Socrates Sculpture Park


Socrates Sculpture Park, located along the East River in the New York City borough of Queens, is a cross between a public park and an outdoor art exhibition space. The park is situated in Long Island City, but it isn’t far from the Welling Court street murals in Astoria. Its location along the river makes it a little cold in the winter, but it’s still worth seeing its diverse, multimedia art installations even if you have to bundle up. Currently, the park features the 2015 Emerging Artist Fellowship Exhibition, which continues until March 13, 2016.

Here are a few examples of the art you will see when you visit the park. (If you click the artists’ names, you will go to the full description of each piece on the park’s website.)

First, here is Kenneth Armstead’s Master Work: Astoria Houses, Building 24, 2015. It is constructed of stainless steel, tar, and feathers, and was the largest single sculpture I saw at the park during my visit.


This next piece, by José Carlos Casado, is titled Trade, 2015.


This next work, by artist Carla Edwards, is titled Gain and Cost, 2015.


These sculptures by Charlotte Hyzy are collectively titled Dessert Babes: Queer Fat Decadence, 2015.


There’s also Tactile Formation, 2015, by Melanie McLain.


This work is Kirsten Nelson’s Displaced Corner, 2015.


I loved these painted bronze sculptures by artist John Ahearn, created in 1994. In order presented here, they are titled Cory, Daleesha, and Raymond and Toby.




And finally, here is the view from the park across the East River towards Manhattan (albeit a bit grey on the day of my visit). This view is of Manhattan’s Upper East Side, and there aren’t really any noteworthy buildings in this area. When the weather is good, the path along the edge of the river is nice though.


Intrigued by what you see here? These photos show only part of the works on exhibition at the Socrates Sculpture Park at this time – you should visit to see the full park. But notice the thin grass in places. If it has rained or snowed recently, you will want to wear waterproof shoes, as the ground can get a little muddy. The grass is much more plush in the warmer months, and the park has lovely flowers in season.

To get to the park by public transportation, you can take the N or Q trains (Q only running Monday through Friday) to the Broadway station, and then walk 8 blocks west on Broadway until you reach Vernon Boulevard. You can also take the Q103 bus, which has stops near many of the other subway stations in Long Island City. (For specific directions, use the Trip Planner on the MTA website.)

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