You know that spring has arrived when you feel that urge to explore the city once again, to discover new favorite places and wander through parkways. Of course there will still be a peppering of drizzly days in the months to come, but at long last it seems as though winter has finally surrendered. What better way to celebrate springtime than by rediscovering one of New York’s most beloved outdoor art spaces, Socrates Sculpture Park?
Socrates Sculpture Park has been inspiring visitors since the 1980s, when American sculptor Mark di Suvero helped transform a riverside landfill in Queens into what has become one of New York City’s most impressive sprawling art spaces. Believe it or not, “Socrates Sculpture Park was an abandoned illegal dumpsite until 1986 when a coalition of artists and community members transformed it into an open studio and exhibition space for artists and a neighborhood park for local residents,” explains its website.
Today, the park serves as an urban playground, a boundless artist’s studio, and a cultural focal point that has the power to educate, unite, and inspire its neighboring communities. Over the next few months, Socrates Sculpture Park will host a handful of free public events including the Kite Flight: DIY & Fly, outdoor cinema nights, the LIC Bike Parade, and many others. The Kite Flight is an annual festival that invites children and their families to create kites from recycled materials, and features kite-making workshops led by artist Miguel Luciano. The event is a colorful, festive, and free. The LIC Bike Parade is another annual event that celebrates togetherness, health, and the greater Queens community and culminates in a Waterfront Celebration and “Kinetic Sculpture Challenge.”
In addition to the myriad community events, Socrates Sculpture Park will host new exhibitions as well. Queen Mother of Reality is a massive piece that will be housed at the park from May 11th, 2014 to August 3rd, 2014. The sculpture, created by Polish artist Pawel Althamer, is a 50-foot long by 18-foot wide work made from reclaimed materials, and a remarkable addition to the park. The park will also host the winner of its annual architecture competition, “Folly 2014,” this summer, a massive installation created by architectural firm Austin + Mergold. These are just a few of the incredible sculpture installations you can discover at Socrates Sculpture Park, where there is always something new to explore.
Learn more about upcoming events, artist residencies, and installations by visiting Socrates Sculpture Park’s official website.