The Socrates Sculpture Park in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens has appointed Tamsin Dillon as its executive director. Dillon succeeds Suzy Delvalle, who served as interim director since July, and John Hatfield, who served as executive director from 2012 to 2021. She takes up the post this month.
Dillon has over 25 years of experience mounting public art projects. After moving to New York in 2019, she founded Art in Public to commission new works. Last year she curated “Waterfronts”, an exhibition of seven temporary outdoor works of art on display around England’s Creative Coast (which encompasses Kent, Essex and Sussex). This exhibition included commissions from Michael Rakowitz, Mariana Castillo Deball, Holly Hendry and Pilar Quinteros. She has also previously worked on commissioning works by artists in the London Underground and King’s Cross, and for a project to commemorate the First World War.
Dillon was selected by a board committee consisting of Michelle Coffey, Robert F. Goldrich, Shaun Leonardo, Ivana Mestrovic and Brooke Kamin Rapaport. In a statement, the committee said, “Tamsin is an innovative cultural leader who will take Socrates into the next stage of his evolution. She carries a deep passion for both the need for green spaces in our urban centers and the growing role of art and artists in our communities. …We are confident that Tamsin will inspire our staff, artists, partners and neighbors to think boldly about how the park can position itself as a leading role model at the intersection of art, the natural environment and of social justice.
In recent years, Socrates Sculpture Park has become known for the large-scale installation-based exhibitions it mounts, in collaboration with artists like Guadalupe Maravilla, Nari Ward, Agnes Denes and Virginia Overton. In 2020, the organization mounted a two-part exhibition called “Monuments Now”. The first part included new commissions from Jeffrey Gibson, Paul Ramírez Jonas and Xaviera Simmons, and was later accompanied by a section subtitled “Call and Response”, in which the park’s 10 grantee artists created new works in response to parts disclosed in part. a.
“I think Socrates is a very special place in terms of what it’s managed to accomplish over the past 35 years,” Dillon said in an interview. “Many people consider it one of New York’s best kept secrets in terms of what has been done in the past, what it can do and what it has the potential to do. This what I hope to be able to do is support it by giving it even greater recognition for the artists, the community.