If you’re jaded by the world-class art in NYC, then maybe it’s time to check out something different. To be honest, there are exciting museums and galleries all around, but none quite like Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City, Queens. Why is this place so different? That’s for you to find out first-hand.
Socrates Sculpture Park in Queens sits at the edge of the East River, on the northern end of LIC. And this park is exactly what it sounds like–a park in Queens with sculpture exhibits. It’s one of the only dedicated outdoor museums anywhere. But Socrates Sculpture Park in NYC has a history that goes far beyond its current state.
Until the mid ’80s, the site of the park was rather unsightly. It was a retired landfill before becoming a neglected area for illegal dumping, then transforming into a canvas in its own right. Local artists began cleaning up the land through the 1990s, and it was soon given a formal “park” label in ’98. Since then, Socrates Sculpture Park has been Queens’ unique gallery space for large sculptures and other multimedia pieces.
Today, the park is intertwined with its history as a reinvented space. It stands strong on the message of reclamation, and continues to provide a field for artists to express themselves in larger-than-life artwork. And, boy, are these exhibits worth the gander. But don’t take my word for it; Socrates Sculpture Park is to be seen with your own two eyes.
Luckily, residents of Long Island City are just a short walk or bus ride away from this one-of-a-kind outdoor museum. And visit before October to see the park’s current exhibition, Folly, which plays with the ideas of architecture as a form of ornament, rather than a structure made for a specific use or purpose. So take the trip up to where Broadway meets Vernon Boulevard in Queens and see what you’re missing at Socrates Sculpture Park.