Randi Renate's 'Are we psychic coral-polyps? Cedar and casein paint.
Randi Renate‘s ‘Are we psychic coral-polyps? Cedar and casein paint. Courtesy of Socrates Sculpture Park.

Fall has arrived in full force, bringing with it cooler temperatures ideal for heading outside and enjoying some of New York City’s best new public art installations. The artwork on display this month highlights the power artists have in inciting social change. Visitors to the 2022 Socrates Annual Sink or Swim: Climate Futures can learn more about the effects of climate change, while viewers of Todd Drake’s Peace Pole can find positive energy in the face of increasing global violence. This October, head to Murray Park to be dazzled by an abstract basketball court painting or Times Square to view Midnight Moment’s new film on the American Dream and the intersection of art and consumerism. Here are the best public art installations to see in October 2022.

1. Peace Pole at Stuyvesant Square Park

Peace Pole.
Peace Pole. Photo by Todd Drake.

Inside the tranquility of Stuyvesant Square Park is the Peace Pole, a vertical white post etched on all sides with the inscription “May Peace Prevail on Earth” in different languages. Artist Todd Drake discovered the Peace Pole while quarantining at the Penington Friends House — a collaborative living home run by Quakers since 1987 — and set out to restore it as an act of hope that would allow “peace” to “prevail.” Drake’s sculpture builds off the enduring legacy of peace poles, which originated in Japan during the 1970s and have since grown to over 250,000 worldwide.

In the face of violence across the nation and abroad, Peace Pole seeks to impart positive energy to the lives of its viewers. “Peace, in our world, will begin with a single act,” Drake said when introducing his installation on Instagram. Peace Pole is jointly presented by Penington Friends House and the Stuyvesant Park Neighborhood Association and will be on view through March 2, 2023.