FreeArt_ledeAlthough city dwellers typically head to the park to see green, a new, free art exhibit in Madison Square Park will have visitors seeing “Red, Yellow and Blue” as well.

New-York based, Israeli-American artist Orly Genger has put together an installation described as her “largest and most ambitious work to date.” “Red, Yellow and Blue” is a part of three of the park’s lawns, using 1.4 million feet of nautical rope that’s layered and strategically laid down, as well as being covered in the colors using 3,500 gallons of paint. It’s a striking sculpture exhibit that manages to seem natural in its surroundings.

The Madison Square Park Conservancy presents the art program, which goes through September 8th. Literature explains how Genger built the labor-intensive project by hand and on-site at the park saying the work, “explores the traditionally intimate and domestic activity of knitting to create large-scale, monolithic forms which consume the park’s lush landscape…”

IMG_2206From New York, it will be “re-imagined and reshaped” in Boston’s deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum starting in October.

Although kids can’t climb on the exhibit, the “Police Officer Moira Ann Smith Playground” offers plenty of traditional playground fare for them to climb, jump, push and pull on.

Check the park conservancy schedule for other free things for families, including free concerts (Suzanne Vega to Matt Wilson’s Family Jazz Band to name a few).

Just Outside the Park

While you’re visiting the park, you can take in the art within, and just outside the park perimeter, you can enjoy a view of New York’s landmark “Flatiron” building. If you’ve brought a picnic, you can sit in the green of the park, or alternatively in the shade of the umbrellas and café tables set up outside the park but just a block or so from this famous, “modern” skyscraper design.

IMG_2203Take a Spin

Only yards away is one of the new Citi-Bike stands, where you could pick-up/rent or drop off a bike. While not free, the prices are certainly reasonable for bike rentals in the city, and the bikes are currently brand new. Plenty of folks have already started taking advantage of this bike-sharing program, and so far, most that I’ve spoken to who have used it say it’s been a pleasure to use.

A Place to Eataly

Although certainly not free, if you didn’t have time to pack food, and can handle plenty of people, Eataly is also right across the street from the park on the West Side. Billed as “the largest Italian food and wine marketplace in the world,” you can cool down with some fresh-made gelato. The market boasts wonderful Italian fare from cheeses, to meats, pizza, to pastas, to desserts. There are more kinds of olive oil there from regions all over Italy—that you can turn a shopping trip into a mini-geography lesson for the kids. It’s an artful experience in its own right, with a manifesto geared to foodies (or anyone who likes Italian food generally), but be prepared to stand in line to check out with your goodies.