Free public art in NY parks and streets.
Now that the drab grays of winter are gone, the city’s streets and parks are alive again with tons of public art. We’ve rounded up 11 pieces that’ll make you marvel, think and take a selfie or two.
“Sing for Hope” One of the perks of urban living is that around every corner, there’s some kind of music. “Sing for Hope” pianos lets you add some joyful noise to the city when 60 pianos — hand-painted by some of New York’s biggest stars, like “SNL” comedian Kate McKinnon — pop up in parks and plazas, free for anyone to play. Mark your calendar for the exhibit’s June 5 unveiling at 28 Liberty Plaza, when star performers will help usher in the project. When it’s your turn, play them gently, please: At the end of the exhibition, most of the pianos will be donated to schools. June 5-25, singforhope.org
“Earth Potential” In a short time, we’ve gone from not being able to see some of our planet’s smallest life forms to sequencing their DNA for scientific research. For her work “Earth Potential,” Estonian artist Katja Novitskova has created silhouettes of fascinating creatures like squids and round worms, displayed almost like microscope slides on large metal disks printed to look like planets. The works provoke questions about technology and nature, and how much of the world we’re truly seeing. June 22-Nov. 9, City Hall Park, Lower Manhattan
“Descension” Anish Kapoor’s swirling whirlpool may seem a little too on-the-nose these days. But in his view, Descension is meant to be a contemplative piece on the infinitely varying nature of water — and humanity itself. So look past the obvious and maybe try to sublimate your emotions by letting them drain away beyond the boundaries of our world. Through Sept. 10, Pier 1, Brooklyn Bridge Park
“Here Lie the Secrets of the Visitors of Green-Wood Cemetery” In the most cathartic art piece of the season, French artist Sophie Calle asks New Yorkers to unburden their souls in one of the city’s most spectacular final resting places. “Here Lie the Secrets” will stand in Green-Wood Cemetery for 25 years, inviting visitors to write down their painful confessions and deposit the paper inside a marble obelisk, which stands over a hollow grave. Calle will return occasionally to gather and burn the slips of paper to purge our worries from this life. Through 2042, Green-Wood Cemetery, 500 25th St., Sunset Park
“Coney Art Walls” New York City’s carnival island was always a hub of a unique kind of art, and last year’s debut of “Coney Art Walls” added a new tradition. The 50,000-square-foot outdoor gallery features over 30 murals created by some of the world’s best street artists and local celebrities like Ganzeer, Shantell Martin and Crash, joined by pop-up food vendors and special events throughout the season. May 20-September, noon-10 p.m., 3050 Stillwell Ave., Brooklyn
“G.O.A.T., Again” Jamaican artist Nari Ward had all five acres of Socrates Sculpture Park to build his show “G.O.A.T., Again,” a seemingly whimsical collection of six sculptures featuring goats that delves into the complex issue of pride and how it can both mislead and empower. The clue is in the name: G.O.A.T. is a nod to its subjects, and an acronym for Muhammad Ali’s personal title, “Greatest of All Time.” Through Sept. 4, Socrates Sculpture Park, 32-01 Vernon Blvd., Long Island City
“Hippo Ballerina” Adding a whimsical touch to the Lincoln Center neighborhood is Bjorn Okholm Skaarup’s tutuclad “Hippo Ballerina,” ready for her debut on one of the city’s most prestigious stages. The “Fantasia”-esque bronze sculpture stands 15 feet tall and is clad in a copper ballerina ensemble. Best part: Take a selfie with the statue and tag it #DanceWithHippoBallerina for a chance at reallife ballet tickets. Through July 31, Dante Park, at 64th Street and Broadway
“Human Structures” Just outside one of the city’s busiest transit hubs, Penn Station, “Human Structures” is a call to pause and consider how we could be living a better life by connecting with each other. Artist Jonathan Borofsky’s colorful figures stand on top of each other to build a pyramid, showing how we can reach higher and farther together than alone. Explore the sculpture while enjoying pop-up performances of music and other entertainment all summer. Ongoing, Plaza33, 33rd Street between Seventh and Eighth avenues.
“Open House” One of New York City’s legendary ballrooms is once again open — this time for anyone to enjoy. Liz Glynn’s 26 concrete sculptures re-create the Gilded Age-era ballroom of a long-gone Fifth Avenue mansion with grand archways and delicately carved Louis XIV-style chairs, ottomans and sofas. In a city where the class divide is growing ever wider, “Open House” invites anyone to experience a taste of 1900s opulence in Central Park. Through Sept. 24, Doris C. Freedman Plaza, 60th Street and Fifth Avenue
“The Floaters” Though New York has many amazing pools, none of them are on the High Line. No worries — muralist Henry Taylor has created a largerthan-life pool scene of himself and friends relaxing in a Palm Springs swimming pool called “The Floaters.” Just try not to hear the Beach Boys at you take in the 1960s vibe and perfect summer color palette. Through March 2018, The High Line at West 22nd Street
“Prismatic Park” While Josiah McElheny’s three wood-and-glass structures that make up “Prismatic Park” — a curved blue sound wall, a red-and-yellow pavilion and a green circular stage — are art themselves, they also serve as a space to create new art. Performance collective Blank Forms, dance troupe Danspace Project and Poets House will “inhabit” the glimmering exhibit to develop new works, while anyone who feels inspired is also welcome to follow his or her muse. June 13-Oct. 8, Madison Square Park, Madison Avenue between 23rd and 26th streets