A funhouse won’t be the only immersive experience at Playland Park this summer. Public art is coming to the Park. A list of ten finalists was recently announced for a temporary interactive art installation on the boardwalk of Rye Beach at Playland Park. The art, which has yet to be announced, will fill up a storefront space of the north bathhouse. The art is being installed in a space that has been unoccupied for a decade.
The call for proposals by ArtsWestchester, Westchester County and the Westchester Parks Foundation yielded 54 submissions by artists and arts groups from all corners of the Hudson Valley and greater New York City Metropolitan area.
Westchester County Executive George Latimer said: “I have long been committed to the arts. I know firsthand the transformative powers of the arts and that’s why it was so important to me to bring an art installation to Playland for the public to enjoy. Art on the boardwalk is a natural fit, and I’m thrilled that it is happening this season. I want to thank ArtsWestchester for working on this project for the County, and I want to thank the Westchester County Parks Foundation for financially supporting art on the beach.”
The Art on the Beach initiative is a pilot for a future series of creative interventions at the park. It aims to infuse more public art experiences into the Playland’s ever-growing list of attractions. Artists drew inspiration from many sources in their proposals for the 700+ square foot space that overlooks the Long Island Sound. Some were inspired by Playland’s historic Dragon Coaster, famously featured in Mariah Carey’s Fantasy video; others reminisced about the hand-carved horses on the Park’s carousel, currently under restoration after a 2017 fire; and some artists desired to raise awareness about plastic waste and environmental preservation with the use of recycled materials.
Designated as finalists for the commission were Natalya Aikens and Kate Dodd, Isabelle Garbani, Tatjana Kunst, Piero Manrique, Robotic Music/Kurt Coble, Ivy Naté, Elizabeth Newsomes and Michael Zelehowski, Shelley Parriott, Aga Ratajska/AGA WAGA, and Stephanie Wenzel. The winning work will be unveiled in early July.
A version of this article first appeared in the July-Aug issue of ArtsNews, ArtsWestchester’s monthly publication. ArtsNews is distributed throughout Westchester County. A digital copy is also available at artsw.org/artsnews.