Photo: NYC Parks

From a reflection on the garitas of San Juan to a sea of Gowanus-inspired cartoons, free art installations are on view this spring across the city 

With warmer weather and later sunsets sending more New Yorkers to their favorite parks, NYC Parks’ public art program Art in the Parks is enriching public greenspaces with free art displays in Manhattan, Queens, the Bronx, and Brooklyn.  

The full list and a map of current exhibits can be found on Parks’ Art in the Parks page. Here are some highlights this season: 


Cheryl Wing-Zi Wong, AZIMUTH 

Pike Street Malls between East Broadway and Division Street, Manhattan 

On view through November 5, 2023 

AZIMUTH is a recycled public artwork, previously installed in Washington, DC as MERIDIAN. After over a year and a half outdoors, the modules were transported to New York City, rehabbed and transformed with a vibrantly colored makeover. Along with the final touches of a new ground mural, AZIMUTH provides a new community gathering spot on the Pike Street Mall. The pavilion activates this public park median, creating a new place to pause, frolic and play. This exhibition is presented by Chinatown Partnership. 

Fanny Allié, Shadows 

Bella Abzug Park, Manhattan 

On view through October 5, 2023 

The colorful sculptures comprising Shadows honor ten workers who maintain the park. To create the sculptures, artist Fanny Allié spent time with each person and asked them to pose in a manner that they felt most reflected who they are. Their outlines, captured on film, were then translated into steel silhouettes, painted in the color of the subject’s choice. Shadows also includes an audio component featuring the workers’ voices. This exhibition is presented by Hudson Yards Hells Kitchen Alliance. 

Kevin Quiles Bonilla and Zaq Landsberg, For centuries, and … (anticipated completion) 

Harlem Art Park, Manhattan 

On view through October 31, 2023 

This sculpture recreates a guard tower (or garita, in Spanish) from the historic fortresses of Old San Juan, built out of New York City construction fencing material. Through its form and materials, it references both colonial Puerto Rican landscapes and the ubiquitous construction sites throughout New York City as thresholds and incomplete environments. The work links these two locations with long histories and explores contemporary notions of colonialism as a precarious, never-ending project that affects anyone within it. 

Joan Benefiel, Hoodoos 

Finn Square, Manhattan 

On view through March 22, 2024 

Cast in hand-tinted translucent resin, Hoodoos is part of Joan Benefiel’s “Cast in Light” sculpture collection. The abstract figurative forms are inspired by the natural beauty of their namesake geological formations and appear to glow from within. With Hoodoos, Benefiel continues her practice of building engaging choreographies of light, color, and shadow. This exhibition is presented by Figuration Studio. 


Project Attica, Cesar Figueroa, Nefthali Gomez and Antony Posada, Our Magical Playground of Dreams 

Playground for All Children, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens 

On view through November 13, 2023 

This mural is a celebration of the power of imagination coming to life in the playground, where children are free. It tells a peaceful story through children interacting with each other in the spirit of joy. The mural emphasizes nature, unity, respect, and the magic that children emanate. The design was created in collaboration with local children and their families. This exhibition is presented by Project Attica. 

Task Negative, Grounding 

Queensbridge Park, Queens 

On view through November 25, 2023 

Grounding is a site-specific outdoor artwork that is experienced through Augmented Reality (AR). By scanning a QR code on a sign near the site, viewers will experience an installation of thousands of large, reflective mirror-finished sequins on the grass in the shape of a tree shadow. 


Tijay Mohammed & Beam Center Project Fellows, Baobab Tree of Life 

Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx 

On view through April 13, 2024 

Baobab: Tree of Life is inspired by a succulent tree that provides food, medication, and shelter for its surrounding communities. Surrounding a central sculpture that references the Baobab tree is a mosaic containing Adinkra symbols and African fabric designs, which connect viewer to 400 years of history from the African diaspora. Conceptually, the piece represents what it means to exist with an identity of your choice regardless of race, color, religion, nationality, gender, and ability. This exhibition is presented by Beam Center and its Project Fellows program.  


Noa Bornstein, Peace Gorilla 

Newtown Barge Playground, Brooklyn 

On view through August 14, 2023 

Cast in bronze in 2020, this sculpture was originally created by Brooklyn-based artist Noa Bornstein out of sisal fiber and burlap. The sculpture is mounted on a low concrete base inscribed with the word for ‘friend’ in 90 languages—beginning with the six official languages of the UN — all learned or verified with speakers of the languages. For additional/interactive content please visit:  

Various Artists, Lattice Views 

Highland Park, Brooklyn 

On view through October 31, 2023 

Designed by Elisabeth Condon with artists Angel Garcia, Karl Kelly, Paulapart, Kiana Vega, Estefania Velez-Rodriguez and Price White, Lattice Views extends on either side of the handball courts in lower Highland Park. The background of the mural consists of a lattice pattern, which is overlaid with images of community garden foliage, the wide stairs that lead through the park, as well as people, lamps, and bicycles from the park. The lattice acknowledges the trees above the extended walls by pulling them into the design, creating visual continuity. This exhibition is presented by Norte Maar for Collaborative Projects in the Arts. 

Katie Merz, Gowanus Hieroglyphics 

Thomas Greene Playground, Brooklyn 

On view through May 9, 2024 

This mural is a white-on-black, dense sea of cartoons paying homage to the history and landmarks of the neighborhood such as the BQE, Gowanus Canal, and industrial buildings.This exhibition is presented by the Friends of Thomas Greene Park. 

About Art in the Parks 

For nearly 60 years, NYC Parks’ Art in the Parks program has brought contemporary public artworks to the city’s parks, making New York City one of the world’s largest open-air galleries. The agency has consistently fostered the creation and installation of temporary public art in parks throughout the five boroughs. Since 1967, NYC Parks has collaborated with arts organizations and artists to produce more than 3,000 public artworks by 1,500 notable and emerging artists in more than 200 parks. For more information, please visit