Let’s Take a Walk in our Parks, Big & Small ~ and Bring Along Your 6′ Measuring Stick

 

 

Central Park

New York City Parks have a plethora of outdoor art installations throughout all five boroughs. It may come to pass that our City is put under a ‘shelter-in-place’ order. But in the meantime, a nice long walk and some fresh air and exercise might be good for mind and soul. Here are a few suggestions, keeping in mind that some of the installations are temporary, and coming to an end as soon as the end of this month.

Central Park

In Brooklyn:
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Antony Gormley: New York Clearing (2020) was unveiled at Pier 3, Brooklyn Bridge Park as part of the international public art project, CONNECT, BTS, introducing the pioneering global project from Korea connecting five cities and twenty-two artists, each contributing their own unique philosophy and imagination. The installation is made up of more than eleven-miles of aluminum tubing that rise to a height of almost fifty-feet, overlooking the East River and the Manhattan skyline. Antony Gormley: New York Clearing will be on view to March 27, 2020.

 

photo: AFineLyne

The Chronicles of New York, coincides with his current retrospective, JR: Chronicles, at Brooklyn Museum of Art. More than a 1,128 people were photographed for this mural ~ each choosing how they wished to be interpreted, and asked to share their stories, which are on a free mobile app.

Viewers could stand in front of this all day long and still not take it all in! It’s on view through May 3, 2020 at Domino Park in Williamsburg.

 

Leonard Ursachi, Bunker Head. Image via nycgovparks.org

Romanian artist Leonard Ursachi’s “Bunker Head” is a large, stylized human head – evocative of bunker embrasures- covered in stainless steel mirrors. .The sculpture “bandaged” in gauze, evokes not only the wounded, but also the healing. The highly stylized nature of its “face” will reference iconic heads from countless cultures, from shaman to soldier, from poet to prophet. The artist carved the sculpture in rigid foam and covered it with Styrocrete, a cement-like material that is used on top of foam in building construction. The “openings” are shallow recesses covered with stainless steel mirrors. Leonard Ursachi: Bunker Head will be on view to October 9, 2020 at University Place in Downtown Brooklyn.

 

Courtney McCloskey, Pieces of Poetry: a community mosaic celebration. Image via nycgovparks.org

Pieces of Poetry: a community mosaic celebration is an artist led, community-generated project that will turn hundreds of broken glass shards into a mosaic celebrating three of Fort Greene’s literary greats—Walt Whitman, Richard Wright, and Marianne Moore. The mosaic depicts a bookshelf containing books that display the titles of famous works by Whitman, Wright and Moore on their spines. The artist worked with students from PS 20, The Greene Hill School, Science, Language & Arts International School and Brooklyn Technical High School to create the mosaic pieces and tiles.

Courtney McCloskey, Pieces of Poetry: a community mosaic celebration will be on view to April 12, 2020 in Fort Greene Park, Brooklyn.

 

In the Bronx:
Lady K Fever, Celebrations. Image via nycgovparks.org

Jackson Forest Community Garden, as part of NYC Parks Green Thumb’s Art in the Gardens commissioned the artist Lady K Fever to paint the Shed Mural, Celebrations. The mural will be on view to October 31, 2020 and is located on Home Street between Forest Avenue and Charles Prince Place.

 

On Staten Island:
Artist Christian Penn at Tompkins Mason Lodge, 514 Bay Street, Staten Island

Expanding beyond their Lower East Side borders, we followed The 100 Gates Project to Staten Island where they brought local artists together with local businesses.

They began in Downtown Staten Island, including the neighborhoods of St. George, Tompkinsville, Stapleton, and Clifton, weaving through Bay Street, Van Duzer and Victory Boulevard ~ and moved on to the North Shore Expansion.

 

In Manhattan:
Ben Angotti @Angotti81 at 2WTC with Oculus in the background

We’ve been following the Downtown ‘Mural Project in and around the 2WTC and 3WTC construction lots, now surrounded by a number of gorgeous new murals. With the Oculus in the background, the large-scale mural project takes viewers from Vesey and Greenwich Streets, down Church and Dey Streets to Cortlandt Street.

While you’re there, visit the 9/11 Memorial.

9/11 Memorial

And the new home of The Spher, below.

Gribe Kugelkaryatide (Great Spherical Caryatid), 1971 “The Sphere” by artist Fritz Koenig. Originally located on the plaza of the World Trade Center, The Sphere was recovered from the rubble.

We’re not sure the Seaglass Carousel will be running, but it is a work of art, and worth a peek.

Seaglass Carousel

The 2,575 square foot Seaglass Carousel pavilion—a huge chambered nautilus was designed by wxy architects. World-renowned set designer George Tsypin, who staged The Little Mermaid on Broadway, created a mystical underwater adventure that enables the riders to “become” fish. Riders sit inside one of 28 fiberglass molded figures (two others are fully accessible), ranging in height from 6 feet to 13 feet. Internally illuminated with color-changing LEDs, each fish recalls the bioluminescence found deep in the ocean. The Carousel is located in The Battery, enter the park across from 17 State Street.

 

Compostela Fractal Study of a Shell. Image courtesy nycgovparks.org

Compostela Fractal Study of a Shell by artist Manuel Ferreiro Badia can be found in the tiny Finn Square. The sculpture is based on origami studies and is composed of broken steel planes that cause the sculpture to change or live with sunlight. It reflects in an abstract way the fractal system of matter, looking for a simplicity that reflects the interior of every being. It is work inspired by the study of nature, in particular ~ a shell.

In 1919, the widening and extension of Varick Street created a triangular space at Varick’s intersection with West Broadway and Franklin Street. The Park is named for Philip Schuyler Finn, who lost his life in 1918 fighting World War I with New York’s 69th Regiment (the famous ‘Fighting Irish’).

 

Robert Lobe: SuperStorm in Duarte Square Park

SuperStorm references Hurricane Sandy, one of the deadliest and most destructive hurricane to hit the northeast, inflicting billion in damage. This event so moved the artist that he was compelled to create a monument reflecting the event. Robert Lobe: SuperStorm will be on view to June, 2020. The Park is bounded by Sullivan Street, Grand Street, and the Avenue of the Americas as the intersection of Canal Street.

 

Dream Machine: Dandara (2019), by artist Rubem Robierb in Tribeca Park

“Imagine yourself between these wings, close your eyes, and make a wish! See yourself traveling to the place your dreams will come true!”…. artist, Rubem Robierg. The new installation, Dream Machine: Dandara is on view in Tribeca Park.

Robem Robierg’s Dream Machine: Dandara will be on view through May 4, 2020 at Tribeca Park, located across from the historic American Thread Company building, at the intersection of West Broadway and Sixth Avenue.

 

Madison Square Park is home to five new Bee Hives!  The newest members of the Madison Square Park garden don’t yet appear on the website, and most park-goers aren’t yet aware of their presence.  But if you look closely along the east and west sides of the park, you will find the open-faced wooden structures.

 

Bethesda Fountain in Central Park

Bethesda Terrace and Fountain are one of the many Central Park destinations. Stretching from 59th Street to 110th Street, and from Fifth Avenue to Central Park West, Central Park offers a wonderful respite ~ a way to get a little exercise and fresh air. Check out the Central Park Conservancy map of Central Park for some walking suggestions.

Here are eight secrets of Central Park, suggestions from Central Park Conservancy.

 

Jean-Marie Appriou: The Horses

Jean-Marie Appriou: The Horses can be found grazing on the Doris C. Freedman Plaza, following Mark Manders: Tilted Head.  Curated by Public Art Fund Curator, Daniel S. Palmer, the massive equine sculptures stand like surreal sentinels at the entrance to Central Park at 59th Street and Fifth Avenue, and will be on view through August 30, 2020.

Heading West to Broadway to get a last glance of Nicolas Holiber: Birds on Broadway ~ an Audubon Sculpture Project, below.

64th Street & Broadway

The installation, Nicolas Holiber: Birds on Broadway, the Audubon Sculpture Project, features ten oversized sculptures of New York City birds that are in danger of extinction due to climate change. The sculptures will be displayed along the Broadway malls, a tree-lined greenway between 64th and 157th Streets in Manhattan, and will be on view through March, 2020.

 

The High Line is closed. But you can get a nice view of Simone Leigh’s art installation, Brick House, when standing on 10th Avenue at 30th Street in Chelsea. This installation will be on view to September 2020.

While you’re there, you aren’t far from the Bella Abzug Park. Skip the traffic and walk the high line to 542 West 36th Street, below.

Artist Gina Micinilli in Bella Abzug Park – Hudson Yards

Six temporary art installations will be on view in Bella Abzug Park through Spring 2020. The artworks were installed by The Hudson Yards Hell’s Kitchen Alliance (HYHK) in partnership with Six Summit Gallery, and feature the artwork of Gina Micinilli and Ailene Fields.

The Vessel at Hudson Yards

While you’re there, check out The Vessel and the fabulous #7 subway station at Hudson Yards with gorgeous artwork by Xenobia Bailey.

#7 Hudson Yards MTA artwork by Xenobia Bailey

 

East Harlem + Harlem:
Susan Stair: Roots on Fire

Spending time with artist Susan Stair brings a whole new meaning to the trees that fill our green spaces. As we watched her work to create the clay molds for her next installation, Roots on Fire, Stair took us on a virtual journey underground, exploring how trees constantly send electrical messages through their roots and the mushroom (or mychorrizal network) that compose the Wood Wide Web. Come along on our three-part journey, as we document the creation of the installation Roots on Fire.

Susan Stair: Roots on Fire will be on view at the Harlem Art Park located at 120th Street between Lexington and Third Avenues, next to the historic Harlem Courthouse in East Harlem.

While you’re in East Harlem, walk over to Park Avenue between 120th and 121st Streets to see……

EATME! along 120th Street & Park Avenue, while the Metro North wizzes by

EATME! filled with fruits and vegetables, and surrounded by cauliflower, along the fence of a school playground. In a city filled with fast-food options on every corner, bags of chips and cans of soda filling the shelves in local deli’s and bodega’s, and large, glossy ads of sugared drinks on billboards and in shop windows, it’s not easy promoting healthy eating to our kids. Or is it. In the installation EAT ME! the artist, Capucine Bourcart takes a deep-dive into the ease of turning this around in her community, Harlem.

On the very next corner, and on the same fencing, enjoy the beautiful textile work of artist Naomi Lawrence and her artwork, La Flor De Mi Madre, below.

Naomi Lawrence: La Flor De Mi Madre

The 12 foot x 24 foot Crochet mural, La Flor De Mi Madre by artist Naomi Lawrence, is being installed on the fence at Eugene McCabe Field in East Harlem. It represents the diverse community in which it is placed, in a  colorful representation of national flowers.

Walk West one block and you will be entering Marcus Garvey Park and its basketball court, recently painted by artist

NYC Parks’ Art in the Parks ~  Creative Courts initiative, Facebook Artist-in-Residence Program (FB AIR Program), along with artist Saya Woolfalk, the non-profit Public Color, and the Marcus Garvey Park Alliance/Public Art Initiative have brightened up the basketball court on Madison Avenue near 122nd Street in Marcus Garvey Park.

 

Historic Harlem Fire Watchtower

Behind the basketball court are steps leading up to the historic Harlem Fire Watchtower and the Acropolis, giving visitors a 360 degree view of the City. The Urban Park Rangers Tour to the Top is currently on hold.

Drummers of Marcus Garvey Park

If it’s Saturday, you might hear the Harlem Drummers who are situated along the Madison Avenue side between 123rd and 124th Streets. The musicians began gathering around 1969, playing every Saturday afternoon, weather permitting, in an area near Fifth Avenue and 124th Street. Following in an African and Caribbean tradition, dancers in colorful African clothing swayed and twirled to the music, which might also include trumpets, cowbells, tambourines and flutes. Locals looked forward to, and enjoyed the music that filled the air on Saturday afternoons until dusk.

artist tatyana fazlailzaheh-she is the first public artist in residence at nycchr.

Walk one block West to Lenox Avenue ~ also known as Restaurant Row ~ and you will find the art installation ‘Stop Telling Women To Smile’ by artist Tatyana Fazlalizadeh between 124th/125th Streets, next to the #2/#3 subway station and M7 bus stop.

Heading North to Riverbank State Park, the Art Students League currently has this season’s Model to Monument Public Art in the Parks installation. This year, three sculpture pieces are on view along the Hudson river at 145th Street, and will be on view through May, 2020.

Image courtesy Art Students League

 

Celebrating Women’s History Month and the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment, walk the City and take a look at Monuments Dedicated to Women.

Gertrude Stein in Bryant Park

With an outpouring of public sentiment wishing to have input into monuments citywide, and Women’s History Month upon us, Women.NYC and First Lady Chirlane McCray and former Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen announced the next four monuments as part of She Built NYC, an initiative to honor the trailblazing women who have helped shape New York City while addressing the absence of female statue in our public realm. The monuments will include Billie Holiday, Elizabeth Jennings Graham, Dr. Helen Rodríguez Trías and Katherine Walker.

There are many more outdoor art installations throughout our five boroughs. We would love to hear about your walking adventures and artistic finds.

Can’t get out? Here are several Performances and Exhibits ~ Online Viewing Rooms ~ to add to your list.

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