Harlem's first major outdoor sculpture exhibition is now on view

The artworks are free to visit all summer.

Rossilynne Skena Culgan
Things to Do Editor
A large rectangular artwork with a ballerina dancing.
Photograph: Courtesy of West Harlem Art Fund | Artwork by Felipe Jacome and Svetlana Onipko

Twenty-six sculptures have popped up across the neighborhood of Harlem, combining to create the community's first large-scale outdoor sculpture exhibition. 

The sculptures range from the abstract XOXO made of red steel tubes to the staggering "The Unbroken Project" in which an image of a ballet dancer is printed on bullet casings. The newly unveiled public artworks are on view and free to visit through October 30. 

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Several local parks and venues now house the art installations, which were "curated to foster joy and beauty within our local community," organizers say. To create the exhibition, local art leaders asked artists of color from Harlem and neighboring areas to submit proposals, then made selections from there. The newly selected temporary pieces join with long-time permanent works to create the wide-ranging sculpture garden that organizers say is the neighborhood's first large-scale sculpture exhibition.

"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," Savona Bailey-McClain, executive director of the West Harlem Art Fund said in a press release.

Red steel pipes form to make an abstract XOXO.
Photograph: Courtesy of West Harlem Art Fund | Artwork by Miguel Otero Fuentes

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 to make the debut project a reality.

In addition to installing the artwork, the Harlem Sculpture Gardens helped local groups learn how to care for trees and rejuvenate soil.

A deer sculpture with branches instead of antlers.
Photograph: Courtesy of West Harlem Art Fund | Artwork by ByeongDon Moon

Here's where to find the Harlem Sculpture Gardens installations

Morningside Park

  • "Stand Up" by Margaret Roleke, a colorful rectangular piece made with spent shotgun shells
  • "XOXO" by Miguel Otero Fuentes made of red curved steel tubes
  • "Perched and Knotted," an eight-foot-tall piece made of foraged tree stumps and twigs by Jaleeca Yancy
  • "Tetrahedral Antisphere" made of yellow, red, and orange aluminum by Peter Miller
  • "Man," a six-foot, 10-inch human figure from Zura Bushurishvili
  • "Playdate," a collection of abstract works made with wood, concrete, CDs and other household items by Carol Diamond and Ben LaRocco
  • "Dancing Spiral Figure," a hulking ceramic piece by Reuben Sinha

St. Nicholas Park

  • "Oblique" with a bronze half-moon and stick figure by Luke Schumacher
  • "The Unbroken Project" featuring an image of a ballerina printed onto bullet casings by Felipe Jacome and Svetlana Onipko
  • "Konnected," an abstract work of yellow steel by Carole Eisner
  • "Echoes of the Path" made of aluminum wire and wood by Dianne Smith
  • "Ancestral Annual," a nine-foot-tall wooden work by Dario Mohr and Cody Umans
  • "Celia," a classic bronze-and-steel bust by Heather Williams

Jackie Robinson Park

  • "Ram," an adorably lifelike foam creation by Zura Bushurishvili
  • "Gardening Angel," a paper clay and stoneware form of a human's legs by Vera Tineo
  • "I Have Been Dreaming of Being A Tree," a deer made of stainless steel wire with branches instead of antlers by ByeongDon Moon
  • "The Jungle," a collection of tall metal chairs by Iliana Emilia Garcia
  • "Asase: Let Us Heal," a large brushed aluminum symbol by Kraig Blue
  • "Wisdom," an abstract weathered steel piece from Michael Poast

Montefiore Park

  • "YEAA-a-a-a-a-ah!," a tribute to Kool DJ Red Alert, a bronze figure of DJ at a turntable, by Sherwin Banfield

Frederick Douglass Circle

  • "Frederick Douglass Monument and Circle," combining a bronze sculpture of the leader with a water feature by Gabriel Koren and Algernon Miller

Harriet Tubman Triangle

  • "Swing Low," a larger-than-life sculpture of Harriet Tubman by Alison Saar (permanent)

Roosevelt Triangle - Harlem Hybrid

  • "Harlem Hybrid," a massive 5,500-pound abstract bronze sculpture by Richard Hunt (permanent)

City College of New York Campus

  • "Cinta Sebastina," a 25-foot tall 3-D sculpture of a mobius strip by Enrique Sebastian Carabajal (permanent)
  • "Four Folder Square Alpahbets," colorful steel letters that spell out CCNY by Fletcher Benton (permanent)
  • "Happy Children," a circular bronze piece with children dancing by Chaim Gross (permanent)

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