Sculpture alumnus exhibits “Monument for Immigrants” at park in Long Island City

Daniel Bejar, “Monument for Immigrants (In Advance of ICE Raid),” 2020, Courtesy the Artist, Image by Sara Morgan

Work by an alumnus of the Sculpture MFA program is currently featured in an exhibition at Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City, New York.

Daniel Bejar ’07g (Sculpture) was selected to display his “Monument for Immigrants (In Advance of an ICE Raid)” as part of the “Monuments Now” exhibition, which runs through March 2021. Part I of the exhibition featured established acclaimed artists, while Part II—which includes Bejar and launched on Oct. 10—was selected from submissions to an an open call. Part III also launched on Oct. 10 and features local high school students.

According to a press release from Socrates Sculpture Park, Bejar is one of 10 artists selected for the park’s 2020 Socrates Annual Fellowship.

“As a whole, ‘Monuments Now’ seeks to highlight underrepresented narratives and commemorate marginalized peoples,” according to the release. “Within this scope, the 2020 Artist Fellows projects range widely—from championing the civil servants who deliver fresh drinking water to somber mediation on the legacy of American chattel slavery.”

Bejar’s piece “plays with ideas of visibility both in terms of public monuments and human rights as it pertains to citizenship. In response to recent raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Bejar’s ‘Monument for Immigrants’ provides a utilitarian escape hatch for undocumented people to enter and safely hide inside.”

Daniel Bejar, Concept rendering for “Monument to Immigrants,” 2020. Courtesy of the artist.

The monument is in three separate pieces, using materials including wood, steel, artificial rocks and a cell phone, among others.

Learn more about Bejar’s artwork on the Socrates Sculpture Park website.

The exhibit is paired with an audio guide of the artists speaking about their work, which can be accessed on the website or by calling 646-217-4440, then pressing 1 and the “#” key.

Socrates Sculpture Park is located at 32-01 Vernon Boulevard in Long Island City.

Find out more about the Master of Fine Arts program at SUNY New Paltz.