You are reading

Long Island City arts group seeks new space ahead of 5 Pointz demolition

Local Project, located inside what's known as the 5 Pointz complex

Local Project, located inside what’s known as the 5 Pointz complex

April 9, 2013 By Bill Parry

Long Island City, Queens: The future of several artists groups that occupy space in the 5 Pointz warehouse complex has been thrown into a state of flux as the worldwide “graffiti Mecca” is likely to be razed to make way for residential high rise buildings.

Local Project, a non-profit that helps new artists get off the ground, is one of those groups located inside the greater building complex that is making provisions for the impending demolition.

“Our landlord told us to get out by August,” said the group’s director Carolina Penafiel, who added that the nonprofit is now looking for space elsewhere.

The 5 Pointz complex is an iconic block-long factory and warehouse famous for its 350 spray painted murals that have covered its exterior since 1993. The site has become a tourist destination for art and music fans over the years.

Penafiel spends much of her time working on how she can raise funds so her group can move to another Long Island City location. “I’m really hoping to hit the lottery or have some rich philanthropist volunteer to help us,” she said.

In an effort to raise funds, Local Project has set up a vintage boutique and thrift shop in a storage room next to its 45-10 Davis Street gallery space– called The Fancy Fox. The shop is packed with art, clothes, household accessories, music, books and other eclectic items.

“I’ve accumulated so much artsy stuff over the years I figured it was a way to raise some funds,” Penafiel said. She said if Local Project were to close for good, “hundreds of artists would have no place to go, no place to grow.”

LocalProject2The Fancy Fox is open to the public from Wednesday through Sunday, from 1pm to 8pm. It will also be open day and night by appointment. The shop is also accepting items from designers, artists, musicians and the general public.

Local Project has hosted workshops, exhibitions, performances and fashion shows at its 5 Pointz location for the past 5 years. It has been in Long Island City for 10 years.

Penafiel is working feverishly to generate the funds to remain in Long Island City. “I really want to continue this somewhere,” she said. “This is my life and my love.”

The group also plans a series of events this summer before it leaves.

“We’re going to go out with a bang,” Penafiel said, adding, “we’re working…on concerts, block parties and street fairs. This summer’s going to be crazy.”

email the author: [email protected]


Click for Comments 
Prodigy ( Mobb Deep )

These people were really nice and make the art community a warm and friendly environment , one that brings people of all classes and race together, and gives artist a chance. I don’t want to see them leave from that spot , and If they do , then hopefully to bigger and better. To see people from my old housing projects attend and be happy was a huge plus. Local Project was an amazing addition to Five Pointz, and balanced that block. You have variety of contemporary to world urban art. its a Damm shame that that block will be demolished and make way for the upper class. Once it becomes a high rise it becomes a staple for the rich. Gentrification sucks big time , and it is a matter of time where only art from the privileged will be displayed in LIC. We need to fight this


Local Project is one of the nicest art places in LIC.

Everyone part of the group is very nice.

Their art events are well worthwhile attending.

We hope that they do not leave LIC.

There seems to be a lot of unused space North of Queens Plaza.
Even the Staples location is vacant


Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Long Island City teen sentenced in fatal shooting of ‘beloved’ school teacher at Queensbridge Houses in 2020: DA

A Long Island City man on Friday, Jan. 28, was sentenced to 19 years in prison for the 2020 fatal shooting of a public school social studies teacher who was out walking his dog when he was caught in the crossfire during a confrontation between gang rivals in broad daylight, just blocks from his home, according to Queens District Attorney’s office.

Ike Ford, 19, of 12th Street, in Long Island City, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the first degree before Queens Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Holder. The teacher, George Rosa, 53, was shot in his abdomen by a stray bullet fired by Ford, who was just 17 years old at the time of the shooting but was sentenced as an adult given the severity of the crime, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.

LaGuardia Community College receives federal funding to expand vocational training for the unemployed

LaGuardia Community College recently received more than $400,000 in federal funding to enhance and expand vocational training for underemployed New Yorkers in a city that is still working to recover from COVID-19 pandemic-induced job loss. The support was secured by U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez and former Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney.

LaGuardia Community College President Kenneth Adams explained that the school lost nearly a quarter of its students at the height of the pandemic due to the economic effects of the lockdown on low-income Queens households.

BP launches new advisory panel for youth to become civically engaged in the future of Queens

In an effort to get more young people involved in civics, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards has created a new advisory panel known as the Youth and Young Adult Council to introduce the “youngest and fiercest” community advocates to both community service and organization.

Members of the advisory body will advocate concerns through means of community engagement by participating in one of two cohorts. The first will be made up of high school representatives between the ages of 13 and 17, while the second cohort will be comprised of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.

These Queens eateries are participating in the upcoming NYC Restaurant Week

NYC Restaurant Week is underway, so nix that skillet and bring family and friends to your favorite neighborhood spot, or get inspired and break bread somewhere new and different. During this special citywide culinary event, food-lovers will enjoy curated menus and prix-fixe prices that are easy on the wallet.

Bookings began on Jan. 17 and are available until Feb. 12, and you can reserve a table at 30 participating Queens restaurants, along with hundreds more across the five boroughs.