Socrates Sculpture Park Summer Exhibits Take Root with Tree Installation

By Jeanmarie Evelly on April 8, 2013 9:53am 

LONG ISLAND CITY — A new installation taking shape at Socrates Sculpture Park next month will take advantage of the museum's location in the great outdoors.

New York design firm Toshihiro Oki architect will construct "Tree Wood," an open geometrical wooden structure built inside a dense grove of trees within the park, a shimmering chandelier suspended in its center.

The project is the recent winner of Socrates Sculpture Park and The Architectural League of New York's second annual "Folly" Competition, chosen by a panel of judges from a pool of over 150 submissions.

The installation opens May 12 to kick off the park's 2013 busy summer season, which will also include a massive group exhibit, daily programs and an outdoor film festival.

"There's a lot of stuff going on, and several new partnerships," said Katie Denny, communications director for the park, which is open daily, year-round, from dawn until dusk.

In addition to "Tree Wood," May 12 will launch the start of "Do It (Outside)," a traveling "exhibition in progress" started 20 years ago by art curator Hans Ulrich Obrist, and being staged in New York City for the first time.

"Do It (Outside)" is a collection of written project instructions from the minds of dozens of well-known artists — David Lynch and Yoko Ono among them — that will be interpreted on site at Socrates Sculpture Park by artists, performers, community groups and the public.

The installations and works of art that result from those interpretations will be housed at the park all summer in a large structure to be designed by architects Taryn Christoff and Martin Finio.

The park will also be hosting almost daily events and special programs in the coming months, Denny said, including a Kite-flying festival in May, a number of outdoor performances in July and August and a film festival curated by Film Forum and Rooftop Films.

Before the May 12 kickoff, visitors are welcome to come by the park — admission is free — and might be able to catch the upcoming exhibits as they're being assembled.

"They're all going to be spending a far bit of time in the open studio, so anyone who comes, even before the launch can watch the piece as its being created, they can talk to the artist if they want to," Denny said. "We really want to engage them in the process."

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