Skip to main content
Lawns Closed Today
  | Wet Conditions
Lawns Open    Lawns Closed

Madison Square Park Conservancy is responsible for the maintenance of the park’s lawns. Lawns are open daily for public use starting at 10 AM through 5 PM, weather permitting. Lawns are closed on Parade Days.  Learn more about park hours and rules by visiting our FAQ page.

Sheila Pepe: “My Neighbor’s Garden”

Unnamed
Past Exhibition

Sheila Pepe: “My Neighbor’s Garden”

June 26 – December 10, 2023
Sheila Pepe’s “My Neighbor's Garden” Audio Tour
Play Audio Tour
Past Exhibition

Sheila Pepe: “My Neighbor’s Garden”

June 26 – December 10, 2023
Sheila Pepe’s “My Neighbor's Garden” Audio Tour
Play Audio Tour
Unnamed

Artist Sheila Pepe has created her first outdoor exhibition, My Neighbor’s Garden, which opened on June 26 in Madison Square Park. Through her crochet practice, Pepe brings color, unexpected materials, and optimism to the site. Pepe, a feminist and queer artist whose elaborate web-like structures summon and critique conventional women’s craft practice, uses crochet to transform contemporary sculpture. She has inserted work into galleries and museums and will now bring her vision to Madison Square Park for a project that is accessible to all to experience in civic space. Pepe’s canopies and webs made of string and ties, paracord, shoelaces, outsize sustainable rubber bands and climbing plant materials will rely on the park’s extant physical structures including light poles and will span over several pathways. As the uncommon heirloom vegetables and flowering vines grow across the seasons, they will intermingle with Pepe’s crochet. The artist’s work has long questioned indoor space as literally and symbolically closing the door of potential to women. Here, Pepe considers publicness to create physical positions that welcome all parkgoers through a fabricated city garden. My Neighbor’s Garden will be on view through December 10.

The project is rooted in the city as neighborhood gardens became the initial inspiration for the project. In preparation for the project and as part of the conceptual warp and weft of the work, Pepe convened local novice and expert crocheters in her Brooklyn studio, gathering a community of makers. By the time the work is installed, the artist will incorporate over 15,000 yards of crocheted materials made of nylon and cotton string, shoelaces, paracord, and rubber bands. Working closely with MSPC’s horticulture team, vining plants such as bitter melon, sour gherkin, long bean and morning glory will weave around and through the crocheted constructions. Crochet sessions with the artist will continue across the summer months in the park as part of a range of public programs. This methodology of learning through and disseminating expertise is central to Pepe’s practice.

The artist’s mother taught her to crochet in the 1960s. Pepe discovered women artists working in America who were a generation or two older and associated with the feminist art movement — Lynda Benglis, Eva Hesse, and Nancy Spero — as a crucible to launch her sculptural investigations. Those women responded to the fury of the Vietnam War and became agents of activism for Pepe who overturned hoary assumptions by responding to gender, identity, and civil rights. She also questioned the materiality in sculpture, so closely linked to gender. Pepe radicalized the grandmotherly constitution of crochet into a paradigm of feminist action.

For additional information, see press coverage of My Neighbor’s Garden using the links below:

Artist Sheila Pepe has created her first outdoor exhibition, My Neighbor’s Garden, which opened on June 26 in Madison Square Park. Through her crochet practice, Pepe brings color, unexpected materials, and optimism to the site. Pepe, a feminist and queer artist whose elaborate web-like structures summon and critique conventional women’s craft practice, uses crochet to transform contemporary sculpture. She has inserted work into galleries and museums and will now bring her vision to Madison Square Park for a project that is accessible to all to experience in civic space. Pepe’s canopies and webs made of string and ties, paracord, shoelaces, outsize sustainable rubber bands and climbing plant materials will rely on the park’s extant physical structures including light poles and will span over several pathways. As the uncommon heirloom vegetables and flowering vines grow across the seasons, they will intermingle with Pepe’s crochet. The artist’s work has long questioned indoor space as literally and symbolically closing the door of potential to women. Here, Pepe considers publicness to create physical positions that welcome all parkgoers through a fabricated city garden. My Neighbor’s Garden will be on view through December 10.

The project is rooted in the city as neighborhood gardens became the initial inspiration for the project. In preparation for the project and as part of the conceptual warp and weft of the work, Pepe convened local novice and expert crocheters in her Brooklyn studio, gathering a community of makers. By the time the work is installed, the artist will incorporate over 15,000 yards of crocheted materials made of nylon and cotton string, shoelaces, paracord, and rubber bands. Working closely with MSPC’s horticulture team, vining plants such as bitter melon, sour gherkin, long bean and morning glory will weave around and through the crocheted constructions. Crochet sessions with the artist will continue across the summer months in the park as part of a range of public programs. This methodology of learning through and disseminating expertise is central to Pepe’s practice.

The artist’s mother taught her to crochet in the 1960s. Pepe discovered women artists working in America who were a generation or two older and associated with the feminist art movement — Lynda Benglis, Eva Hesse, and Nancy Spero — as a crucible to launch her sculptural investigations. Those women responded to the fury of the Vietnam War and became agents of activism for Pepe who overturned hoary assumptions by responding to gender, identity, and civil rights. She also questioned the materiality in sculpture, so closely linked to gender. Pepe radicalized the grandmotherly constitution of crochet into a paradigm of feminist action.

For additional information, see press coverage of My Neighbor’s Garden using the links below:

Exhibition Support
Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now

×

play
Abigail Deville: Light of Freedom
Abigail Deville: Light of Freedom, Narrated by Brooke Kamin Rappoport
close