Harlem Sculpture Gardens announces its first large-scale sculpture exhibition

The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Harlem Sculpture Gardens announces its first large-scale sculpture exhibition
Opening Day is May 2nd with an official walk led by Brooklyn-based artist Coby Kennedy and Deputy Borough President Keisha Sutton-James. The official walk begins inside Morningside Park at 111th Street, noon.

NEW YORK, NY.- Harlem Sculpture Gardens announced the launch of its debut art project, curated to foster joy and beauty within our local community. Harlem will host its first large-scale sculpture exhibition on May 02, 2024, and run through October 30, 2024. A plethora of local public parks will feature permanent and temporary sculpture installations.

Eight venues have been selected to serve as the featured sites for this public art exhibition, and includes the following locations:


Morning Side Park

Featuring sculptures by Margaret Roleke, Miguel Otero Fuentes, Jaleeca Yancy, Peter Miller, Zura Bushurishvili, the team of Carol Diamond and Ben LaRocco, and Reuben Sinha

St. Nicholas Park
Featuring sculptures by Luke Schumacher, the team of Felipe Jacome and Svetlana Onipko, Carole Eisner, Dianne Smith, the team of Dario Mohr and Cody Umans, Heather Williams

Jackie Robinson Park
Featuring sculptures by Zura Bushurishvili, Vera Tineo, ByeongDon Moon, Iliana Emilia Garcia, Kraig Blue, and Michael Poast

Montefiore Park
Sculpture by Sherwin Banfield

Historic Monuments Harriet Tubman Triangle
Sculpture by Alison Saar

Frederick Douglass Circle
Sculpture by the team of Gabriel Koren and Algernon Miller

Permanent Installations

Roosevelt Triangle - Harlem Hybrid

Sculpture by Richard Hunt

City College of New York Campus
Sculpture by Enrique Sebastian Carabajal, Fletcher Benton, and Chaim Gross

Harlem Sculpture Gardens is led by the West Harlem Art Fund and New York Artist Equity Association. They worked collaboratively with the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation, local community boards and neighborhood groups.

“Harlem Sculpture Gardens will be an incredible celebration of Harlem’s rich history of sculpture, local artists of colors, and neighborhood parks, all while making art more accessible,” said Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine. “I’m confident that this expansive, multimedia initiative will ignite Manhattanites’ passion for art and a commitment to stewarding Harlem’s parks. I can’t wait to visit the Gardens next spring and experience what the artists have created.”

The team will also partner with the online app STQRY (formerly OnCell) to realize online tours and sound walks. STQRY is a storytelling platform that helps visitors explore further, engage deeper, and discover more. Users can choose from a range of amazing features to create location-based tours, virtual tours, mobile, and web apps, audio guides, games, and online collections.

Opening Day is May 2nd with an official walk led by Brooklyn-based artist Coby Kennedy and Deputy Borough President Keisha Sutton-James. The official walk begins inside Morningside Park at 111th Street, noon.

Coby Kennedy is known for his powerful depictions of life in America that focus on challenging cultural realities. Born in 1977, his work upends popular stereotypes and archetypical imagery in service of a bold, speculative, Afrofuturist vision.

Keisha Sutton-James is President under Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine, where she is focusing on community affairs, constituent services, appointments, public safety, and criminal justice. Prior to serving in the Levine administration, Keisha served as campaign manager for Alvin Bragg for Manhattan District Attorney. In his successful and historic run, Bragg became the first Black District Attorney for New York County in 2022. The founder of Sutton Button Productions, Keisha served a consultant who works with clients in the political, media, activist, and corporate diversity spaces, working with clients ranging from the National Action Network, to BET, to the Council of Urban Professionals. Prior to starting her consulting business, Keisha served as Vice President of Inner City Broadcasting Corp. and ICBC Broadcast Holdings, where she built the company’s digital platform and led the latter company through an arduous bankruptcy proceeding. She has served on several nonprofit boards, including as chair of the Alliance for Women in Media and a member of the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce and the Harlem Community Development Corp. Keisha resides in her hometown of Harlem with her husband, Michael, and daughters, Nola and Shelby.

Artists of color from Harlem and neighboring areas submitted proposals as individuals or teams in an open call this past June for public art, dance and sound art. With the assistance of an established Advisory Committee comprised of key art professionals, final recommendations were made to the City this past fall.

According to Savona Bailey-McClain, Executive Director, West Harlem Art Fund “ Harlem has had many great sculptors who have lived here. From Charles Alston, Augusta Savage, Richmond Barthé to most recently Valerie Maynard who died in 2022. Harlem Sculpture Gardens helps to expand that tradition with new artists engaged in fresh thoughts and perspective.”

Michael Gormley, Executive Director of New York Artists Equity (NYAE) adds that, "since 1947 NYAE has supported the professional aspirations of emerging artists f rom underserved communities via exhibition opportunities, funding and education. NYAE’s public art practice, recently funded by NYSCA, expands upon this tradition of diversifying access to the arts by staging projects in the community for the community hence re-positioning art and uniting makers and viewers as inclusive and collaborating change agents for the greater good.

At the heart of Harlem Sculpture Gardens lies a park stewardship and mentorship component. Local groups learned how to care for trees and rejuvenate soil.
Partnership Development and Internship Liaison Yule Adams also shared “exalt elevates expectations of personal success for youth ages 15-19 who’ve been involved in the criminal justice system. We inspire youth at a critical crossroads to believe in their worth, from the first steps in contemplation through the journey to create lasting behavioral change. At exalt, we empower youth to see a future filled with hope – and we provide the road map to get there.”

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