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Roosevelt Island
Michael Alley with Allyson Lubow Photography

Roosevelt Island's annual pop-up pool party returns with a rainbow deck

The poolside space is a work of art.

Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner
Written by
Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner

It's finally time to take a dip in the city's most colorful pool! 

Manhattan Park's annual pop-up pool party is back at the luxury waterfront property on Roosevelt Island, and the ninth annual summer-long celebration is perhaps more unique than ever. 

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When the pool re-opens each year, a new outdoor transformation is revealed. This year’s is by local artist James Gortner, chosen for his artistic and colorful vision for this summer’s themes of the joy of existence and sustainability.

Gortner's art focuses on sustainability. He works with reclaimed paint harvested from various sources, a painterly gesture to raise awareness, and with the practical intent to reduce waste and demand for new paint production.

Roosevelt Island’s Manhattan Park Pool
Photograph: Michael Alley with Allyson Lubow Photography

The pool deck is all about intuitive bursts of color, with paint rolled, sprayed, thrown, mixed, scraped, sanded and brushed, with an occasional Nike AF1 footprint. Gortner completed his design in five days and reused about 60 gallons of paint.

"When I make a painting, one key point of inspiration besides sustainability is to make the painting as much a mosaic of ideas and forces as New York City itself is. It's awesome to me that the viewer could experience this work at the pool while seeing a panoramic view of this city," said Gortner. "Look at the changing nature of the sky and the river, look at the painting as a whole, and also zoom in on small marks and passages to find glimpses of past layers of transmuted mural paint inside the work. I hope people contemplate that beautiful, new things can be made Greener."

The Manhattan Park Pop-Up Pool Party and annual pool mural will remain open throughout the summer 2023 season. Access to the pool is available via monthly or seasonal membership. All summer club rates start at $550 for Roosevelt Island residents and $1100 for non-residents. Monthly membership is $400 for individuals, $550 for couples, and $750 for families. 

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