Park Profile: Chris Zirbes
Chris Zirbes is an artist and fabricator who has been working at Socrates since 2015 as the Studio and Facilities Manager. When not making things at Socrates he enjoys hiking and playing guitar.
What brought you to Socrates Sculpture Park?
I came to NYC for the art world, and over the years I’ve worked mostly metal fabrication jobs to support myself while also maintaining my own art practice. Socrates has been a great fit in that it’s kind of a fusion of those two interests- it not only gives me a space to make my own work but it also allows me to participate in the art world for a living, and draw upon the experiences and skills I’ve gained working as a professional fabricator in order to make outdoor art.
How would you describe your role at the Park?
I’m the Studio & Facilities Manager, so my role is building out and maintaining the physical facilities, and facilitating the creation of artwork by others. I work closely with our intrepid curator Jess Wilcox, and the artists that we work with to make their dreams a reality. My role in the creation of artwork varies, but especially on the larger projects I’m responsible for bridging the gap between artists ideas and desires and the actionable plans that we then fabricate here on site.
What are some of the highlights of your experience at the Park?
It’s really been a blessing to work outdoors in NYC full time, and to collaborate with so many wonderful people to create public art. And I really appreciate the amount of problem solving that lands in my lap, honestly. It can be overwhelming but being asked to invent so many solutions does definitely keep things interesting, and it’s rewarding seeing projects come to life through our efforts.