On August 1st in 1994, the arts non profit Flux Factory came to be. They moved to Long Island City in 2002, first at a space on 43rd Street and then to their present location on 29th Street. Now this Friday, August 1st, the organization will celebrate its 20th anniversary. They are holding a big exhibition called Homecoming, a display of 20 years of artwork, inventions and archives. The exhibition will be free and open to the public from 6 to 9 pm this Friday, then there’s a ticketed banquet on Saturday, August 2nd. The banquet includes a five-course vegetarian meal followed by rooftop drinks and a dance party. According to Flux, “The evening will raise funds towards the next 20 years of incredible collaboration and experimentation.” (Tickets are $50 for dinner and dancing, $15 for just dancing.)
Check out all the details here, and purchase tickets to the banquet here.
This Saturday marks the opening of Socrates Sculpture Park’s new LIC exhibit at 43-29 Crescent Street. The formerly asphalt parking lot, now transformed into a green space, houses a “pool” by the artist Tamara Johnson. Johnson is the second artist to present their work at “The Lot,” as it’s called — a sculpture piece debuted here last summer. Here are details on Backyard Pool from Socrates:
As her title suggests, Johnson’s installation formally resembles small family pools that are ubiquitous in many suburban backyards across the country, and especially in the artist’s hometown of Waco, Texas. By inserting faithful details, from ceramic tiles to a full-sized diving board, into this landscape, Backyard Pool offers a moment of intimacy and serenity to the bustling urbanity of Long Island City.
The opening reception for the art installation will be held from 3 to 5 pm. Then The Lot is free and open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am to 6 pm. M. Wells, located right next door, will also use The Lot for a music festival starting in August.
What happens after a 3 am call leaves two NYPD officers questioning an oath they had vowed to keep? What does an ex narc do after finding a notebook with information on huge quantities of stolen heroin? Should a recent Ivy League college graduate’s resume include an impressive past job which would reveal that he’s gay?
The answers to these questions — and many more — will be unveiled during the second annual Chain NYC Film Festival at The Chain Theatre in Long Island City. Set to run from August 4th until August 17th, the extravaganza will screen more than 100 flicks selected from hundreds of submissions from all over the world. Viewers can watch everything from short documentaries to full-length narratives to a web series.
The Purves Street Block Association meeting is coming up this Wednesday, July 23rd, and there are two very interesting proposal on the agenda. First off, the Sculpture Center will present on its new building reopening, and related events planned. The Center started an expansion project in the spring of 2013; it includes 6,500 square feet of interior exhibition space, a 2,000-square-foot entrance lobby and a 1,500-square-foot enclosed courtyard. Last we heard, the ETA for the space was this fall.
The second item on the agenda is a presentation from Rockrose Development for new park space at Dutch Kills Street and Jackson Avenue. The area is mostly commercial with a few empty lots but unfortunately, there aren’t any more details to divulge at this time. If you’re interested in attending the meeting, it will take place at Sculpture Center, 44-19 Purves Street, from 7 to 8pm. RSVP to Cheryl@sculpture-center.org or call 718-361-1750.
Unbeknownst to us, the M. Wells team opened up a small bar on the rooftop of MoMA PS1 for the summer. Tastoria checked out the space this weekend, which is also where M. Wells grows vegetables and herbs for its Dinette outpost downstairs. (Check out more photos of the garden right here.) There are now some tables and chairs to enjoy the incredible view, and a bar cart serving up beer and wine. Roof visitors can also check out a small-scale Richard Serra piece on display in an alcove on the roof.
The garden is open during normal museum hours, weather permitting, but is closed during Warm Up Saturdays.
The Local Project, an arts nonprofit based in Long Island City, recently funded a Kickstarter account to stay in its current location. The group hoped to raise $6,100; they raised a total of $7,657 with 109 backers. The Local Project hosts year-round exhibitions, arts mentoring, classes, coworking space, art residencies and bilingual programming. They recently moved out of the 5Pointz building to 11-27th 44th Road, where they then faced a 50 percent rent hike. The money funded through Kickstater ensures they can stay at their present location, as well as focus on a long-term strategic plan. DNAinfo reports that they hit their goal several days before the campaign ended this Saturday. (more…)
Last night, SummerStage debuted in Queens with a MET practice recital at Socrates Sculpture Park. But that’s not all for the City Parks Foundation, who will bring more than 100 free performances to fourteen different NYC parks through August. Five more concerts are coming to Queensbridge Park, and the schedule is as follows:
Tuesday July 15th, 7:00 pm: Ismael Miranda / Rebel Tumbao at Queensbridge Park
Wednesday July 16th, 7:00 pm: J Holiday at Queensbridge Park
Thursday, July 17th, 7:00 pm: Mobb Deep at Queensbridge Park
Friday July 18th, 7:00 pm: Harambee Dance Company / Master Class: Harambee Dance Co at Queensbridge Park
Sunday July 20th, 4:00 pm: Queens Family Day at Queensbridge Park
After the jump, check out all the details for upcoming performances.
Brooklyn Street Art posted an excellent photo essay featuring closeup shots of the 5Pointz building, where chipped paint reveals the layers of colorful graffiti work once there. (The top coat, of course, is now all white.) The images are accompanied by a tribute to the artwork now covered up:
So the murals on the surface are gone but in reality they are not – they are here in front of us, just covered by layers of paint. If you want to, you may see it as evidence of the tribute to collaborative public space that 5 Pointz embodied – the affirmation of a multi-membered community united in all it’s multi-colored splendor. Here is your visual forensic report: before you is a brief sampling of the thousands of hours of sweat, labor, inspiration – and thousands of gallons of paint, vividly represented, richly textured, and unquestioned proof of the success of 5 Pointz.
The warehouse building is now waiting for demolition (although some preliminary demo work started earlier this year) and will be replaced by condos.
I say this every time that the Mister rings his bells: Mrs. Softee is lonely during the torrid nights of a New York summer, wondering for whom her man plays his song. Mister Softee is no damn good, and she’s sure of it.
Pictured above is a proper “Mister Softee” truck, found on its rounds in Astoria one night, doing exactly what he told the Mrs. that he’d be up to. The mister’s wearing his proper “trade dress” and nothing is as it shouldn’t be (except that I was walking the dog and didn’t have a penny on me, so I couldn’t buy a vanilla cone with sprinkles. Frankly, the dog was more upset than me about this, but there you go.)
Of late, however, something strange has been going on in Queens – someone has been impersonating the Mister.
This month two artists opened a temporary gallery in Rockaway Beach. The gallery, Topless Rockaway, is in a former eye doctor’s office that had been abandoned since Hurricane Sandy hit. The artists, Jenni Crain and Brent Birnbaum worked with the landlord to renovate the space, pulling down old drop ceilings. They told DNAinfo that they preferred being in Rockway over gallery-heavy neighborhoods like Bushwick and Chelsea because of the community feel.
The pair hope to have four exhibits over the course of the summer. Topless Rockaway is at 90-20 Rockaway Beach Boulevard and is open Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 8 pm and by appointment.