By Carlotta Mohamed
New public art installations at Captain Tilly Park in eastern Queens will inspire visitors to re-discover and engage with their communities in an active and meaningful way.
The New York City Health Department, in partnership with the Parks Department, announced on Dec. 18 installations of five public artworks at parks in Eastern Queens, the South Bronx, Central Brooklyn and East Harlem.
The Art in the Parks: Active Open Space initiative funds local community-based organizations to install large-scale public art installations to promote physical activity in neighborhoods with disproportionately high rates of chronic disease. The installations range from ground murals to interactive sculptures and were developed to reflect the cultures and history of each neighborhood.
The vibrant artworks at Captain Tilly Park, entitled The Park Fence Project, Peppermint in Pieces, and Park Delight — by local artists Yvonne Shortt, Mayuko Fujino, and Joel Esquite — will encourage residents to clean up and care for their neighborhood park.
Rego Park Green Alliance’s in-house artists held discussions with community members about what improvements would help residents feel healthier and safer in the park. As a result of the project, the alliance collaborated with local organizations to form a Friends of Captain Tilly Park group, which will encourage park beautification and healthy living.
“I’m delighted that we’re making investments in park beautification and art at Captain Tilly Park and at pros around the city,” said state Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Fresh Meadows). “Captain Tilly Park has been cherished by the residents of Eastern Queens for generations and I am glad that nearby elders, families, and kids will now be able to enjoy a wonderful art installation when they visit the park.”
The projects will be on display through September 2019, and were produced in partnership with the Fund for Public Health in New York City, and made possible with funding provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
City Council Member Barry Grodenchik (D-Fresh Meadows), chair of the New York City Council Committee on Parks and Recreation, said the Art in the Parks initiative is a fresh and creative way to boost residents’ mental and physical wellness with interactive large-scale murals and installations.
“The collaborative process in which the health department, the parks department, and local communities engaged has produced art that will promote physical activity and improve quality of life,” said Grodenchik.
Since its creation in 1967, the Parks Department’s public art program Art in the Parks has featured over 2,000 works of art in parks across the city.
Artworks were installed at Inwood Park and Concrete Plant Park in the South Bronx; Harlem Park Art in East Harlem; and Betsey Head Park in Central Brooklyn.
Reach reporter Carlotta Mohamed by e-mail at cmoha