Pop-up photo exhibitions take over the five boroughs, a steel bison charges into City Hall Park, the New York Botanical Garden becomes Wonderland, and more transformative artworks appear in New York City this June! Check out what’s new on the public art scene:

1. Attrition at City Hall Park

Attrition sculpture at City Hall Park

To mark World Environment Day on June 5th, the Public Art Fund will unveil a new sculpture by interdisciplinary artist Cannupa Hanska Luger. Titled Attrition, this site-specific work in City Hall Park depicts a bison skeleton. It stretches 10 feet long, is made of steel, and rests on a bed of grasses native to this region. This image prompts viewers to contemplate how humans nearly drove the bison to extinction and to consider the current relationship between animals, humans, and the land. Attrition will be on view through November 17.

2. Travelers on Park Avenue

Travelers sculpture on Park Avenue

Morrocan-born artist Bruno Catalano discovered his signature style by accident. While working on a metal cast in his studio, a breach opened in the material. Instead of filling in the chasm, Catalano embraced it. New Yorkers can now see how Catalano adopted this element into his work in a series of sculptures that line Park Avenue from 35th to 38th Street.

Presented by Patrons of Park Avenue (“POPA”) and Galeries Bartoux, Travelers includes sculptures Catalano has been working on since 1995 and some that have never been seen before. The bronze and marble figures show people frozen in motion on journeys with unknown origins and destinations. The pain of departure and separation are embodied in the large tears that cut through each figure, causing them and their luggage to appear precariously perched.

3. Exit Strategy at Green-Wood Cemetery

Exit Strategy at green-Wood Cemetery
Photo by Walter Wlodarczyk

Music and mortality meet in Green-Wood Cemtery’s latest site-specific art installation, Exit Strategy by artist in residence, composer, and pianist Adam Tendler. This piece is Tendler’s first work of visual art. In Exit Strategy, the artist poses existential questions about the ephemeral quality of life through music, found objects, and text. Inspired by the recent death of his father, Tendler encourages the viewer to think about what happens to our “accidental inheritances,” the seemingly banal items left behind after death. The installation is free, open to the public, and on view until August 25 inside Green-Wood’s landmarked nineteenth-century Fort Hamilton Gatehouse.

4. Other of Pearl on Governors Island

Other of Pearl Art Installation at Governors Island
Exhibition as viewed from the entrance. Featured in the center is “Other of Pearl, 2022-2024,” with “Whale Bells, 2023” (Jenny Kendler and Andrew Bearnot) visible within the room on the left and “Mother, of Pearl (Nervous System), 2024,” visible within the room on the right.

Oysters have been an integral part of life in New York City for centuries. This summer, oysters take the spotlight in artist Jenny Kendler’s first solo exhibition in New York City. Other of Pearl consists of “seven intimate, delicate works—all displayed in the cavernous, subterranean magazine of historic Fort Jay, a star-shaped fortification built on Governors Island between 1775 and 1776.”

The installation is a sculptural and sound experience. As visitors walk through the fort’s darkened rooms, the air vibrates with the sound of whale song provided by David Gruber of Project CETI, a nonprofit using AI to interpret whale communication. Sculptural pieces made of pearl will be auctioned at the end of the exhibition to raise funds to help create a new oyster reef alongside project partner Billion Oyster Project. Presented by Governors Island Arts and NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council), Other of PearlI will be on view Wednesday to Sunday from Friday, June 14th through the end of October.

5. Photoville at Brooklyn Bridge Park and Multiple Locations

Photoville 2023
©Jessica Bal

Photoville returns to Brooklyn Bridge Park and more New York City locations through June 16th. This multi-week photo festival features free public programming including interactive workshops, artist tours, exhibitions, evening visual storytelling events, safety workshops for photographers, and New York’s Smorgasburg pop-up. Photoville’s signature shipping container galleries are free to visit and will feature more than 85 exhibitions this year.

Exhibitions can be found in places like Staten Island’s South Beach Promenade, Manhattan’s Bella Abzug Park, the Bronx’s Van Cortlandt Park, and Queens’ Travers Park, in all five boroughs. Seven exhibitions can be found at Manhattan’s South Street Seaport, the largest Photoville site outside of Brooklyn Bridge Park. See all locations here!

6. Approximations of Utopia, Midnight Moment at Times Square

Marco Brambilla, Approximations of Utopia

The 60th anniversary of the 1964-65 World’s Fair has inspired a series of events hosted by Queens Theatre and the latest Midnight Moment to take over Times Square. In Approximations of Utopia, presented in partnership with Queens Museum and Artnet, artist and filmmaker Marco Brambilla uses archival images and AI technology to create a futuristic world fair. The imagery represents ideas of hope and utopia based on ambitions of the past. A central symbol of the display resembles the centerpiece of the 1964-65 World’s Fair, the Unisphere. Guest Curated by Nato Thompson with Dreaming in Public, the video will play on Times Square billboards every night through June 30th at 11:57 pm.

7. Flowing Together at Union Square

Photo by Jane Kratochvil

Waves of bright, summery colors roll along the pedestrian pathways of the 14th Street Busway in Flowing Together, a new 7,500-square-foot mural by Queens-based visual artist Talisa Almonte. Community partners, volunteers, and sponsors spent five days in May bringing the mural to life. The bold and busy imagery represents the bustling flow of people through Union Square’s public spaces. As the colors swirl and blend together, they symbolize the unification of people for a specific cause.

8. We Are Made of Time at Moynihan Train Hall

Photo Courtesy of Amtrak

We Are Made of Time by artists Tin & Ed will take over the 160-foot-wide LED screens of Moynihan Station until Monday, July 15th. The video installation also extends to the station’s digital advertising display boards. The artists take viewers on a non-linear journey through eons of time, exploring the Earth’s 4.5 billion-year history through a cosmic, geological, and biological lens. Visuals of rocks, minerals, 3D sculpted fossils, and scanned elements like the Tennesee Marble used in the construction of Moynihan and the original Penn Station appear in a constantly shifting panoramic landscape.

9. Wonderland: Curious Nature at New York Botanical Garden

The world of Alice in Wonderland comes alive at the New York Botanical Garden in the new sitewide exhibition, Wonderland: Curious Nature. Spread throughout the Garden’s multiple historic structures and 250-acre landscape, sculpted topiaries, wild flowers, and art installations evoke the “spirit of exploration and the uncanny, unbelievable, and unfamiliar nature” of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” of the classic tale. the floral exhibition is on view through October 27, 2024. In addition to the fantastical visual displays, the garden will host accompanying programs such as tea parties, performances, and cocktail events.

Next, check out Exclusive Insider Events in June!