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Socrates Sculpture Park

Coordinates: 40°46′06″N 73°56′12″W / 40.768347°N 73.936545°W / 40.768347; -73.936545
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Socrates Sculpture Park
Entrance to Socrates Sculpture Park
Socrates Sculpture Park is located in New York City
Socrates Sculpture Park
Location within New York City
Location32-01 Vernon Boulevard, Long Island City, Queens, NY 11106
Coordinates40°46′06″N 73°56′12″W / 40.768347°N 73.936545°W / 40.768347; -73.936545
Visitors89,000 (annual)
Public transit accessNew York City Subway:
Broadway "N" train"W" train
MTA Bus:

Socrates Sculpture Park is an outdoor museum and public park where artists can create and exhibit sculptures and multi-media installations. It is located one block from the Noguchi Museum at the intersection of Broadway and Vernon Boulevard in the neighborhood of Astoria, Queens, New York City. In addition to exhibition space, the park offers an arts education program, artist residency program, and job training.

History and description[edit]

Socrates Sculpture Park is located atop the mouth of the buried Sunswick Creek.[1]: 97  In 1986, American sculptor Mark di Suvero created Socrates Sculpture Park on an abandoned landfill and illegal dumpsite in Long Island City. The four-acre (1.6 ha) site is the largest outdoor space in New York City dedicated to exhibiting sculpture. The former landfill was renovated into the current park by a team of contemporary artists and local youths.[2] The park operated for 14 years with only a temporary city park status. In 1998, the park was given official status by then New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani as a permanent city park after a developer attempted to erect luxury apartments and a marina on the site after the park's lease had expired.[3]

In 2005, the park was among 406 New York City arts and social service institutions to receive part of a $20 million grant from the Carnegie Corporation, which was made possible through a donation by New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg.[4][5]

Socrates Sculpture Park Broadway Billboard 2012

At the Socrates Sculpture Park's main entrance hangs a 10-by-28-foot (3.0 by 8.5 m) billboard structure that has been an ongoing installation since 1999. The original billboard was a mirror image of the street created by artist Mathieu Borysevicz[6] built by ongoing volunteer Ross H. Radtke, a mechanical engineer and neighbour.

New billboards are installed once or twice per year. Artists work with printmaking and photography to create an image that greets visitors as they enter the park and sets the tone for the current show. The billboards are in conjunction with each spring exhibition.[7] The park has numerous workshops and public programming. Many artists lead tour programs of current exhibitions, there are summer art projects, and various free public events, such as yoga and capoeira on Saturdays and outdoor movie screenings on Wednesdays that begin in mid-July and end in mid-August.[8] GrowNYC runs an Astoria Farmer's Market in the park every Saturday during the summer months.[9]

In January 2019, the Park announced its plan to construct and install permanent staff offices made out of shipping containers. This would be the park's first permanent on-site structure.[10]

Artists who have exhibited at Socrates Sculpture Park[edit]

Socrates Sculpture Park offers emerging and established artists an opportunity to make a temporary or permanent public sculpture in a New York City park.[11] In 2018, Virginia Overton became the first female artist to have a solo exhibition at the Socrates Sculpture Park.[12] Other artists who have shown work at Socrates Sculpture Park include:


The current executive director of the park is John Hatfield, former deputy director of the New Museum of Contemporary Art.[16] Some former executive directors of the park include Alyson Baker (2000–2011),[17] Kathleen Gilrain (1995–2000),[18] and Eve Sussman (1993- ).[19]

Board of directors [20][edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kadinsky, Sergey (2016). Hidden Waters of New York City: A History and Guide to 101 Forgotten Lakes, Ponds, Creeks, and Streams in the Five Boroughs. New York, NY: Countryman Press. pp. 96–98. ISBN 978-1-58157-566-8.
  2. ^ McGill, Douglas C. (August 27, 1986). "A Sculpture Park Grows in Queens". The New York Times. Retrieved June 9, 2012.
  3. ^ Martin, Douglas (December 6, 1998). "Queens Sculpture Garden Is Made a Permanent Park". The New York Times. Retrieved June 10, 2012.
  4. ^ Roberts, Sam (July 6, 2005). "City Groups Get Bloomberg Gift of $20 Million". The New York Times. Retrieved April 19, 2012.
  5. ^ "Carnegie Corporation of New York Announces Twenty Million Dollars in New York City Grants" (Press release). Carnegie Corporation of New York. July 5, 2005. Archived from the original on March 10, 2008.
  6. ^ "Broadway Billboard: Mathieu Borysevicz". Socrates Sculpture Park. Retrieved June 16, 2024.
  7. ^ ""Broadway Billboard". Socrates Sculpture Park. Archived from the original on May 22, 2009. Retrieved May 21, 2012.
  8. ^ "Lonely Planet Socrates Sculpture Park". Lonely Planet. Retrieved May 22, 2012.
  9. ^ Killeen, Jared (June 2, 2011). "Green Market at Socrates Sculpture Park". Boro Magazine. Archived from the original on June 9, 2011. Retrieved June 10, 2012.
  10. ^ Sackman, Meghan (January 16, 2019). "Plans for Staff Offices at Socrates Sculpture Park, Made of Shipping Containers, Move Forward". Astoria Post. Retrieved April 12, 2019.
  11. ^ "Exhibitions". Socrates Sculpture Park. Retrieved April 12, 2019.
  12. ^ Franklin, Sydney (July 11, 2018). "Virginia Overton's site-specific work at Socrates Sculpture Park rethinks raw construction materials". The Architect's Newspaper. Retrieved April 10, 2019.
  13. ^ "Maren Hassinger". Socrates Sculpture Park. Retrieved 30 July 2022.
  14. ^ "Planeta Abuelx". Socrates Sculpture Park. Retrieved 15 July 2023.
  15. ^ "Ebb of a Spring Tide". Socrates Sculpture Park. Retrieved 15 July 2023.
  16. ^ "Socrates Sculpture Park appoints New Museum's John Hatfield as new Director". artdaily.org. Archived from the original on January 12, 2012. Retrieved May 17, 2012.
  17. ^ "Alyson Baker named ninth Director". e-flux. May 1, 2011. Retrieved May 17, 2012.
  18. ^ "Smack Mellon Staff". Archived from the original on June 27, 2012. Retrieved May 17, 2012.
  19. ^ Kimmelman, Michael (August 6, 1993). "Outdoor Sculpture in Review". The New York Times. Retrieved June 10, 2012.
  20. ^ "Board". Retrieved July 11, 2019.

External links[edit]