Public Art In Harlem

The Studio Museum in Harlem has recently launched a project that explores ways to take the institution beyond it's walls and engage with the community. The first project of "InHarlem" is commissioned site-specific sculptures in Harlem parks.

I live in Harlem so each park and installation is just a short walk away from my apartment! There are fours parks in Harlem that have these site-specific works, during this outing I visited St. Nicholas Park and Marcus Garvey Park.

I have to admit, I was most excited about these beautiful huts at Marcus Garvy Park! Just look at them!! This was actually the first time I've been to Marcus Garvey Park and it was a beautiful park with lots of amenities like a pool, fitness equipment, recreation center and wifi.

Anyway!!! The work at Marcus Garvy is called A particularly elaborate imba yokubikira, or kitchen house, stands locked up while its owners live in diaspora by artist Simone Leigh. <--  here is a link to more info.
While I was at the park a group of kids (maybe age 8-10) came over to the sculptures and started removing pieces of the roof which they then used to play sword fight and hit the sculpture. I was happy to see a woman approach the kids and tell them that the huts are art and they should not treat it that way. I was happy she did that because honestly I was afraid to approach the kids because I didn't want angry parents yelling at me! Shame >_<

The other park I visited during my outing was St. Nicholas Park, this park is actually very close to my apartment and I come here semi often. It's also the park located next to the City College campus of the City University of New York. I did my undergrad here :)

The work is called Sentra by artist Kori Newkirk (again there is a link to more info). When approaching this installation I was unsure of what the heck I was looking at, but once I got closer I could see that it was sets of plastic sheets hung from metal structures. It was sort of a breezy day so you could hear the sound of the plastic flaps hitting each other, it was actually nice. The work was installed on one of a many staircases in the park, it would have been nice for the work to be on one of the more used staircases where all the City College students descend.

Unlike Marcus Garvy park, St.Nick park doesn't have a pool or many facilities beyond a basketball court and playground. Also there is no wifi, but I mean whatever. St.Nick park is mostly set on a steep hill (unlike Marcus Garvy park which is mostly flat land) so that's probably why St. Nick is simpler.
There are two more Harlem parks with site-specific installations that I hope to visit soon. 
One park is Morningside Park near Columbia University,(another of my alma maters) and the last park is Jackie Robinson Park which is right near my first New York City apartment. As you can see my NYC life has center on Harlem so I am so excited about this InHarlem project!


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