NYC Art Itinerary: Wave Hill

Relaxing after a hike in the woods and in the galleries at Wave Hill, Bronx, NY.

Relaxing after a hike in the woods and in the galleries at Wave Hill, Bronx, NY.

Today I visited Wave Hill, a public, NYC-owned garden and art center in the Bronx. It’s one more place checked off on my ongoing NYC Art Itinerary.

As soon as one enters, there’s a spectacular view of the cliffs of the Palisades across the Hudson River. The grounds are not insurmountably huge, but the landscaping is impeccable, and the trails, walks and greenhouses offer lots to explore. 

M and I got there early, and I highly recommend doing the same. We virtually had the place to ourselves for the first hour. It was a lovely change of pace to explore the gardens at our own unhurried pace. We encountered empty gazebos where we enjoyed the serenity to ourselves. Technically we weren’t even outside of the five boroughs, but it felt a universe away from the crowds.

We visited the Glyndor Gallery, which had an exhibition of works by artists in the Bronx Museum of Arts’ Artists in the Marketplace program. The work was all over the place, including abstract installations, brushy paintings, some technically capable and cool photography, sculpture, videos and video installations, and a metal assemblage wall work. The most captivating for me was Elisabeth Smolarz’ $100 project, a 13-channel video installation documenting her visits to every G8 +5 country and seeing how many people she could hire for $100 for one hour, and what they would do.

We also visited the Sunroom Gallery, which is reserved for emerging NYC artists’ solo projects. It’s a challenging space, with two walls of windows, and the remaining two walls made of brick and punctuated with many doors. There are also four skylights. My impression was that the original intended use of the space—to view the outdoors—still dominated the space; the meadow, woods, river, sunlight, and breeze beyond the windows seem to call for the viewer’s attention and pulls one towards a reflective mood.


at times wild, at times modest

Two kinds of optimism this week:

Wild optimism: the audacious, leap-of-faith kind, the decisions that chart a course for a lifetime or more.

I helped someone in their quest to become an adoptive parent. My projects are usually meaningful, but few are so directly involved in such dramatic life changes—the determination of  one child’s family, one hopeful mom’s child.

Modest optimism: tiny points of light, small things to be grateful for.

M and I rode bikes on the Palisades today. It was a short ride, nothing to brag about—except that over the past few months, my knee has been finicky, aggravated by exercise as well as routine movements like putting on shoes. Today’s ride gives me hope that I’m recovering. It is such a small success, hardly an achievement at all—still, I’m delighted.