May 15, 2013 By Bill Parry
The 3rd annual LIC Arts Open gets underway Wednesday, with its organizers touting the event as an opportunity for local artists to showcase their work.
The event, which goes from May 15 through May 19, aims to bring the community together through the art. It will showcase performance art, films and fine art.
The first 3 days of the event will focus on the artwork in Long Island City’s many galleries, restaurants and stores– while the remaining two days will spotlight the artists’ studios.
The organizers have split LIC into three sections, where the artwork displayed in certain geographical zones is showcased on separate days.
The artwork in galleries and restaurants in the Court Square/Jackson Avenue area will be highlighted on Wednesday evening. The artwork in galleries/restaurants/stores near Queens Plaza will be the focus on Thursday evening, and the artwork on Vernon Blvd. will follow on Friday night.
On the weekend, the festival’s focus will shift toward those artists who have their studios in LIC. More than 200 artists will open their studios —while the public can be view them in action— between noon and 6pm on Saturday and Sunday. Some of their artwork will be for sale.
The open studios will be a major component of the festival, since they will allow attendees to see local artists who are typically out of the public’s eye.
LIC Arts Open co-founder Richard Mazda said that attendees will learn that LIC artists tend to be older and more established than artists from the trendy areas of the city.
“Williamsburg gets all the notice because its art community is just out of college and is more social with the club scene,” Mazda said. However, in LIC “the artists are older and can afford their own studios, and they produce wonderful work.”
The Arts Open will also feature an encore showing of many of the films that played at the Queens World Film Festival. These films will be played at the Secret Theatre (4402 23rd Street).
Meanwhile, for music lovers, there will be a concert at the Gotham Center on Saturday. “This will feature 10 musicians,” said Jeffrey Leder, one of LICAO’s development directors. “The show is curated by LIC-resident Pat Irwin of the B-52’s,” Leder said.
The entire LIC Arts Open will begin at Leder’s art gallery, located at 21-37 45th Rd., on Wednesday, from 5 pm to 7pm. His gallery will debut a new exhibit of the paintings and drawings of Jorge Posada.
“I assure you it’s not the work of the former Yankees catcher,” said Leder, with a chuckle. “I’m surprised how many people ask me that.”