Mad. Sq. Art

About Mad. Sq. Art and Madison Square Park Conservancy:

Mad. Sq. Art is the free, contemporary art program of Madison Square Park Conservancy. Since 2004, Mad. Sq. Art has commissioned and presented thirty premier installations in Madison Square Park by acclaimed artists ranging in practice and media. Mad. Sq. Art has exhibited works by artists including Bill Beirne, Jim Campbell, Richard Deacon, Mark di Suvero, Rachel Feinstein, Bill Fontana, Ernie Gehr, Orly Genger, Sandra Gibson & Luis Recoder, Antony Gormley, Jene Highstein, Tadashi Kawamata, Mel Kendrick, Sol LeWitt, Olia Lialina & Dragan Espenschied, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Charles Long, Iván Navarro, Jacco Olivier, Roxy Paine, Rachel Feinstein, Giuseppe Penone, Jaume Plensa, Shannon Plumb, Ursula von Rydingsvard, Alison Saar, Jessica Stockholder, Leo Villareal, and William Wegman.

Major support for Mad. Sq. Art is provided by The Charina Endowment Fund, Toby Devan Lewis, Pentagram Design, Sorgente Group of America, Thornton Tomasetti, Tiffany & Co., The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and Anonymous. Substantial support is provided by Irving Harris Foundation, The Sol LeWitt Fund for Artist Work, The Henry Luce Foundation, Danny and Audrey Meyer, Ronald A. Pizzuti, and The Rudin Family. Ace Hotel New York is the Official Hotel Partner of the Madison Square Park Conservancy.

Mad. Sq. Art is made possible in part by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Mad. Sq. Art is supported in part with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council. The Madison Square Park Conservancy is a public/private partnership with the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation.


Feb 19 - Apr 19

Mad. Sq. Art: Paula Hayes

FEBRUARY 19, 2015 – APRIL 19, 2015

Join artist Paula Hayes, Madison Square Park Conservancy, and art/technology organization Hyphen Hub for a free and public artist talk on Hayes’s Gazing Globes, 7:30pm Thursday, April 16. For more info and to RSVP, click here.

Gazing Globes, Paula Hayes’s first outdoor sculpture exhibition in New York City, is currently on view at the West Gravel area of the park until April 19, 2015.  The work features eighteen transparent polycarbonate spheres that hold the remnants of contemporary culture, including up-cycled radio parts, industrial materials, acrylic wands, and other pieces of vintage technology sprinkled with fairy dust made of pulverized CDs.

Brooke Kamin Rapaport, Martin Friedman Senior Curator, Madison Square Park Conservancy, said, “This is a breakthrough project in the trajectory of Paula Hayes’s work. She is using new materials and adding fresh content to her objects while retaining some of the form of her well-known plant terrariums. Mad. Sq. Art is confirming this period of stylistic polyphony in contemporary outdoor sculpture and Hayes uses the residue of technology for the contents of her gazing globes.”

Formed into beauteous objects, Hayes’s crystal balls positioned on elegant fiberglass pedestals summon the present and predict the future. Each see-through globe lit from within features a mixture of analog radio parts, castoff electronic transistor parts, glass vacuum tubes, micro glass beads, shredded rubber tires, and recycled plastic flotsam. To these mixed remnants of technology and culture the artist added crystals and minerals. A shimmering fairy dust was made from pulverized CDs and is layered within each sculpture’s interior. Hayes, who typically works with varieties of plant materials, determined that everyday castoffs are indicative of a society’s behavior and value system and symptomatic of the current landscape.

Artist Paula Hayes said, “I used vintage parts because technology moves at such a fast pace. These play a role in the current landscape and how information is transmitted from one part of the globe to the next. I made an illuminated landscape evocative of the designed landscape of Madison Square Park. Both are born of human imagination and technology.” The globes, says Hayes, give the park “an arctic feeling, a winter wonderland.”

Hayes’s exhibition is installed on the west gravel of Madison Square Park. The works, of varying height, form a forest of objects for viewers to walk around and through. The pedestal heights range from 24 to 47 inches and the globes are 16, 18, and 24 inches diameter.

Gazing globes are a decorative form first used in outdoor gardens in the Middle Ages. These orbs were made of hand-blown glass, and were considered to hold magical power and to foster good luck or ward off evil. Hayes conjures the mystical character of the historic object but makes the form fully contemporary as she creates work with present-day scrutiny and a nod to clairvoyance.

Read the early press for Gazing Globes: T MagazineThe Wall Street Journal

About the Artist:

Paula Hayes (born 1958 in Concord, Massachusetts) is an American visual artist and landscape designer who works with sculpture, drawing, installation art, botany, and landscape design. Hayes has lived and worked in New York City for over two decades and is known for her terrariums and other living artworks, as well as her large-scale public and private landscapes. A major theme in Hayes’s work is the connection of people to the natural environment, and much of her work is concerned with the care that is required to grow and maintain large- and small-scale ecosystems. Hayes’s work has been acquired for gardens, museums and galleries in the United States and internationally. Her work has been on view at The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Museum of Arts and Design, New York; Lever House, New York; and The Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, OH; Omi International Arts Center, Ghent, New York; and Wave Hill, New York. Hayes is represented by Salon 94, New York.


Join the conversation on Twitter and Instagram with Madison Square Park Conservancy (@MadSqParkNYC), Paula Hayes (Twitter @chlorotron; Instagram @paulahayesstudio), and via the hashtags #MadSqArt, #GazingGlobes, and #PaulaHayes.



Paula Hayes, Gazing Globes, 2015 (installation view in Madison Square Park, New York).
Polycarbonate spheres and mixed media, 3 feet to 6 feet high.
Courtesy the artist and Salon 94, New York. Photographs by Yasunori Matsui.

Upcoming Events

Jun 1, 2015

Mad. Sq. Art: Teresita Fernández