September 4, 2022 – March 12, 2023

The 2022 Annual: Sink or Swim Climate Futures
On view September 2022 – March 2023

The Artist Fellows

Cheyenne Concepcion
*2022 New York Community Trust Van Lier Artist Fellow

Sean Desiree


Randi Renate
*2022 Devra Freelander Artist Fellow

Daniel Shieh
*2022 New York Community Trust Van Lier Artist Fellow

As a public park and outdoor venue Socrates is an art space particularly attuned to the effects of climate change. Applicants to the 2022 Socrates Annual Fellowship and exhibition program were encouraged to submit proposals based on the prompt *Sink or Swim with the goal of presenting a public artwork for a fall of 2022 group exhibition.

This year, Socrates asks artists to consider the present day ecological conditions and challenges that our globe faces. Just this August, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported that 1.5 degrees C global temperature within the next 20 years is unavoidable, but there is a window of opportunity for global action to slow the current warming trend and consequential environmental destruction. We are at once on the tipping point of irreparable ecological devastation and at the dawn of a new age of Green politics and technologies. Reduction of future emissions paired with technologies for carbon sinking [*pulling CO2 out of the atmosphere and trapping it in rock or water] may temper the warming phenomena. Or, the rising temperatures may further melt our glaciers, increasing ocean levels, leaving coastal cities under water. In this scenario, sinking is preferable to swimming.

While a global phenomenon, climate change does not impact all equally. The costs are greater borne on disadvantaged groups with less political power—those in developing countries, women, the young, the elderly, racial and ethnic minorities, and those without access to capital. 

How can we address the urgency, enormity, and challenges of climate change without falling into melancholy or paralysis? How do the matrices of race, gender, and class intersect in this Green future? What can we do to mitigate eco-anxiety surrounding these many simultaneous demands for global change? What can we learn from historically vulnerable, but thriving communities that can help us navigate this challenge?


The 2022 Socrates Annual Artist Fellows were selected from over 350 applicants by a curatorial jury consisting of Socrates staff members – Curator & Director of Exhibitions Jess Wilcox, Executive Director Tamsin Dillon, Director of Programs & Engagement Aya Rodriguez-Izumi, and Director of Studio & Fabrication Chris Zirbes – along with two curatorial advisors: Solana Chehtman, Director of Creative Practice and Social Impact at the Shed and Daisy Nam, Curator at Ballroom Marfa.

Each Artist Fellow is awarded a $8,000 production grant, $2,000 honorarium, three months of seven-days-a-week access to the resources and fabrication facilities of the Park’s outdoor artist studio to realize their proposed project. Follow along @socratespark to see the Fellows’ projects in progress at Socrates this summer and stayed tuned for more details!


Major support for The Socrates Annual Fellowship & Exhibition comes from the New York Community Trust Van Lier Fellowships, the Devra Freelander Artist Fund, the Jerome Foundation, and public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support is provided by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Cowles Charitable Trust, the Charina Foundation, the Sidney E. Frank Foundation, Maxine and Stuart Frankel Foundation, Agnes Gund, Lambent Foundation, Ivana Mestrovic, and Spacetime C.C.

The exhibition is funded, in part, by public funds from the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the New York City Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts with support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.