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Art Heads Outdoors in May

Rendering of Pet Sounds (2012) in Madison Square Park by Charles Long. Courtesy Tanya Bonakdar Gallery / Madison Square Park Conservancy.
May 2, 2012 - This May, there’s no need to choose between basking in the beauty of our vibrant public spaces and venturing indoors to explore the City’s unmatched artistic treasures. Thanks to these public art installations and our always-amazing botanical gardens, some of the City’s most exciting exhibitions will turn our parks and gardens into the best galleries around.

Pet Sounds – Charles Long
Madison Square Park
May 2 - September 9
Pet Sounds is an interactive, large-scale, mixed-media installation by acclaimed California-based artist Charles Long. Transforming Madison Square Park’s Oval Lawn with vibrantly colored pipe railings that wind across the urban oasis, the installation is exactly what one might expect from an artist with a self-proclaimed “re-occurring interest in the uncanny.” While the shape of each blob suggests a different set of associations, their uncanny semblances remain wonderfully elusive. As viewers smooth their hands over the undulating biomorphic surfaces, the act of touching produces a variety of sounds and vibrations coming from within the sculptural forms. For more info, visit

Vignettes from The Queens Project
Queens Botanical Garden
Through May 19
This month, photographs by Audrey Gottlieb will be on exhibit alongside the stunning living collection at Queens Botanical Garden. Gottlieb is a documentary photographer and educator whose images explore the U.S.’s rich multicultural heritage. To learn more, visit

Robert Wilson Video Portraits
Times Square Moment: A Digital Gallery
A new initiative announced this April, “Times Square Moment” brings cutting-edge graphics and digital art to the world’s center of communications each day. Each night from 11:57pm – 12:00am, the screens in Times Square coordinate to exhibit dynamic, high-quality art at a regularly scheduled time each day at the Crossroads of the World. The work being displayed throughout May consists of artist Robert Wilson’s renowned Video Portraits. Visit for more.

Monet's Garden
New York Botanical Garden
May 19-October 21
This stunning tribute to French Impressionist Claude Monet showcases a seasonally changing interpretation of the garden that inspired his art. In addition, two rarely seen original paintings – one of which has never been shown in the United States – will be on exhibition, and films, concerts, poetry readings and hands-on art for kids will provide rich insight into the life and work of this renowned master. To learn more, visit

Common Ground
Public Art Fund – City Hall Park
May 24 – November 30
Traditional public monuments and statues had a clear civic purpose, many having been commissioned to commemorate an important event, notable individual, or significant group. The artists featured in this show include: Elmgreen & Dragset, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Roger Hiorns, Jenny Holzer, Matthew Day Jackson, Christian Jankowski, Justin Matherly, Paul McCarthy, Amalia Pica, and Thomas Schütte. For more info, visit

Natural History
Brooklyn Botanic Garden
For three weeks in summer 2010, artist Patrick Dougherty and a team of volunteers constructed a monumental woven-wood sculpture in honor of Brooklyn Botanic Garden's centennial. The result, which the artist titled Natural History, complements the beauty of the Garden through the seasons. Garden visitors will find the work in the Plant Family Collection near Magnolia Plaza. Visit for additional details.

Snug Harbor Botanical Garden
Nestled within the grounds of the Snug Harbor Cultural Campus are several beautiful gardens all serving different purposes for the community. Throughout history, gardens have reflected some of the tastes of the periods and the ways in which people view their relationship to nature. Remaining true to this purpose, the Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden has created a number of gardens which include representations from particular periods along with contemporary styles. To learn more, visit
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