Sculpture center is one of the most vibrant sculpture galleries in New York. As a non-collecting institution, they do not have a permanent collection of art. Rather, they are committed to making programs for sculptors with innovative, experimental works. The exhibits are always changing, so it is a fresh experience every time.
Long Island City is known for being a sculpture hotspot, likely because of the large post-industrial spaces available, and the nearby foundry in Astoria. Sculpture Center is housed in a former trolley repair shop, a remnant of Long Island City’s industrial past. The tall ceilings in the main gallery are covered with skylights and criss-crossed steel beams, making it an excellent venue for bold sculptures.
The basement is often overlooked, but it’s my favorite part! The dark cinderblock corridors present a unique setting for artists to make really intimate installations. Sometimes spooky and ominous, but at other times joyful and festive, this space is transformed by each artist resident. As you explore the basement, you are sure to be charmed by a little flower hiding in an alcove, or surprised by a silhouette looming at the end of the hall.
Sculpture Center does not require an admission fee, but they do ask for a donation when you visit. I usually donate the suggested $5.
Sculpture Center is only one block away from MOMA’s PS1, so I recommend visiting both Long Island City’s contemporary art institutions in the same day!