Elmhurst Sculpture Garden was previously an overgrown empty lot next to the Olive Garden at 92-10, 59th Ave. In 2017, local artists, Yvonne Shortt and Mayuko Fujino established the garden. Yvonne Shortt and Mayuko Fujino, saw this empty lot as an opportunity to transform it into a garden. With the collaboration of local volunteers from the community, Shortt and Fujino established the Elmhurst Sculpture Garden, offering local artists a safe place to create outdoor art and revitalize a public space.
The first installation at the Elmhurst Sculpture Garden was a community collaboration and funded by Burning Man Global Arts, Department of Cultural Affairs NYC, Queens Council on the Arts, and NEA; to create community sculpture pieces made from aluminum. Volunteers got together and cleaned up the garden, getting rid of the trash and overgrown grass and weeds. The Volunteers comprise community members and a church group called “Our Savior” located in Texas and Rego Park.
Yvonne Shortt held free classes at her studio for the community. The classes taught people how to use tools, build, spray paint and so forth.
Each sculpture was an animal, created by someone in the community. Besides the sculptures, they also built benches. Adding Benches to Elmhurst Sculpture Garden was very important. The benches are to let people know the public space is free and open to everyone wanting to sit down, take in the art and start a conversation with fellow neighbors.
Elmhurst Sculpture Garden is 2500 square feet. The goal is to expand the garden, creating Elmhurst Sculpture Garden to be as large as 10,000 square feet and adding more installations of sculptures.
Yvonne Shortt and Mayuko Fujino, saw this garden as an inspiration and motivation for other artists. Pushing them to go into their community and revitalize their public space and be engaged with their community. Showing them they could transform any public space into something artistic and meaningful for that community. “Imagine the possibilities if every artist took over a 10’ x 10’ public space in disarray and transformed it with art.”- Yvonne Shortt