Check out this new, monumental sculpture coming to Socrates Sculpture Park! It’s by the New York City-based artist Agnes Denes and will be called The Living Pyramid. This large-scale, site-specific piece — commissioned by Socrates Sculpture Park — will span 30 feet at its base and rise 30 feet high. It will be created from several tons of soil and planted grasses.
The Living Pyramid will actually grow throughout its installation. It will be installed in April of this year, and the public is invited for a participatory volunteer planting at the site on May 17th from 3 to 6pm. According to Socrates, “As tens of thousands of seeds sprout into grasses and wildflowers, The Living Pyramid will continue to grow and evolve, with full assembly and completion this June.” It will be on display at the park until August 30th.
On Sunday, September 6th Socrates Sculpture Park opens its annual Emerging Artist Fellowship (EAF) Exhibition. There will be 15 EAF14 artists on display, selected through a highly competitive process and a pool of nearly 300 candidates. This year’s artwork takes many forms, like an office cubicle, an interior room built with a false perspective, massive carved raw timbers, and a NYPD SkyWatch Tower with arachnid legs. (Check out a preview of the artist’s work right here.)
The opening celebration will last from 3 pm to 6 pm, and the entire exhibit will be on display until March 22nd of 2015.
Kripalu Yoga integrates postures, breathing techniques, relaxation, and meditation in an interplay of mind, body, and energy. An outdoor, waterfront space filled with nature and art is the perfect place to practice this system of Hatha Yoga.
Tai Chi integrates slow body movement, fist-clenching, and internal concentration to improve balance, strength, and general psychological health. This Chinese martial art traces its origins to Taoist and Buddhist monasteries, and it, too, is best when practiced outdoors.
Free classes on both disciplines are being offered on weekends until October as part of Socrates Sculpture Park‘s healthy living initiative, which includes boating and a Saturday greenmarket.
Monique Schubert – a trained visual artist, certified Kripalu Yoga teacher, and eclectic educator — teaches the Kripalu Yoga with the uber-experienced Yojaida Estrella on Saturdays. Meanwhile, certified instructors from the Taoist Tai Chi Society of the USA lead the Tai Chi classes on Sundays.
This Saturday marks the opening of Socrates Sculpture Park’s new LIC exhibit at 43-29 Crescent Street. The formerly asphalt parking lot, now transformed into a green space, houses a “pool” by the artist Tamara Johnson. Johnson is the second artist to present their work at “The Lot,” as it’s called — a sculpture piece debuted here last summer. Here are details on Backyard Pool from Socrates:
As her title suggests, Johnson’s installation formally resembles small family pools that are ubiquitous in many suburban backyards across the country, and especially in the artist’s hometown of Waco, Texas. By inserting faithful details, from ceramic tiles to a full-sized diving board, into this landscape, Backyard Pool offers a moment of intimacy and serenity to the bustling urbanity of Long Island City.
The opening reception for the art installation will be held from 3 to 5 pm. Then The Lot is free and open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am to 6 pm. M. Wells, located right next door, will also use The Lot for a music festival starting in August.
Is it possible to create twins via cloning? Because that’s the only way to enjoy all the top-notch live music in Queens this Thursday, when the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Philharmonic and the country’s best Beatles tribute band come to town.
At 7 pm, the Met — in association with SummerStage and City Parks Foundation — will host a concert in Socrates Sculpture Park featuring Mary-Jane Lee (soprano), Ginger Costa-Jackson (mezzo-soprano), and Yunpeng Wang (baritone), accompanied by Dan Saunders (pianist). They will perform arias and duets from a variety of operas. At 7:30 pm, Strawberry Fields (above), a group that former President Bill Clinton praises in his book Giving, will take its audience on a Magical Mystery Tour through the Fab Four’s biggest hits as part of the Central Astoria Local Development Corporation’s 2014 Waterfront Concert Series. Then at 8 pm, the New York Philharmonic, which is the county’s oldest symphony orchestra, will venture away from Lincoln Center to give a free concert with Strauss, Smetana, Tchaikovsky, and Alan Gilbert as the conductor in Cunningham Park.
Opera details: Metropolitan Opera Recital, Socrates Sculpture Park (below), 32-01 Vernon Boulevard, Long Island City, July 10th, 7 pm, free.
Beatles details: Strawberry Fields, Astoria Park Great Lawn, Shore Boulevard between Hell Gate Bridge and Astoria Pool, Astoria, July 10th, 7:30 pm, free.
La Pirogue tells the story of 30 men and one woman who disembark from the Senegalese coast in a dinghy. The African passengers are from various ethnic and religious backgrounds, but they share the common desire to survive the perilous, seven-day trek to Spain in order to create better futures for themselves in Europe. On July 9th, this 87-minute drama, directed by Moussa Touré, will show on an outdoor screen in Socrates Sculpture Park as part of a 16th annual international film festival.
This eight-week collaboration with the Film Forum and Rooftop Films will focus on a different country or culture — Russia, Senegal, New Zealand, Italy, Argentina, Central Africa, Japan and France – each Wednesday evening. Before each screening, visitors will be able to enjoy live music and dance performances from each film’s native country or region.
Tomorrow evening, Socrates Sculpture Park is screening the classic New York film When Harry Met Sally. It’s part of Tribeca Film Festival’s “Film for All” event, in which the organization is screening the film in an outdoor venue in each of the five boroughs at the same time. Screenings are free and open to everyone. During the Tribeca Film Festival, the public was asked to tweet the film they thought all New Yorkers should see, and the result was this 1989 classic. Doors open at 7 pm, and the movie begins at 8:30 pm. For a list of screenings in every borough, check out the Film for All website.
It only happens once a year, but there are three chances to celebrate it in Queens this weekend. This Saturday, Socrates Sculpture Park will welcome the new season with a Summer Solstice Celebration featuring various art workshops, face-painting, a nature-inspired ritual performed by urban shaman Mama Donna, a picnic, and of course, a wonderful Manhattan skyline. Plus, Norte Maar will present site-specific sound performances encompassing the entire park. These artists will create unique sound platforms through traditional instrumentation, amplification of objects, juxtaposition of voices, and experimental electronic sound. The same day but over in Jamaica, King Manor Museum will host ice-cream making, huge bubble creating, sun-inspired art and crafts, and historic games for children. Then on Sunday, the Queens Botanical Gardens will host its Festival de las Flores/Summer Solstice Celebration with purveyors of the beautiful Colombian craft of creating silletos or large medallions composed of flowers. Attendees can also enjoy live music and dance, craft and food vendors, bilingual story reading, face painting, botanical crafts, a petting zoo, and old-fashioned games for the children.
Details: Summer Solstice Celebration, Socrates Sculpture Park, 32-01 Vernon Boulevard, Long Island City, June 21st, 5 pm to dusk, free.
Bonus details: Summer Solstice Festival, King Manor Museum, 150-03 Jamaica Avenue, Jamaica, June 22nd, noon to 4 pm, free.
More bonus details: Festival de la Flores/Summer Solstice Celebration, Queens Botanical Garden, 43-50 Main Street, Flushing, June 22nd, noon to 5 pm, free with admission.
Broadway is coming home. On May 31st, the Astoria Symphonic Choir performs at Astoria’s Trinity Lutheran Church, which is located a block from the roadway that stretches from Elmhurst to the LIC’s Socrates Sculpture Park and is called “Broadway.” Artistic Director Adam Eggleston leads the group through selections from musicals — My Fair Lady, Guys & Dolls, The Sound of Music, Fiddler on the Roof, Damn Yankees, Anything Goes, and West Side Story. Plus, there will be some extra excitement in the air as the choir’s sister group, the Astoria Symphony Orchestra, has just announced thatMaestro David Štech, who has been the resident conductor since 2011, will be the music director for the twelfth concert season (2014-15).
Thanks to We Heart Astoria for spotting the cinema schedule for this summer at Socrates Sculpture Park! The series kicks off on Wednesday, July 2nd with the film Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer. It then continues seven more Wednesdays until August 27th with films from Senegal, New Zealand, Italy, Argentina, Africa, Japan and France — the film series is aimed to celebrate the cultural diversity of Queens. Films begin at sundown, the pre-screening performances begin at 7 pm. Each event is free and visitors are invited to picnic on the grass.