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Get excited for these major new outdoor art exhibitions this summer

It stands to reason that the first signs of the New York art world stirring back to life should take the form of new outdoor art installations since they easily allow for social distancing. Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City, for example, just announced a new slate of projects set to open in July and August. Now, the Public Art Fund is following suit by releasing details of its summer schedule.

PAF has left a couple of its commissions from earlier this year on view, including Farah Al Qasimi's series of photos installed at bus shelter around the city (up until June 14), and Jean-Marie Appriou's massive equine sculptures at the Doris C. Freedman Plaza in front of Central Park (through August 30). Also, a massive public art initiative announced in March for LaGuardia Airport's new Terminal B remains on track for a late 2020 debut. But in the meantime, new exhibitions are on tap for two locations: City Hall Park and Brooklyn Bridge Park's Pier 1.

The former is a major career survey of African-American sculptor Melvin Edwards. At 83, Edwards has spent 60 years creating powerful objects that explore race, labor, violence and the African Diaspora. Called "Brighter Days," the show will consist of five large scale sculptures created between 1970 and 1996, as well as a new piece conceived for the show.

New York, Public Art Fund, Socrates Sculpture Park, Long Island City, Farah Al Qasimi, Jean-Marie Appriou, Central Park, LaGuardia Airport, City Hall Park, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Melvin Edwards, Davina Semo


Photograph: Courtesy Alexander Gray Associates, New York, Stephen Friedman Gallery, London, © Melvin Edwards/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Over in Brooklyn, Davina Semo will be installing five, four-foot tall bronze bells mounted within towering support structures. Each will be suspended by a chain that will allow you to ring them to produce differently pitch sounds.

New York, Public Art Fund, Socrates Sculpture Park, Long Island City, Farah Al Qasimi, Jean-Marie Appriou, Central Park, LaGuardia Airport, City Hall Park, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Melvin Edwards, Davina Semo


Photograph: Courtesy of Public Art Fund, NY

While opening dates for both projects are yet to be determined, they should provide a welcome diversion for New Yorkers as they emerge from months of quarantine.

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