Last Sunday marked the opening of the 14th Annual Emerging Artist Fellowship Exhibition at the Socrates Sculpture Park. Located by the East River in Long Island City, it's just about the perfect spot on a pleasant fall afternoon to appreciate some art.

The 15 artists (out of nearly 300 entrants) chosen for this year's EAF all seem to have taken to heart the directive to present "socially aware" works that "engage with the larger narrative of public space", but most of them are also just kind of fun to explore and climb all over. Each work is interactive in some way as well, adding to the family-friendly, crowd-pleasing aspect of the exhibition. A few highlights:

Zaq Landsberg's SkyWatch Spider, for which the artist transforms the NYPD's increasingly ubiquitous spy tower into something even more overtly horrific (h/t Louise Bourgeois).

Amanda Long's Portal, a video installation embedded into the park's stone wall that uses live-feed surveillance cameras (of you and your fellow park-goers) to jittery, trippy effect.

Jordan Griska's Dolos, a clear Plexiglass version of those usually menacing-looking flood guards which, when in their more traditional concrete state, and piled high along a coastline, always remind me of broken bones, or shattered teeth. Griska's Dolos is much prettier, perhaps implying that we haven't really learned anything yet from our recent (losing) bouts with nature.

Christopher Mahonski's Spurious Brood, made up of literally hundreds of Timex Ironman digital watches strapped to high branches within Socrates's little grove, as well as to the trees at the park's entranceway. Is it some kind of terrible infestation? When they all start sounding their tinny, beepy alarms at 4:00, 5:00, and 6:00 each day, the answer would seem to be yes. The watches illuminate, too, which should be cool come winter.

Dane Winkler's Moon Lasso, a rural-looking arched bridge, all unfinished steel and reclaimed lumber, complete with dim lamppost glowing from the top. It's steep enough, and high enough, and raw enough, to feel a little dangerous, and the glass portal in the center allows for interesting views from below.

The Emerging Artist Fellowship Exhibition will be at Socrates Sculpture Park through March 22, 2015. On Saturdays there's an XXX Coffee stand there, serving strong, good caffeine.