This March brings forth a diverse range of art exhibitions and installations, from thought-provoking sculptures to botanical art and an immersive live painting demonstration! Explore the cultural landscape of New York City this spring by seeing artifacts from New Amsterdam at The New York Historical Society, giant sculptures along Park Avenue, mesmerizing videos on the billboards of Times Square, and more. Scroll down to discover the top art installations on view this month!

1. Traces in Order to Remember and Analogue Sites on Park Avenue

Metal sculpture
A rendering of “Biosignature Preservation” on Park Avenue, a sculpture by Jorge Otero-Pailos which will be part of his forthcoming exhibition “Analogue Sites” on Park Avenue Exhibition

The Fund for Park Avenue will unveil two massive sculptures this spring by artists Jorge Otero-Pailos and Betsabeé Romero. The first to be unveiled will be Traces in Order to Remember by Betsabeé Romero. This collection of five sculptures, each with a unique story to tell, starts on 81st St. The series starts with On The Other Side Of The Track, a tower that symbolizes the industry and exploitation of Western colonization. The series continues uptown with Moon Seal and Warriors in Captivity III on 82nd St, Warriors in Captivity at 83rd Street, and Rubber and Feathered Snakes at 83rd Street. Romero is a Mexican visual artist who uses everyday materials in her work.

Jorge Otero-Pailos’ sculpture is made of large steel pieces wrought from a fence that once surrounded the former U.S. Embassy in Oslo. Part of an upcoming exhibition, Analogue Sites, the sculpture aims to raise awareness of the importance of American modern architecture and the preservation of mid-century embassies. Originally placed in Oslo, the art piece will be unveiled on Park Avenue on April 1st. It will be on display until October 2024. Don’t miss out on the Spring Program Lecture for the exhibition hosted at Colombia University, which will feature the artist himself.

2. The Orchid Show: Florals in Fashion at NYBG

Mannequins scattered throughout a conservatory garden at NYBG
Photo Courtesy of the New York Botanical Garden

Take a walk through The New York Botanical Garden this spring for The Orchid Show: Florals in Fashion, a fashion-themed orchid exhibition featuring exotic plants arranged in bold, vibrant arrangements. This year’s 21st-anniversary display highlights the work of rising sustainability-focused and climate-aware fashion brands Collina Strada by Hillary Taymour, Dauphinette by Olivia Cheng, and FLWR PSTL L a.k.a. Kristen Alpaugh. Each artist provides their take on the connection between plants and fashion. Walk the runway with Alpaugh’s leafy model, strike a pose with Cheng’s mannequins clad in flowery bikinis and draping leaves, and snap a picture of Taymour’s gown made of blooming flowers! Look out for select dates of Orchid Nights, an evening that offers music, cocktails, and live performances, a must-see event for fashion and nature enthusiasts alike. The Orchid Show runs from February 17th to April 21st.

3. Night of Ideas with Villa Albertine

Courtesy of Villa Albertine / © David Filippon

Spend Friday evening at a late-night festival of conversations, debates, multimedia pop-ups, and workshops, that will inspire you to consider the impact of urban development through lenses of inclusivity, sustainability, arts and culture, education, and food. Night of Ideas, co-curated by Villa Albertine and Centre Pompidou, will take over Hudson County Community College (HCCC) in Jersey City from 6pm on Friday, March 1st to 1am. This nocturnal arts and culture annual marathon is free and open to the public! RSVP here. 

4. New York Before New York: The Castello Plan of New Amsterdam at The New-York Historical Society

Courtesy New York State Museum, Albany NY

As a tribute to the 400th anniversary of New Amsterdam’s settlement, The New-York Historical Society reveals a special exhibit titled New York Before New York: The Castello Plan of New Amsterdam on March 15th. The original Castello Plan by Johannes Vingboons is a 17th-century map that provides a snapshot of Dutch life in Mannahatta. It reveals the city of New Amsterdam at its peak. Through documents, artifacts, letters, and cartography the exhibit expands upon what the map shows to paint a picture of what life in New Amsterdam was like not just for the Duch settlers, but also for Indigenous people of New York and enslaved Africans. The artist Russel Shorto, Director of the New Amsterdam Project at New-York Historical, utilizes this project to delve into themes of free trade, race, and colonialism of that time while connecting it to our world today. The Castello Plan of New Amsterdam will be on view from March 15 through July 14.

New York Before New York Guided Tour

New York Historical Society permanent collection

Join Untapped New York Insiders for an exclusive tour of the exhibition on April 13th! This guided tour will give you an inside look at the items on display in New York Before New York, as well as highlights of the permanent collections. This tour is free for Untapped New York Insiders. Not an Insider yet? Become a member today and use code JOINUS for your first month free.

5. MTA Arts & Design’s New Collection of Posters and Art Card Commissions

Subway poster
The underground helps the garden 2 (2023) © Marcel Dzama. All artworks commissioned by MTA Arts & Design.

MTA Arts & Design jazzes up your commute this month with six new vibrant artworks. From subway superheroes to flying dragons, talented artists Dennis RedMoon Darkeem, Yevgenia Nayberg, Erin K. Robinson, Taili Wu, and Marcel Dzama celebrate New York City’s history and the Chinese zodiac Year of the Dragon through digital art. Catch these gems at select stations and inside subway cars throughout the year.

Subway poster
NYC Superhero (2023) © Yevgenia Nayberg. Commissioned by MTA Arts & Design.
Subway poster
Year of the Dragon (2023) © Taili Wu. Commissioned by MTA Arts & Design.

Marcel Dzama’s art cards, The underground helps the garden 1 and 2, depict whimsical scenes of nature within subways cars. In Dzama’s art, people and animals coexist in urban places, emphasizing the harmony between city life and the natural environment. NYC Superhero by Yevgenia Nayberg portrays a cape-clad superhero flying over the city. This figure serves to empower commuters on their daily journeys. Talili Wu’s Year of the Dragon is a ceramic-crafted subway-themed dragon with references to New York City landmarks adorning its body to represent growth and energy.

Turtle Island Connections (2023) © Dennis RedMoon Darkeem. Commissioned by MTA Arts & Design
Subway Poster
Catch a Line (2023) © Erin K. Robinson. Commissioned by MTA Arts & Design

Dennis RedMoon Darkeem blends indigenous culture and inspiration from old maps in his poster, Direct Connection on Turtle Island. Darkeem depicts a colorful version of the New York City skyline sitting on the shell of a turtle as the sun rises in the background. The entire scene is bordered by a wampum, a traditional indigenous bead. Catch a Line by Erin Robinson celebrates subway travel and the graphic design of New York City subway maps through a vibrant collage of subway lines and symbols.

6. The 2024 Affordable Art Fair

Two men admire a black and white abstract painting
Credit to Phillip Reed Photography

The 35th Affordable Art Fair kicks off on March 20th with 75 galleries! The fair features artists from nonprofit organizations such as The Art Therapy Project, Arts Gowanus, and Artbean Coffee. On view through March 24, the Fair offers thousands of contemporary artworks from local, national, and international galleries at attainable prices ranging from $100 to $12,000.

Arts Gowanus will exhibit collections by two featured artists, Liza Domingues and Hannah Robinett. Brazilian-based artist Domingues experiments with colorful geometric shapes in paper cache, acrylic wood, and 3D printing. Robinett presents her series, Order & Chaos, which displays pieces of past projects that were unfinished. The remnants are imperfect but show that there is beauty in flaws. The Art Therapy Project welcomes patrons to design their own petals and add them to the Collective Bloom as a form of collective art therapy. The project also offers a live painting by Belgian artist Jules Wittock. Wittock will paint a new piece, Play, at the Activation Stand during fair hours on Saturday and Sunday. The canvas will be put up for auction online on April 18th. Curated by independent coffee shop Artbean Coffee, Taiwan artists Emily B. Yang and Joy Tien will present their artworks. While Yang’s ceramic works relate to love and grief, Tien explores life and the afterlife in her punch needle installation. Finally, the Art Fair’s Artlogic Fellowship Program is proud to present Brooklyn-based gallery SHEER, Eleventh Hour Art and Established Gallery.

7. Midnight Moment in Times Square

Wave painting
Quayola, Storms. Photo courtesy of Times Square Arts.

A stormy sea will take over Times Square this March as images of frothy, crashing waves fill the giant billboard screens. Presented in collaboration with Artnet, the Times Square Arts Spring Midnight Moment series kicks off with London-based artist Quayola’s digital video series, Storms. Storms is a digitally rendered version of the ocean, with realistic waves that collide on a stormy night. Known for her immersive audiovisual installations, Quayola captures the crashing waves of Cornwall, England’s sea, to show the challenging relationship between nature and technology. Storms will be on view from March 1 to March 31.

8. Woomin Kim’s The Warehouse at Materials for the Arts

Quilted art piece
Credit to Woomin Kim

Love arts and crafts? Materials for the Arts textile artist Woomin Kim plays with an assortment of materials and quilts to make The Warehouse, a series of textile works inspired by the MFTA’s expansive inventory of art supplies. In her solo exhibition, Kim examines themes of immigrant life through landscapes filled with a clutter of objects like discarded mannequin pieces, clothes, furniture, and a whimsical horse. The quilts hang together in colorful pieces. Kim’s work shows visitors what can be created with the materials and found objects at MFTA and how you can give the formerly discarded items a new home. The installation will be on view until April 12.

9. Reimagine: Himalayan Art Now at The Rubin Museum

Himalayan sculpture
Courtesy of Shushank Shrestha

The Rubin Museum of Art will close its physical museum this fall, so don’t miss out on the new exhibit Reimagine: Himalayan Art Now! Reimagine features 32 contemporary artists from across the globe and a collection of artworks that explore diverse perspectives of heritage, culture, and identity. The exhibition marks the museum’s 20th anniversary year and will be on view from March 15th to October 6th, 2024.

A centerpiece of the exhibition is a large-scale installation by Asha Kama Wangdi. The site-specific piece is made of hundreds of repurposed prayer flags from religious sites. Wangdi’s installation will cascade down the museum’s spiral staircase. Bidhata K C’s interactive piece Out of Emptiness highlights connections between discarded objects and broader themes of life. LuYang explores Buddhism through a 3D animation of the Wheel of Life. Prithvi Shrestha’s paintings make a commentary on technological effects. Roshan Pradhan’s piece uses robots to explore the topic of gender. Tenzin Mingyur Paldron’s Power, Masculinity and Mindfulness also highlights gender fluidity as an outlet of their own experience of coming out as transgender. Uma Bista’s photo series Stay Home, Sisters showcases cultural taboos surrounding women.

Next, check out Untapped New York’s Underground Subway Art Tour