This post is by guest writer Rachel Alexandra, a fellow outdoor enthusiast. I’m hoping to rotate in a guest writer once a month who will feature an outdoor spot that I haven’t had a chance to visit yet or have no pictures of. Please let me know if you’re interested in writing a future post.
New York City is home to a myriad of well renowned colleges and institutions. Some of them encompass fantastic outdoor space and marry art, education, and culture. The nice thing about it is that you don’t necessarily have to be a student to attend or participate. One of these great places is the Pratt Sculpture Garden located in the heart of Pratt Institute, a private art/design/architectural school in Brooklyn. It’s about a half hour ride from Manhattan and requires a few transfers on the L and G lines, but the light trek is worth it. The Bedford Stuyvesant area is mostly residential, but once you get to the Pratt Sculpture Garden, it’s as if you are miles away from the boroughs and smack in a wonderland.
There are more than two dozen sculptures sprinkled throughout the garden. The sculptures range in size from life-size to building. The variety of concept and materials used is impressive and unique. From stone and marble to plaster and wood, Pratt does a wonderful job in offering everything obscure and poignant to awaken the senses.
A few sculptures seem to be staples in the garden, while some are clearly rotating around the globe and are temporarily parked at Pratt. Each sculpture comes with a plaque explaining the piece and telling a little bit about the artist. All in a lovely green space, some of the sculptures even incorporate the standing trees in the garden. It is not uncommon to see people like forms made out of twigs entwined around the trunks or spinning bee hives in the air touching the top branches. The garden is sizable and is a nice hour long stroll.
There are many benches to sit on and it is not uncommon to see students filming a movie, graduate students pouring over books or people sketching. The Pratt Sculpture Garden is even open for picnics and sun bathing. It is an open, clean, safe and well respected space. On the day I went there was no loud music, screaming or unwanted guests. It was truly a day of relaxation and art.
The Pratt Sculpture Garden is located at 200 Willoughby Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11205. To get there from Manhattan take the Brooklyn bound L train and transfer at Lorimer to the G train at Metropolitan Avenue going towards Brooklyn/Church. Get off at Classon Ave. Walk north on Classon and make a left on Willoughby to the Pratt campus. The sculpture garden is open to the public daily and is guarded with security. If you plan to drive there, there is ample street parking available. If you happen to be hungry or want a quick snack, the local pizzeria Luigi is right around the corner (326 DeKalb Avenue) and is highly recommended!