Art Around New York
It’s worth the ride to Water Mill’s Parrish Museum to see the museum’s new outdoor sculpture exhibition, Field of Dreams. Of particular import is Jaume Plensa’s suite of four portraits carved initially from oak. Entitled Carlota, Julia, Laura Asia and Wilsis, the bronze portraits capture a moment of quiet reflection, stimulating silence and stillness in a bustling world. Reminiscent of the mysterious moai in Easter Island, the statues stand like totems in the field. Set against the dramatically sleek architecture of the Parrish, they are truly a standout in their field. Also joining these four in the Great Meadow are the colorful Tokyo Brushstrokes by Roy Lichtenstein, all visible from Montauk Highway. No tickets are required.
Harlem presents a new monument celebrating multiple African kings. Titled The Boulevard of African Monarchs, the piece was designed by New York artist Kenseth Armstead and is located at 116th Street and Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard. A three-dimensional piece standing 10’ x 10’ x 10’, it was unveiled in response to the Black Lives Matter movement.
Celebrating women for the first time in Central Park, and the first monument to be added to the park since 1965, the new Women’s Rights Pioneers Monument honors three New York women: Sojourner Truth, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony on Literary Walk at the southern end of the Mall. The monument, created by sculptor Meredith Bergmann, was unveiled in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment, which gave women the right to vote. The three women activists are shown seated around a table, at work, with Susan B. Anthony holding a “Votes for Women” pamphlet, Stanton holding a pen and Truth in the midst of speaking.
Also honoring women, a preview of the IF/THEN She Can exhibit is located at the Central Park Zoo. The exhibit currently presents six pieces but will ultimately have 122 3D printed statues of notable and diverse women scientists. The pop-up preview includes Kristine Inman (wildlife biologist), Rae Wynn-Grant (ecologist), Dorothy Tovar (microbiologist), Jess Champ (shark researcher and marine conservationist), Earyn McGee (herpetologist) and Kristen Lear (bat conservationist). The project is a collaboration between the Central Park Zoo and the IF/THEN organization. The exhibit’s objective is to inspire younger women to pursue careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering or math) fields.
The legendary Houston Bowery wall, a new mural led by artist Raúl Ayala and assisted by 10 aspiring young artists, communicates a powerful moment in history and a message of hope, possibility and inspiration. The street artists follow a muralist tradition at the site started by Keith Haring in the 1970s and later featured works by contemporary artists including Banksy, Shepard Fairey, Os Gemeos, Swoon, and Aiko, Ron English and Lakwena. The mural is a collaboration with Groundswell, an NYC-based organization that engages youth with art education, youth development and social justice from the support of artists and community organizations in neighborhoods across New York City.
The new mural continues the use of the wall to voice the fight for social justice and the importance of activism that is rooted in love and creativity. The wall is currently owned and curated by Goldman Properties, with the objective to bring art to the public on a grand scale. Goldman Properties, started by real estate visionary Tony Goldman, is known for its revitalization of iconic neighborhoods such as SoHo in New York City, Center City Philadelphia, Miami Beach, and Wynwood, site of Miami’s acclaimed Wynwood Walls
Along the waterfront at Brooklyn Bridge Park, Reverberation is a new large-scale installation by Davina Semo made up of interactive bells. The exhibition consists of five, four-foot-tall bright-orange bronze bells, housed in structures towering over 14 feet in height. Visitors are encouraged to ring the bells, calling up the city’s maritime history when bells were a key form of communication among ships and sailors. Appropriately named Reflector, Singer, Dreamer, Listener and Mother, the bells are suited to the present, evoking a variety of feelings and creating distinct tones when rung.