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.

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All images courtesy of the artists.

Patricia Cazorla and Nancy Saleme, Flying High for Equality - Joyce Kilmer Park, Bronx

Flying High for Equality

Joyce Kilmer Park, Bronx

Inspired by American novelist Richard Bach’s bestseller Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Patricia Cazorla and Nancy Saleme will use the city’s sparrows to create a metaphor for the search for equality. Sparrows are creatures of resilience, audacity, intelligence and beauty that mirror many of the qualities of the communities throughout New York. They are small but mighty and vigilant in every aspect of their lives, and we learn that the loudest voice is not always the most powerful. This installation of seven colorful sculptures will evoke the power of assembly to pursue freedom, equality, and social justice. We can only coexist as a community when we celebrate diversity, inclusion, and integration.

ARTIST BIO:

Patricia Cazorla and Nancy Saleme

Painter Patricia Cazorla and sculptor Nancy Saleme are a Venezuelan-American aunt and niece collaborative team who began working together in 2010. Their work focuses on immigration and child labor issues. They both earned their B.A. and have lived in New York since 1996. Cazorla and Saleme have been awarded exhibitions, commissions, residencies and grants inside and outside of the U.S., such as Art in City Hall (Philadelphia, PA); Jose Cuervo Traditional Mural Project (NYC); Armory Artsweek by Lehman College Art Gallery at the Andrew Freedman Home (Bronx, NY); and DUMBO Arts Festival. Cazorla and Saleme have been commissioned to create temporary public art pieces for Taller Puertorriqueño (Philadelphia) and by the Garment District (NYC). Cazorla and Saleme were granted the Puffin Foundation Visual Arts Award and a solo exhibition at the Bronx Community College for Women’s History Month in 2016.

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Lovie Pignata, Daylighting - Virginia Park, Bronx

Daylighting

Virginia Park, Bronx

Lovie Pignata’s Daylighting highlights the Bronx River by bringing the river to nearby Virginia Park. A painted mural that replicates a portion of the important waterway. Adrift on the river are retired Bronx River canoes, donated by local non-profits, outfitted with seating and chessboards. A vertical canoe wayfinder is at the northern entrance of the park and has oars pointing to Bronx waterfront parks and Starlight Park, depicted in the mural. The 174th Street Bridge is also painted as a walkway through the park.

Daylighting aims to inspire curiosity and awareness about the Bronx River, Bronx wildlife and other local waterways as well as providing an engaging space for activities highlighting the local environment and volunteerism.

ARTIST BIO:

Lovie Pignata

Bronx resident and artist Lovie Pignata studied undergraduate fine art, majoring in sculpture, at Pratt Institute. She has also been a participant in the botanical drawing program at the New York Botanical Garden, as well as advanced figure drawing at the Art Students League of New York. Pignata instructed the first outdoor drawing classes at Van Cortlandt Park with support from the Van Cortlandt Park Conservancy in 2014. She is currently working on a historical mural in the Morris Park neighborhood in the Bronx and is also BxArtsFactory's first Virtual Artist in Residence, where she teaches parents activities that they can take home and share with their children.

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Capucine Bourcart, LINOUQ - Thomas Jefferson Park, Manhattan

LINOUQ

Thomas Jefferson Park, Manhattan

From 2008 through 2012, Capucine Bourcart walked every street in Manhattan, from State Street to 220th Street, taking photographic details of walls and their imagery. Her work, Urban Mosaic is a collection of more than 4,500 such photographs and will provide the source for LINOUQ. The sculpture will be a photo-assemblage made of 4,170 metal squares inspired by Native American culture, the first population of the park.

Bourcart is stirred by Native American’s respect for nature and spiritual connection with the environment. The design, inspired by Native American patterns, will be created by choosing and cropping photos from the stock of Urban Mosaic in order to draw a link between the Manhattan’s early history and today.

Video courtesy of Jake Benrudi

ARTIST BIO:

Capucine Bourcart

Originally from France, Capucine Bourcart has called Harlem her home for the past 11 years. Having Vietnamese origins and grown up in Alsace (the Germanic region of Eastern France), her multi-cultural background has inspired her curiosity and creations. Her collage technique strongly conveys her mixed origins by using cutting, layering, and stitching. She structures her creative process with visual fragments and themes that she collects in her daily life, travels, and relationships. Primarily self-taught in photography she has refined her skills through classes at the International Center of Photography in New York, where she was also an Assistant Teacher. Her work has been exhibited at private collectors and museums in Europe and in New York. She was an award-winning artist at FLUX Public Art Projects in May 2016

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Cheryl Wing-Zi Wong, Constellation - Seward Park, Manhattan

Constellation

Seward Park, Manhattan

Constellation is a human-scale architectural sculpture, performance, and panel series that seeks to activate the underused plaza in Seward Park as a transformative community public space. The site-specific sculptural pavilion will be composed of interlocked wooden modules. The modules will be re-arranged and transformed seasonally in three different configurations over the course of the exhibition.  Each configuration will provide a new topography for seating, snacking, gathering and socializing. These forms will explore how the architecture of shared space can impact our urban conversations.

To inaugurate each new configuration, Constellation will also be activated periodically by curated civic conversations, panel and community discussions and workshops focusing on urban issues in NYC: transportation, urban development and shared futures based on food, culture, and diversity.

ARTIST BIO:

Cheryl Wing-Zi Wong

Cheryl Wing-Zi Wong is an artist working at the intersection of art, architecture and performance. She received her B.A. in Art and Italian at the U.C. Berkeley, studied sculpture at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera (Milan, Italy) and earned her Masters in Architecture from Columbia University GSAPP. She is a co-founding partner of spatial design practice Studio C+C. Wong has taught architectural design at various universities in Asia and currently teaches at Parsons - The New School of Design.

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Sam Holleran, Patrick Rowe, and Mobile Print Power - Flushing Meadow Corona Park, Queens

Mobile Print Power

Flushing Meadow Corona Park, Queens

This sculptural project comes from over two years of community-led participatory art and placemaking with residents living around Flushing Meadows Corona Park. For this project, Holleran, Rowe, and Mobile Print Power members will create a series of illuminated sculptures inspired by the luminaires of the 1964/65 World’s Fair. Their forms will be reimagined as illuminated sculptures that use solar lights to guide parkgoers from the surrounding streets. To achieve this, each illuminated face of the luminaires will include a graphic image created by a community member that symbolizes a specific place or potential experience within the park.

To create the graphic images for the luminaires, Mobile Print Power will facilitate two multilingual drawing and silkscreen printmaking sessions, one in Corona at 111 St., and the other near the park’s Avery Avenue entrance in Flushing. The project will also build on wayfinding suggestions that came out of The World's Park, a project of the Design Trust for Public Space in partnership with the Queens Museum and NYC Parks. Through this collaborative process, the luminaire sculptures will reflect the unique vernacular aesthetics of the World’s Fair, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, and the neighboring communities.

ARTIST BIO:

Sam Holleran, Patrick Rowe

Sam Holleran is an artist, writer, and educator working at the intersection of visual art, graphic design, and civic engagement. He has worked extensively in the field of design for social change and participatory design—particularly around parks and other public spaces. Patrick Rowe is an interdisciplinary artist and educator based in New York City. Through long-term community based art projects, he co-create spaces for collaboration, active participation, and the exchange of cultural knowledge. Mobile Print Power is a multi-generational collective based out of IMI Corona, in Queens, NY, that uses silkscreen printmaking and participatory design in public space to engage communities and explore social and cultural situations.

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Risa Puno, Common Ground - Rufus King Park, Queens

Common Ground

Rufus King Park, Queens

Common Ground is inspired by the ideals of Rufus King and his family. One of the founding fathers of the United States, Rufus King was a signer of the Constitution, one of the first senators of New York, and a strong opponent of slavery. Risa Puno will give this neighborhood a sculpture that is not only a symbol for unity, but will literally bring people closer together through collective experience. Common Ground will provide a comfortable place for collaborative discussions, community potluck picnics, relaxing, lounging, and playing.

Consisting of a grid of interconnected picnic tables with tiled mosaic surfaces, Common Ground's configuration requires visitors to share benches and tables. Jamaica is home to a unique mix of cultures. In the spirit of pluralism, each table and bench top will have a different mosaic design adapted from several sources, such as the traditional motifs of local communities, American quilting blocks, and the floor patterns in the adjacent King Manor Museum. The resulting patchwork aesthetic represents harmony within diversity and the importance of hearing all voices equally.

Photos by Justin Hoch

ARTIST BIO:

Risa Puno

Risa Puno is an NYC-based interactive sculpture and installation artist. She has exhibited at national and international venues, including: The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Socrates Sculpture Park, El Museo del Barrio, SculptureCenter, Brooklyn Museum, NURTUREart, Flux Factory, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, Queens Museum of Art, SPACES in Cleveland, OH, Galerie Stefan Röpke in Cologne, Germany, and MMX Open Art Venue in Berlin, Germany. She has participated in residencies with Franconia Sculpture Park and Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts. She recently completed commissions for the NYC Department of Transportation and Figment NYC. She grew up in Louisville, Kentucky. She studied art and medicine at Brown University, and earned her MFA from New York University.

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Blythe Cain, Circadia - Fort Greene Park, Brooklyn

Circadia

Fort Greene Park, Brooklyn

Blythe Cain’s Circadia is a circular, ring-like structure made from wood, stone, and glowing phosphoric-luminescent tiles. The sculpture’s undulating form and use of phosphorescent tiles highlights the physical transformation found in natural circadian frequencies. The interactive sculpture forms a large circular seating system that mirrors rolling hills or waves. Circadia mimics the existing cobblestone landscape, adding a refined three-dimensional foundation.

Ft. Greene Park’s historic landmark, the Prison Ship Martyr’s Monument, marks the site of a crypt for more than 11,500 men and women American prisoners from the Revolutionary War. Concepts of life and death cycles inspired the shaped niches located in the crests of the sculpture, mirroring respectful and transformative resting places. The history of the park and its rolling hills all combine to form the heterotopic place, Circadia.

ARTIST BIO:

Blythe Cain

Blythe Cain is an American artist that lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. She graduated from Parsons School of Design in 2005. Blythe is a long time New Yorker. She also spends a good deal of her studio time in a family run wood shop in Vermont. She has another studio space in Bushwick, Brooklyn and also works out of a member-based wood shop called Supersmith in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Woodworking and specialized fabrication and design techniques are a large part of Blythe's artistic practice and background. Social constructs, earthworks concepts, and Utopic and Heterotopic theories by the philosopher Michel Foucault are also strong elements that circulate in her work. Currently, she is working with Philadelphia based mural artist Shira Walinsky, the co-founder of Southeast by Southeast, helping refugees and immigrant families build artistic skills. She is also working on developing a series of paintings and site-specific interactive earthworks in the United States.

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Musa Hixson, The Conversation Sculpture - Herbert Von King Park, Brooklyn

The Conversation Sculpture

Herbert Von King Park, Brooklyn

Having lived and practiced community work in the surrounding neighborhood, Musa Hixson has become familiar with how people use Herbert Von King Park. Kids play and people exercise, meet to talk, and walk their dogs. It is important to Hixson that his work not just be in the park but of the park. He has designed a piece that can be used for public seating and as a site for thoughtful dialogue. Several stools are enclosed within a flower-shaped frame, which provides a space for intimate conversation in the public park.

Hixson, founder of the non-profit Brooklyn Art Incubator, has coordinated pop-up art classes in city parks, and this exhibition will be supplemented with expanded programs, providing programming while the park’s Cultural Center is closed for renovation.

ARTIST BIO:

Musa Hixson

Musa Hixson, born in Cleveland, Ohio, has spent most of his life in Brooklyn, NY. He earned an MFA in Sculpture at Pratt Institute (Brooklyn, New York) in 1998 and a BA in Comprehensive Art from Hampton University (Hampton, Virginia) in 1995. Hixson was selected as artist-in-residence at Wave Hill, Winter Workspace (Bronx, New York) in 2015; at The 3-D foundation (Verbier Switzerland) in 2011; Obama City Art Residency (Obama, Japan) in 2010; Vermont Studio Center (Johnson, Vermont) in 2006; and Virginia Center for Creative Arts (Amherst, Virginia) in 2005. In 2010 he was selected for the Aichi Triennale in Aichi, Japan. He is also a 2007 Oxford Round Table Fellow (University of Oxford, England). Hixson is also the founder of the non-profit Brooklyn Art Incubator.

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Lina Montoya, Mariposas Lamps - Faber Park, Staten Island

Mariposas Lamps

Faber Park, Staten Island

Lina Montoya’s Mariposas Lamps promise to bring illumination to all park visitors. The inspiration for this piece came from Cien Años de Soledad, a book by Colombian Nobel Prize winner Gabriel García Márquez. The illuminated sculptures pays tribute to the freedom of the human existence. The installation also redefines the monarch butterfly as an icon of migration and refers to utopias, dreams, ideals and aspirations that inhabit the collective minds of immigrant communities. This work will be part of Montoya’s series called La Isla Bonita (The Beautiful Island), a beautification project that seeks to transform public spaces through public art and community engagement.

ARTIST BIO:

Lina Montoya

Lina Montoya is a Staten Island-based immigrant artist, graphic designer and muralist. Born and raised in Medellin, Colombia, she founded the “Ele Eme Project” before she left Colombia and came to New York City in 2010. The project explores different cultures and languages through visual art, and community participation. Each one of her pieces has at least one song or book that supports the idea and inspires the work, either through lyrics (typographical designs) or visual representations. Montoya has two ongoing series of public art: La Isla Bonita as a tribute to Staten Island and New York City’s beauty and diversity; and MusiCalls that intends to beautify at least one place in each country of the Americas (North, South and Central). In 2015 Lina founded La Isla Bonita Festival, a cultural happening that celebrates cultural diversity on Staten Island, NY.

Fitzhugh Karol, Eyes - Tappen Park, Staten Island

Eyes

Tappen Park, Staten Island

Fitzhugh Karol’s sculpture for Tappen Park is a combination of colored steel forms that invites viewers to interact within and around its arching footprint. The intersecting shapes are derived from the simple silhouettes of hillsides and stairs. This sculpture draws further inspiration from the local freighters and tankers that populate New York harbor just a few blocks down the hill from Tappen Park. The integrated swing provides an experience, particularly for children, to engage with the work in a way that most sculpture does not allow, bringing this sculpture to the community level in a fundamental way.

The monumental steel composition allows the viewer to experience both the joy and wonder of its form and freedom that play provides. At the same time park-goers will experience the power and pulse of the steel planes that tower above them, providing an experience that appeals to the most basic of senses.

Video courtesy of @spintheverb

ARTIST BIO:

Fitzhugh Karol

Fitzhugh Baylies Karol was born in Lebanon, New Hampshire in 1982. He graduated from Skidmore College in 2004 with a B.S. in Studio Art. Fitzhugh received an M.F.A in Ceramic Sculpture from Rhode Island School of Design in 2007. Moving to Brooklyn thereafter he has worked as an exhibiting sculptor and designer, integrating sculpture within landscape and architecture, as well as designing furniture, jewelry and architectural spaces. Fitzhugh’s large outdoor sculptures have been exhibited at the Bartow-Pell Museum, Socrates Sculpture Park, The LongHouse Reserve, Rochester Contemporary Arts Center, and The Aidron Duckworth Museum. Prior to the UNIQLO Park Expressions Grant, Fitzhugh was awarded the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Process Space Residency, The Edward Albee Foundation Fellowship, Wassaic Project Residency and the Socrates Sculpture Park’s Emerging Artist Fellowship. Fitzhugh maintains a studio in Red Hook and lives in Brooklyn, NY.

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