The Summer Guide To Governors Island

Organic Growth by Izaskun Chinchilla Architects: a sculpture made of bicycle wheels and umbrellas at Governors Island.

Have you been to Governors Island yet this season? I missed the great Figment Participatory Art Festival for the first time in years earlier this month–June was been crazy full with fun parties and spectacles–but the good news for laggards like me is that several of the event's primary attractions remain in place all summer long. I took the afternoon boat from Manhattan's Maritime Building over to Governors Island last Thursday (remember: the island is open every day again this summer!) and while it felt a bit lonely, the adventure gave me a good opportunity to check out all of the new installations left behind by the Figment crew down there at the southern end of the park's magnificent Parade Ground.

Common Picnic by Risa Puno: a sculpture using square picnic tables at Governors Island.

Mini-Golf At Governors Island

As has been the case for at least five years now, there's a new mini-golf course, which is free to play (although they only have the equipment on hand on weekends, I think) and actually pretty challenging, with cleverly executed hazards and such. The big draw here for me, though is that each hole has been designed by a different artist, usually with a left-leaning and/or NYC theme. Also of note: the Figment TreeHouse, with its slide and swings, remains as the anchor for the area, though repainted with new, playful art.


City of Dreams Pavillion

The third component of Figment's summer-long installation is the sculpture garden, which includes two City of Dreams Pavilions this year, one of which, Organic Growth by Izaskun Chinchilla Architects, a structure made of bicycle wheels and brightly colored umbrellas (among many other things), is impossible to not photograph. Other notable additions this year is Risa Puno's Common Picnic, a forced socialization sort of situation using square picnic tables set impossibly close; Edina Tokodi's Fox, which is a portrait of that cute, sly creature created by the grass growing through a huge stencil; and Kevin Knigge Dart's extremely lumpy sofa, Mt. Marcy Couch. And if you like quiet, Governors Island on a weekday is definitely one is the most peaceful places in town.


For More Information on Governors Island

For more information on Figment's summer-long programs, see here. For the ferry schedule to Governors Island, both from Manhattan (every day) and Brooklyn (weekends only) see here.  

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