Arts & Culture

NYC parks want your original artwork

Our Brokelyn rendering of what your art might look like in Fort Greene Park. Original via Flickr user jalbertgagnier
Our Brokelyn rendering of what your art might look like in Fort Greene Park. Original via Flickr user jalbertgagnier

Everyone’s busy telling you that New York’s 1% is stifling the creatives and so just everyone please stop moving to New York, but come on, it’s not so bad out here for artists. At least as far as creative opportunities are concerned. In the last two weeks alone, we told you about an offer to make paid art in Quebec and a chance to present new performance works in BK.

City organs are pretty fond of the artists, too. This past summer the MTA put out a call for subway station art — submissions still open! — and today, the Parks Department is asking you if you want $10,000 to make some original artwork that’ll live in one of the city’s public parks for a year. So, do you? wanna?

Before you answer that, we have a social responsibility to tell you that this is dirty #brands money. As with most opportunities that seem too good to be real, this grant is brought to you by Brands that Love NY, specifically Uniqlo. But at least they’re letting you design your original representation of local pride, instead of putting their own misguided tropes onto a t-shirt or something.   

Details about the exact location of each park and its art locations can be found here. There are 10 participating parks. In Brooklyn it’s Fort Greene Park and Herbert Von King Park in Bed-Stuy.

Emerging artists are encouraged to apply (!!) so you don’t have to have a stacked resumé in order to apply. That said, building a large-scale artwork for a city park is no small feat. There’s a lot of care, supervision and maintenance involved — not the least of which, we imagine, is cleaning off all the pigeon shit. Here’s what they say about it:

Grant recipients will be responsible for the installation and removal of the artwork, and cover fabrication, labor, supervision, insurance, and maintenance of the artwork throughout the exhibition. At the end of the grant term, the artist is responsible for returning the park to its original condition. NYC Parks will assist the awarded artists with logistics such as permitting and site specifications. The artists will be responsible for engineering documents if necessary.

You’ve got to attend an information session before you apply, anyway, so check out their schedule to see when the borough you’re interested in creating for is having their (free) orientation. The session on Brooklyn is on Tuesday, October 11 at 6:30pm at The Magnolia Tree Earth Center (677 Lafayette Ave.) in Bed-Stuy, just north of Herbert Von King park. Also, keep in mind that proposals should be site-specific and neighborhood-responsive:

Artists are strongly encouraged to visit the parks before submitting a proposal. Proposals will be judged according to artistic and creative merit, response to the surrounding community, and suitability to the site. Priority will be given to proposals that respond directly to the park and its neighborhood.

Submission guidelines here. Submissions will be accepted through November 13 at 11:59pm. Award recipients will be announced in January 2017, and then the artworks will be installed in the spring and summer.

Ready to apply? Submit a resumé, one-page artist statement, sculpture proposal and budget, references and samples of previous work to artandantiquities[at]

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