Art is alive at Socrates Sculpture Park

August 13, 2013 |  Category:   art + design craft life nyc outings














There are days when plans just come together and midway through the day you realize that you’ve constructed one of those perfect NYC days. We had one of those days over the weekend. It ended with a sunset view of the Manhattan skyline that was so incredible, that it couldn’t have been scripted better.


We also explored a small corner of the city that we have never been to before. As big as the city is, we often tend to stick to places familiar to us. It was a good reminder that the city is big and there is so much out there we have yet to see. I had never been to Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City, Queens before and when I saw that they were hosting free sculpture workshops every Saturday during the summer with a different artist and theme each week, I made sure to put it on our summer list of things to do.
It’s kind of hard to describe Socrates. At first impression it’s an odd little park that feels a little rough around the edges, but when you dig a little deeper and see all the art that’s happening – on view and in progress – you realize that it has a creative energy that you don’t see very often in public view. Aside from the free weekly art workshops for kids and adults (and outdoor movies in the summer too), there is a network of cargo containers and an open air workshop that make up artist in residency studios that the Park grants to select artists and architects. A small farmer’s market sold local and regional produce just a few meters away from where artists were working on their sculptures, and a dance company was working their way through choreography as part of a week-long residency program for dancers this month.
While we sat there watching the dancers rehearse, I realized that I felt like I was on an art school campus. It had that type of creative energy that we used to be surrounded by when we went to school, but haven’t really been immersed in since. It made me miss that free spirited energy back in college days when all we did was create and make things. In a city where there is so much art to take in, it’s somewhat unusual to have access to view works in progress like this. In the boat making workshop that we participated in last Saturday, it wasn’t just the kids who wanted to build and create; I saw a fair number of parents constructing their own boats alongside their kids. It’s hard to just stand idly by when there are so many fun and tactile materials to play with. It just goes to show…creativity can be contagious.

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  • Elli August 13, 2013 at 4:15 am

    Looks like an amazing inspirational place – the boat launching looks fun!

  • Claire August 13, 2013 at 11:57 am

    It IS AMAZING. Took some kids there last summer on an excursion camp and it was one of my favorite places to visit. The kids made puppets and miniature puppet theatres. They then lay out blankets for us to eat among the sculptures & trees. The chain house sculpture called “Curtain” was, obviously, a hit with the 6-9 year olds.

  • Donna August 13, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    Hi Jenna, I have been reading your blog for a while and wanted to let you know that I thoroughly enjoy it. I love seeing your “real life” in the city. I love your awesome photography. Thank you for sharing!

  • Lala May 3, 2014 at 8:16 am

    Doing this one with the family along with the kids is fun. I might do like this at home. Thanks for the post.