44-19 Purves Street Long Island City, NY 11101
The SculptureCenter exhibits experimental and innovative work by more than 40 international artists annually in a cavernous converted trolley repair shop. Featured sculptors range from internationally recognized stars to emerging local talent. In 2014, the venue finished a major, multi-million-dollar renovation. Now patrons enter the facility through a 2,000-square-foot, one-story lobby with a bookshop, coatroom, seating area, and restrooms on the way to 6,500 square feet of interior exhibition space, an elevator, and a stairway to the lower level galleries. On the side is a 1,500-square-foot, enclosed courtyard for outdoor exhibitions.
As many as 35 volunteers dedicate their time to the center, which strives to promote creativity through educational workshops, roundtable discussions and events featuring other genres, such as film, photography, and live performances.
Inside scoop: The center was founded in 1928 as The Clay Club in Brooklyn. Over the following years, it changed its name, moved to a carriage house on West 8th Street in Manhattan and then relocated to another carriage house on East 69th Street. In 2001, the center purchased a former trolley repair shop at its present site. The building was then redesigned by Maya Lin, the landscape artist who designed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C.
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