As the city brims with life and warm weather, there are so many new public art installations to enjoy this July. Several of the pieces on display this month seek to bring awareness to some of our society’s most pressing issues including the impact of climate change on bird populations and the storied legacy of slave labor and our national economy. Head to the High Line to check out Meriem Bennani’s first public sculpture Windy or take the time to listen to the acoustic recordings of The Underground Sound; a Soundwalk at Prospect Park. In addition, be sure to keep reading to learn more about other installations still on display from previous months.
1. Windy at the High Line
Through May 2023, Moroccan-born artist Meriem Bennani’s first public sculpture, Windy, will be on display on the High Line at 24th Street as part of its summer season art program. Bennani is well known for creating videos that seek to tell stories about human behavior online and offline. Her most recent work includes the video series, 2 Lizards, created with filmmaker Omari Bark in 2020 at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The piece poignantly captures the experience of quarantine and isolation.
Through Windy, Bennani translated her knowledge of film and animation into a kinetic 3-D sculpture whose movements allude to those present in her videos. Standing at nine feet tall and made from 200 stacked foam disks, the sculpture features a motorized spinning tornado designed to rotate at varying speeds for a full year. Each engine was specifically programmed to ensure all sections of the sculpture spun at varying speeds and sequences, creating loops that cannot be repeated. In addition, Windy has been made to withstand all four seasons with the disks being made of lightweight UV-proof and waterproof foam.
2. You know who I am at the High Line
Located at the High Line on the Northern Spur Preserve at 16th Street is artist Paola Pivi‘s sculpture, You know who I am, a twenty-three feet tall bronze replica of the Statue of Liberty wearing cartoonish masks. Known for art that transposes live animals and common objects, Pivi’s work seeks to expertly combine the familiar and the bizarre. Past projects from the artist include two zebra statues standing on a snowy mountain and a gallery filled with frolicking feathered polar bears in highlighter-bright hues. In You know who I am, Pivi drew from her own experience fighting in a four-year legal battle to bring her son, who had then been living stateless in India, to the United States—a journey which eventually led to Pivi’s son gaining U.S. citizenship. During this time period, the Statue of Liberty came to symbolize the human rights and freedom that her son would benefit from and later grow under.
For You know who I am each mask on the statue represents a stylized portrait of individuals whose personal experiences of freedom directly connect to the United States. Every two months, the masks will be changed, with six different individuals—one of which is based on Pivi’s family—being displayed over the course of the statue’s stay on the High Line from April 2022 to March 2023. The statue follows a direct line to the original sculpture by Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi—a design that Pivi achieved by utilizing a historic plaster mold of Bartholdi’s original bronze model, which currently is on view at the Musee d’Orsay in Paris. Visitors of the High Line can also learn more about the stories behind the individuals responsible for inspiring each mask by exploring the High Line’s website.
3. Women & Children at the High Line
At Little West 12th Street on the High Line is Nina Beier’s fountain, Women & Children. Beir specifically imbues her work with cultural references which offer her viewers insight into how the strange ways of our worlds are put together. Past works from the artist include Men, a collection of bronze sculptures depicting male war heroes, jockeys, and polo players on horses, and Housebroken, a collection featuring five marble guardian lion sculptures in the bathrooms, hallways, and courtyard garden at Kunsthal Ghent, Belgium.
Women & Children is composed of found bronze sculptures of women and children. The sculptures range in style from classical and contemporary and depict both the women and children nude. Water for the fountain exits out of the sculpture’s eyes, coming to represent cartoonish tears that point to the fragility of women and children in our society today. Women & Children will be on display through April 2023.
4. From Sea to Shining Sea at The Seaport
While taking in breathtaking views of the New York Harbor, visitors of The Seaport can also spend time marveling at Brooklyn-based artist Tom Fruin’s exhibition, From Sea To Shining Sea. Part of the ICON series, a collection of public artworks designed to help viewers reimagine the buildings and structures around them, From Sea To Shining Sea features two colorful plexiglass and steel houses placed to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of Fruin’s famous Brooklyn landmark Watertower.
The exhibition’s first house, Kolonihavehus—conceived in collaboration with the performance company CoreAct—takes its name from Copenhagen’s ubiquitous kolonihavehus, modest garden sheds found across the city. Fruin created the house from around one thousand scraps of individually framed plexiglass which was hand-welded into a steel quilt. For the last twelve years, Kolonihavehus has traveled around the world, currently calling its home at the entrance to Pier 17. In contrast, Hi 5 Taxi Cab, located on the Heineken Riverdeck, is composed of New York City signage advertising a demolished taxi cab depot and repair garage. The second house’s name was inspired by the Statue of Liberty, whose raised hand, similar in nature to a high five, can figuratively represent the hailing of a New York City cab. From Sea to Shining Sea will remain up through September 2022.
5. For The Birds at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden
On display at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden is For the Birds, a multidisciplinary celebration of the interconnections between birds and plants. For the Birds works to promote awareness of the impact of climate change, air and water pollution, and habitat destruction on the North American bird population, which has declined in size by 30 percent since 1970. At the center of For the Birds is a Garden-wide exhibition of 33 site-specific birdhouses created by renowned artists, architects, and designers such as Misha Kahn and Tom Sachs. Visitors of For the Birds can learn more about robins’ nest weaving at Nina Cooke John’s Oh Robin! while others can explore a sanctuary for migratory species at Jessica Maffia’s A Home for Flickers.
In addition, interwoven throughout For the Birds via a listening station and live performances is The Birdsong Project, a collection of nearly 200 original pieces of music, more than 70 poems, and 20 original album covers by more than 220 music artists, actors, literary figures, and visual artists—all curated by the exhibition’s director Randall Poster. Contributors to The Birdsong Project include musician Nick Cave, actor Natasha Lyonne, and artist Simon Shuback among others. Additional works on display at For the Birds are Taryn Simon’s Birds of the West Indies in the Conservatory Gallery and a Soundbath featuring tracks from Alex Somers’ weekly birding tours.
6. Slipstream Times Square at Midnight Moment
Through the month of July, Times Square Arts presents its ‘Midnight Moment’ series titled Slipstream Times Square. The three-minute film was created by artist Nancy Baker Cahill, who is known for using analog and digital mediums to create artworks that explore themes of power, selfhood, and embodied consciousness. Slipstream Times Square centers around hybridity, utilizing graphite drawings torn into sculptures to form the video’s ever-shifting landscape. Audience members viewing Slipstream Times Square are encouraged to hold conversations discerning what is real, what is alive, and what we feel when digital and analog boundaries are blurred.
For Baker, “Slipstream Times Square, like other videos in the series, dwells in the murky territories of consciousness but does so here multiplied, at scale, for a collective public audience. This artwork gestures toward the organic, as a simulated fiction of botanical and biomorphic forms. Spread across millions of LED nodes, It offers a familiar referent with no natural analog.”
7. Bit, Bridle and Reins in the Garment District
This summer, the Garment District Alliance is bringing a vibrant mural to the New York City community. Created by district-based artist Steed Taylor, Bit, Bridle and Reins consist of a yellow-colored Celtic braid atop a tanzanite blue background displayed across 63 concrete blocks along the 7th Avenue pedestrian corridor from 35th to 41st Streets. The mural’s linear material has been printed on vinyl and applied to both sides of the concrete blocks, allowing passersby and drivers to enjoy the artwork from now until April 2023.
Bit, Bridle and Reins is part of the Garment District Alliance’s free summer programming, which also includes Broadway Rhythm, a series of weekly live music performances held on Wednesdays from 12 to 2 p.m. at the Garment District pedestrian plaza until August 31. In addition, the district will also serve Renegade Lemonade during lunchtime at the Broadway Squeeze stand located between 39th and 40th Streets through August 25th.
8. The Underground Sound; a Soundwalk at Prospect Park
Located at Prospect Park is The Underground Sound; a Soundwalk, an interactive public art installation by Nikki Lindt presented in partnership with the Prospect Park Alliance, NYC Parks, USDA Forest Service, and The Nature of Cities. The Underground Sound; a Soundwalk is based around a series of underground acoustic recordings accessible via a QR code at designated locations along a wooded trail starting near Dog Beach. While listening to each recording, visitors will come across various features of the park’s natural landscape such as a stream, maple tree, and forest floor wildflowers. The installation will be up for listeners to enjoy through May 2023.
As David Maddox, Executive Director of the Nature of Cities and Partner in the Urban Field Station Collaborative Arts Program stated, “Rumbling in the soil of subways passing and snowflakes crashing to earth; the sound of sap flowing inside tree trunks. Nikki Lindt asks us to listen differently as she explores sounds from unexpected places. These sounds lead us to perceive our environments in new ways, both evocative and surprising.”
9. Art at Amtrak at Penn Station
Commuters passing through New York Penn Station (NYP) can now enjoy viewing Art at Amtrak, a new year-round public art initiative that has brought a variety of visual works to enliven a hub that serves as a front door to New York City. Art at Amtrak will also serve as a creative platform to specifically showcase the work of New York and New Jersey-based artists.
The first inaugural piece for the initiative, entitled Parallel Incantations, was created by Dahlia Elsayed, who is known for crafting text and image-based work that synthesizes both the internal and external experience of place together. For Parallel Incantations, Elsayed drew inspiration from ancient Egyptian temples and Islamic architecture to create a piece that offers viewers suggestions of expansiveness, air, and ambient light. In contrast, Saya Woolfalk—the creator of Art at Amtrak’s second inaugural piece, The Emphatics—typically produces work that combines science fiction and fantasy to re-imagine our current world. For The Emphatics, Woolfalk simulates a natural environment designed utilizing the forms and patterns of medicinal plants found in New York and New Jersey and local landscape scenes from paintings of Hudson River School students. Elsayed and Woolfalk’s work will remain on display through mid-September.
10. NYC Aids Memorial Songs For A Memorial
Through September 6, 2022, the New York City AIDS Memorial will present a series of visual art and cultural programming designed to illuminate the history, struggle, and future of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in New York City. At the centerpiece of this public programming is Songs For A Memorial, a 12-text based, polychromatic LED sculptural installation by Houston, Texas based-artist Steven Evans. The installation seeks to evoke neon signage and the dynamic energy of nightlife in its design.
Around the edges of Songs For A Memorial are illuminated titles from songs that tie directly to the period surrounding the onset and height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic including the 1970s hit “Love is the Message” by MFSB and Bronski Beat’s 1980s British-pop synth classic “Why.” In utilizing these song titles, Evans’ piece highlights the complex relationship between loss, love, sadness, and celebration that speaks to the narratives of individuals and our society’s collective memory.
11. The American Manifest at Duffy Square
Over the course of two years across three different sites, Creative Time, Governors Island, and Times Square Arts will present Charles Gaines’ first public art installation, American Manifest. Featuring both performance and sculptural work, American Manifest tells the story of the 400-year settlement of the United States, taking a deep dive into the country’s foundations of colonialism, racial capitalism, and democracy.
Chapter one of the American Manifest, entitled Manifestos 4: The Dred and Harriet Scott Decision, will take place on July 13th and 14th at 7 p.m in Times Square. The performance-based installation transforms the original text of the landmark 1857 Supreme Court Case of Dred Scott vs. Sanford, which denied U.S. citizenship to people of African ancestry. Today this case is known for being one of the court’s most controversial decisions due to its authorization of racism and impact on altering the country’s social and political future. In his reimagining of the text, Gaines depicts the legacy of slave labor on our economy right in the heart of Times Square, a modern-day center of capitalism and commerce to both juxtapose and highlight how much and little has changed over the course of American history. The second component of chapter one, entitled Roots, is a sculptural installation of seven American sweetgum trees that have been painted and presented with their root systems intact but upside down, pointing to the dystopian nature of our current social order. Roots will run from July 13th through September 23, 2022, at Duffy Square.
12. Forestation Syncopation at New Hyde Park Station
Riders of the Long Island Rail Road can now marvel at Sandy Litchfield’s new permanent jewel-like glass art installation, Forestation Syncopation. The installation is on display at the New Hyde Park Station in two of its westbound and one of its eastbound platform shelters. Commissioned by MTA Arts & Design, Forestation Syncopation artwork, made by combining hand drawings, painting, and digital technologies, is displayed across 36 laminated glass panels. Each composition in the installation portrays a distinct view of a landscape impression, playing into the glimpses and flickers of sunlight commuters witness early in the morning and late at night after leaving work.
Through Forestation Syncopation, Litchfield unveils the ways in which nature and built environments interact, directly connecting this to the urban townscape and natural scenery of New Hyde Park. To do so, the installation blends geometric and organic shapes together utilizing watercolor brimming with color and light to create horizontal abstract landscapes that are also conscious of the larger architectural structure they inhabit. Examples of this include the mingling of evergreens with streetlights and houses interspersed throughout leafy forest backgrounds.
13. Subterranean Tropicália Projects: PN15, 2017/2022
Through August 14, 2022, Socrates Sculpture Park in collaboration with Projeto Hélio Oiticica and Americas Society will present Subterranean Tropicália Projects: PN15, 2017/2022. This large-scale installation is based on the late-Brazilian artist Hélio Oiticica’s never-before-executed proposal from 1971 for Central Park. Drawing inspiration from New York City’s underground culture, the installation provides its viewers with a multi-sensory experience as they weave and drift through its circular structure of curving corridors. With plants and image projections that manipulate lights and shadows, PN15 exists as a space prioritizing creativity and leisure.
According to Jess Wilcox, Curator and Director of Exhibitions for Socrates Sculpture Park, “PN15 probes and champions ideas of marginality, engages the public and local community groups, provides a platform for other artists to showcase their work, and allows us to do what we do best–producing what others said was too challenging.”
14. Mind Forged Manacles/Manacle Forged Minds at Columbus Park
Fred Wilson’s first-ever large-scale public sculpture Mind Forged Manacles/Manacle Forged Minds will be on display at Columbus Park in Downtown Brooklyn through June 2023. The sculpture, which measures ten-feet tall is presented by What: More Art and the Downtown Brooklyn + Dumbo Art Fund.
Composed of decorative ironwork, fencing, and statues/busts of African figures, Wilson utilizes the sculpture’s decorative bars to symbolize gated communities, insecurity, the incarceration of Black men, the detainment of illegal immigrants, and self-created barriers fringing upon our society’s ability to achieve progress. Strategically positioned next to the Kings County Supreme Court in between statues of Christopher Columbus and abolitionist Henry Ward Beecher, Mind Forged Manacles/Manacle Forged Minds also plays into current dialogue surrounding the politics of erasure and exclusion in public spaces.
15. Ampersand in DUMBO
On the corner of Front and Jay Streets near Brooklyn Bridge Park is Ampersand, a 2,000-pound 12-foot tall painted black aluminum sculpture. Created by Morris Adjmi Architects in conjunction with the Brooklyn-based fabrication studio New Project, the permanent sculpture is designed to function as a place-maker and monument to the importance of togetherness and forging connections. Its form was derived from classic sans-serif typefaces, with Adjimi bringing these printed conjunctions to life as a giant emblematic reference to the surrounding industrial neighborhood. Ampersand is presented by Front & York—a mixed-use development in DUMBO—and positioned on the condominium’s extended, 30-foot sidewalk.
For Lyle Starr, Morris Adjmi’s Director of Art Services, “In a literal sense, Ampersand tells the Front & York story, but at the same time, the sculpture creates an open and engaging dialogue with the neighborhood. It begins a conversation with endless interpretations of ‘togetherness.’”
16. Coming Full Circle at the Kaufman Arcade Building
Presented by the Garment District Alliance inside the Kaufman Arcade Building on 139 W 35th Street is artist Rita Wilmers‘ exhibition Coming Full Circle, featuring 14 mixed-media paintings. Known for creating artwork utilizing watercolor, acrylic, pen, and ink, Wilmers’ paintings and drawings seek to tell stories and express her life experiences in a visual form. Over the years Wilmers has exhibited a multitude of solo and group exhibitions across the Tri-State area and had her work featured on two episodes of the hit television series Gossip Girl.
Similar to Wilmers’ other art, Coming Full Circle explores creation without boundaries and the way in which mistakes can oftentimes lead to joyful and unexpected surprises. Coming Full Circle presents its audience with vibrant paintings that dive deep into themes of meditation, nature, cityscapes, time, and the COVID-19 pandemic. The paintings will be on view through August 31, 2022.
Continue reading to see what is still on display from previous months in NYC!
17. Life in the Abstract at City Hall Park
On June 8, Wyatt Khan’s Life in the Abstract, a series of seven monumental sculptures fabricated in Cor-Ten steel, will be unveiled at City Hall Park by the Public Art Fund. Over the course of his career, Khan has sought to examine the relationship between painting and sculpture, constructing a visual vocabulary of geometric and representational forms that mix aesthetic concerns with a fascination for quotidian objects.
Drawing on earlier practices, each sculpture in Life in the Abstract juxtaposes components from Khan’s abstract canvas paintings with “readymade” items such as eyeglasses and combs. To create the seven sculptures, 17 line drawings were welded and arranged in a specific manner to suggest imaginative narrative compositions—reflecting the artist’s own conversation between the private sphere of his life and the public realm of architecture. The sculptures will be on display until February 26, 2023.
18. Hippo Ballerina at Pershing Square Plaza West
Finally returning to New York City is Hippo Ballerina, an iconic 15-f00t tall 2.5-ton bronze sculpture now located at Pershing Square Plaza West across from Grand Central Terminal. Over the years, the sculpture has been on display in Dante Park, the Flatiron South Public Plaza, and the Girl Scouts of America Building. Created by Danish artist Bjørn Okholm Skaarup, Hippo Ballerina gains its inspiration from Degas’ Little Dancer Aged Fourteen and the dancing hippos of Walt Disney’s Fantasia—standing as a representation of the ability to reinterpret subjects and themes from ancient myths into contemporary pop culture. Accompanying Hippo Ballerina are two additional sculptures, Hippo Ballerina, pirouette, and Rhino Harlequin, pirouette, all presented as part of the New York City Department of Transportation’s Temporary Art Program. The three sculptures will remain on display through December 2022.
“My animal sculptures are a celebration of life and nature and its many intriguing shapes and creatures,” said artist Bjørn Skaarup. “Each animal is thoroughly culturalized; representing human allegories or using man-made tools, all placed in peculiar and surreal encounters between nature and culture. The result is a group of bronze sculptures that combines the gracious and exclusive with the communicative, distorted, and humorous.”
19. Each One, Every One, Equal All in Times Square
In September 2021, Nick Cave’s Every One, a permanent 360-f00t mosaic and accompanying video, opened to the public on the North and East walls of the new 42nd Street connector in the Times Square subway stop. This May, MTA Arts & Design unveiled two accompanying permanent artworks entitled Each One and Equal All near the rebuilt 42nd Street shuttle—creating a total of nearly 4,600 square feet of mosaic, making it both Cave’s largest public artwork and the largest mosaic project in the New York City Transit system.
Located inside the new station entrance at One Times Square, Each One measures 14.5 feet tall and features colorful Soundsuits arranged in various states of vertical movement and suspension. The installation’s movement and forms were inspired by the New Year’s Eve ball drop at One Times Square while its muted lines connect the piece to both the station’s subterranean level and the constant hustle and bustle of the plaza overhead. Each figure in the mosaic is depicted with a polka-dot pattern meant to symbolize the various points of memory along an individual’s journey. Equal One, located near the 42nd Street shuttle platform, includes a dozen life-sized Soundsuits capturing many of Cave’s most notable pieces from the last 20 years. The most recent one features a body of work created in response to the murder of George Floyd with the piece utilizing mixed media materials such as vintage textile, sequined appliqués, and metal.
20. El Toro Del Oro in Meatpacking District
This summer, multidisciplinary contemporary artist Enrique Cabrera’s bronze sculpture El Toro Del Oro will be exhibited in the Meatpacking District in front of the Gansevoort Hotel. Originally from Veracruz, Mexico, Cabrera dedicated his work to promoting Mexican culture, moving it beyond residing along the fringes of society.
El Toro Del Oro represents Cabrera’s eighth bull in a series, though it is the only one created for view outdoors. Below the bull is a wooden butcher-block pedestal meant as an ode to the district’s rich history. The sculpture will be on display through Labor Day, 2022.
21. Empower Flower at Randall’s Island Park
Through May 4, 2023, Randall’s Island Park in collaboration with Taglialatella Galleries will host artist Rubem Robierb’s sculpture Empower Flower. Fashioned in the style of a lotus-shaped throne, Empower Flower stands as a symbol of praise, unity, and respect for women’s rights.
The sculpture is composed of five distinct parts, each individually designed and brought together. Central to Empower Flower is outside involvement, with the structure inviting viewers to touch it not only with their hands but with their whole body and soul as a means of elevating them from passive spectators to the main focus of the piece.
22. Sun Seekers at Governors Island
Sun Seekers is a body of immersive installation, sculptural, and performance work intended to promote healing through disconnecting with technology and reconnecting with the natural world. Created by sisters Amy Khoshbin and Jennifer Khoshbin, Sun Seekers features an alternate world known as the Wreck-tangle, which directly correlates to our current experiences with a life centered around screens and social media. In direct contrast to the Wreck-tangle, Sun Seekers’ somatic analog sculptures display embodied experiences and outdoor spaces filled with light. In doing so, the work intends to imbue empathy for the environment within its audience and encourage them to get back in touch with their bodies.
Over the course of the exhibition, a series of participatory performances will be led by Sun Seekers to induct the audience into their world through object-making and durational, technology-free somatic experiences. Sun Seeker’s first performance will take place on June 18 as part of the River to River Festival. The installation is presented by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council at the Arts Center on Governors Island through October 30, 2022.
23. Pillars at Governors Island
Inside the cafe at the Arts Center at Governors Island is the first U.S.-based installation of Pillars by Jamaican-born artist Simon Benjamin. At Governors Island, Benjamin’s work focuses on migration, labor, and forms of disembodied care between immigrants and their loved ones in their home country.
Pillars serves as a continuation of the interactive video Diorama, first seen at the 2017 Ghetto Biennale in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. To continue the storyline, Pillars investigates the dynamic people of the African diaspora have between viewing the sea as a site of historical trauma and labor but also as a source of cultural and spiritual significance. The installation will remain up for view through October 30, 2022.
24. Back and Song at Governors Island
Located in the Lower Gallery of the Arts Center at Governors Island is Back and Song, a meditative four-channel film and art installation which reflects on how the pursuit of one’s health remains at the root of how breath, life, joy, and pain manifest in the black experience. The installation was created by Elissa Blount-Moorhead and Bradford Young in collaboration with archivists from around the world including Elijah Maja of Future Together Lab, Rianna Jade Parker, and Hudda Khaireh.
Through its kaleidoscope design, Back and Song encourages its viewers to consider the labor and care provided by generations of Black healers and how their work has factored and not factored into the often flawed and discriminatory structures of Western medicine in the past and present. Back and Song features synthesized images of quotidian Black family life to showcase how music, movement, sound therapy, ritual dance, rest, and meditation can be brought together as a spectrum of individual and communal pursuits of well-being.
25. Purple Slice at McCaffrey Playground
At McCaffrey Playground in Hell’s Kitchen, visual artist and designer Andrea Bergart‘s basketball court design, entitled Purple Slice, draws from her experiences as a lifelong athlete. Bergart’s involvement with fashion and Downtown Girls Basketball inspired her to craft pieces that highlighted female and male professional basketball players and culture.
In addition, through her work, Bergart references diverse visual traditions, including woven textiles, urban fashion, and geometric abstraction. Purple Slices seeks to demonstrate the relationship between body and movement through space and the female form in an abstract and unexpected manner.
26. Cat Schmitz and ArtCrawl Harlem’s Much Needed Love at Governor’s Island
From June 1st through July 17th, the Governor’s Island site of ArtCrawl Harlem’s 2022 Boundaries & Connections Residency House hosts the installation, Much Needed Love, by fiber artist/designer Cat Schmitz. This art installation, open to the public, pushes the boundaries of materiality with sculptures present created with a range of media, incorporating rugs, quilts and even cement.
The sculptures’ forms and colors are curvilinear and free flowing, inviting guests of all bakgrounds into the space to form their own connections in lightness and joy. This exuberant installation welcomes visitors to explore their own connection to space and shape at the ArtCrawl Harlem house on the Colonel’s Row section of Governor’s Island.
27. Steel Bodies at Socrates Sculpture Park
From May 28 through March 5, 2023, Socrates Sculpture Park will host Steel Bodies, New York-based artist Maren Hassinger’s new sculpture series. Since the early 1970s, Hassinger has explored the relationship between nature and humanity, covering topics such as movement, family, love, nature, environment, and consumerism in her work.
Scattered throughout the park will be various steel sculptures in the forms of iconic vessels drawing types from not only Hassinger’s own artistic practice, but also more broadly from the ancient Western world, non-Western cultures, and craft traditions. Steel Bodies seeks to examine the complications of human interrelation, affinity, identity, and collectiveness through juxtaposing abstract elements to the outdoors.
28. Here in the Garment District
Through August 29, 2022, the Garment District Alliance will present Here, a series of fourteen oversized sculptures with raised hands welcoming residents and visitors to New York City. Created by artist Santi Flores, Here symbolizes the importance of unity, diversity, and individuality while also working to instill hope in its audience as the city looks towards the future.
Crafted from steel, concrete, and enamel paint, Flores’ sculptures vary in size, with the largest towering at 14 feet tall. Each sculpture in Here features the same signature raised hand gesture with different colors and markings on their skin as a representation of New York City’s multicultural community. The sculptures can be found on Broadway between 38th and 41st Streets.
29. Bird’s Eye View at Battery Park
Bird’s Eye View by New York City-based artist Shuli Sadé is a virtual installation featuring photographs and original watercolor images of 30 species of birds that seek temporary or permanent refuge near Manhattan’s waterways through the Adobe Aero app.
Located in Battery Park City are 70 QR codes on 14 signs along the riverfront, which after being scanned with a smartphone camera present images of the birds and information on their migratory patterns. In addition, these signs provide information about the birds and carefully selected lines of poetry intended to draw parallels between the repetitive nature of bird sounds and the word’s syllables. The installation was inspired by the flight patterns of birds above the Hudson River and along Battery Park City’s gardens, working to bring more awareness to the environment in urban settings. Bird’s Eye View will be on display until November 2022.
30. The Open Orchard at Governors Island
This spring, Sam Van Aken’s installation The Open Orchard will be on display at Governors Island. Taking the form of a public orchard with 102 fruit trees, The Open Orchard acts as a living archive for antique and heirloom fruit varieties that have been grown in the New York area over the last 400 years but have mostly disappeared due to climate change and industrialization. To preserve these rare fruit species, Van Aken has utilized a unique grafting process in which multiple fruit varieties are combined into a single tree, allowing them to grow alongside one another. In doing so, the fruits are able to grow in a safer environment.
As part of Van Aken’s project, 100 additional trees will be donated and planted in community gardens throughout the five boroughs in partnership with NYC Parks GreenThumb. Accompanying the art installation will also be a workshop series, talks and performances, fruit tastings, harvest events, and culinary lessons.
31. Gardens as Cosmic Terrains at Green-Wood Cemetery
On May 7, Green-Wood Cemetery will begin presenting Heidi Lau’s Gardens as Cosmic Terrains, a sculpture installation located in the catacombs. As Green-Wood Cemetery’s first-ever artist in residence, Lau was selected from more than 1,000 other candidates and currently resides in the cemetery’s Fort Hamilton Gatehouse.
Gardens as Cosmic Terrains features ceramic sculptures hanging from the catacomb’s skylights, drawing inspiration from funerary items such as urns, bells, and spirit vessels. Sculpture designs also draw heavily from the structure of traditional Chinese gardens and the themes of nostalgia, memory, Taoist practices, and the history of Macau, where Lau spent her early years. The installation will be open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. until July 3, 2022.
32. Black Atlantic at Brooklyn Bridge Park
On May 17, artist Hugh Hayden and Public Art Fund Curator Daniel S. Palmer’s exhibition Black Atlantic will open at Brooklyn Bridge Park. Named after Paul Gilroy’s novel of the same name, Black Atlantic was created to highlight the complex hybrid identities that have developed as a result of the exchange of culture and ideas along transatlantic networks linking Africa, Europe, the Caribbean, and the United States.
The exhibition will also feature the work of Leilah Babiyre, Hugh Hayden, Dozie Kanu, Tau Lewis, and Kiyan Lewis—five artists who share a commitment to material exploration, fusing contemporary ideas with the historical, and exploring processes of making and fabrication by hand. Through the artwork featured in Black Atlantic, the exhibition will challenge its audience to embrace a more open, multifaceted, and heterogeneous idea of Black identity in the United States. Black Atlantic will be on view through November 2022.
33. Faces of the Wild in Greenwich Village
Through July 31, 2022, international artists and conservationists Gillie and Marc Schattner will present Faces of the Wild as part of their #LoveTheLast series. At the moment, over 32,000 species listed on the IUCN are threatened by extinction with habitat loss, poaching, pollution, and climate change being the biggest threats to these creatures. Just as we love and care for our friends and family, Faces of the Wild seeks to inspire a love for wildlife in the face of the world’s slowly dissipating biodiversity.
Located in Greenwich Village’s Ruth Wittenberg Triangle, Faces of the Wild features nine six-foot-tall sculptures representing some of the world’s most endangered animals. These animals include the northern white rhino, chimpanzee, addax, western lowland gorilla, polar bear, red wolf, African forest elephant, hippopotamus, and lion. In addition, accompanying each sculpture is a QR code with information on conservation and an option to donate to Gillie and Marc’s partner charity World Wildlife Fund.
34. Diane Arbus Statue at Doris C. Freedman Plaza
Located at the Doris C. Freedman Plaza at Fifth Avenue and 60th Street is a five feet, six-inch bronze sculpture of photographer Diane Arbus by artist Gillian Wearing. Arbus has long been a source of inspiration for Wearing, who in 2008 created a photo entitled “Me as Arbus,” paying homage to the photographer by recreating an iconic portrait of Arbus. Presented by the Public Art Fund, the sculpture features Arbus standing with her camera pointed toward the ongoing crowd and her finger on the shutter button. Through creating the sculpture at eye level, Wearing hopes to highlight the “human approach” Arbus took to the art of photography. The sculpture will be on display until August 14, 2022.
As Nicholas Baume, the Public Art Fund’s artistic and executive director stated, “In [Gillian Wearing’s] bronze ‘Diane Arbus,’ we see the posthumous homage to a pioneering artist by another from a different time and place. We also see a modest, unassuming figure, standing at the entrance to Central Park, recognizable by the most distinctive attribute of her public self: her Rolleiflex camera.”
35. Jim Rennert’s three life-sized sculptures Timing, Inner Dialogue, and Commute
At 6th Avenue and West 47th Street New York-based sculptor Jim Rennert will present three larger-than-life sculptures through 2023 that depict the daily struggles and achievements of everyday people. Embodying the fast-paced New York City lifestyle, these sculptures represent the meeting point between the business world and ordinary life.
The first sculpture in the series, Timing, depicts a person looking anxiously at their watch, highlighting the importance of timing, being in the right place at the right time, and the difficulty we all face to find balance in our schedules. Inner Dialogue in comparison involves a small figure standing in the palm of a figure, metaphorically showcasing the familiar feeling of having a conversation with one’s conscience. To round out the sculptures, Commute features a figure sitting on a bench with a briefcase in his hand as he waits for the train — honoring the work Americans perform every day in less bucolic settings with minimal physical engagement.
36. Animal Sculptures By Artist Idriss B. Along Park Avenue
Along Park Avenue between 34th and 38th Streets in the Murray Hill neighborhood are a series of polygonal-shaped animal sculptures by artist Idriss B. Born and raised in Paris, Idriss B. has previously helped create retail and window displays for luxury brands such as Dior, Coach, and Michael Kors. Presented by Patrons of Park Avenue (POPA), these sculptures serve as the organization’s inaugural art installation. Featured sculptures include Rexor the Tyrannosaurus Rex, Mojo the Gorilla, Baloo the Bear, and Manny the Mammoth, among others. Exhibited as part of NYC Parks’ Art in the Parks Program, Idriss B’s work will be on display until February 2023.
“One of the most beautiful places in the world is New York and it is the perfect place for me to exhibit my work,” Idriss B. said. “It is a hardworking city with a warm family environment, so it is very fitting for people to see and feel the strength of my pieces while bringing the fun to everybody, especially the kids.”
37. Afro Pick: Remembering & Moving Forward
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.
38. Indigenous Threads at Colonel Charles Young Triangle
On display in Manhattan’s Colonel Charles Young Triangle Park is Iya Alaro by Oluwaseyi (Shayee) Awoyomi, a fifth-generation textile dryer from the Yoruba people of Nigeria. Presented by Harlem Needle Arts, the installation is part of Indigenous Threads, a public art series representing the origins of traditional African textiles. It tells the story of Iya Alaro — known as the “Mother of Dyes.”
Tasked with great responsibility, Iya Alaro oversees the harvesting of the indigo plant, known as Adire. In Yoruba this translates as (adi) “to tie” and (re) “to dye.” Alaro is tasked with preparing the dye baths, creating the composition of solvents, and organizing the community of women collecting the plant. After the Adire has been prepared for the market, the Iyaloja (“Mother of the Market”) is voted for by the fellow market women, nominated by the king, or politically chosen. To capture this story, the installation features sketches of Iya Alaro and women dressed in indigo harvesting the plant. Iya Alaro will remain up until December 15, 2022.
39. Stand-Speak-Shape at Columbus Park
Stand-Speak-Shape is a large-scale crochet mural by the Chinatown Yarn Circle Project in collaboration with Think Chinatown, the Creative Sanctum, and artist Naomi Lawrence. On display until October 8, 2022, the mural ushers in words of strength, synergy, and solidarity to culturally inspire Chinatown residents to stand strong together, speak up for justice, and shape society through sharing community life together. In addition, the mural serves as a tribute to AAPI community builders and a means of bringing awareness to issues facing members of the community.
Featuring nearly 1,000 crochet squares, over 1,000 leaves, and 1,500 flowers sewn together into a 4-foot-high by 25-foot-wide mural, Stand-Speak-Shape adorns the fences of Columbus Park. Crocheted by neighborhood volunteers, the mural’s flowers serve as symbolic ties to the Asian community at large. Example flowers in the mural include Plum Blossoms for Taiwan, Chrysanthemum for Japan, Arabian Jasmine for the Philippines, and Hibiscus for Malaysia among others.
40. The Girl Puzzle on Roosevelt Island
Located on Roosevelt Island is The Girl Puzzle, a monument installation by artist Amanda Matthews paying tribute to Nellie Bly. Over the course of her life, Bly worked as a journalist, women’s rights activist, suffragist, World War II correspondent, inventor/patent holder, industrialist, and humanitarian. Above all else, she strived to write stories exposing the struggles of marginalized individuals like herself and pushed for equality and progress, especially for women. In particular, The Girl Puzzle was inspired by Bly’s 1885 response to bigotry and her 1887 seminal work, Ten Days in a Mad-House, in which she exposed the deplorable living conditions she witnessed at the Blackwell Island Asylum on Roosevelt Island, which she gained access to by feigning insanity.
To highlight Bly’s legacy, The Girl Puzzle presents the faces of other women who have endured hardship in their lives and were made stronger because of it. In the center of the monument is a bust of Bly’s face cast in silver bronze and three silver globes representing her journalism career. Surrounding Bly’s face and the silver globes are four additional busts cast in bronze representing Asian American, Black, young, older, and queer women, each rendered in partial sections to appear like giant puzzle pieces. The faces express the deep emotion of being both broken and repaired and allow the audience to interact with the reflective surfaces and imagine the different parts of the face coming together. In addition, Bly’s words are engraved behind each woman, representing the spirit and complexity of women and the stories they have to tell.
41. Going Back to The Meadows, A Tribute to LL Cool J and Performance at FMCP
Located at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in the David Dinkins Circle is Going Back to the Meadows, A Tribute to LL Cool J and Performance at F.M.C.P — also labeled as The G.O.A.T. Monument — a statue honoring American rapper LL Cool J. Support for the statue was provided through the NYC Art in the Parks: Alliance for FMCP Grant, Queens Council on the Arts, and City Artist Corps Grant.
Created by artist Sherwin Banfield, The G.O.A.T. Monument features a representation of a younger LL Cool J wearing a Kangol hat and holding a gold boombox. Sitting inside the box is a cassette of “Radio,” the musician’s first record. The statue comes on the heels of LL Cool J’s induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, which took place on October 30, 2021. Going Back to the Meadows, A Tribute to LL Cool J and Performance at F.M.C.P will be on display until November 2022.
42. The Giving Tree at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park
Through November 23, 2022, Haksul Lee’s sculpture, The Giving Tree will be on display in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. The sculpture works to bring awareness to the environmental concerns of the Queens community. It was created thanks to support from the Art in the Parks: Alliance for Flushing Meadows Corona Park Grant, which provides funding for site-specific public art installations in two locations at the park.
Using wind power to generate electricity, the artificial tree will light the park and provide a charger station for visitors. In addition, The Giving Tree serves as a form of altruism promoting a higher level of collective consciousness to push New Yorkers towards acknowledging and addressing the climate issues that currently affect the city and issues that stand to arise in the future.
43. The Great Debate at The Battery
On display at The Battery in Lower Manhattan is artist Hebru Brantley’s 16-foot steel sculpture The Great Debate, depicting Flyboy — a superhero character of color created by Brantley in response to the few characters of color found within the comic book world. Brantley was inspired by the Tuskegee Airmen, the first African-American military aviator pilots who fought in World War II. Flyboy serves as a nod of admiration towards these men, aimed at inspiring future generations to soar above their predicted possibilities, regardless of the challenges standing in their way. Presented in partnership with NYC Parks’ Art in the Parks program, The Great Debate forces its audience to reflect on the meaning of freedom in American society today. The Great Debate will be available for view through November 13, 2022.
For Brantley: “The Great Debate is a piece that is personal and important to me – it features Flyboy in a stance that represents confident optimism. My hope is that The Great Debate at The Battery will serve as a consistent reminder to hold your head high, stand firm in what you believe in, and keep pushing forward with confidence.”
44. EL DORADO – The New Forty Niners
Artist Cecile Chong’s installation EL DORADO – The New Forty Niners pays tribute to the 49% of New York households that speak a language other than English. The installation features 100 colored “guagua” sculptures meant to represent a community of people from around the world, with 49 being painted in gold. Each sculpture varies in height from 8 to 24 inches tall. Chong derived the title for the installation from a story taught to her while growing up in Ecuador, with “El Dorado” meaning “the golden.”
Since 2017, EL DORADO – The New Forty Niners has been displayed in every borough of the city. Currently, it is in its fifth and final iteration at the Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza at 47th Street and 2nd Avenue through August 30, 2022. For this version of the installation, the sculptures have been arranged on 17 colored planks to represent the 17 UN sustainability goals which seek to bring developed and developing countries together in a global partnership to reduce inequality and spur economic growth.
45. Day Into Night Into Day at the Bronx 138th St-Grand Concourse Subway Station
Inside the downtown stairwell between the mezzanine entrance and southbound platform at the 138th St-Grand Concourse Subway Station in the Bronx is Amy Pryor’s mosaic artwork Day Into Night Into Day. Presented by MTA Arts & Design, the four-part mosaic depicts the shifting hours of daylight and darkness over four seasons using a spectrum of colors. Its structure is uniquely based on a twenty-four-hour clock and pie charts. Overlapping the seasonal sunrises and sunsets are charts of stars rarely seen from the Bronx at night. The mosaic’s top left square depicts the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, while the top right represents the vernal equinox, the first day of spring. In the lower left is the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, and in the lower right is the autumnal equinox, the first day of fall.
As Sandra Bloodworth, Director of MTA Arts & Design stated: “In many ways, Day Into Night Into Day parallels the daily journeys taken by travelers through the station to and from the Mott Haven neighborhood. Amy’s rendering of the rising and setting of the sun highlights the cosmic energy involved in determining the length of our days and nights. The sparkling surfaces of the mosaics bring a contemplative spirit into the station, reminding us that while the evening brings our day to a close, every morning provides us with a fresh start. The artwork captures our imagination and adds a burst of energy and a wave of tranquility to the beginning and conclusion of our travels.”
46. Witness by Thomas J. Price at Marcus Garvey Park
Situated within Marcus Garvey Park is Witness, artist Thomas J. Price’s first solo U.S. museum presentation. Witness features one monumental work titled The Distance Within, a nine-foot bronze sculpture depicting a young Black man looking down at his cellphone. Presented by the Studio Museum in Harlem, Witness celebrates ordinary blackness and asks its audience to consider the function of monuments as defining the familiar. The form of The Distance Within was inspired by Price’s earlier work Network, which was presented in 2013 in the U.K. and drew from the real people who lived and worked in the artist’s neighborhood of Brixton in South London.
In reference to the sculpture, Price stated that he wanted to “interrogate [notions of] presence, movement, and freedom. Whom do these spaces belong to? And what bodies are provided more or less autonomy to move with liberty through public [space]?”
47. XO World Project at the World Trade Center Campus
XO World Project consists of two monumental sculptures at the World Trade Center Campus. Designed by artist Daniel Anderson, XO World and XO Play promote messages of inclusivity, hope, and positivity among their viewers. Both sculptures were inspired by the widely played game Jacks. The “X” of XO World is represented by a Jack with crossed arms attached to the spoke — simultaneously being a reference to the word “love” in sign language. On the other hand, the “O” is represented by a globe.
As a whole, XO World is 12 feet tall, 24 feet wide, and made from more than 20,000 pounds of stainless steel. In conjunction, XO Play showcases the unity of all races and the acceptance of children. Its cross-armed jacks symbolize security and safety while a little girl holds a ball reflective of a globe in her hand, symbolizing the impact she stands to have on the world. XO World can be found in front of One World Trade Center on the West Plaza at 285 Fulton Street while XO Play is located inside the Oculus at the World Trade Center. Both XO World and XO Play will remain in New York until they are moved to Paris in 2022. After Paris, the sculptures will be displayed in London, Hong Kong, Moscow, and Dubai. According to Anderson: “Launching this in the epicenter of the world, New York City, where people come from all different cultures, has created a viral movement of positivity amongst people. It’s working and that is exciting. My inspiration for these sculptures came from children and their open acceptance of others. A child’s mind and heart are free of prejudice regardless of race, gender, or religion, which is something we should all emulate. ‘XO World Project’ will bring people together for many generations to come.”
48. The Warrior at Holcombe Rucker Park
Over the past few months, the National Basketball Player Association (NBPA), local community leaders, and brand partners undertook the task of completely renovating the historic Greg Marius Court at Holcombe Rucker Park in Harlem. As one of the best-known basketball courts in the United States, Greg Marius has become a rite of passage for basketball players growing up in New York City. Renovations included the leveling of the court’s pavement, replacement of the bleachers, backboards, baskets, and scoreboard, the addition of team benches on both sides, and the repainting of the court with a brand new mural known as The Warrior.
Created by Harlem native and renowned rapper A$AP Ferg and curator Set Free Richardson, The Warrior pays homage to the warrior spirit of the Harlem community while embodying the essence of many past, present, and future basketball players.
49. The Ribbon in Long Island City
On display through September 30, 2022, is The Ribbon, a playful interactive platform that invites passersby to connect with Long Island City admirers. The work aims to break down barriers and connect people through moments of open-ended play while also serving as a place for people to stop and engage in fruitful conversations with one another.
The Ribbon has been erected in two public spaces across the Central Court Square area. Each location of The Ribbon features two magenta structures with rotating iridescent panels inscribed with “LIC Love Notes” written by locals. Notes will be continually added to the structure through December 2021 or until all 100 panels are filled. On-site, a QR code is available to contribute a note for the installation. Designers for The Ribbon include Hive Public Space and The Urban Conga, and the project was commissioned by the Long Island City Partnership.
50. The Big Apple at Bella Abzug Park
Presented by DIX2, Big Apple is a temporary public art installation in Bella Abzug Park in Hell’s Kitchen. Created by designer Felix Marzell, Big Apple will serve as a new meeting place in the heart of the bustling city, with benches inside allowing visitors to sit within the wooden structure. Whether alone or in a group, Big Apple makes for a perfect spot to come together and create new shared stories and experiences.
On view for through September 2022, Big Apple‘s structure is made of various layers of coated plywood fixed around a central axis with each wooden wedge being designed to create one seat once assembled. The sculpture is presented by the Hudson Yards Hell’s Kitchen Alliance with support from NYC Parks and funding from the Québec Government Office in New York and Amazon NYC.
51. New permanent artwork installations by Katherine Bradford and Marcel Dzama at L Train Stations
As an additional pop of color, the MTA has unveiled Queens of the Night and No Less Than Everything Comes Together, two permanent mosaic series inside the 1st Avenue and Bedford Avenue L train stations. Created by artist Katherine Bradford, Queens of the Night serves as a tribute to the creatives and essential workers who ride the L train daily. Located in the East Village at the 1st Avenue station, the ethereal figures in Bradford’s work come together to inspire viewers to consider the outward expression of their own interior vivacity. One of the most striking panels from Queens of the Night is “Superhero Responds,” portraying New York’s essential workers in the style of Superman.
Situated in Williamsburg at Bedford Avenue, No Less Than Everything Comes Together features theatrical fairy-like figures under the sun and moon. Created by Marcel Dzama, scenes depicted in No Less Than Everything Comes Together are populated with elegant ballet performers, many of whom are adorned with the black-and-white costumes typically worn by NYC Ballet dancers. Scattered throughout the mosaic series are numerous characters representing infamous Brooklynites including Bugsy Siegel and Captain Jonathan Williams — the founder of Williamsburg.
52. Every One Mural Inside the 42nd Street Subway Connector
Inside the new 42nd Street Connector between Times Square and Grand Central is Every One, the first of a three-piece installation by artist Nick Cave. Commissioned by MTA Arts & Design, the installation was created as part of the 42nd Street Shuttle reconstruction and reconfiguration project, costing the city more than $250 million. The figures were made from recomposed source photos of soundsuits taken by James Prinz, which were then interpreted in glass for display on the subway station’s walls.
Every One’s design features a series of figures wearing colorful soundsuits — costumes that camouflage the shape of the wearer. Taking inspiration from African art traditions, ceremonial dresses, and haute-couture fashion, soundsuits are unique in that by covering the entire body, they conceal the wearer’s gender, race, and class, which eliminates audience judgment throughout the performance. Throughout the installation, the figures can be seen jumping and twirling along the wall, with their suits swaying as if moved by the wind. The other two parts of Cave’s installations, Each One and Equal All, will be installed next year at the new shuttle entrance and on the center island platform wall at Grand Central Terminal respectively.
53. The Field Station of the Melancholy Marine Biologist
Beginning October 8th, The Trust for Governors Island will present artist Mark Dion’s new installation, The Field Station of the Melancholy Marine Biologist. On long-term view in Building 105 — a historic arsenal structure located within the Governors Island Historic District — The Field Station of the Melancholy Marine Biologist transforms the space into an abandoned research outpost. Scientific objects, instruments, artifacts, and samples featured in the installation were chosen for their connections to Governor Island’s history and the ecology of the New York Harbor and Buttermilk Channel.
For Dion, the installation allows viewers to witness a scene preserved in time, one “where somebody studying the natural world realizes that the future’s not looking so good… that we are going to lose a great amount of the natural wonders that have been here in previous centuries.”
54. Colorful artwork adorning Lower Manhattan’s lamp posts
Throughout Lower Manhattan, the public-artspace nonprofit ArtBridge has turned 65 lamp posts into temporary art installations exploring the theme of resiliency. One selection of featured work includes Dances of New York City by Frances Smith. As the name suggests, Smith’s work features breathtaking illustrations of dancers atop colorful backgrounds of key New York City landmarks and iconographies such as the Brooklyn Bridge and subway entrance. With 10 total illustrations, Dances of New York City highlights traditional dance techniques while simultaneously showcasing relatable New York moments such as the “Pizza Soca,” “The Village Cross,” and “Upper West Side Swing.”
Another featured work on display is Geo Grid by painter Michelle Weinberg. Geo Grid expertly utilizes the cylindrical shape of the lamp posts to highlight patterned art. Through the usage of vividly colored geometric shapes, Geo Grid showcases movement as it swirls upward. Art for the lamp posts was selected through a public design competition held this past summer that received more than 100 submissions.
55. Bust of Martha P. Johnson at Christopher Park near the Stonewall Inn
In Christopher Park, a bust of Black transgender LGBTQ activist Martha P. Johnson was recently erected on August 24th, which would have been her 76th birthday. Today, Johnson is known for her crucial role in the 1969 Stonewall Riots and for co-creating with fellow transgender activist Sylvia Rivera the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR), which sought to provide housing for LGBTQ youth. Later, Johnson served as a staunch activist for survivors during the AIDS crisis before her death in 1992. The city announced in 2019 that it planned to create memorials near the Stonewall Inn for Johnson and Rivera, but these plans never came to fruition. However, rather than continuing to wait for the city to make due on its promise, writer and activist Eli Erlick, sculptor Jesse Pallotta and a number of fellow organizers created a bronze bust of Johnson and installed it inside the park. Additional help in creating the bust was provided by Tourmaline, an artist and filmmaker whose hundreds of archived photos of Johnson gave Pallotta a deeper understanding of her features from every angle.
The bust features Johnson softly smiling with a colorful flower tiara adorning her head. Below the bust is a plaque that honors Johnson’s love of poetry, flowers, space and the color purple. It includes a quote which reads, “History isn’t something you look back at and say it was inevitable. It happens because people make decisions that are sometimes very impulsive and of the moment, but those moments are cumulative realities.” Currently, it is unknown as to how long the bust will remain in the park, but it was specifically designed with the intention of only being up temporarily. It is Erlich and Pallota’s hope that the bust will inspire the city to follow through with creating monuments to Johnson and Rivera and involve Black trans women leaders in New York City in the design process.
56. Endangered Fossils at Flushing Meadows Corona Park
Through August 10, 2022, Endangered Fossils by Judith Modrak will be on display at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens. Endangered Fossils features a series of sculptures meant to represent an imagined archeological excavation of New York State’s fossil record. Inspiration for the sculptures was drawn from trilobites, brachiopods and crinoids present from the Devonian period 400 million years ago — which today can be recognized for their similarities to modern crabs, clams and starfish. Each sculpture prompts its audience to consider the origins of our ecosystem.
As Modrak writes in her artist statement: “The larger concept was very much about the fossil record in light of disastrous climate change which is causing many species to tragically become extinct, fossils are even “endangered” as certain species may not leave a trace that they ever existed. Endangered Fossils is a homage to our beloved Mother Earth in a critical time requiring immediate attention.”
57. Windows of the Wedding #1: Woman at St. Nicholas Park
In a basketball court at St. Nicholas Park in Manhattan is Faith Ringgold’s muralWindows of the Wedding #1: Woman. The mural is part of Ringgold’s ongoing Windows of the Wedding series, which began during the 1970s after the artist began experimenting with abstract shapes. Ringgold would go on to receive critical acclaim during the 1980s for her narrative quilts.
Presented by Project Backboard, Windows of the Wedding #1: Woman’s design features a vibrant array of colors painted next to one another in triangle shapes of various sizes. It will be up for view through August 8, 2022.
58. 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.
59. 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.
60. 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.
61. 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.
62. The world’s largest stenciled mural, Tunnel Vision, at the East River Plaza
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.”
63. Landscape and Memory at Madison Square Park
Beginning on June 1, Spanish artist Cristina Iglesias will present in collaboration with the Madison Square Park Conservancy the immersive installation Landscape and Memory, which seeks to unearth the forgotten terrains and geographic history of Madison Square Park. The installation features five bronze sculptural pools, gently flowing with water arriving in different sequences, into the park’s Oval Lawn, as a form of harkening back to when Cedar Creek—which now remains buried underneath—coursed across the park’s land. The river’s former waterways now lay host to communication cables and infrastructure pipes. Each bronze sculpture also contains a bas relief made of invented rocks and roots, evoking the old riverbed in both an organic and fictional manner. This juxtaposition between fictional nature and the park’s real landscape imbues the audience with a sense that the installation represents both a memory of what was and an image of what could be in the future.
Complementing the installation will be interdisciplinary public programs, free and open to all, including a summer music series curated with Carnegie Hall and performance programming organized in conjunction with The Kitchen. Landscape and Memory will remain on display until December 4, 2022. “Madison Square Park has a rich history, witnessing and participating in several hundred years of New York City’s growth and evolution,” said Madison Square Park Conservancy Executive Director Keats Myer. “Iglesias’ commission digs deep into this history, evoking an era that predates even our centuries-old park, to reconnect today’s visitors with the natural wonder of the original site.”
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