What do you do when you're an artist and you see a patch of ground that has been turned into an illegal dumping site? If you're Mark di Suvero, you turn the eyesore into a sculpture park.
It was through the efforts of Mr. di Suvero that 3134 Vernon Boulevard in Queens, NY became the Socrates Sculpture Park. Now, instead of seeing trash and garbage strewn around, you'll see sculptures that have already been created by various New York City artists being displayed, but you'll also get a chance to see those artists working on their next sculpture.
History and Purpose of the Park
As mentioned earlier, the park was created when, in 1986, Mark di Suvero discovered what was then an illegal dumping site. With the help of other artists as well as members of the Queens community around 3134 Vernon Boulevard, the site was cleaned up and turned into the Socrates Sculpture Park.
The park serves several purposes. First, it allows artists to work and display their creations in an open studio/exhibition space environment. Second, it serves as a neighborhood for residents of Queens and surrounding areas.
In addition, you'll see children taking part in activities designed to teach them about art and sculpture as well as give them a chance to discover their hidden talents. Children actually work and learn alongside the artists-in-residence at Socrates Sculpture Park, making this a very unique experience. For more information on the various children's programs, you can visit the website listed at the end of this section.
Visiting Socrates Sculpture Park
The park is open every day, 365 days a year, from 10:00 AM until sunset. You and your family can enjoy viewing the different sculptures and watching the artists at work.
The park is located in Queens, but New York City's public transportation makes it easy to get to the park. You can take the subway, a bus, or even hire a cab or rent a car to drive out to the park. It's well worth the trip from Manhattan or the other boroughs and areas surrounding New York City.
Admission is free, so you don't have to worry about paying to get in. You may be able to purchase some artists' works, so bring some money if you are considering doing that. Remember, too, that Socrates Sculpture Park is also a neighborhood park, so you might want to bring a picnic lunch.