A guide to free art around New York City

The city is its own art gallery.

The streets and parks are full of both permanent and temporary art and sculptures, from The Public Art Fund across Manhattan to Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City and points in between.

We've created a guide of some of the best temporary artworks, forthcoming installations and where you can see them across the five boroughs.

Crown Colony (through Oct. 23)

Artist Carol Salmanson has used her light designing craft to create a "neoclassical ornamentation" inspired by designs from the early 20th century by using sheets of transparent film in a wide variety of colors. She references the architectural details from atop 266 West 37th St. (where the installation is located) and its surrounding buildings, using columns, friezes, and cornices to structure her design.

New Bush Terminal mural by Angel Garcia

The NYCEDC, Groundswell and artist Angel Garcia are unveiled a new community mural painted by residents of Sunset Park on Sept. 7. The 188-foot by 15-foot mural, designed by Garcia, depicts themes of a working industrial waterfront, job access and waterfront access.

Take the bike path entrance off 50th Street and First Avenue

'Washington 20/20/20' by Kenseth Armstead (through October)

Union Square's George Washington statue is surrounded by a new public art piece by Kenseth Armstead that is part of his ongoing series called "Farther Land." The collection is meant to explore the African-America experience during the American Revolution and reflects on the true story of a slave who worked as a double agent, James Armistead Lafayette. Armstead was inspired by the frescos found in the homes of the Kassena people in Burkina Faso. "20/20/20," which is made from a 2-ton iron steel frame, references the 20 percent of the colonial population who were enslaved Africans; the 20,000 slaves in New York State in 1776 when Washington retreated from New York City; and the 20 percent of Washington's continental army that was African at Yorktown, Virginia, where he was finally able to defeat the British in 1781.

Union Square (south end near 14th Street )


Marshmello mural by Gemma Gené

Artist Gemma Gené and the EDM festival Electric Zoo unveiled a new mural on the Lower East Side for artist Marshmello, one of the headliners for the show, on Aug. 31.

323 Broome St. (near Chrystie Street)

Street Artists of The World Trade Center

This isn't 5 Pointz, this is lower Manhattan. Nearly 50 artists from New York City have colored the walls outside 2 and 3 WTC and the Oculus with their vibrant work as part of a project kicked off by Silverstein Properties and the Port Authority. Artists include Ben Angotti, JC Carr, Chris Chillemi, Thomas Dowling, Todd Gray, Stickymonger, Dylon Thomas Burns, Jeremy Gooden, Aj Lavilla, Savior Elmundo and Dragon. (From left: Chinòn Maria, Lynne Yun, Stickymonger and another Chinòn Maria)

3 World Trade Center (175 Greenwich St.)

'The Many Faces and Personalities of New York' by Victor Garcia

Pop artist Victor Garcia painted Harlem's essence on the facade of the East River Plaza garage, using faces, symbols and sayings that come from the community and from the city as a whole. The mural is the first of an art series to be featured at East River Plaza.

East River Plaza in Harlem (520 E 117th St.)

'Kitchen Trees' by B. Wurtz (through Dec. 7)

Check out five large and whimsical tree-like sculptures by New York-based artist B. Wurtz. The group of structures is made with found kitchen items that form "trunks" and cascading "branches" with vibrant hanging plastic fruits and vegetables.

City Hall Park (Broadway & Chambers Street in Lower Manhattan)

Michael Jackson mural

A five-story mural of Michael Jackson painted by the Brazilian artist Eduardo Kobra popped up on the side of an East 11th Street building at the beginning of August. The right half of the mural is of Jackson as a young boy, the left side is him as an adult with each face colored by a rainbow of diamonds. The artist, who grew up poor in São Paulo, has painted more than 500 murals in Brazil and 17 other countries.

Lower East Side at 11th Street and First Avenue

'ON CANAL: A District for New Ideas'

For one year, 20 otherwise empty storefronts on Canal Street, between West Broadway and Broadway, will host experiential art and kinetic installations, including virtual reality and LED "video paintings," which will change monthly. ("New Talismans + MND//BDY" at 325 Canal St. is pictured.) The works, curated by Wallplay (a platform that creates programs for previously vacant retail spaces) and Vibes Studios, will cover a range of topics and genres from fashion to wellness, as well as music, dance and even cryptocurrencies and alternative uses of blockchain.

'Mom-and-pops of the L.E.S.'

This replica of a Lower East Side shop is made of wood with near life-size photographs of real shops that are no longer in business. You'll see a bodega, a coffee shop/luncheonette, a vintage store and a newsstand. The artists, Karla and James Murray, want viewers to recognize the unique and irreplaceable contributions to the city by small, family-owned businesses.

Seward Park (Canal Street, Essex Street, Jefferson Street and East Broadway)

Massive balloons by Geronimo

Artist Geronimo has a new balloon installation at South Street Seaport under the Manhattan Bridge. The giant, colorful balloons are made from recyclables and will be up through the end of the summer. Her balloons have been seen around the city before, including at Lincoln Center.

Pier 17 (89 South St.)

'Armors' (through Sept. 13)

Head to The Cloisters, where you'll find a new installation by Icelandic sculptor Steinunn Thorarinsdottir featuring three androgynous, humanlike figures created from a custom 3D scan of a suit of armor from the Metropolitan Museum of Art's permanent collection.

Cloisters Lawn, Fort Tryon Park, Manhattan

'Saecula Saeculorum'

A new steel plinth and sculpture was unveiled on Roosevelt Island's art trail -- a new project aimed at making Roosevelt Island an art island. The 6-foot-tall carbon-steel column, inspired by the Fourth Plinth in London's Trafalgar Square, currently holds a piece by Long Island City artist Michael Poast, "Saecula Saeculorum," which means "Without End" in Latin. Over time, it will transform from its light color to a deep maroon, according to Poast.

Good Shepherd Plaza, Roosevelt Island (543 Main St.)


A huge statue of a Dalmatian the height of a three-story building is now balancing a real taxi cab on its nose in front of what will be NYU Langone's new Hassenfeld Children's Hospital. At 38 feet tall, "Spot," a female puppy, was constructed with fiberglass and steel beams by artist Donald Lipski.

NYU Langone Helen L. and Martin S. Kimmel Pavilion at 34th Street and First Avenue.

Coney Island 'Art Walls' (through the end of summer)

The work of dozens of street artists, including Aiko, Chris Stain, Crash + Tats Cru, D*Face and Icy & Sot, color the walls on Stillwell Avenue in Coney Island. The artists were selected by nationally renowned curator Jeffrey Deitch and Joseph Sitt, the president and CEO of Thor Equities, which is presenting the "outdoor museum." The murals will be accompanied by "Magic Carousel Sundays," weekly live DJ sets and more.

3050 Stillwell Ave., Coney Island

'50 New York Covers' (through October)

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of New York magazine, 50 renowned artists, including Yoko Ono, Kerry James Marshall (art pictured at the Port Authority Bus Terminal), Alex Katz, Marilyn Minter, Will Cotton and more, have created their own New York covers that will be plastered in 25 locations across the city through this fall. Look for them at Smorgasburg and the High Line. Other locations will be announced on Twitter. There will also be a yearlong celebration of special events in music, comedy, film and food that will be announced throughout the year.

Banksy mural

Banksy unveiled a new mural that protests the imprisonment of Zehra Dogan, a Turkish artist and journalist. Dogan was sentenced to nearly 3 years in prison in March 2017 after she published a painting of a Turkish city that was damaged in 2015 by fighting between the Turkish army and Kurdish militants. Banksy's 70-foot-long mural has black hash marks for every day Dogan has spent in prison and a rendering of Dogan behind a prison cell, holding one of the bars that is also a pencil.

The corner of Houston Street and Bowery

'I Lift My Lamp Beside the Golden Door' (through March 2019)

Three colorful Statues of Liberty stand as a symbol of the openness of New York City and the United States to those who are seeking freedom or asylum. The colorful statues, by artist Dorothy Iannone, are inspired by Emma Lazarus' poem, "The New Colossus."

The Highline (at 22nd Street)

'Large Pumpkin'

A large, carved bronze pumpkin, created in 2014 by Yayoi Kusama, sits outside Sky, a luxury high-rise building. Another smaller pumpkin, made of fiberglass-reinforced plastic and urethane paint, sits on the building's fitness entrance side of the building. It also has two "Infinity Net" paintings in the lobby. Kusama has created several of these paintings, which depict minutely drawn nets across monochromatic backgrounds. The works will be there indefinitely.

Sky (605 W. 42nd St.)

'Wind Sculpture (SG) I' (through Oct. 14)

This 23-foot-tall sculpture, which looks like an untethered sail of a ship, is hand-painted in a pattern of turquoise, red and orange. The artist, Yinka Shonibare MBE, was inspired by the beaches of his childhood in Lagos, Nigeria, and by Dutch wax batik print from Africa. The piece is supposed to make you reflect on the movement of people and ideas across borders.

Doris C. Freedman Plaza in Central Park (60th Street and Fifth Avenue)

'Absent Monuments' (opens in June)

These mirrored obelisks by Rose DeSiano reflect the viewer, making them become part of the history (colonization, war, abolitionism, immigration and rural urbanization) of Jamaica, Queens. The obelisks' stone plinths have blue and white Dutch Delft photographic tiles that show the history of the park and are surrounded by floral tiles inspired by Native American patterns.

Rufus King Park (150-29 Jamaica Ave.)

'Islands of the Unisphere' (opens in June)

Taking the shapes of islands on the Unisphere at Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Zaq Landsberg will form a "global archipelago" on the green leading up to the globe. They'll be used as seating, stages and meeting places -- with the purpose of reflecting the diversity of Queens.

Flushing Meadows Corona Park (Grand Central Parkway to Van Wyck Expressway, between Roosevelt Avenue and Robinson Parkway)

Adorn Me (opens in June)

Artist Tanda Francis wants her sculpture in Fort Greene Park to provide a healing message in light of recent debates over city monuments by showing the powerful force of beauty and cultural relevance in African sculpture.

Fort Greene Park (Myrtle and DeKalb avenues, between Washington Park and St. Edward's Street)

'Sunrise, Sunset (Revolution)' (through summer)

This temporary public art installation by Autumn Ewalt and Dharmesh Patel is an interactive sculpture that consists of 27 aluminum panels embedded with 9,000 crystal prisms that are activated by natural light.

Pier A Plaza, (22 Battery Place)

'I’m So Happy You’re Here' (opens in June)

Patterned like a traditional parquet floor for the wealthy, this installation re-contextualizes the panels in a public mural. Doing this is supposed to challenge the ideas of "value," "accessibility" "destination" and "origin," according to the artist, Cara Lynch.

Virginia Park (White Plains Road, between Cross Bronx Expressway and Westchester Avenue)

'50 New York Covers' (through October)

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of New York magazine, 50 renowned artists, including Yoko Ono, Kerry James Marshall (art pictured at the Port Authority Bus Terminal), Alex Katz, Marilyn Minter, Will Cotton and more, have created their own New York covers that will be plastered in 25 locations across the city through this fall. Look for them at Smorgasburg and the High Line. Other locations will be announced on Twitter. There will also be a yearlong celebration of special events in music, comedy, film and food that will be announced throughout the year.

Chihuly's 'Rose Crystal Tower' (ends Oct. 5)

Renowned artist Dale Chihuhly has erected a "Rose Crystal Tower" that stands 31 feet tall. The pink rock candy stick-like sculpture is made up of "polyvitro" crystals, a type of polymer and steel.

Park Avenue and 14th Street