Giant hot dogs, metal spiders, and a portal to another country are all part of the spring art scene in New York City! Check out our round-up of must-see public art installations hitting the streets this month.

1. Hot Dog in the City, Times Square

The world’s largest hot dog has landed in Times Square! This 65-foot-long public art installation was created by conceptual artists Jen Catron and Paul Outlaw. Commissioned by Times Square Arts, the fun and seemingly gimmicky installation—like most of Catron and Outlaw’s work—uses food to bring the discussion of deeper issues to the table. With this giant hot dog, the artists call attention to the politics of street vending, immigration, consumption, capitalism, and class, as well as problems in the meat production industry. A series of public events including condiment debates, a hot dog eating contest, and a “hottest dog” dachshund beauty pageant will accompany the sculpture which is on view through June 13th.

2. Abetare, The Met Roof Garden

Petrit Halilaj (born Kosovo, 1986) Installation view of The Roof Garden Commission: Petrit Halilaj, Abetare, 2024 Courtesy of the artist; Chert Lüdde, Berlin; kurimanzutto, Mexico City / New York; Mennour, Paris. Image credit: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photo by Hyla Skopitz

Kosovan artist Petrit Halilaj brings children’s drawings to life in the latest Roof Garden Commission at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Abetare. On view through October 27, 2024, Halilaj’s first major outdoor installation expands upon his previous work inspired by “children’s doodles, drawings, and scribblings found on desks at the school he attended in Runik, Kosovo, as well as schools in Albania and countries from the former Yugoslavia.” Halilaj transformed the sketches into larger-than-life, three-dimensional metal sculptures that now overlook the Manhattan skyline and Central Park. Abetare is a language textbook that Halilaj used in school to learn the alphabet.

3. Illumination Light Art Festival, Lower Manhattan

Illumination Festival
Illumination Light Art Festival Installation by Jason Peter

For the first time ever, the World Trade Center Oculus will be transformed by light art. As part of the Illumination Light Art Festival’s spring showcase, Robert Montengero’s artwork “Urban Flourish” will be projected onto the building every 10 minutes from 8 pm until 11 pm throughout the duration of the festival, from May 2nd to May 4th. The Illumination Festival is free and open to the public. In addition to the Oculus, there will also be light art and fun activities to take part in at Belvedere Plaza in Battery Park City.

4. Shaved Portions, The Garment District

Shaved Portions sculpture
Alexandre Ayer / @DiversityPics for the Garment District Alliance

Artist Chakaia Booker has been transforming found materials into art since the 1980s. In her latest work, on view now in the Garment District, she used salvaged rubber tires to create a 35-foot-tall abstract sculpture. Located on the Broadway plazas between 39th and 40th Streets, the sculpture is titled Shaved Portions. Booker created this piece by slicing, twisting, and weaving tire remnants into new forms. The characteristics of the tires, from their wear and tear to their tread patterns, and the way Booker weaves them together, represent various aspects of human life, such as African textile design, human diversity, and our own physical marks of aging. The sculpture will be on view through November 1st. Viewers are encouraged to share their experiences with the work on social media by following and tagging @GarmentDistrictNYC on Instagram, and Facebook, @GarmentDstrctNY on X, and @Garment_District on TikTok.

5. We are nomads, we are dreamers, Socrates Sculpture Park

‘Suchitra Mattai with artwork for the exhibition We are nomads, we are dreamers’
‘Suchitra Mattai with artwork for the exhibition We are nomads, we are dreamers’ Image by Anna Maria Zunino Noellert. Courtesy of Socrates Sculpture Park

The central work of Socrates Sculpture Park’s summer exhibition is an immersive textile piece by Indo-Guayanese and LA-based artist Suchitra Mattai—her first solo show in New York City. Titled We are nomads, we are dreamers, the massive installation explores themes of identity, migration, and memory through sculptured textiles. Heirloom and vintage saris make up the majority of the fabric used in the piece. Various dance performances will accompany Mattai’s work throughout the season.

6. Before The End, Brooklyn Bridge Park

Before the End sculptures
Huma Bhabha: Before The End Courtesy of the artist; David Zwirner; Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi. Photo: Nicholas Knight, courtesy of Public Art Fund, NY. Presented by Public Art Fund

Four monumental sculptures face the Manhattan skyline at Brooklyn Bridge Park. Created by Huma Bhabha, Before the End, is comprised of painted and patinated bronze figures cast from carved cork and skull fragments. Drawing inspiration from ancient art history and science fiction, Bhabha’s figures are ambiguous and could easily pass for ancient effigies or mysterious beings from another planet. The title of the series is taken from the supernatural and apocalyptic Medieval writings of Vincent of Beauvais (c. 1184 – 1264). Before the End will be on view through March 9, 2025.

Brooklyn Bridge Walking Tour

Tour group on a spring walking tour of the Brooklyn Bridge

7. Multiple Installations, High Line

Tishan Hsu, car-grass-screen, 2022, and car-body-screen
Tishan Hsu, car-grass-screen, 2022, and car-body-screen, 2022, Courtesy of the artist and CMOA, Photo by Sean Eaton

Three new installations will debut on the High Line in May. Teresa Solar-Abboud’s Birth of Islands will be on view at 20th Street. The new piece is part of her series of “zoomorphic shapes inspired by animals and prehistoric life forms.” It is made of “slick, blade-like foam-coated resin elements that emanate outward from the pores of a muddy, gray ceramic stump.” The forms appear to be bursting forth from the ground up through the High Line, sky-bound like the towering buildings of the city and plants in nature stretching towards air and sun.

Under the Standard Hotel at Little West 12th Street, Tishan Hsu’s car-grass-screen-2 and car-body-screen-2 will be on view. These two hovering biomorphic forms are constructed out of foam wrapped in screen-like resin skins. The mingling of organic forms and digital imagery mirrors the blurred line between ourselves and the technology we use. The final new work debuting in May is Chloe Wise’s But Wait, There’s More!, a series of kaleidoscopic short films that will screen in the covered passage at 14th Street on the High Line through July 8th. The videos mimic the sensation of channel surfing and contain snippets of commercials for ambiguous products.

8. The Portal, Flatiron South Public Plaza

The Portal art exhibition rendering
Credit: The Portal

Starting May 8th, you can wave to someone in Dublin while standing outside the Flatiron. A visual portal between New York City and Ireland will broadcast a 24/7 live stream allowing people from across the ocean to connect in real time. Located in Flatiron South Public Plaza at Broadway, Fifth Avenue, and 23rd Street, the portal on our side will show a view of the capital’s main street, O’Connell Street, with a view of Dublin’s famous GPO building and the Spire.

9. Pathways and Shadows, The Hendrick I. Lott House

Painting on the fence of the Hendrick Lott House
Courtesy of The Hendrick Lott House

Local artist Diana Naccarato has curated a two-part installation at the historic Hendrick Lott House in Marine Park, Brooklyn. Pathways and Shadows is an outdoor exhibition “inspired by the perpetual movement within ecosystems.” Naccarato’s abstract charcoal drawings and digital interpretations are based on the natural environment of coastal areas in New York City and places where the artist has traveled. You can see the exhibition along the 35th Street and 36th Street fences of The Lott House from May 4th through December 13th.

10. A Big, Slow, Majestic COVID Memorial, Green-Wood Cemetery

Naming the Lost mural at Green-Wood Cemetery
Credit: Erik McGregor

NAMING THE LOST, a small team of volunteer artists, activists, and folklorists, will not let the victims of the COVID-19 pandemic be forgotten. The group has created memorials for thousands of New Yorkers who lost their lives to COVID. This spring, a new 200-foot-long memorial will be on view at Green-Wood Cemetery. From May 3rd through June 3rd, visitors can see this community-made public art memorial along the fence at the cemetery’s main entrance at 25th Street and Fifth Avenue in Brooklyn. The public is invited to a memorial activation and dedication ceremony on Sunday, May 19th at 4 pm.

Next, check out Exclusive Insider Events Happening in May!