If the Momofuku Milk Bar Pop-Up Shop hasn’t driven you to Madison Square Park yet, Gazing Globes, Paula Hayes’ magical, mystical winter sculpture garden really should. Mad. Sq. Art hosts a ton of public art exhibitions we love, but Gazing Globes, on view February 19 – April 19, is really working for us right now. Maybe it’s the hushed snowy weather, or the fact that we’re partial to tucked-away oases at Waterside, but we love how it lets you contemplate worlds within worlds in this busy city of ours. Plus, the snowglobe-feeling exhibition is just right for winter (and very ‘gram worthy)! If you’re at Waterside, stroll up to the park at night when the globes are lit and are especially wondrous.
In the past few years, terrariums have really taken off, especially among us plant-space deprived apartment dwellers, but artist Paula Hayes has been working with them since the 1990s. Gazing Globes is a departure for the artist, who has replaced her usual live plants with landscapes made from the detritus of modern life, “radio parts, acrylic wands and other non-compostable parts, sprinkled in fairy dust made of pulverized CDs.” Hayes is inspired by the long history of the terrarium, which as she says to the New York Times, “is about reflection and divination…looking into something to ascertain the future and figure the past.” It’s a perfect fit for historic Madison Square Park, a tranquil enclave surrounded by busy buildings in a fast-moving city…and it’s definitely worth slowing down for.