There’s so much to see. Exhibits include experimental and traditional art, in many park locations. They explore various themes including: Disappearing businesses, issues of race, issues of class, diversity, cultural displacements, overlooked portions of New York City history, and much more.
The Art in Parks program began in the late 60s with an intention to use public spaces as outdoor museums, “letting works of art ‘loose in the city, to set them under the light of day where they intrude upon our daily walks and errands.'”
“… a sphere of tiny porcelain sculptures, each an intimate, bone-like shape, adhered and supported by an elaborate system of aluminum and epoxy. Comprised of innumerable parts which on their own may appear insignificant, the structure celebrates the idea that small things together amount to something impactful; a monument to collective consciousness.”
“Karla and James Murray’s wood-framed sculpture consists of near life-size photographs of four mom-and-pop neighborhood stores of the Lower East Side, which are no longer in business and have disappeared from the streetscape. Images of a bodega, a coffee shop/luncheonette, a vintage store, and a newsstand recognize the unique and irreplaceable contribution made to New York by small, often family-owned businesses.”
“Our Memories is an evolving audience participatory installation. Recognizing the need to record one’s personal experience, these neuron-inspired sculptures contain cavities in which participants place a color-coded “memory stone”. The memory stones are classified into six emotive categories: joy, anger, love, sadness, fear, and surprise. This active act of recollection not only stirs up personal memories, it also physiologically generates a new collective memory. The Our Memories project is both a larger memorial piece, made complete by thousands of individual memories from people all over the world, and an experience that connects us to our core and to one another.”
“Tanda Francis’ work examines the African presence in public space as a powerful force of beauty and cultural relevance. Inspired by African sculptural tradition, including Ife portraiture, Francis also incorporates Victorian and colonial ornamentation into her work. Adorn Me addresses the underrepresentation of this demographic in public artworks, and provide a healing message during a time of heated debate over monuments erected as symbols of oppression and control.”
Beyond being intriguing pieces, art can have profound influence, as this experience demonstrates:
It’s the horror-tacular Halloween season! But if you’re exploring with kids, you may want to keep it slightly lower on the fear factor scale.
Check out these family-friendly attractions that focus less on terror and more on entertainment with a dose of education.
“Astronomy Live: Spooky Space” at the American Museum of Natural History provides a “virtual tour in the dome highlighting the universe’s most frightening phenomena, from monster asteroids that pass through our system to the deadly radiation that young stars pour on to their newly born planets.”
“Boo at the Zoo” at the Bronx Zoo features Haunted Pirate Hayride Adventure, animal-inspired magic shows, a ‘Bird Meet and Greet” and learn about animals like bats and reptiles from the experts
“Halloween Teen Night” at the Whitney is a “night of music, dancing, costume making, tarot card readings, snacks, and more!”
“Boroughs of the Dead” offers a 90-minute kid-friendly tour with “the very best ghost stories from the East Village and Greenwich Village. …Discover how turbulent histories often create enduring local legends.”
City Tech’s always impressive Haunted Hotel, “Gravesend Inn” is in its 20th year, and is appropriate for 10 and over.
“Hallowscream! Fright Walk“ from NYC Parks brings you a spooky interactive haunted house suitable for children (with parental supervision).