Socrates Scupture Park: Once a Landfill, Now a Cultural Hub in Queens

Socrates Sculpture Park

Socrates Sculpture Park
Image: Garrett Ziegler via Flickr CC

In New York City, you can find art just about anywhere. Of course there are the countless private and independent museums and galleries, but you don’t even need to set foot indoors to find incredible curated displays. The city itself is an architect’s dream; the buildings and parks are visually stunning and unique. The city’s people bring art to the streets in the form of murals, large-scale paintings, performance, graffiti, pop-up shops and open-air galleries. Amid all of this, there is still one more way to experience art in NYC, and it can be found at Socrates Sculpture Park.

The Sculpture Park, located in the Astoria area of Queens, has been around since the late 1980s, when American sculptor Mark di Suvero helped transform a riverside landfill into what has become one of NYC’s most impressive museums. According to the park’s history, “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.” Today, the park is home to some of the most impressive large-scale sculptures, as well as to a community of artists and residents who benefit from its dedication to fostering education, health awareness, and a love of the arts.

Socrates Sculpture Park

Socrates Sculture Park was once a landfill.
Image: Steven Kreuzer via Flickr CC

According to its Mission Statement, Socrates Sculpture Park “is the only site in the New York Metropolitan area specifically dedicated to providing artists with opportunities to create and exhibit large-scale sculpture and multi-media installations in a unique outdoor environment.” The park also encourages a strong interaction between the artwork and the public that visits these grand installations. The Socrates Sculpture Park is an internationally renowned outdoor museum that offers residency and education programs to emerging artists, as well as free public events like farmer’s markets and outdoor film viewings to locals.

New York City has long existed as a place for seasoned artists to settle; it’s made up of a collection of communities that pulsate with the talent of artists who flock here to become established and hone their craft. More and more this indisputable cultural hub has become a city dedicated to nurturing new talent as well as household names in the world of art. There are new organizations developing all the time to support and promote the works of up-and-comers, and Socrates Sculpture Park’s emerging artists programs are some of the most rewarding and beneficial to new faces in the art world.

The park not only offers incredible exhibits of large-scale sculpture, but is also dedicated to nurturing emerging artists and fostering a love of art in the greater community. To learn more about Socrates Sculpture Park and its past and current exhibitions, visit the park’s official website.



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Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Celebrate Springtime at Socrates Sculpture Park - Cultivating Culture - April 8, 2014

    […] 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. […]

  2. NYC’s Best Outdoor Art Installations - Cultivating Culture - May 20, 2014

    […] Scarecrow at Socrates Sculpture Park […]

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