By Alex Gold
Celebrating its 30th anniversary this summer, the Socrates Sculpture Park has eight fascinating projects lined up by ambitious and unique New York artists.
The series is titled LANDMARK and will focus on the neighborhood’s cultural and economic shifts while reflecting Queens’ similar rapid transformation that has taken place in the three decades since 1986.
The park was once an industrial landfill and illegal dumping ground, but is now home to incredible works of art 365 days a year. Visitors can marvel at Jessica Segall‘s Fugue in B-flat Jonathan Odom‘s Open Seating from the hours of 10am to sunset each and every day.
Fugue in B♭ is a salvaged piano harp turned into an observational musical beehive. As the active bee colony interacts with the piano chords, the piece becomes a sound installation, as well as an homage to nineteenth-century Astoria which was once a major industrial port and hub of piano manufacturing.
Open Seating, meanwhile, is a series of open design chairs created by Odom and painted by volunteers, staff and youth participants in the park’s education programs.
In addition to special three-dimensional exhibitions, Socrates will also feature an international film festival celebrating the cultural diversity of Queens. The presentations occur Wednesdays through July and August at 7pm.
In a collaboration with Rooftop Films, visitors will have the opportunity to picnic on the grass, see musical and dance performances, enjoy the cool waterfront breeze as the sun sets over the Manhattan skyline, and watch exceptional international films on an outdoor screen.
This year’s series examines the theme of The River while the music and food vendors will represent each week’s featured country of origin.
Socrates Sculpture Park is located at 32-01 Vernon Boulevard in Long Island City, Queens at the intersection of Broadway.