BY TRISHA SAKHUJA
The Long Island City SculptureCenter is set for expansion, which includes a new 2,000-square-foot addition to the existing structure.
Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) joined Queens Borough President Helen Marshall and New York City Department of Cultural Affairs Commissioner Kate Levin on April 2 at the sculpture center to break ground on the newly announced renovations and expansion.
With the help of Van Bramer, the City Council secured $125,000 in funding for Long Island City’s cultural space. The ‘Building SculptureCenter Campaign’ will grant $4.5 million in building funds and $1.5 million in working capital and term endowments, which sets the center in a position to play a defining role in the neighborhood.
“Culture is an anchor and the SculptureCenter has done a tremendous job at working with the LIC community and helping the arts flourish in Queens,” Van Bramer tweeted.
The additions include a one-story entrance lobby with a bookshop, coatroom, seating area and restrooms. An elevator and stairway to the lower level galleries will be constructed, as well as an enclosed courtyard for outdoor exhibitions. The electrical and mechanical systems will see an upgrade, and the office and storage spaces will also see improvements.
“The arts and culture of Long Island City is one of the key assets and it’s the reason why we have lots of visitors,” Dan Miner, senior vice president of the Long Island City Partnership, said. “The expansion of the Sculpture Center is a good thing because it brings more focus to LIC and its involvement with the major, international art institutions.”
The project manager, architect Andrew Berman, who has designed award winning projects for institutions like Center for Architecture, The New York Public Library and MoMA PS1, wants to create a stronger presence through the introduction of using new materials including plywood and corten steel.
Since the relocation of the contemporary art museum from New York City to a former trolley repair shop in LIC in 2002, it has emerged as a dynamic space offering a series of public program and events that has featured more than 650 artists, countless number of performances, film screenings and concerts.
The center plans to remain open throughout construction with some modification to its exhibition schedule and public hours.
Reach Reporter Trisha Sakhuja at (718-357-4000), Ext. 128, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.