The LIC Arts Open Arrives Next Week!

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in Arts and Culture, Featured, Long Island City


We’re excited that the LIC Arts Open is almost upon us! This annual event, now in its fourth year, starts in a week on May 14 and goes through May 18. It’s a wonderful time to be in LIC, where you can enjoy the fruits of many labors during this grassroots effort to bring attention and enthusiasm to the LIC arts scene. The organizers expect this year to be the biggest yet, with 15 new venues that range from “the ultramodern to the alternative.”

Here are some numbers to know when it comes to the LIC Arts Open:

  • 54 locations
  • 25o artists
  • 85+ exhibitions
  • 160 open studios

That’s a lot of art!

The festival’s executive director, Richard Mazda, had this to say:

“We were a hidden gem for years, but that’s quickly changing. Word is getting out that LIC is home to a community of tremendously talented artists, from the emerging like Stef Duffy, to rising stars like Luba Lukova—who is designing the festival’s poster—to the celebrated, like Matthew Barney, Murakami and legendary sculptor Joel Shapiro. LIC Arts Open continues to be a fantastic way for us to showcase the thriving arts community in Western Queens.”

Here is the schedule for the Open (check festival guide at for exact times as they vary):

May 14-18 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Most Exhibition Hours

May 14-16 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Most openings happen by district over three days:
On Wednesday, the Vernon Blvd district; on Thursday, the Court Square district; and on Friday, the Queens Plaza district.

May 16 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
10Squared unveiling and reception at Gotham Center

May 17-18 from 12 p.m.-6 p.m.
All Open Studios

May 14 from  7:30 to 10 p.m.
Opening Party, The Local

May 18 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Closing Party, Gotham Center

As far as cost goes, events are FREE and open to the public. A few performances are ticketed, including the Queens New Music Festival ($20/show, $30/day; $50/2 day) and the Sunhwa Chung/Ko Ryo Dance Theater ($15).


BaubleBubble, Bernard Klevickas, 2014

Highlights of the 4th Annual LIC Arts Open include (thanks to the LIC Arts Open PR folks for writing this up):

The Huffington Post called her one of 15 women artists who have left their mark on modern design. With just a few well-chosen lines, Luba Lukova’s striking images, currently on view at MoMA elicit a sharp, visceral reaction followed instantly by an urge to reflect on the iniquities of humankind. Not surprisingly, her Social Justice poster portfolio garnered her international acclaim. Don’t miss her exhibition, Drama on Paper: Posters for the Stage.
Reception: May 14, 7 pm-10pm. The Local, LIC, 13- 02 44th Ave.

On the 8th floor of the glass tower that curves around LIC’s iconic Pepsi sign, four vacant apartments overlooking Manhattan are being transformed into pop-up galleries to exhibit works by five top LIC artists: sculptor Toshiako Noba’s otherworldly clay vessels; photographer Orestes Gonzales’ striking portraits and landscapes; Sharon Florin’s vibrant city scenes; painter Donna Levinstone’s mesmerizing skyscapes; and Paula Elliott’s stormy abstract paintings. May 14-18; 8am-8pm.
Reception May 14; 5:30-7:30pm. 46-10 Center Blvd.

Photographer and World War II veteran Tony Vaccaro is best known for the images he captured during and immediately after the war as well as his fashion and lifestyle photography for magazines like Life and Look. The Golden Age of Formula One: Through Tony’s Lens, features his work spanning the 1950s and in recent years. May 14-31, 12pm-6pm.
Reception May 14, 8pm. Evandro Tech Motors, 10-01 45th Ave.

Sunhwa Chung/Ko-Ryo Dance Theater, whose 2012 piece “Arirang” was a Washington Post editor’s pick that the New York Times called “in constant danger of boiling over,” will premier “Life is Every Day: So Close Yet So Far Away,” another unique fusion of modern and traditional Korean dance. Inspired by events in Chung’s life, the performance depicts the dramatic changes Korean transplants face as they adapt to a foreign culture. Green Space, 37-24 24th St., #301.

Artwork that normally sells for thousands will go for as little as $110 as over 100 artists create original pieces for the festival with one thing in common: each will be confined to a10x10 wood panel, to be unveiled at the 10Squared exhibition. During the Closing Party, the works will be sold at a silent charity auction, with proceeds going to help fund the Queens Council on the Arts ‘High School to Art School’ program and LIC Arts Open. Bidding begins May 14 and ends at 9pm on May 18.
Reception: May 16, 6pm-9pm, Gotham Center, at the corner of Queens Plaza South and 28th St.

After laboring for years as an art fabricator for artists like Frank Stella and Louise Bourgeois, Bernard Klevickas is emerging as an artist in his own right, with a talent for taking the detritus of conspicuous consumption that is otherwise burying us and turning into art, such as his twisted bicycle planters, featured in the New York Times, and his recent solo show of metal sculptures, that caught Hyperallergic’s attention.
Reception: May 16, 6-8pm at Material for the Arts, 33-00 Northern Blvd, LIC.

Five of Matthew Barney’s assistants formed the Crew, and created an interactive exhibition that pits sculptures, drawings and installations against live action as they throw themselves into their work. “Our art practice is a reflection of everyday life within imaginative aspects,” says one. “It is a statement, critique and observation on social structures and today’s environment,” says another. 5-25 46th Ave, next to the LIC Flea.

A massive multimedia event, Big Whirlygig will feature live music, dance, art, installations, a DJ and even a light show. Special musical guests include Gary Lucas (Captain Beefheart), Ernie Brooks (Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers), Steve Wynn (Dream Syndicate), Peter Zaremba (Fleshtones), and Little Embers. Special performance by multimedia rap artist Jason Lalor. May 17, 8pm at 5-25 46th Ave, next to the LIC Flea.

The Pop Culture Pop-up Art & Shop is taking over Coffeed’s rustic funky warehouse space to bring together artists, arts&crafters, fashion designers and poets, all weaving their way through art installations while listening to music and poetry, and sipping on beer, coffee, and wine. Expect homemade eats from the one-acre rooftop farm overhead! An event for the hardcore localvore culturephile. First 10 guests receive a complimentary drink and gift bag. May 16, 6:30pm–until everyone’s coffeed out. Coffeed, 37-18 Northern Blvd.

Named a 2011 ‘Critics’ Pick by TimeOut NY, a ‘Voice Choice’ by Village Voice magazine and one of the “Best Things To Do In NYC” by CBS New York, BATSU! is NYC’s live Japanese game show. Four ‘warriors’ – all performers from the acclaimed comedy group Face Off Unlimited, battle to avoid electric shocks, paintball guns, and other jaw-dropping punishments. Until now it could only be seen in the East Village but for one night only BATSU! will perform for free at the LIC Arts Open. May 17, 8pm, The Local, LIC. 13-2 44th Ave.


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