12. Elmhurst Sculpture Garden

Elmhurst Sculpture GardenPhoto courtesy Che-Min Hsiao, an artist who previously had work at the Elmhurst Sculpture Garden

The Elmhurst Sculpture Garden in Queens was opened in 2017 by Yvonne Shortt and Mayuko Fujino, offering a place for local artists to display their works while revitalizing public space. Originally, the garden was just an overgrown lot by the Long Island Expressway, but after cleaning the garden and installing sculptures, the garden opened to the public and now features Clean Up Day each Wednesday to keep the garden and surrounding area alive and safe.

The small garden currently features seven public artworks like Shotgun Home (America) by Margaret Roleke, made of numerous small toys and spent shotgun shells to comment on gun violence. Shortt’s Waking Blind depicts the face of a young girl made of clay and is about “identity and disability and draws from my cultural identity” according to Shortt. Using mylar cutouts, Fujino created Treeuphoria to depict birds and people dancing, intertwined with each other and with real plants in the garden.