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Three sculptures in a snowy Madison Square Park. The sculptures are made of yellow and lilac tulle.
Photograph: By Hunter Canning / Courtesy of Madison Square Park Conservancy | Ana Marí a Hernando, To Let the Sky Know/Dejar que el cielo sepa ( 2024 )

This colorful new art exhibit is brightening up Madison Square Park

Argentinian artist Ana María Hernando wants us to feel hopeful this winter.

Ian Kumamoto
Written by
Ian Kumamoto

One less reason to be gloomy this winter: The free and vibrant Ana María Hernando exhibition at Madison Square Park, which features giant waterfall and cloud-like sculptures that'll make you feel like you’re in a tropical island somewhere in the Studio Ghibli universe. 

"To Let the Sky Know/Dejar que el cielo sepa," is hard to miss: Spread across three of Madison Square Park's lawns and hovering over the snow, the aim of Hernando's public project is to foster feelings of hope, growth, and fluidity — admittedly, three things that feel pretty hard to come by during our frigid winters. It's on view until March 17, 2024.

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Hernando, who now lives in Denver, grew up in her parents' textile plant in Buenos Aires. The small-gauge fabric netting she uses in her sculptures is an ode to her background and a nod to the use of textiles by women all across Latin America. The tulle is also a reference to the ways women are expected to cover up their bodies, especially as this fabric is often used in bridal veils, petticoats, and tutus. Through her colorful creations, Hernando subverts the idea that the feminine should also be demure. 

sculptures in a snowy park
Photograph: By Hunter Canning / Courtesy of Madison Square Park Conservancy | Ana Marí a Hernando, To Let the Sky Know/Dejar que el cielo sepa ( 2024 )

"I grew up surrounded by textiles, from my grandmothers and mother getting together in the afternoons to sew and crochet," says Hernando. "Because of the impact of the women in my family, and the recognition by working at the factory that together we can make something better, I am attracted to and admire the circles of women that have gathered through centuries to collaborate and work together."

As the wind blows through Madison Square Park, the lilac and yellow tulle moves with it. The flare of colors, Hernando explains, "will let the sky know that our longing for birds, flowers, and one another is always within us, and that this longing makes us stronger." 

An artist works with pink tulle for an exhibit.
Photograph: By Rashmi Gill / Courtesy of Madison Square Park Conservancy | Ana María Hernando installing To Let the Sky Know/Dejar que el cielo sepa at Madison Square Park

Along with the exhibition, the Madison Square Park Conservancy will also host a variety of tours, plus an embroidery workshop on February 7. You can learn more about their programming here.

This is the 20-year anniversary of the Conservancy's public art program, so there’s going to be plenty of other art on display by other artists, including Rose B. Simpson, María Magdalena Campos-Pons, and Nicole Eisenman.

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