Published on December 14, 2021 | Staten Island Advance | Written by Roger Guevara
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y.– The changing seasons are on full display, and so are NYC Parks’ free Art in the Parks exhibits! Parks invites New Yorkers to check out the more than 50 temporary installations in parks across the five boroughs while enjoying fall and winter in the city.
These vibrant installations range from interactive sculptures to basketball court murals and use a variety of materials, including salvaged plywood, crocheted yarn, plants, and carved marble. With tributes to essential workers, creative reuse, community, and more, they express messages of renewal, hope, social justice, and remembrance
Here are a few highlights:
On view through October 8, 2022
Skyline Playground, Staten Island
Sundog Theatre partnered with the Association for a Better New York on their 5-borough project celebrating what it means to be a New Yorker, “Together We Are New York.” Influenced by the thoughts of prominent Island community members, this mural also depicts what it means to be a Staten Islander. Artists Lina Montoya and Jodi Dareal incorporated themes of compassion, vibrancy, family, caring for others, and resiliency.
On view through April 18, 2022
Poe Park, Bronx
This interactive installation of multiple cut-out figures made of plywood are applied with collage and photographs from artist Mardok’s @ny.strong photography project. As people walk through the portals they’re transported into the energy of the protests of 2020: the unified experience of citizens across ethnicities and genders fighting for freedom and justice for Black lives. The team has also collaborated with the Bronx River Art Center on a program focused on public art and activism, offered to a team of young adults who are creating their own sculptures and photographs. Their work will be shown in a group exhibition responding to the Black Lives Matter movement, in conjunction with the installation of KaN+Mardok’s sculptures at Poe Park in the Bronx.
This piece is one of the five created by the Plywood Protection Project, each installed in a different borough of New York City. The exhibition is presented by worthless studios
On view through August 9, 2022
Commodore Barry Park, Brooklyn
The Community Heroes photo exhibition aims to bring together residents in the neighborhoods of Bedford-Stuyvesant and Fort Greene and celebrate those who empower and nourish these neighborhoods. Individuals were selected to be photographed and profiled as representatives of the community, or heroes, from a pool of nominations, collected during a community outreach process. Community Heroes seeks to tell the stories of the neighborhoods’ unsung heroes through the collaboration of newer residents and long-time residents, often people of color whose families have lived in the community for generations. Community Heroes continues to collect nominations for heroes and seeks photographers to take their portraits. This exhibition is on view in Commodore Barry Park as well as Fort Greene Park and St. Andrew’s Playground.
On view through August 20, 2022
Highland Park, Brooklyn
The Hanging Gardens of Brooklyn project proposes a public art installation and community gathering space, envisioned as the synthesis of an interactive sculptural pavilion and a hanging botanical garden. The pavilion supports a hanging garden that grows in spiraling channels mounted on the trellised roof. The garden will feature a mixed palette of vining flowers and vegetables and will employ an automated drip irrigation system.
On view through August 8, 2022
This basketball court mural is based on Faith Ringgold’s 1974 work, Windows of the Wedding #1: Woman. After exploring abstract shapes in the 1970s, Ringgold received acclaim for her narrative quilts created in the 1980s. The basketball courts at St. Nicholas Park begin as an abstract pattern, but as hundreds, if not thousands, of stories play out across the court’s surface it will be transformed into something of a living narrative quilt. Ringgold was born in Harlem in 1930 and graduated from City College of New York (adjacent to St. Nicholas Park).
This exhibition is presented by Project Backboard.
On view through September 12, 2022
Bella Abzug Park, Manhattan
This exhibition is presented by Hudson Yards Hell’s Kitchen Alliance.
On view through October 8, 2022
Columbus Park, Manhattan
Chinatown Yarn Circle, led by Tina Lin, Naomi Lawrence, and local organizations, represents an intergenerational community mobilizing to STAND together; SPEAK up for justice; and SHAPE society through civic action and crochet. The flowers are in tribute to AAPI community builders, embodying collaboration, triumph over struggle, and inspiring future generations.
On view through April 10, 2022
Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens
Endangered Fossils represents an imagined archaeological excavation of New York State’s large fossil record. The sculptures are inspired by the trilobites, brachiopods and crinoids who flourished during the Devonian period, ~400 million years ago. These crab, clam, and starfish like organisms lived in marine environments very similar to the coral reefs of today. The project ponders the origin of the ecosystem we inhabit and our role, relationship, and responsibility to that environment in light of cataclysmic climate change and global pandemics.
On view through July 11, 2022
The piece is a way to honor those who have died during COVID. It’s also a way to celebrate the community moving forward to make a better world for our youth by taking what we as a community have learned and working together for change. The Afro pick originated over 5,500 years ago in Africa as a way to honor, celebrate, educate, and empower.
Funded by RPGA Studio, Council Member Koslowitz, and ConEd.
Rafferty Triangle, Queens
This piece is a playful interactive platform that invites you to connect with LIC admirers, contribute a message, and engage with the surrounding space in new ways. It is part of a multisite installation throughout Court Square where kinetic units reveal “love notes” submitted by residents, workers, and visitors.
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.