The Annual Benefit Gala raises critical funds that directly support Socrates Sculpture Park and our mission to support artists and produce free cultural programming that serves more than 200,000 people annually.

To avoid a 3% processing fee paid for by the Park, please send your contribution form and check to our office. Checks should be made payable to SOCRATES SCULPTURE PARK and sent to:

2019 Gala Headquarters
Socrates Sculpture Park
PO Box 6259
Long Island City, NY 11106

Or you can support the gala and purchase tickets via our online form.

Questions? Contact or 718-956-1819 x102


Socrates Sculpture Park’s 2019 Benefit Gala
Honoring Agnes Gund & Xaviera Simmons
With a special benefit edition by Miya Ando
Thursday, October 3rd, 2019
Mark di Suvero’s Studio
Long Island City, Queens
6:30pm Cocktails & Dinner | 9:30pm Gala Ends

Socrates Sculpture Park is delighted to honor philanthropist Agnes Gund and artist Xaviera Simmons at the Park’s 2019 Annual Benefit Gala on Thursday, October 3, 2019. These two remarkable women reflect the Park’s mission to produce dynamic arts and cultural programming that is accessible to all.

The 2019 Gala will be hosted at Mark di Suvero’s magnificent waterfront studio in Long Island City where guests can mingle on the pier and enjoy boat excursions on the East River.

A special limited edition by artist Miya Ando will be available for purchase>>


Agnes Gund

Agnes Gund is president emerita of the Museum of Modern Art and chair of MoMA PS1. She joined the MoMA Board in 1976 and served as president from 1991 until 2002. She is founder and chair emerita of Studio in a School, established in response to budget cuts that virtually eliminated arts classes from NYC public schools. A philanthropist and collector of modern and contemporary art, Ms. Gund serves on the boards of the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies, and the Morgan Library and Museum. She is co-founder and chair of the Center for Curatorial Leadership, and honorary trustee of the National YoungArts Foundation, Independent Curators International and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland. A civic leader and staunch supporter of education and social justice, she launched the Art for Justice Fund in 2017 in partnership with the Ford Foundation and Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors to support criminal justice reform in the U.S. Ms. Gund received the National Medal of the Arts from President Clinton in 1997, and the J. Paul Getty Medal in 2018.

Agnes Gund is an extraordinary supporter and advocate of Socrates Sculpture Park and served for almost a decade on the Board of Trustees.

Xaviera Simmons

Xaviera Simmons’s sweeping body of work spans photography, performance, video, sound, sculpture, and installation. She is the recipient of a 2018 Art for Justice Award and has exhibited nationally and internationally. Her work has been included in major exhibitions at The Studio Museum in Harlem, The Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, The Public Art Fund, The Sculpture Center, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, and Brooklyn Museum, among many others. Her works are in major museum and private collections including The Museum of Modern Art, The Nasher Museum, Deutsche Bank, UBS, The Guggenheim Museum, The Agnes Gund Art Collection, The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, The Studio Museum in Harlem, ICA Miami, High Museum, and Perez Art Museum Miami. In 2020 Simmons will be a teaching artist and fellow at Harvard University and she will present new bodies of work in exhibitions at The Highline NY, SFMOMA and The Institute for Contemporary Art, Virginia Commonwealth University among many other institutions.

We are also pleased to announce that Socrates Sculpture Park is commissioning a new work from Xaviera Simmons, which will be on view in 2020.


Pictured: Miya Ando, ‘4 Seasons Mandalas (Under The Silver River) #4 Early Summer,’ 2019, Image courtesy the Artist

Artist: Miya Ando
Title: ‘Four Seasons Mandala (Under the Silver River)’
Date: 2019
Media: Dyed Bodhi (Ficus Religiosa) leaves, pure silver thread, monofilament on archival ragboard
Size: 20 x 20 inches (24 x 24 inches framed)
Edition: 12 with 6 A.P.s, each unique

As a special limited benefit edition for Socrates Sculpture Park, artist Miya Ando has created a series of multi-hued mandalas out of bodhi leaves. Each edition is uniquely pigmented to reference the subtle yet distinct chromatic gradients of a ‘sub-season’ – the early, mid, or late part of a calendar season.

To create the mandalas, Ando bleached and dyed the leaves then used silver thread to stitch them together along their miniscule veinature – creating unique geometric patterns. Aligned at 90 degree rotations, the silver thread also suggests a compass and provides an anchor for wandering eyes.

Ando drew inspiration from aspects of Buddhism like The Buddha’s enlightenment under the bodhi tree, the belief that mandalas represent the universe, and their traditional use as meditation aids. ‘Four Seasons Mandala (Under the Silver River)’ also references Ando’s recent commission ‘銀河 Ginga (Silver River)‘ for Socrates’ summer 2019 exhibition ‘Chronos Cosmos: Deep Time, Open Space.’ A circuitous canopy of undulating chiffon suspended above the earth, ‘Silver River’ allowed viewers to look through the translucent fabric patterned with stars and see the sky beyond.

Ando’s mandalas adopt a similarly mesmerizing layering effect and relish in awe of natural phenomena. The way the rings of leaves are overlaid creates a pulsating visual effect that suggests the relational character of the universe and highlights our connection to and place within the natural world. In harmonization with her time working at Socrates, Ando has created this beautiful new meditation on how nature shapes our belief systems and our way of ordering the world.

Miya Ando is represented by Sundaram Tagore Gallery and has exhibited her work throughout the United States and internationally at various locations including the Noguchi Museum, Long Island City, NY; LACMA, Los Angeles, CA; Bronx Museum, Bronx, NY; and San Jose Art Museum, San Jose, CA, among others.