Socrates Sculpture Park

On July 12 this past weekend, I visited Socrates Sculpture Park with some friends. I heard good things about this park so I wanted to see it for myself, and ventured all the way out to Queens to visit. Did I mention that it’s open every day for free ?!

Socrates Sculpture Park

This overhead piece by Meschac Gaba greeted us at the door.

Citoyen du Monde
Citoyen du Monde

When I took a closer look, I realized that all the colorful slivers are flags of the world. Now the title makes more sense, huh?

“This optically spectacular work presents a humorous image of idealism and optimism for resolutions to the difficulties and crises that divide our world.” (SSP)

I like how it’s the first thing visitors see and receive a welcoming message.

Next, the sculpture to the left of the entrance is a woodwork that reminds me of Noah’s Ark.

SuralArk
SuralArk by Austin + Mergold
SuralArk Socrates Sculpture Park
Hide and seek, anyone?

We were basically inside an upside down boat. And according to the artists,

It is “an imposing, fanciful, yet purposeless structure: a boat without water, a house without inhabitants, a simple hulking mass of a conflicted typology.” (SSP)

Now that was deep. Nevertheless, we had fun taking pictures inside the ark!

Inside SuralArk
Helloooo!

(Photocred to Junqi Zhai)

There was also a little farmer’s market. When I say little, I mean little – like four stands or so.

Chalk Shopping List

Christy Eating Apple
Christy eating a fresh (?) apple from the market

The third exhibition is by artist Žilvinas Kempinas.

Scarecrow
Scarecrow

In fact, it is the “largest installation in Socrates’ 28-year history.” “The sculpture is a 250-foot-long, thirteen-foot-high kinetic pathway composed of 200 stainless steel, mirrored poles connecting energetic slopes of silver Mylar ribbon overhead” (SSP).

Scarecrow
Close-up of Scarecrow

The metallic streamers held between two poles on either end twist and turn in the wind. They especially glint brightly under the sunlight – I was pleased to see sun-stars in the picture above!

I quickly found out that this was a very small park. In twenty minutes we thought we were done seeing everything (aka all of the artwork mentioned above), but I spotted this giant in the distance hiding under the shade.

Queen Mother of Reality Paweł Althamer
Queen Mother of Reality by Paweł Althamer

The “Queen Mother” was made of various bit of trash or treasure, depending on how you look at it.

golden keyboard

Nice Children
Ain’t that the truth.

You can climb inside of her and have a seat (as Christy did when eating her apple). There’s something very “Mother Naturey” about her and I felt like I was entering a preserved or even sacred place. The act of turning trash into art definitely lends to this feeling of preservation and the sculpture’s symbolism adds to her sacredness.

Inside the Mother
Inside the Mother

“Althamer’s sculpture is dedicated to and inspired by “Queen Mother” Dr. Delois Blakely, a U.S. Ambassador of Goodwill to Africa,who has been the Community Mayor of Harlem since she was sworn in by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani in 1995. Queen Mother of Reality serves as a call to highlight the numerous displaced and homeless of New York City – Dr. Blakely’s paramount cause.” (SSP)

queen mother nature

Behind the Mother is this peaceful view of the city across the East River.

By east river

by East River

This place is definitely nice to come chill on a nice day, have a picnic, read a book, meditate, etc. But on that day, I wanted a bit more action and excitement to fill up the rest of the afternoon! We ended up visiting the Guggenheim (post coming up!), but the free LIC Art Bus is also a great way to shuttle between the park and other museums in the area.

Have you ever visited a sculpture park? Where would you suggest going?

Thanks for reading!