Summer is officially here, and NYC Parks’ Art in the Parks program is ready with a variety of outdoor installations in parks across the five boroughs. Parks invites New Yorkers to check out the more than 40 temporary artworks on view while enjoying summertime in the city. These vibrant installations include sculptures, large-scale murals, and interactive sound projects, exploring themes of nature, community, music, remembrance, and more.
Here are some highlights this season, beginning with our featured image, Songs for a Memorial by Steven Evans at the NYC AIDS Memorial Park at St. Vincent’s Triangle in Manhattan, and on view through September 6, 2022.
Steven Evans, Songs for a Memorial (2020-22) consists of 12 text-based, polychromatic, LED sculptures designed to evoke neon signage and the dynamic energy of nightlife, creating vibrant layers of color throughout the Memorial. This work exists at the intersection of language and memory by way of Evans’ appropriation of titles from songs tied inextricably to the period surrounding the onset and height of the AIDS epidemic. By juxtaposing multiple song titles across genres, Evans weaves narratives of both individual and collective memory and history that simultaneously speak to complex relationships between loss, love, sadness, joy and celebration. This exhibition is presented by the NYC AIDS Memorial.
Sherwin Banfield, Going Back to The Meadows, A Tribute to LL Cool J and Performance at FMCP in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens will be on view through November 23, 2022.
This sculptural sonic performance artwork is dedicated to Queens hip-hop legend LL Cool J, his hometown of Queens, NY, and historical performances at Flushing Meadows Corona Park. The sculpture includes a traditionally sculpted portrait bust of LL Cool J sitting atop a mirror polished stainless steel radio design and steel pedestal frame. The pedestal design includes references to LL’s unique style and career accolades and Queens landmarks. The sculpture’s audio speakers are solar powered, highlighting the use of green technology. This exhibition is made possible by the Art in the Parks: Alliance for Flushing Meadows Corona Park Grant, which supports the creation of site-specific public artworks by Queens-based artists for two sites within Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
This mural is inspired by Concrete Plant Park and the wealth of activities and opportunities it gives the community to connect with nature. The imagery walks you through the park trail, navigating through the food forest, neighboring plants, and the Bronx River. This exhibition is presented by the Bronx River Alliance and Bronx Health REACH.
The Underground Sound Project is a soundwalk and interactive public art installation based on a series of underground acoustic recordings made by artist Nikki Lindt. Along a wooded trail, starting at a trailhead by Dog Beach, visitors will encounter features, such as a stream, a maple tree, the forest floor, wildflowers, and many more. Via a sign with a QR code at designated locations along the walk, visitors will be able to experience the corresponding subsurface sounds in a series of one minute videos accessed on The Underground Sound Project’s interactive website.
This exhibition is presented by the Urban Field Station Collaborative Arts Program, organized by the USDA Forest Service and The Nature of Cities, and presented in partnership with the Prospect Park Alliance.
This public immersion experience exhibits local artists and invites spectators to create stories about Staten Island’s waterfront. Waterfront Access & Divide is an exhibition of 44 photos that offer a glimpse of people, places and things in the community. The photos shape potential stories of what is and what can be for this waterfront neighborhood. Photographers featured in this exhibition include Kelly Vilar, Shani Mitchell, Soraya Candelario and Everet. This exhibition is presented by the Staten Island Urban Center.
The full list and a map of current exhibits can be found on Parks’ Art in the Parks page including Photoville NYC 2022, Benchmarks: Youth Setting the Standard for Social Change, Nina Beier’s ‘Women & Children’, a fabulous crochet mural of Supreme Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor by artist Carmen Paulino, a beautiful Afro Pick by Yvonne Shortt, Naomi Lawrence’ lovely ‘Flowers of Turtle Island’, Susan Stair: Ascending the Mountain and many many more.
About Art in the Parks
For over 50 years, NYC Parks’ Art in the Parks program has brought contemporary public artworks to over 200 of the city’s parks, collaborating with arts organizations and artists to produce over 2,000 works by 1,300 notable and emerging artists. For more information on works currently on view, and for tips on how to exhibit with Parks, visit nyc.gov/parks/art.