outdoor art in nyc

outdoor art nycOrganic Growth Pavilion (c) 2015 Melanie Rieders / Gothamist

With endless possibilities for viewing art in New York City’s galleries and iconic museums, the bustling city is a haven for art fiends of all kinds year-round. While there’s nothing wrong with checking out the artwork inside a museum, summer is the perfect time to be outdoors. Here are five installations “out in the wild” for adventure-seekers to see while the weather’s still warm.

FIGMENT City of Dreams ‘Billion Oyster’ and ‘Organic Growth’ Pavilions

tequila recipe feat image

Billion Oyster Pavilion (c) 2015 Anthony Collins

Governors Island

With all kinds of sculptures and artwork as well as historic buildings, Governors Island is an exciting place to explore each summer as it is, but now visitors can finally check out the two winners of FIGMENT NYC‘s 2015 City of Dreams Pavilion Competition. Each in their own way, Organic Growth Pavilion (top image) and Billion Oyster Pavilion (above) are meant to spark dialogue around temporary architecture and sustainability.


outdoor art nyc

Photo by Miguel de Guzman

Long Island City, Queens

Through September 7, MoMA PS1 visitors can check out the winning design of the 2015 Young Architects Program in the courtyard. Architect Andrés Jaque and the Office for Political Innovation’s pavilion/hanging garden is a giant water purifier—processing up to 3,000 gallons every four days. The COSMO installation will both cool off and educate Summer Warm Up series-goers about the lack of clean drinking water in many parts of the world.

Jeppe Hein’s ‘Please Touch the Art’

outdoor art nycBrooklyn Bridge Park

Do you appreciate a good scavenger hunt? Danish artist Jeppe Hein’s 18 playful art installations along the Brooklyn waterfront bring out the thrill of discovery in park visitors. Please Touch the Art’s interactive exhibits include “social” benches, rooms made of jetting water, and a dizzying mirror maze–all of which can (and should) be captured and shared with both friends and @PublicArtFund via Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #PleaseTouchTheArt.

Pierre Huyghe at The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Roof Garden Commission

Photography by Hyla Skopitz, The Photograph Studio, The Metropolitan Museum of Art 2015



The Met visitors can uncover a series of rooftop installations by French artist Pierre Huyghe along with the sweeping views of Central Park this summer. The unusual series of archaeological installations, such as a massive fish tank with lampreys and tadpole shrimp swimming around a boulder of lava and a Manhattan schist resting in the middle of the roof. While guests enjoy the martini bar, they can walk the perimeter to check out the rest of the Huyghe’s site-specific excavations unveiling a historic outlook of the museum’s architecture.

JR’s ‘Walking New York’

Photo illustration by JR for The New York Times

Street art in all five boroughs

In April, The New York Times Magazine released their “Walking New York” issue featuring a cover with an aerial photo of a giant Flatiron Plaza piece of a walking man created by French street artist JR. His work has previously been in Times Square, Fordham University, and inside abandoned hospitals on Ellis Island, and this time he’s worked with the media conglomerate to reveal 14 unique pieces–photographs of recent immigrants–around all five city boroughs to encourage people to walk all over the city to find them. Check out all 14 discovered by Untapped Cities, and share your own favorite NYC walks via the NYT’s special, interactive site.

Find more Art & Design features here.

Which outdoor art in NYC have you explored this summer?



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here