May 13, 2014 By Michael Florio
A massive five-day arts celebration will start in Long Island City this Wednesday.
The LIC Arts Open will begin tomorrow and go through Sunday, taking place at 54 venues throughout the neighborhood.
The event, in its fourth year, will showcase the work of nearly 300 artists who will occupy galleries and performance studios in Long Island City. Nearly 160 of those artists will also open their studios to the public.
The event started as a two-day, open-studio event, which mainly showcased visual artists. However, it has grown at a rapid pace and in so doing has helped raise the profile of artists from this borough.
“The reality is that the art-going public rarely comes to Queens except to see the international artists in the museums, which we are certainly proud to have,” said Festival Director Richard Mazda. “But Queens itself is home to a community of talented artists,” he said.
“Our goal with the festival is to raise the profile of our local artists, to ensure they have a platform, too,” Mazda said.
The biggest exhibition will take place on the ground floor of the Gotham Center, located at 42-09 28th Street. There will be individual artists presenting large pieces (such as sculptures and installation pieces) and artists putting on a group show.
The Gotham Center will also play host to an exhibit called 10 Square, which presents over 110 pieces of original art done on 10-inch panels.
The LIC Arts Open will also be holding events at the Falchi Building, located at 31-00 47th Ave. There will be 20 artists doing their work on the third floor, and there will be about 150 postcards on display that were completed by children from P.S. 78 on the ground floor, Mazda said.
Other venues include Studio 34, located at 34-01 38th Ave, and Reis Studios, located at 43-01 22nd street. Reis Studios houses approximately 160 artist studios, said Mazda.
An exciting development for LIC Arts Open is access to TF Cornerstone’s 46-10 Center Blvd luxury apartment building. The company has provided artists with four apartments to use as galleries. “Four artists are going to use the walls as canvases,” Mazda said. Ceramics will also be placed in each of the four apartments.
The Local NY, located at 13-2 44th Ave, will host exhibitions as well as a screen the best clips from the Queens World Film Festival.
Mazda said that roughly 80-90 percent of the artists are from Queens, but there will be guest artists, including three from Peru.
“We will include interesting work from the outside [the borough], but it is very Queens based,” said Mazda. “Many of the artists have their studios in LIC.”
This will be the first year where a free shuttle bus service will be provided. There will be three buses on offer, one that runs from Vernon Blvd to 23rd Street, another from 23rd Street to the Falchi Building and one that goes from Queens Plaza to Studio 34.
The No. 7 train will be running in Long Island City this weekend, after Mazda and local officials urged the MTA to postpone this weekend’s tunnel work.
All exhibits and shows are free, except for the following:
The Queens New Music Festival, which is $20-per-show
The Sunhwa Chung/Ko-Ryo Dance Theater, which costs $15
The Queens Secret Improv Club, which is $5-$7 a ticket.