NYC’s Public Art Offerings

Image: Garret Ziegler via Flickr CC

Image: Garret Ziegler via Flickr CC

We all made it! Spring is officially here! New York City boasts some of the most extraordinary public art displays in the world, so I suggest commemorating the occasion (and the promise of warmer weather on the horizon) with an outdoor arts excursion. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Keith Haring: Crack is Wack

This two-sided mural, created in 1986 by the legendary artist, was reportedly inspired by the drug epidemic that fell upon NYC in the late 1980s. Located in Harlem River Park, the mural was restored in 2007 and is one of the only remaining public artworks by Haring still visible in New York City today.

haring-crack-is-wackArt Underground

According to NYC-ARTS The Complete Guide, “MTA Arts for Transit was created to oversee the selection of artists and installation of permanent artworks in subway and commuter rail stations,” of the program that fosters art programs specifically for the subway. Jason Middlebrook, Tom Otterness, Bill Brand, Andrea Dezso, and Faith Ringgold are just a handful of artists that have helped make the subway a living art gallery. Check out MTA Arts for Transit to find all of the art locations.

The River That Flows Both Ways

“The River That Flows Both Ways,” a large, site-specific artwork by Spencer Finch, can be found at New York’s iconic High Line. Tucked inside the semi-enclosed former loading dock between 15th and 16th Streets (where the High Line passes through the Chelsea Market building), Finch’s beautiful installation is a must-see if you’re going to be spending time on the High Line.

These are just three of the limitless opportunities to experience free public art in NYC. There’s also the Peace Wall in Harlem, the “Joie de Vivre” and “Red Cube” in Lower Manhattan, and all of the off-the-map graffiti and mural works by artists from all over the world. I could never come close to naming all of the sculptures, murals, and installations, but I definitely encourage you to go out and explore.

What are your favorite public artworks in NYC?


About Alex Holt

I am a local artist from Brooklyn, NY. I love art, design, books, photography, gardening and blogging.
This entry was posted in art, Manhattan, NYC and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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