While there are still a few weeks of summer left, NYC is starting to catch glimpses of the fall. Those crisp autumn days are perfect for heading outside and visiting new art installations. This month, New Yorkers have so many opportunities to engage with public works of art, from a massive new sculpture coming to Central Park to a parade of illuminated lanterns in Upper Manhattan. Check out all of the art coming in September!

1. Parabolic Light by Fred Eversley

Fred Everly Sculpture
Fred Eversley Sculpture: Untitled (cylindrical lens) by Fred Eversley, courtesy of David Kordansky Gallery

Science and craft converge in Fred Eversley’s first public sculpture to be presented in New York, titled Parabolic Light. Starting September 7, at the southeast entrance of Central Park and the Doris C. Freedman Plaza, you can walk among the largest segment of Eversley’s Cylindrical Lens series. The artist, in collaboration with the Public Art Fund, has installed a striking, 12-foot-tall lens made of magenta-tinted cast polyurethane. The presentation represents a continuation of the lens series that Eversley envisioned in 1970 but didn’t start implementing until 2022. It serves as an outdoor focal point, a place where people may instinctively be prompted to pause and engage with a rare object of grandeur. 

Untapped Central Park Walking Tour

Belvedere Castle

Fred Eversley’s notoriety skyrocketed in the early 1970s, and his reputation solidified as a pioneer of the West Coast Light and Space art movements. His scientific background as an aerospace engineer and electrical engineering graduate has been at the forefront of all his kinetic art, most commonly his sculptures that center on the parabola—the only shape that concentrates all forms of energy, like light, sound, and heat. Parabolic Light is also the first outdoor placement of Eversley’s parabolic silhouette forms to date and will be on display until August 2024.

2. The Keepers at Penn Station

The Keepers NYC art installation
The Keepers at Goanus Canal, 2016 Photos by Masahito Ono

The Keepers are coming to Penn Station on Friday, September 22nd. The Keepers are a cast of life forms “living on the border between animal and plant consciousness” who participate in a still performance art intervention. The performance was created by cultural provocateur and founder/director of the annual public art festival Art in Odd PlacesEd Woodham. The performances will pop up in three separate locations around the Penn Station campus, The Church of St. John the Baptist, Gimbel’s Skybridge, and the demolished Hotel Pennsylvania.

Remnants of Penn Station Tour

Penn Station Historic photo

The presence of The Keepers is meant to highlight the demolition of historic buildings in the Penn Station neighborhood. This activation has been commissioned by the Preservation League of NYS as part of a New York State Council on the Arts-funded project drawing attention to the League’s Seven to Save Endangered historic sites across the state. The Keepers have previously popped up in Gowanus and Long Island City as well as a few international sites.

3. Morningside Lights Procession

Morningside Lights
Photo by Adrienne Stortz

The annual Morningside Lights procession is a journey of lanterns built by students, families, and the New York community during a week of free public workshops. The 1-mile procession begins on September 30th at 8 p.m. in the park on 120th Street and ends at Columbia University. The theme of this year’s event is Open Book, so lantern makers should look to their favorite written works for inspiration. The event is a chance to engage in a free exchange of ideas by sharing books that have inspired you, enlightened you, and guided you through the world. In collaboration with  Columbia University Libraries and The New York Public Library, Morningside Lights will create an illuminated catalog of “Great Books,” to empower workshop participants to design original covers and pop-up illustrations of their chosen texts, which will be transformed into lanterns.

4. There Is Nothing You Can Think That Is Not The Moon at Governors Island

 There is nothing you can think that is not the moon NYC art installation
Image courtesy of LMCC. Photo credit: Martin Seck.

Collaborative artists Rhonda Weppler and Trevor Mahovsky have filled a shed at Governor’s Island with illuminated lost and found items titled There is nothing you can think that is not the moon. The items stocked inside are handmade lantern replicas of over 300 antique and vintage objects. The lanterns are lit in changing patterns that organize the collection into categories such as type and city of origin. AFter a lantern giveaway on September 3rd, the shed will be refilled with lanterns crafted by the public. These will represent items that were lost or lost or given away. The new lanterns will remain on view through winter.

5. From Canvas to Stage: A Tribute to Basquiat at Green-Wood Cemetery

Main entrance Green-Wood Cemetery

On September 7th, Green-Wood Cemetery will honor one of its famous interments, the late Brooklyn native and artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, with a concert and art display. This night will be full of music, poetry, and visual art produced by WordSmith and Danny Simmons. The performances will take place between the Gothic Arch and Historic Chapel against a backdrop of contemporary works inspired by the late artist, whose grave is one of the most visited sites in the cemetery. Learn more and book your tickets here.

6. Trashion Fashion Show at Morningside Park

Setting the Stage for Climate Change, 2023, Photo Courtesy of Trashion Fashion

On September 23, Trashion Fashion will host a runway show full of looks that represent Earth’s environmental crisis in Morningside Park. “Setting the Stage for Climate Change” by Susan Stair is a multi-panel painting that debuted on August 25th and will be incorporated into the show. Using repurposed plastics, wood, and fragments of her previous works, Stair created a starting point for the runway. The showcase will move down from the artwork by the park’s pond, featuring the designers and their upcycled creations. This whimsical display began with Stair’s Fashion Show and Design Workshops at the Dwyer Cultural Center, where volunteers, environmentalists, and aspiring designers used discarded plastics, bottle caps, and paper to construct their outfits. Everything from jewelry to accessories, to the overall vision is a way of beautifying what is usually thrown in a landfill and reminding the world that fashion is a great place to start in the fight for a more sustainable future. 

7. Affordable Art Fair at the Metropolitan Pavilion

Affordable Art Fair
Affordable Art Fair New York. Spring 2023. Photo: Phillip Reed.

New York City’s Affordable Art Fair is returning to the Metropolitan Pavilion on September 20 until September 24. This season’s fair is rooted in providing a platform for local New York-based galleries, especially those with a focus on Latin American and Asian art. Over 30 New York exhibitors are featured in the event which takes place in 10 cities worldwide, including Hong Kong, Amsterdam, and more! Affordable Art Fair gives art enthusiasts and art collectors the opportunity to browse and purchase global paintings, sculptures, photographs, and prints. This fall, the fair has added new city exhibitors like Minted and One Dutch Projects. The event is open to collectors, friends, families, and anyone looking for creative inspiration for their next art projects!

8. Cube Art Fair in Times Square

Cube Art Fair
Image Courtesy of the Cube Art Fair

AI Artwork is back in Times Square for September, but this time, you’ll be seeing it on a digital cube. The Cube Art Fair celebrates the 10th edition of its first public art fair where technology and art collide. The center stage of the fair is in Times Square, where international artists such as Philippe Shangti, and Andreas Anastasis will be featured among others on a giant 15,000-square-foot billboard from September 6 to 10, 2023. The exhibit’s theme paints AI as the artists’ partner, accentuating their vision, rather than overtaking it in the way most viewers tend to view the function of artificial intelligence. This feature of artistic expression on an iconic building converts the streets into gallery space and is guaranteed to leave an impression on passersby.

Next, check out a New Mosaic Subway Art Unveiled at Grand Central Street Station in Brooklyn

Written by Julia Chorun and Nicole Saraniero