Dazzling department store holiday windows and twinkling Christmas trees aren't the only awesome outdoor sites in NYC this holiday season. As always in our culture-filled city, there are a bunch of stunning public art installations on display in parks and plazas. We've rounded up four that we think kids will really dig, including the awesome LED sculpture BUCKYBALL, which offers colorful light shows in Madison Square Park.
BUCKYBALL – Flatiron
Madison Square Park, 23rd Street between Fifth and Madison Avenues
On view through Friday, February 1, 2013
Earlier this year, we posted about Hive, Leo Villareal's permanent LED installation on the ceiling of the uptown 6 Bleecker Street subway station. His new work, BUCKYBALL, is even more spectacular! The massive, 30-foot, geometric LED sculpture lights up in a series of colorful sequences that seem to chase each other and invite viewers to try to identify patterns (good luck with that—it's all random). My son sat on the zero-gravity couches that surround the piece, mesmerized by its pulsating rhythms during our day trip and I went back at night to see how it looked in the dark. And as you can see from the video below, it's pretty awesome!
G2V – Midtown East
Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza, 47th Street between First and Second Avenues
On view through April, 2013
My son was intrigued by Jonathan Prince's flat circular sculpture that plays with surface textures and line. Although he doesn't understand the artist's "exploration of the principal theme of the 'uninterrupted' iconographic form" (not sure I do, either), he found the "giant doughnut in the park" fun to look at and ponder.
Saint Clair Cemin on Broadway – Upper West Side
Broadway malls between 57th and 157th Streets
On view through January, 2013
The renowned Brazilian painter and sculptor's first NYC public art exhibit consists of seven huge abstract sculptures spread out over 100 blocks on Broadway. My son and I visited the shiny, reflective 40-foot Vortex on 57th Street and plan on checking out the rest over the holidays. To get the scoop on all seven pieces, you can download a map or use your cell phone to call for a free audio guide.
Fir Tree – Midtown East
Doris C. Freedman Plaza, 60th Street and Fifth Avenue
On view through Sunday, February 17, 2013
Polish artist Monika Sosnowska manipulated a spiral staircase to look like a fir tree. In this location at the southeastern edge of Central Park, the sculpture complements both the steel skyline of NYC and the nature-filled green space. I particularly liked the color palette, entirely black with a ribbon of red running through it.
Read about other cool public art displays at the Art in the Parks website.
Find more seasonal fun in our Holiday Guide and great gift ideas in our NYC Shopping Local Gift Guide.