Nov. 3, 2023 By Ethan Marshall
Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City has announced its open call for proposals for its 2024 fellowship program. This program provides early-career artists with the opportunity to create new public artworks there.
Those who take part in the fellowship will work on up to 10 projects in two distinct cohorts. The first cohort invites ecological interventions specific to certain sites that integrate with the landscape. The second cohort will have a more distinct and considered material approach when it comes to projects. There may not necessarily be a living element to this cohort.
The artists will also be rewarded with a production stipend and access to the park’s outdoor studio facilities. These artists will also get technical and administrative support for the creation and installation of their artworks within the park. Their works will be featured in an annual exhibition, “The Socrates Annual,” set to run from September 2024 to March 2025.
The prompt for this upcoming fellowship is “Invasive Species.” Applicants for the open call are encouraged to consider what legacies are left from a species migration, as well as the themes and myths of invasion when it comes to people, animals and plants.
“After the incredible and moving success of the previous year’s cohort, bringing their individual interpretations of material ontology, sustainability and world-building within our dynamic park, we are excited to open up the opportunity for more than one cohort this year, with the intention of emphasizing histories of migration.” Socrates Sculpture Park Curator and Director of Exhibitions Kaitlin Garcia-Maestas said. “This expansion will not just provide a larger platform for early career, interdisciplinary artists, but will allow for a greater opportunity for visitors and our local community to witness artists activating the entire park through ecological interventions and on-site fabrication in Socrates’ unique open-air studio.”
Formalized in 2000, the Fellowship has welcomed an impressive array of artists over the years including Leilah Babirye (2018), Sable Elyse Smith (2016), David Brooks (2009), Hank Willis Thomas (2006), Orly Genger (2004) and Sanford Biggers (2001).
“We are so excited to expand our long-standing fellowship this year, in the spirit of increasing access to Socrates’ important platform for artists and in hopes of growing the opportunity for participation and involvement with our community,” Socrates Sculpture Park Interim Executive Director Katie Dixon said. “With Kaitlin’s vision for the prompt ‘Invasive Species,’ we’re leading with a provocation and we’re excited to see how artists will respond. We look forward to the conversations and interactions their work will spark among our friends and neighbors grappling with climate change with us here on the coastal edge of western Queens.”
Prior to becoming what it is today, Socrates Sculpture Park was an illegal dumpsite. In 1986, a coalition of artists and community members, led by artist Mark di Suvero, transformed the land into an outdoor exhibition space. Today, Socrates Sculpture Park supports local artists with resources and space, believing in the importance of creative expression for urban improvement. The park serves as a hub for cultural events, contemporary exhibitions, multi-disciplinary performances and arts education.
For full details on the Fellowship open call for both cohorts, visit socratessculpturepark.
More than 1,200 artists have created and exhibited their works across Socrates Sculpture Park’s five acres and its outdoor studio facilities. This includes works from artists like Agnes Denes, Jeffrey Gibson, Guadalupe Maravilla, Virginia Overton, Jean Shin, Sable Elyse Smith, Nari Ward, Meg Webster and Hank Willis Thomas. The park is free and open to the public all year from 9:00 a.m. until sunset.
Socrates Sculpture Park is located at 32-01 Vernon Blvd. in Long Island City.