Welcome to the second installment of our three-part series, LIC for Brooklynites! The first part was about where to eat, and now we’re moving on to what to do. Here is our list of worthwhile things to do in LIC, from museums, to parks, to recreation.
Art and Museums
Image source: Jules Antonio on Flickr
This 19th century schoolhouse holds some of the most current art available in NYC; it is one of the oldest (and largest) nonprofit contemporary art institutions in the US, founded in 1971. Various kinds of new and experimental art in all media are displayed throughout the space, and MOMA PS1 considers itself more of an exhibition space, rather than a “collecting institution.” As indicated by its name, PS1 is affiliated with the Museum of Modern Art.
Each summer, PS1 launches their weekly “Warm Up,” a music (often DJs) and dance extravaganza held in the courtyard of the museum, surrounded by the winner of the “Young Architects Program,” usually in the form of a large scale art piece that consumes the place. Inside is the newly opened M. Wells Dinette, the creation of Sarah Obraitis and Hugue Dufour of M. Wells Diner fame, and probably the best place in the borough for sous vide prepared food and other culinary delights.
MOMA PS1, 22-25 Jackson Ave., Long Island City, NY 11101; (718) 784-2084; momaps1.org (GMAP)
Hours: 12-6pm, Thursday through Monday (Closed Tuesday and Wednesday)
Admission: $10 adults; $5 students and senior citizens; free for MoMA members, MoMA Corporate Members, MoMA admission ticket holders, Long Island City Residents, NYC public school students, Members of the Press, and other Museum Staff with valid ID.
The Noguchi Museum
This museum is devoted entirely to the works of the acclaimed sculptor and artist, Isamu Noguchi. The space has a solid, industrial feel to it, as it originally was a former printmaking plant and gas station. Noguchi’s work with stone is what many expect to see here, but there are also drawings, designs, and works with metal.
Docent-led tours are available, and on Wednesday through Sunday, Japanese language tours are available (call to reserve). The museum also produces various public programs, including First Fridays (in the Summer and Fall, admission is pay-what-you-wish, there’s a cash bar, and the museum is open late), Second Sundays (dialogues with experts), and a variety of live music performance, from jazz to world music. The museum also has a gift shop where books, jewelry and mid-century furniture can be purchased, and there is tiny café there, too.
The Noguchi Museum, 9-01 33rd Rd., Long Island City, NY 11106; (718) 204-7088; noguchi.org (GMAP)
Hours: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday: 10am-5pm; Saturday & Sunday: 11am-6pm (Close Monday and Tuesday)
Admission: General admission: $10; Senior Citizens: $5 ; Students with a valid ID: $5; NYC public high school students with a valid ID, children, and members: FREE
Image source: 16 Miles of String on Flickr
Continuing with the theme of museums existing in former industrial spaces, this exhibition space – redesigned by artist and designer Maya Lin (she may be most well known for her Vietnam War Memorial) – is housed in a former trolley repair shop, and has been there since 2001. The SculptureCenter was originally founded in 1928, and is “a not-for-profit arts institution dedicated to experimental and innovative developments in contemporary sculpture. [They] commission new work and present exhibits by emerging and established, national and international artists.”
The Center’s interior space is 6,000 square feet, and they also have a 3,000 square foot outdoor exhibition space. Exhibitions and events happen throughout the year.
SculptureCenter, 44-19 Purves St., Long Island City, NY 11101; (718) 361-1750; sculpture-center.org (GMAP)
Hours: Thursday – Monday, 11am-6pm (Closed Tuesday and Wednesday)
Admission: $5 suggested donation, $3 for students.
Dorsky Gallery Curatorial Programs
Image source: Dorsky Gallery Curatorial Programs
This arts non-profit is “dedicated to promoting contemporary visual arts to a broad public audience.” They strive to help the public understand and appreciate contemporary art through dialogue. This is a special place for curators, too, as they are given the opportunity to highlight artists they deem important in the world’s contemporary art scene.
By visiting, you’ll not only get a taste of contemporary art, you’ll also have the chance to understand how the curator came to choose the particular pieces in front of you, as well as read their thoughts about the works in the illustrated brochure provided by the Gallery.
Fisher Landau Center for Art
Image source: Fisher Landau Center for Art
Housed in a former parachute harness factory, this private foundation is home to the contemporary art collection of Emily Fisher Landau. She is a philanthropist who, starting in the early 1960s, purchased may of the pieces in the collection from artists early in their careers – some of those artists include Andy Warhol, Cy Twombly, and Robert Rauschenberg.
The museum itself was designed by Max Gordon (designer of the Saatchi Collection in London) with Bill Katz, who is the curator of the collection. The mid-century furniture in the Center is designed by Warren McArthur. The exhibition space takes up three floors, and on each floor you’ll find a staff member happy to help guide you through the immediate collection.
Image source: Flux Factory
This non-profit arts center “supports and promotes emerging artists through exhibitions, commissions, residencies, and collaborative opportunities.” It serves as an “incubation and laboratory space for the creation of artworks” and collaboration is an important part of that process.
Flux Factory runs a residency program for artists, produces major exhibits a year, as well as numerous smaller ones yearly, including open studios. They have also produced a number of classes and workshops that anyone can take, as well as monthly salons, lectures, film-screenings, and receptions for visitors to the center.
Flux Factory, 39-31 29th St., Long Island City, NY 11101; (718) 707-3362; fluxfactory.org (GMAP)
Hours: Varied, depending on what is showing at any given time
Admission: Varied, depending on the event