Lecture Archives - Central Park

Giant Space Bubble Descends on Central Park

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Art in the Parks, Spacebuster, in partnership with the Storefront for Art & Architecture, is bringing its pop-up exhibition, New Icon-i-Cities, to Central Park on Saturday, October 21 from 11 am to 3 pm.

The exhibition will bring audiences inside Spacebuster, a van outfitted with an expanding inflatable bubble that houses up to 120 people. It is an extension of the Storefront’s current installation, Souvenirs: New New York Icons, which is comprised of original work by 59 artists to “represent and redefine the collective imagery for each of New York City’s 59 communities.”

According to a press release, New Icon-i-Cities aims to “bring together critical approaches to the shifting and complex iconography of the city.” By bringing this bubble to Central Park, participants will have the opportunity to attend a series of talks and a workshops in a unique space, inspiring visitors to perceive New York differently.

Spacebuster is all about allowing visitors to present their ideas on what constitutes an icon of the city today. Project creator, raumlaborberlin, wants New Yorkers to “produce their own iconography for their neighborhoods.”

Photo courtesy of Channel V Media

This event also combines ideas from We Like America, an experimental Spacebuster road trip that traveled America’s Rust Belt to transform public spaces into impromptu community zones.

This multifaceted collaboration comes together in celebration of Art in the Parks, an initiative by the New York City Parks Department that allows artists to transform the city’s public spaces through sculpture, music, theater, dance, and poetry. Over 2,000 works of art later, the initiative is now in its 50th year; its anniversary will be celebrated during the Parks Department’s program, “It’s Happening! Celebrating 50 Years of Public Art in NYC Parks.”

Join in on the festivities by exploring Spacebuster, which will be located at Central Park’s East Pinetum on East 84th Street from 11 am to 3 pm Saturday, October 21.

Central Park Escape

Central Park’s 843 acres represent 6% of the total surface of the island. It features a variety of terrains and vistas, ranging from the beautifully sculptured balustrades of Bethesda Terrace to the woodsy solitude of the Ramble. It offers each New Yorker, however much jaundiced and jaded, escape from the clamorous confines of the urban environment and insight into ourselves, not to mention the glimpse of the occasional raccoon.
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Urban Parks Lecture At The Arsenal

The Arsenal in Central Park

The Arsenal in Central Park

For many years, urban parks across the U.S. sank into decay and disuse. However, as cities have begun to rebound — and as evidence of the economic, cultural, and health benefits of parks grows — investment in these valuable facilities has swelled. Many new parks are being built in surprising places, like rooftops, old railyards, highway decks, covered reservoirs and widened stream valleys – and the leader in the movement is New York City. By serving duty as everything from community gardens to schoolyard parks to cemeteries-for-the-living to recreational retention ponds, the urban parks movement is transforming cities for residents, families, commuters and visitors alike.

Peter Harnik is director of the Center for City Park Excellence at the Trust for Public Land in Washington, D.C. He will read from and talk about his new book, Urban Green: Innovative Parks for Resurgent Cities, showing the newest ways that “all built out” cities can add much-needed parkland.

This lecture is being co-presented with the Department of Parks & Recreation’s Common Ground lecture series and will be followed by a reception in the Arsenal’s roof garden. Seating is limited, and RSVPs are required. Please email rsvp@parks.nyc.gov or call (212) 360-1324 to RSVP.


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