Where to See Art Outdoors This Summer

Artwork in New York City isn’t confined to cavernous interior museum spaces or sterile galleries filled with attitude and silence.  The city is filled with colorful installations in all neighborhoods.  Some even invite you to touch and play.

Check out these wonderful larger-than-life pieces on display through various dates in 2010:

The Metropolitan Museum of Art – Rooftop

The Starn twins’ evolving, slinky-like Big Bambú exhibit asks you to put on your rubber-soled shoes, leave the camera behind, and climb through the bamboo tubes for a birdlike experience overlooking Central Park.  The installation evolves daily as the twins’ team of rock climbers add to this living piece of art.   Time entry admission is required to climb, but everyone can admire otherwise.  Big Bambú will be on display through October 31.

A View from the Lunch Table:  Students Bringing Issues to the Table

Set in ten community parks throughout the five boroughs, artwork by students will be visible through September 30.   Students have transformed school lunchroom tables into personalized canvases that reflect issues of concern in their communities.  This is the largest student exhibition in the history of NYC Parks and the first to span five boroughs.  A View from the Lunch Table is a product of LEAP, a non-profit organization designed to improve public education through an arts-based approach to teaching. 

Play Me, I’m Yours

Here’s an interactive exhibit designed to bring out the performer in everyone.  Sixty upright pianos are placed in strategic location throughout the five boroughs.  Visitors are encouraged to play throughout the day along with more formal concerts involving serious artists.  Hurry, though, as this one ends July 5. 

Bike Guy by Scott Taylor

A white sculpture which incorporates the familiar bicycle lane insignia, Bike Guy becomes three dimensional.  The choice of location, McCarren Park and neighboring Williamsburg, highlight the area’s increased dependence on the bicycle as a transportation alternative.   The piece will be up for viewing through October 15.

The Ego and the Id

A project of the Public Art Fund, Franz West’s "The Ego and the Id" sits colorfully at the edge of Central Park overlooking the Plaza Hotel.  Through August 23, visitors can admire the 20 foot sculpture’s colorful looping abstract forms, which curve in such a way that they create stools on which passerby can sit, reflect, and directly engage with the artwork. 

Ribbons of Memory, Jean-Pierre Rives

Located at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza in Manhattan, this is a collaborative project with the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation and the Friends of Dag Hammarskjold Plaza.  Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, the piece is a construction of cut and bent welded steel I-beams and will be on display through September 5.

Baritone, French Kiss, and Juggler, Mia Westerlund Roosen

Presented by the Fund for Park Avenue Sculpture Committee with assistance from the Grand Central Partnership, the series of sculptures prominently set on the malls on Park Avenue between 52nd and 54th streets represent curving representations of the female body.  Roosen’s training in dance continues to influence her art along with her involvement in the early days of the feminist movement.  The pieces are made of stucco, offering mass with a concurrent sense of vulnerability, and will stay in place through August 28.   

Cityscape: Surveying the Urban Biotope

Set in one of the city’s most offbeat sculpture parks, the outdoor Socrates Sculpture Park  in Queens, the new show covers eleven new works by eleven artists.  The show, by virtue of its outdoor setting, explores the presence of nature in the fabric of urban life.  Contemporary issues and concerns in the social, political, economic and aesthetic realms relate to their immediate surroundings of grass, park, plazas, and wildlife.  The show lasts through August 1.

Myrtle Avenue Bird Town

Through December 30 in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, a series of colorful birdhouses will be the centerpiece for a full program of education about birds, art, and ecology.  Viewers can build their own bird house using supplies provided by the artists.

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5 Responses to “Where to See Art Outdoors This Summer”

  1. If you see any others, please let me know.

  2. Liz says:

    william cordova is one of the artists who contributed to the works in the sculpture park, and i love his art! he’s a genius. it’s definitely worth checking out…

  3. Jessica says:

    I love the idea of “Play Me, I’m Yours.” Any idea if (and when) they will be bringing this back??

  4. Thank you. Awesome submissions you got here. Got some extra sites to point to which have more info?

  5. EAch of NYC’s Museums has its own Web site with lots of helpful information.

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