Kris Perry’s 35-Foot-Tall ‘Mother Earth’ Sculpture Will Be Installed at Rockaway Beach, Queens

Hudson-based contemporary artist Kris Perry’s monumental sculpture Mother Earth will install at Rockaway Beach (Queens) as part of the NYC Parks’ Art in the Parks program, which brings both experimental and traditional art to the public in locations throughout the five boroughs. Made of Corten steel, a material that will evolve with the seasons and site, the 35-foot-tall soaring sculpture will be on view for one year starting August 12, 2020.

“At a time when people are eager to escape the confines of their homes to enjoy the outdoors, I cannot imagine a more fitting location for Mother Earth than this popular stretch of Rockaway Beach. Where the land meets the water, there is an opportunity for deep contemplation,” said artist Kris Perry, a metal sculptor known for his large kinetic pieces and sound sculptures. “I primarily work with steel, which is composed almost entirely of the mineral iron. The duality of the material—of nature, but made by technology—seems like a fitting metaphor for a sculpture that encourages viewers to ponder their relationship to the natural world.”

Mother Earth draws on an array of architectural elements, from temples, mosques, and churches to the open columned spaces of Classical Greek buildings. The spire directs the viewer’s gaze skyward while its reflected shape points back down towards the Earth. Participants are encouraged to occupy the sculpture’s central space where one can look outward upon the landscape in a moment of introspection.

Visiting the Sculpture

Mother Earth is located at the Beach 98th Entrance to Rockaway Beach (Beach 98th St. and Shore Front Pkwy). From the Beach 98th St. Station on the IND Rockaway Line, served by the A train and Rockaway Park Shuttle, walk two blocks.

About Kris Perry

Born in Berkeley, CA, Kris Perry lives and works in Hudson, NY. Perry makes large-scale kinetic sculptures that cultivate an understanding of human experience by creating a visual language through form and gesture. He currently has works on view at the Hudson Public Library and the grounds of SoMo Village, Rohnert Park, CA.

In 2018, he collaborated with James Beard Award-winning chef Zak Pelaccio to create a series of sculptures that doubled as grills for the cooking festival Play with Fire. His much-heralded Machines (2012-13) combined industrial sound sculptures with live performance in collaboration with musicians Tommy Stinson, Elvis Perkins, Brian Dewan, and others.

A skilled metal fabricator, he has also worked with David Best on large-scale projects at Burning Man and public installations like Esperanza at a train station in Sacramento, CA.

He is the recipient of several grants and residencies including the Voigt Family Sculpture Foundation (2014), Free103Point9 Media Distribution Grant (2013), and Peter S. Reed Foundation Grant (2012). His works are held in a number of private collections. Perry attended California College of Art and studied under illustrator Charles Pyle.

About Art in the Parks

For over 50 years, NYC Parks’ Art in the Parks program has brought contemporary public artworks to the city’s parks, making New York City one of the world’s largest open-air galleries. The agency has consistently fostered the creation and installation of temporary public art in parks throughout the five boroughs.

Since 1967, NYC Parks has collaborated with arts organizations and artists to produce over 2,000 public artworks by 1,300 notable and emerging artists in over 200 parks. For more information about the program visit https://www.nycgovparks.org/art.

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