Filled with stunning fake lemon trees, Citrovia is a sight to behold. Courtesy of Alan Schindler.
Filled with stunning fake lemon trees, Citrovia is a sight to behold. Photo by Alan Schindler.

With August being one of the prime months for new public art installations, there are lots of places to check out in New York City. Here are 14 of the city’s top new public outdoor art installations for August — and even a few indoors for an escape from the raging heat. Some of the topics explored by these installations include America’s incarceration system, the historical legacy of afro picks, and the need for reducing single-use plastic. Head to Hudson Yards to walk through a fanciful lemon garden, or marvel at the largest stenciled mural in the world on display at the East River Plaza complex. And don’t forget to keep reading to learn more about installations still on display from previous months!

1. Kalief Browder: The Box at Pioneer Works

Coby Kennedy's installation, Kalief Browder: The Box. Courtesy of Juan A. Ramirez (Cultural Counsel).
Coby Kennedy’s installation, Kalief Browder: The Box. Courtesy of Juan A. Ramirez (Cultural Counsel).

On display until September 19 at Pioneer Works, artist Coby Kennedy’s new installation Kalief Browder: The Box draws inspiration from the tragic story of Kalief Browder. Imprisoned in 2010 at the age of 17 for a robbery he did not commit, Browder spent three years at the violent Robert N. Davoren Center on Rikers Island. Here, he was subject to physical and mental abuse from prison guards and inmates and over 700 days of solitary confinement. Although released from prison in 2013, the long-lasting trauma from Browder’s experiences and his ensuing depression would lead him to commit suicide in 2015. To convey this injustice, Kennedy created an 8-by-10-by-6-feet glass box sculpture that replicates the exact dimensions of a solitary confinement cell.

The sculpture’s glass surfaces feature line renderings of the bed, barred window, and toilet found in confinement cells. Additionally, the walls include texts about Guantánamo Bay and the country’s carceral system — critiquing the gross abuses of civil liberties suffered by individuals whose crimes are unfairly or never tried. Lit from below, Kalief Browder: The Box shines throughout the night, serving as a testament to the endurance of Browder’s family — whose civil lawsuit against the city was settled in 2019, though no one was held accountable in the end. In addition, Kalief Browder: The Box will be paired with a four-part Town Hall series co-presented with For Freedoms and Negative Space. The remaining third town hall meeting, HEALING through Community Collaboration, will take place on August 22, with the fourth and final meeting, JUSTICE for Our Future, taking place on September 19, both at Pioneer Works. Ultimately, for Kennedy, “It is [his] hope that, when viewers happen upon this sculpture, they can emphatically feel the weight of being put into a box and having it become your life for a long, unknowable future.”

2. The world’s largest stenciled mural, Tunnel Vision, at the East River Plaza

Tunnel Vision by Logan Hicks. Courtesy of Taglialatella Galleries.
Tunnel Vision by Logan Hicks. Courtesy of Taglialatella Galleries.

In July 2021, American contemporary artist Logan Hicks completed Tunnel Vision, the world’s largest stenciled mural. Presented by Taglialatella Galleries, the mural is 19,000 square feet — created with over 100 gallons of paint, 500 cans of spray paint, hundreds of stencils, and dozens of rolls of Gorilla Glue. Located within the East River Plaza on 117th Street in East Harlem, Tunnel Vision includes vivid imagery of lush greenery climbing up the 30-foot walls before merging into the sparkling blue-painted ceiling.

Inspired by Christian Cooper — a Central Park birdwatcher who was victimized in a racially charged confrontation with Amy Cooper in May 2020 — Hicks aimed for Tunnel Vision to recreate the feeling of visiting the Ramble. To accomplish this, dozens of stenciled birds that live within New York State were drawn into the green thicket on the wall. In relation, the mural is accompanied by a custom-designed sound installation featuring a four-hour looping soundtrack, featuring the calls of every bird indigenous to New York. Reflecting on Tunnel Vision, Hicks stated: “This started with a vision of going beyond making just a mural. I wanted to make an environment where people could forget they were in the middle of the city — even if only for a moment.”

3. Broadway Blooms: Jon Isherwood on Broadway

"As Always Yours" statue from the Broadway Blooms: Jon Isherwood on Broadway exhibition. Courtesy of the artist.
“As Always Yours” statue from the Broadway Blooms: Jon Isherwood on Broadway exhibition. Courtesy of the artist.

For nine months from August 2 to Spring 2022, the Broadway Mall Association will present Jon Isherwood’s Broadway Blooms: Jon Isherwood on Broadway — a series of eight marble sculptures located on the green malls at the center of Broadway from 64th Street to 157th Street. Originally planned for display in 2020, the exhibition’s sculptures were delayed in being transported from Isherwood’s studio in Italy due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Broadway Blooms will mark the Broadway Mall Association’s 13th sculpture show since 2005 as part of their Art on the Malls program.

Each sculpture’s design in Broadway Blooms was inspired by flowers and their diverse cultural meanings — ranging from the imbued spiritual symbolism of the lotus flower to the holiday tradition of poinsettias. Moreover, flowers reflect one’s connection to themselves and their surrounding community; this is reflected in the sculptures’ placements at a series of major intersections along Broadway — which promotes a sense of interconnectedness in spaces that are otherwise impersonal. Carved in Bardiglio Imperiale, Fantastico Arni, and Rosa Portogallo marble, Broadway Blooms offers a beautiful respite from the surrounding urban landscape. At the same time, Broadway Blooms distorts the flowers’ natural appearance, with carved lines contouring the sculptures’ surfaces to create an illusion of expansiveness and promote associations of patterning, layering, and veiled imagery.

4. Citrovia opens at the construction site of Brookfield Properties’ Two Manhattan West

Filled with stunning fake lemon trees, Citrovia is a sight to behold. Courtesy of Alan Schindler.
Filled with stunning fake lemon trees, Citrovia is a sight to behold. Photo by Alan Schindler.

As a creative addition underneath the canopy of the required construction shed of Two Manhattan WestBrookfield Properties‘ new 58 story tower set to open in 2023 in Hudson Yards — the company has commissioned Citrovia. Covering over 30,000 square feet of the pedestrian walkway from Moynihan Station to 10th Avenue, Citrovia is a stunning garden consisting of a series of 10-to-20-feet-high lemon trees made from steel and plaster. Attached to the trees are 700 oversized lemons and 3,800 handcrafted leaves made of steel and foam, painted in shades of green and purple. Citrovia is free and open to the public 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The space is friendly for people of all ages and will even offer interactive augmented reality games for children. Passersby will also have the opportunity to potentially sample citrus-inspired scents. The installation was designed by Cuttlefish, an award-winning team of creative technologists producing experimental work for big-name companies such as Chanel and Apple. Each element of the installation was fabricated by Adirondack Studios, which built Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge at Universal and Diagon Alley at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

As Sara Fray, SVP of Marketing for Brookfield Properties stated in a press release, “Citrovia exists for New Yorkers’s pleasure alone. It has no other purpose. We wanted to create a space that’s welcoming and bright to make better use of a space that would otherwise be ugly or inaccessible. It’s not solving the world’s problems, but it’s a delightful midday encounter.”

5. Community Heroes honors members of the Fort Greene and Bed-Stuy neighborhoods

Community Heroes at Commodore Barry Park. Courtesy of Jasmin Chang.
Community Heroes at Commodore Barry Park. Courtesy of Jasmin Chang.

Community Heroes is a community-based public art project celebrating people whose generosity is felt throughout their community. Co-founded in 2016 by Jasmin Chang and Zac Martin in their neighborhoods of Fort Greene and Gowanus, the project aims to highlight the achievements of everyday citizens. Special attention is paid to selecting persons of color from often overlooked communities who have had a faithful and stable long-term presence in their neighborhoods through volunteering, advocacy, mentorship and creativity. Organized and produced by Photoville and Trellis, Community Heroes receives additional support from Partnerships for Parks and PhotoWings. Past projects have included Arts to End Violence, a showcase of young artists committed to anti-violence work, and It’s Happening, a celebration of 50 years of the Arts in the Park program. 

To produce their work, Community Heroes partners with communities across NYC to nominate heroes. Afterward, these individuals are paired with local artists to make their portraits and youth writers to interview them. The results of this are then displayed as an art exhibition in a local public space. This summer, Community Heroes will have two projects on display. The first is located at Fort Greene Park along the Brooklyn Hospital fence and in Commodore Barry Park along the football field. One featured hero will be Kesha S. Morse, who became the first female member, officer, and President of the New York City Federation of Black Cowboys. This iteration of Community Heroes will run through June 2022. The second project will be open for view from August 10 to July 2022 in Bed-Stuy at St. Andrews Playground along Herkimer Street and Kingston Avenue

6. Ascending the Mountain in Marcus Garvey Park

Image of the Growing Powerhouse section of Ascending the Mountain. Photo by Salem Krieger.
Image of the Growing Powerhouse section of Ascending the Mountain. Photo by Salem Krieger.

Through June 30, 2022, Susan Stair’s public art exhibition Ascending the Mountain will be on display at Marcus Garvey Park. Drawing inspiration from the underground network used by trees to communicate and share resources, Stair’s exhibit tells a story of remarkable natural growth. What began as a few trees planted during the early 20th century on a mountain of Manhattan Schist has since grown into a sprawling urban forest — its roots pushing down through the land’s rocky outcropping. Today, the naturally seeded forest provides shade, moisture and oxygen while attracting birds and small animals to the surrounding neighborhoods of Harlem.

Ascending the Mountain was installed in three distinct sections along the staircase leading up to the overlook terraces known as the Acropolis and the Harlem Fire Watchtower. The installation provides visitors with eye-level views of the adjacent forest area so that viewers can more effectively make direct connections between the exhibit and its surrounding natural environment. The first section, Roots n Rocks — located near the base of the stairs on the east side of the mountain — focuses on the roots of the now mature trees and how they have moved underground to gather nutrients and resources. One level up is the second section Growing Powerhouse, which illustrates the trees’ ability to bring gallons of water and minerals up the side of the mountain through their trunks. Just below the upper level of the park is the final section, Tree Canopy, which encourages viewers to connect the artwork with the real-life treetops.

7. Head to Forest Hills to visit Afro Pick: Remembering & Moving Forward

Afro Pick: Remembering & Moving Forward. Photo by Richard West.
Afro Pick: Remembering & Moving Forward. Photo by Richard West.

On your visit to Forest Hills this summer, an exciting new artwork to check out is Afro Pick: Remembering & Moving Forward. Surrounded by a beautiful array of Versicolor wildflowers in MacDonald Park, Yvonne Shortt’s larger-than-life afro pick sculpture draws inspiration from the item’s storied history. Originating over 5,500 years ago in Egypt, afro picks were once made from wood or stone and were used to tell narratives of the cultures or tribes carving them. Unrecognizable today from their ancient counterparts, afro picks are now largely fabricated using plastic. Since the 1970s, afro picks have become important symbols of Black power, readily used throughout the ‘Black is Beautiful’ movement. This movement sought to promote an embrace of Black culture and identity, with one crucial element being the adoption of more natural and less Westernized hairstyles. As an ode to this, Afro Pick: Remembering and Moving Forward honors those who have died during the pandemic in Shortt’s community (the artist lost both of her grandmothers). Made from recycled wood, the pick’s handle tells a story of strength and resilience, inscribed with the words: “The Iris versicolor wildflower symbolizes wisdom, faith, and courage. Hopefully, we have gained wisdom through COVID, faith from our community and houses of worship, and the courage to envision a better place for our children.”

Situated at the top of the handle is a bust of a young girl, whose features were drawn from several individuals of different cultural backgrounds living within Shortt’s community. As a symbol of diversity and hope for the future, the girl also serves as a representation of the African American community’s perseverance over time. This is exemplified in her hair texture, which is inspired by African rice braiding, a technique used by enslaved people to prevent hunger during their journeys on the Middle Passage. At the bottom of the statue is a series of metal rods that serve as the teeth of the afro pick, reflecting the move from wooden to metal teeth during the 1950s and 1960s. Six additional afro picks will be installed at Queens College and two at Marymount Manhattan College. In September, three other picks will also be placed at Socrates Sculpture Park as part of Shortt’s Hair Sanctuary sculpture.

8. Sand Celebration opens at Brookfield Place’s Waterfront Plaza

Sand Celebration, New York City's tallest sandcastle. Courtesy of Anna Felman.
Sand Celebration, New York City’s tallest sandcastle. Courtesy of Anna Felman.

As an ode to the summer beach season, Brookfield Place will present Matt Long’s professional sand sculpture Sand Celebration, New York City’s tallest sandcastle. Known for being an original cast member on the hit Travel Channel show Sand Masters, Long has competed and placed in many Master Sand Sculpting contests. Currently, he holds a 2nd-place medal for competing on team USA in 2010 and a 3rd-place medal in the 2013 doubles division.

Sand Celebration features hyper-realistic stone patterning on the walls, a collection of alluring towers, and even sand perfectly sculptured to mimic flowing water. Sand Celebration will be on display at Brookfield Place’s Waterfront Plaza through August 14.

9. Rehearsal at Brooklyn Bridge Park

Rehearsal by Claudia Wieser. Photo by Nicholas King. Courtesy of Public Art Fund, NY.
Rehearsal by Claudia Wieser. Photo by Nicholas King. Courtesy of Public Art Fund, NY.

Scattered around the iconic terminus of Washington Street in Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Main Street Park section — where the Manhattan Bridge perfectly frames the Empire State Building — is Rehearsal, the public debut for Berlin-based artist Claudia Wieser. Presented by the Public Art Fund, Rehearsal will feature five distinct large-scale geometric sculptures made from mirror-polished stainless steel, reflecting the movements of visitors as they pass by. Ranging in height from 7 to 13 feet, the sculpture’s warm and cool-toned hand-painted glazed clay tiles define each sculpture. At the same time, they also echo the patterns of neighboring historic red buildings and Belgian-block paving stones. As a further connection to its surroundings, Rehearsal includes contemporary photographs of New York City and slides of a German family’s trip to the city from the 1980s. Reproductions of ancient Roman and Greek antiquities endow the installation, serving as a meeting place and theatrical setting much like ancient Roman forums once did. Moreover, the title ‘rehearsal’ draws attention to the interplay between visitors and artwork, suggesting that the sculptures and even life itself are ever-evolving processes. Rehearsal will be on display until April 17, 2022.

As Public Art Fund Associate Curator Katerina Stathopoulou (Rehearsal’s curator) states in the artwork’s press release: “Wieser is acutely aware that the sculptures will become part of the landscape of the city for a time and wanted to create a powerful synergy with the bustling surroundings of DUMBO. Building a dialogue between the public and the sculpture is an integral part of Rehearsal… Park-goers will activate the works by touching, resting, and seeing themselves and the city reflected as they weave their way through the constellation of sculptures.”

10. Plastic Fantastic at Harlem Art Park

Image of Capucine Bourcart's Plastic Fantastic's. Courtesy of the artist.
Capucine Bourcart’s Plastic Fantastic’s. Courtesy of the artist.

While walking through Harlem Art Park, visitors can marvel at Capucine Bourcart‘s Plastic Fantastic. Measuring 66-feet wide and 7-feet high, Plastic Fantastic’s grand scale illustrates the abundance of single-use plastic and how it has adversely affected our environment and public spaces; New York City residents are estimated to use more than 10 billion single-use plastic bags a year. Plastic Fantastic aims to support the city’s current ban on plastic bags while encouraging residents to take responsibility for their environmental footprint.

To convey this, the installation features plastic bags collected over the last few years by Bourcart from community residents and neighbors. To create Plastic Fantastic, these bags were photographed and printed on 4’ x 8’ sheets of D-bond, a lightweight and durable plastic material. Afterward, the sheets were cut into smaller squares and rectangles to create a color gradient woven into the grid of the park’s ornamental fence. In front of the gradient is a glass block structure which perfectly reflects the colorful background. Funding for the installation was provided by the LMCC, Puffin Foundation, and Friends of Art Park Alliance. Plastic Fantastic will be on display through June 26, 2022.

11. Garment District Alliance presents The Magician’s Daughter (is a Painter)

Image of The Magician's Daughter (is a Painter). Courtesy of the Garment District Alliance.
The Magician’s Daughter (is a Painter). Courtesy of the Garment District Alliance.

Through September 9, the Garment District Alliance will present The Magician’s Daughter (is a Painter) — a series of paintings nestled within “magical boxes.” Created by painter and multi-media illustration artist Cheryl Parry, the free exhibit is located in a street-level window at 215 West 38th Street. Parry was inspired to create The Magician’s Daughter (is a Painter) by her father and his love for magic. Each painting in the exhibit is decorated with preserved birds, dragonflies, and nests tucked within magic boxes. The Magician’s Daughter (is a Painter) serves as part of the Garment District Space for Public Art program, which over the past 16 years has presented over 200 installations, exhibits and performances showcasing the work of artists in unusual locations across the city.

In the words of Barbara A. Blair, president of the Garment District Alliance: “Through a personal and emotional display, The Magician’s Daughter (is a Painter) brings together art and magic to create fascinating illusions.”

12. Cody + Julian’s Peoples Communication Commission

Image of outdoor sign installation at Rufus King Park. Photo by Karen Santiago.
Outdoor sign installation at Rufus King Park. Photo by Karen Santiago.

Made by dynamic artist duo Cody + Julian (Cody Ann Herrmann and Julian Louis Phillips), the Peoples Communication Commission works to challenge the power relationship of advertising in public spaces. It will focus on the ways in which protest signs, guerrilla advertising, and even their own unique aesthetic have been co-opted. Given its placement in Downtown Jamaica — one of the city’s growing centers for transportation, business, art and culture — Cody + Julian’s project asks the question: Where is the voice of the people? To prompt discussion on this topic, the Peoples Communication Commission features a series of media and art installations that repurpose advertising tactics to empower the general public to speak up against those in power. Moreover, Cody + Julian invite public participation at their research gallery for the Peoples Communication Commission at the Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning. An installation of white-colored signs has sprouted up at Rufus King Park on the corner of Jamaica Avenue and 153rd Street.

The Peoples Communication Commission was made as part of Jamaica Flux: Workspaces and Windows 2021, a program organized by the Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning. The program features 14 New York-based artists and groups whose work is installed in site-specific locations across Southeast Queens. In fall 2020, Jamaica Flux’s artists began developing public, socially engaging projects which reflected on the anxieties of our present moment. Each participating artist’s research module will be on display at the Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning through August 7. The resulting public artworks situated along Jamaica Avenue will be on view through August 21.

13. Beyond Life and Death & 108 Kinds of Hope and Empathy at King Manor Museum

Image of dining room table from Beyond Life and Death exhibit. Courtesy of the Kelsey Brow (King Manor Museum).
Dining room table from Beyond Life and Death exhibit. Courtesy of Kelsey Brow (King Manor Museum).

This summer, interdisciplinary artist Hayoon Jay Lee — in collaboration with the King Manor Museum, South Queens Women’s March, and poet-editor Cheryl Moskowitz — will present Let’s Share in the Moment: A Dialogue Around Eating, a five-part mixed-media art installation. Located at King Manor, the installation will include Beyond Life and Death, an exhibit centered around a red-tablecloth-draped dining room table. Present on the table is an intriguing combination of kitchen and dining ware from Rufus King’s collection, mixed with outside animal bones and rice capsules. At the head of the table — where Mary Alsop (Rufus King’s wife) would sit — the items are placed in an orderly fashion. Moving down the table, the objects become more and more entangled, giving the latter sections a feeling of uncontrollable energy. In addition, surrounding the walls of the exhibit are three poems by Moskowitz — all of which were inspired by viewing Lee’s interactions with the Jamaica community while engaged in a street performance. Beyond Life and Death also incorporates a riveting discussion on food issues facing our community today, with a documentary entitled The Table Dialogue playing at the entrance.

The second of Lee’s King Manor exhibits is 108 Kinds of Hope and Empathy, which features a collection of various types of rice found over the past year in Jamaica community markets and elsewhere. While collecting new grains of rice, Lee came to view it as a marker of change along the social spectrum — white rice was once eaten mainly by the wealthy and today is most associated with less affluent world cuisines. In 108 glass jars, 108 Kinds of Hope and Empathy perfectly displays the rice and also water, earth, bones, human hair, and coins — aiming to represent both good and bad sources of interconnectivity. Let’s Share in the Moment: A Dialogue Around Eating was created as part of Jamaica Flux: Workspaces and Windows 2021.

14. Waterfall-NYC at One Times Square

Image of Waterfall-NYC at One Times Square. Courtesy of Siobhán Stocks-Lyons (Marino).
Waterfall-NYC at One Times Square. Courtesy of Siobhán Stocks-Lyons (Marino).

From now until August 21, Samsung Electronics, in partnership with d’strict, will present Waterfall-NYC, a digital ocean screening at One Times Square. Waterfall-NYC will feature recordings of waves and cascading waterfalls to promote digital art to the world community. Using four vertical screens, the recordings will play in 60-second increments every 2-4 minutes.

A similar project that once appeared in New York City was Olafur Eliason’s New York City Waterfalls. Running from June 26, 2008, to October 13, 2008, the installation consisted of four man-made waterfalls placed along the East River. The waterfalls ranged from 90 to 120 feet and were located at the East River Esplanade’s Pier 35 beneath the Brooklyn Bridge in DUMBO, at Brooklyn Piers, and on Governors Island. In comparison, Waterfall-NYC is three times larger than Eliason’s work.

15. Painted Cat Hacker Film at Times Square

Courtesy of Tatyana Tenenbaum.

Every day during the month of August, Times Square Arts will present Jennifer West’s Painted Cat Hacker Film. It will be part of Times Square Arts’ Midnight Moment series — the world’s largest, longest-running digital art exhibition, synchronizing over 75 electronic billboards throughout Times Square from 11:57 p.m. to midnight. Painted Cat Hacker Film is a multi-channel work of handmade glowing digitized GIFs that pays homage to the feline’s role across multiple moving image platforms. The film will work to transform “low art” cat internet videos into a mesmerizing and monumental public art exhibit, featuring spectral and lo-fi effects.

Painted Cat Hacker Film draws from research pointing to the positive emotions associated with viewing online cat media and how it can even serve as a form of digital therapy or stress relief. To celebrate the film’s screening, West will also present an online program of cat films and videos entitled Cats on Video, Cats on Film, featuring iconic work from Maya Deren, Sarah Zucker, Mark Leckey, and more.

16. 7,500-square-foot mural Collective Vision opens in Union Square

Collective Vision in Union Square, Courtesy of Liz Lignon.

Collective Vision is a 7,500-square-foot mural presented by street artists Geraluz and Werc (a Brooklyn-based couple) painted in the pedestrian areas of the 14th Street busway between Broadway and Union Square West. Presented by the Union Square Partnership and the New York City Department of Transportation’s Art Program, the mural addresses themes of nature, unity and resilience. It will be installed over the course of 4-5 days beginning July 27 with the help of 20-30 volunteers who will hand-paint the large shapes and background colors.

Collective Vision works to recognize the history of social movements fighting for justice within Union Square and the larger struggle for racial equality in the United States. As an example of this, the mural includes a striking rendition of the Black power fist surrounded by an array of vibrantly colored flowers. At the same time, the mural will also celebrate the community that public spaces have helped shape and their role in fostering activism and collective experiences.

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

17. Historic Doyers Street Gets An Artistic Makeover In Honor Of Pride Month

Doyers Street decorated with Dasic Fernández's colorful mural
Doyers Street decorated with Dasic Fernández’s colorful mural.

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.

18. There Are Holes In My Perception Of The Forest &Four Currents

Four Currents by Wendy Letven, Courtesy of Wendy Letven
Four Currents by Wendy Letven, Courtesy of Wendy Letven.

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.

19. The Fabulous Plant of Rejuvenation in Rockaway Beach

Seascape With The Fabulous Plant Of Rejuvenation In The Abzu, © Ivan Forde, 2021
Seascape With The Fabulous Plant Of Rejuvenation In The Abzu, © Ivan Forde, 2021.

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.”

20. Head to PS1’s Outdoor Courtyard for an experiment in creative ecologies

La Femme et L'oiseau fontaine and The Stories of the Past Rejoice through Children's Skies, Photo by Marissa Alper, Courtesy of  MoMA PS1.
La Femme et L’oiseau fontaine and The Stories of the Past Rejoice through Children’s Skies, Photo by Marissa Alper, Courtesy of MoMA PS1.

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 galleries. 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.

21. Hidden in Plain Sight: Joiri Minaya’s Containers

Image from Joiri Minaya's Containers series, Courtesy of BravinLee.
Image from Joiri Minaya’s Containers series, Courtesy of BravinLee.

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. 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 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.

22. Highlighting young emerging New York City artists in new Hudson River Park outdoor exhibition

Hudson River Park Outdoor Art Exhibition, Courtesy of NYC SALT.
Hudson River Park Outdoor Art Exhibition, Courtesy of NYC SALT.

This summer, the local arts non-profit NYC SALT will unveil a new public art 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 of which they are a part. 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.

23. Riverside Park’s brand new Source To Spout Installation

Source to Sprout, Courtesy of Adrian Sas.
Source to Spout, Courtesy of Adrian Sas.

“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 every day. 

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 Ballfield dugout at 149th Street. The installation will be on display until October 29, 2021.

24. A celebration of Brooklyn’s backyard: Jamel Shabazz’s Prospect Park, My Brooklyn Oasis

Best Friends by Jamel Shabazz, Courtesy of The Prospect Park Alliance.
Best Friends by Jamel Shabazz, Courtesy of The Prospect Park Alliance.

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.

25. 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 wheat-pasted 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.

26. 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 September 5.

27. 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.

28. 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.

29. 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 8-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 have been lost.

30. 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.

31. 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’s bulldogs previously stood guard over the Garment District last year.

The nine-foot sculpture was unveiled on 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.

32. 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.

33. Ghost Forest by Maya Lin

Ghost Forest by Maya Lin at Madison Sq. Park
Ghost Forest by Maya Lin at Madison Sq. Park. Photo by Lin Studio.

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.

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

HighLinePlinth_SamDurant_StreetView
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

35. 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.

36. BEACON, a shining light in Flushing, Queens

BBEACON_ShervoneNeckles
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.

37. 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.

38. Not for Nutten mural at Governors Island

Schenck-Mural--Governors-Island-2021
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.

39. 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.

40. 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.

41. 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.

42. 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.

43. 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 premiere, 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.

44. 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.

45. The séances aren’t helping at the Met

Seances aren't wokring sculptures in The Met Facade
Courtesy of 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.

46. 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.

47. 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.

48. 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.

49. 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.

50. 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.

51. 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.

52. 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.

53. 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.

54. 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.

55. 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.

56. Re:Growth, A Celebration of Art, Riverside Park, and the New York Spirit

Invasives by Jean Shin, Courtesy of BravinLee programs.
Invasives by Jean Shin, Courtesy of BravinLee programs.

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.”

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