park expressions

ABOUT THE PROGRAM:

UNIQLO USA has partnered with the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation to transform ten selected parks across the five boroughs with great art installations by local artists.

Announced in September 2016, the UNIQLO Park Expressions Grant program builds on the Parks’ equip initiatives by bringing regular public art exhibits to parks that have historically lacked cultural programming. Each chosen artist received $10,000 to execute his or her piece. From June 2017, the program will last two years.

This partnership is a natural extension of the UNIQLO tradition of contributing to the local communities and celebrating creative self-expression and free access to art. Since opening its first flagship store in SoHo ten years ago, the company has embraced neighborhoods and local communities as showplaces for creativity.

To learn more about the selected artists and the artwork planned for each park, please click on the parks.

LEARN MORE

All images courtesy of the artists.

Dionisio Cortes Ortega, Sitting Together - Joyce Kilmer Park, Bronx

Joyce Kilmer Park

Sitting Together

Joyce Kilmer Park, Bronx

Inspired by the neighboring Bronx Supreme Courthouse, Sitting Together critiques the established proceedings of courtroom cases. The sculptures will place the plaintiff and defendant within modified witness stands to encourage empathy and understanding, and redefine how we think of conflict resolution. Color and seating direction in each sculpture address the severity of the conflicts.

ARTIST BIO:

Dionisio Cortes Ortega

Dionisio Cortes Ortega received his Bachelor of Architecture from The Cooper Union before co-founding the firm DBR Architecture, which engages the public with conceptual, theoretical and artistic projects, in addition to professional services. Originally from Mexico, Cortes Ortega currently lives and works in the Bronx.

Headshot

Cara Lynch, I’m So Happy You’re Here - Virginia Park, Bronx

Virginia Park

I’m So Happy You’re Here

Virginia Park, Bronx

Cara Lynch explores the tension between high and low, and private and public space in I’m So Happy You’re Here. Its patterns reference traditional parquet flooring, typically found in homes of the wealthy as a symbol of status and importance. By recontextualizing these patterns in a public mural, the work challenges notions of value and accessibility, as well as destination and origin.

ARTIST BIO:

Cara Lynch

Cara Lynch’s public work explores tensions at the intersection of art and craft, as well as sentiment and spectacle. She has completed a number of large-scale public projects in New York, including a permanent commission with the Metropolitan Transit Authority.

Headshot

Harumi Ori, I am Here @ Thomas Jefferson Park, 113 Street and 1st Ave, Manhattan, NY

Thomas Jefferson Park

I am Here@Thomas Jefferson Park, 113 Street and 1st Ave, Manhattan, NY

Using photographs that she will take of parkgoers as inspiration, Harumi Ori will fold and sew industrial mesh in orange, a sacred color in Japan, to create three dimensional snapshots of the public park. Layered folds convincingly render the shape and volume of people and their surroundings. The installation will both document and celebrate the surrounding community’s diversity.

ARTIST BIO:

Harumi Ori

Harumi Ori has been working on her “I am Here” sculpture series for 15 years. The works reproduce the space and time of a single moment. She has exhibited widely in New York City, including a public art commission with the Department of Transportation.

Headshot

Karla & James Murray, Mom-and-Pops of the L.E.S - Seward Park, Manhattan

Seward Park

Mom-and-Pops of the L.E.S

Seward Park, Manhattan

Karla and James Murray’s wood-framed sculpture consists of near life-size photographs of four mom-and-pop neighborhood stores of the Lower East Side, which are no longer in business and have disappeared from the streetscape. Images of a bodega, a coffee shop/luncheonette, a vintage store, and a newsstand recognize the unique and irreplaceable contribution made to New York by small, often family-owned businesses.

ARTIST BIO:

Karla & James Murray

Karla and James Murray are wife-and-husband, New York-based photographers, mixed media artists and authors. For over twenty years they have photographed portraits of storefronts and shop owners, striving to capture the spirit, energy, and cultural diversity of individual neighborhoods.

Headshot

Zaq Landsberg, Islands of the Unisphere - Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens

Flushing Meadows Corona Park

Islands of the Unisphere

Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens

Landsberg will recreate several of the Unisphere’s islands from various continents at scale and place them together to form a global archipelago. The collection of islands will act as seating, stages, and meeting places, and reflect the diversity Queens. These continents, figuratively stitched together, will be recognizable by their shapes, but will have neither labels nor borders.

ARTIST BIO:

Zaq Landsberg

Zaq Landsberg specializes in large scale, site-specific sculptures, absurd objects and potentially treasonous conceptual projects. Originally from Los Angeles, CA, he received a BFA from NYU and lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

Headshot

Rose DeSiano, Absent Monuments - Rufus King Park, Queens

Rufus King Park

Absent Monuments

Rufus King Park, Queens

Absent Monuments consists of several mirrored obelisks. The viewer's mirrored reflection both celebrates them and subtly brings them into Jamaica, Queens’ complex history of colonization, war, abolitionism, immigration and rural urbanization. The obelisks’ stone plinths feature blue and white Dutch Delft photographic tiles that display the history of Rufus King Park and are surrounded by floral tiles inspired by Native American pattern work. Through these motifs, the obelisks honor the complex history of the Native American people, while also acknowledging the various periods of cultural displacements that have occurred in Queens.

ARTIST BIO:

Rose DeSiano

Rose DeSiano received her M.F.A from the Art Center College of Design, Los Angeles and her B.F.A from NYU-Tisch School of the Arts. DeSiano has exhibited widely across the United States as well as internationally, including the Netherlands, China and, Spain. Rose DeSiano lives in Brooklyn and is a Professor of Fine Arts-Photography at Kutztown University, PA.

Headshot

Tanda Francis, Adorn Me - Fort Greene Park, Brooklyn

Fort Greene Park

Adorn Me

Fort Greene Park, Brooklyn

Tanda Francis’ work examines the African presence in public space as a powerful force of beauty and cultural relevance. Inspired by African sculptural tradition, including Ife portraiture, Francis also incorporates Victorian and colonial ornamentation into her work. Adorn Me will address the underrepresentation of this demographic in public artworks, and provide a healing message during a time of heated debate over monuments erected as symbols of oppression and control.

ARTIST BIO:

Tanda Francis

Tanda Francis is a Brooklyn-based artist with a primary focus on monumental African female heads and masks and ancient customs and rituals. Positive images of and by people of African descent go underrepresented in our society, and Francis works to find a balance by setting her massive, bold sculptures in public spaces that cannot be overlooked. Francis has created several monumental public artworks in New York City.

Headshot

Roberto Visani, (x)ofmanychildren - Herbert Von King Park, Brooklyn

Herbert Von King Park

Daylighting

(x)ofmanychildren

Herbert Von King Park, Brooklyn

Roberto Visani’s piece is inspired by the indigenous figurative sculptures of the Senufo people of West Africa as well as the forced migration and relocation of African people and culture in the Americas. Abstracted with 3D modeling software, the two figures will lean against one another as a symbol of togetherness and support.

ARTIST BIO:

Roberto Visani

Roberto Visani is a multi-media artist residing in Brooklyn. He has exhibited his work widely in the U.S. and internationally. He is a former NYFA Artist Fellow in Sculpture and Fulbright fellow to Ghana. Visani is an associate professor at the City University of New York where he has taught since 2004.

Headshot

Jackie Mock, The Pencil Museum - Faber Park, Staten Island

The Pencil Museum

Faber Park, Staten Island

The Pencil Museum is a series of handmade vitrines containing antique pencils and writing instruments that illustrate the significance of the Eberhard Faber Pencil Company. The only pencil factory in America at its inception, it created one of the most commonly used products manufactured in NYC. Faber Park is the former site of the Faber Mansion, home of the “Pencil King of Staten Island” Johann Eberhard Faber. This exhibition will tell the story of this often overlooked portion of New York City history and the entrepreneur who chose to call Staten Island home.

ARTIST BIO:

Jackie Mock

Jackie Mock transforms ordinary found objects into something monumental and sacred. She tells the overlooked or forgotten stories of people and places throughout American history while engaging the viewer with a touch of wit and humor. Jackie lives and works in New York City. She frequently exhibits in and around the New York area.

Lina Montoya

Adam Frezza & Terri Chiao, Stick Stump & The Lawn Lumps - Tappen Park, Staten Island

Tappen Park

Stick Stump & The Lawn Lumps

Tappen Park, Staten Island

Stick Stump & The Lawn Lumps, a grouping of five unique sculptures, create a playful forum for reading, recreation, performance, and public interaction. Like hopping along a series of rocks in the landscape or finding that perfectly shaped stone to rest and take a seat, Frezza and Chiao aim for the works to invite viewers to engage with the art as they might engage with nature.

ARTIST BIO:

Adam Frezza & Terri Chiao

Adam Frezza and Terri Chiao are collaborative artists based in New York City. Since 2011, the duo’s work has explored play and craft across a range of mediums. In 2017 they installed 32 large-scale works over an acre at the Coachella Arts & Music Festival in Indio, CA.

Headshot