Delayed by the Pandemic, ‘Broadway Blooms’ Brings Outdoor Sculpture Back to the Broadway Malls

“A Chance’s Wish,” Broadway and 103rd Street.

Although the official launch is not until August 2nd, sculptor Jon Isherwood’s exhibition of eight carved marble flowers, placed on malls at the center of Broadway at major intersections from 64th to 157th Street, is already on view. And it looks just as Isherwood had imagined, he told WSR, in an email about how the exhibit, Broadway Blooms: Jon Isherwood on Broadway, came to be.

“I was invited by Anne Strauss, the art curator for the Broadway Mall Association, to consider the idea of exhibiting on upper Broadway. My art dealer William Morrison also encouraged me to consider the project…. So I took the train into the city and, coming out of the subway onto upper Broadway, I was immediately struck by the beauty of the central medians. The planting was spectacular and in full bloom. My immediate response was I should carve flowers to complement them.”

“The Earth Laughs,” Broadway and 64th Street, Dante Park.

The eight blossoms are carved out of seven kinds of marble. “I am grateful to the Italian quarries and companies that sponsored the project, and especially thankful to Broadway Mall Association for giving me the opportunity to explore the narratives and ideas that Broadway provokes,” Isherwood wrote to the Rag.

“Live in the Sunshine,” Broadway and 79th Street.

Broadway Blooms was organized by the Broadway Mall Association, in partnership with the NYC Parks Department’s Art in the Parks program, and Morrison Gallery in Kent, Connecticut, with the assistance of the Lincoln Square Business Improvement District. It is the 13th sculpture show presented by the Broadway Mall Association since 2005.

The bloom sculptures were supposed to be exhibited in 2020, but, “for more than one year the Covid pandemic delayed their transport from Isherwood’s studio in Italy,” a press release explained. “The delayed “bloom” of the eight marble sculptures now in the form of flowers celebrates the return to life of the city after a long and difficult winter and spring.”

“A Gift between Two,” Broadway and 72nd.

Here is a list of all the sculptures and their locations:

Bloom 1: “The Earth Laughs,” Broadway & 64th Street (Dante Park)
Bloom 2: “A Gift between Two,” Broadway & 72nd Street
Bloom 3: “Live in the Sunshine,” Broadway & 79th Street
Bloom 4: “Given and Received,” Broadway & 96th Street
Bloom 5: “A Chance’s Wish,” Broadway & 103rd Street
Bloom 6: “As Always Yours,” Broadway & 117th Street
Bloom 7: “After Giverny,” Broadway & 148th Street
Bloom 8: “The Gifting Angel,” Broadway & 157th Street (Ilka Tanya Payán Park).

Isherwood’s marble flower sculptures will grace the Broadway malls until Spring 2022.

Interview and photographs by Bobby Panza.

ART, NEWS, OUTDOORS | 13 comments | permalink
    1. Lisa says:

      These are gorgeous and also a little out-of-this-world. I love pop-up art 🙂

    2. Cliff Katz says:

      I believe that these sculptures are beautiful. Plus gives everyone something to look at differently.

    3. RDRR says:

      I wish they were on every block. The benches near my apartment are filled with the same group of guys blasting music and drinking all day. I will check these out though, look very cool

    4. Zahrah says:

      Absolutely love these sculptures! They are some off the best additions to the UWS.

    5. AnDee says:

      Who says we can’t have lovely surprises in NYC? Just wish they could be permanent.
      Thanks to all who made this possible!

    6. LesleyB says:

      Not 86th? We can’t have nice things too? Sad.

    7. Susan says:

      Lovely! A great addition to the neighborhood.

    8. Lianne says:

      Wonder-ful

    9. LivableCity says:

      I had to touch one to believe it was real marble! Amazing there are seven kinds. Transient public installations have been some of my favorite art in recent years, not just because of the pandemic.

    10. Andrea says:

      So happy to see (finally) who did these beautiful works of art. I had looked in vain for a name. Must try to see all of them in the show.