16. Pollinator’s Pavilion
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.
17. The Arts Center at Governors Island reopening exhibitions
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.
18. Rashid Johnson’s Red Stage at Astor Place
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.”
19. The Roots of Tuckahoe Marble sculpture
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.
20. Celebrating The Wins photo exhibit at The Seaport District
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.
21. The Green at 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.
22. Massive bulldog guarding Domino Park
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.
23. Community Murals Project
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!
24. 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.
25. Untitled (drone) by Sam Durant at the Highline Plinth
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
26. Three public art installations by Jim Rennert
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
27. BEACON, a shining light in Flushing, Queens
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.
28. The Wash at Port Authority Bus Station
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.
29. Not for Nutten mural at Governors Island
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.
30. The Parts exhibition of text and images
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.
31. 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.
32. Melvin Edwards retrospective in City Hall Park
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.
33. Ruth Bader Ginsburg statue in Brooklyn
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.
34. Reclining Liberty comes to Morningside Park
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.
35. Giant Pin Cushion installation of flowers and willow welcomes spring in the Garment District
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.
36. KUSAMA: Cosmic Nature at 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.
37. The séances aren’t helping at the Met
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.
38. Largest Tile Mosaic by Rashid Johnson
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.
39. Jim Rennert sculptures at Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza
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, Timing, Inner Dialogue and Commute, are located at Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza on East 47th Street and can be viewed through August 2021.
40. Mundillo at West Farms Square Plaza
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.
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.
42. Torso II, Swinging II, Messenger of the Gods
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.
43. Floating Woman
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.
44. Mother Earth at Rockaway Beach
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.
45. Doors for Doris at Doris C. Freedman Plaza
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.
46. Poetry Path in Battery Park City
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.
46. PUBLIC WATER at Prospect Park
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.
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