Editor of Arts and Lifestyle Katie Rex takes you inside the event honoring artists and champions of the institution

Tucked away in a former trolley repair shop on a dead-end street in Long Island City, SculptureCenter celebrated their annual gala. Following welcome cocktails, artists, gallerists, and patrons alike gathered in the main exhibition hall to enjoy a dinner honoring artist Thaddeus Mosley along with the organization’s vice chair of the board of trustees, Eleanor Heyman Propp. Mosley’s abstract wood sculptures were positioned at the head of the space, with bundles of brush adorning long dining tables as centerpieces, paying homage to the seven decades the artist has committed to the medium.

SculptureCenter’s Director Sohrab Mohebbi introduced Propp, citing her as both a mentor and an integral part of how the institution inspires fellowship within its practices. The multi-disciplinary artist, writer, and polymath Rindon Johnson—known for his exploration of the dichotomy between digital and physical space—then introduced Mosley with a poetic letter, expressing their gratitude for his contributions to the sculpture community and adoration for his legacy as a creator. Mosley, a lifelong resident of western Pennsylvania’s steel mill country, said in his unscripted speech, “People often ask me why I chose wood. The answer is, that was the material that was available to me.” SculptureCenter’s commitment to championing altruism and accessibility stand tall in a more commercial art market. An announcement of a landmark one million dollar endowment gift from the Elaine Graham Weitzen Foundation for Fine Arts crowned the event. Sourced from the Foundation’s Commissioning Fund for Emerging Artists, the gift is to further supplement In Practice, SculptureCenter’s open call for young sculptors who, if selected, get to produce a solo show at one of the organization’s gallery spaces. An initiative of this nature is essential for inclusive growth in sculpture, a medium known by artists as one of the more cost-prohibitive forms.

To continue the night, guests found their way to SculptureCenter’s cavernous basement for a party curated by artist collective CFGNY. The space was transformed into an immersive techno crypt by Ashley Systems, an AV company known for transforming raw spaces into high-end rave environments. The lineup is only matched by New York’s thriving underground clubs, with music by Miho Hatori, LYDO, and Word of Command. SculptureCenter’s ethos rang clear through the course of the night; honoring legacy as well as creating accessibility within their corner of the art world.