FX Excursions

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Top 5: Free Public Art in New York City

by Sage McHugh

Nov 26, 2014

Bushwick Collective, Brooklyn, New York © Zhukovsky | Dreamstime

North America

You can explore the streets of New York City and view incredible works of public art. What’s more, you can do it all for free. Here are a few places and art projects to check out.


The High Line

Once a defunct elevated train line running through Chelsea, The High Line is now a public park and home to many rotating and permanent art installations. Stroll along and take in sculptures, billboards and incredible city views.


Water Tank Project

Beginning in September, non-profit group Word Above the Street kicked off its Water Tank Project in order to raise awareness for water conservation. More than 100 water tanks on rooftops throughout New York City will be covered in canvases, decorated by artists and transformed into sky-high works of art.


Sculptures and Statues

There are a plethora of permanent sculptures throughout the city. Some of the most iconic sculptures in New York City include Lee Lawrie’s Atlas (Fifth Avenue at 50th Street), Robert Indiana’s LOVE sculpture (Sixth Avenue between 55th Street and 56th Street) and George Segal’s Commuters (Port Authority Bus Terminal). A perfect destination for public art, Central Park contains about 30 sculptures, including two of the city’s most cherished works: Alice in Wonderland by Jose de Creeft and John Lennon’s memorial in Strawberry Fields.


Murals and Street Art

Brooklyn is a mecca for street art, with blocks and blocks of murals by world-renowned artists. Check out DUMBO Walls and Bushwick Collective for large-scale murals. Welling Court in Queens is another prime area for murals. Some hot spots in Manhattan are Centre-Fuge Public Art Project and Houston Bowery Wall, both on the Lower East Side, as well as the Graffiti Wall of Fame in East Harlem. Keith Haring fans should visit the infamous Crack is Whack mural (2nd Avenue and 128th Street), also in East Harlem.


Subway Art

Great works of art can be found underground throughout the New York City subway system, including colorful mosaics and bronze sculptures. Metropolitan Transit Authority offers an app that provides information and directions to public artwork in the subway system.



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