03/27/15 4:00pm

sunnyside-plaza

Both the Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District and ReCreate Queens just launched a crowdfunding campaign to bring cultural programming to Sunnyside’s Bliss Plaza this summer. The plaza, which opened up last year, is located right under the 7 at Queens Boulevard and 46th Street. The goal of the campaign is to raise just over $5,000 by mid-April to kick off the performance series “Third Thursdays in Bliss Plaza.” The performance, planned to run between June and October, will provide residents with free concerts from different musicians and performers.

The performance series got its initial funding from Queens Council on the Arts, but additional funding is needed to carry the program through the summer. According to the Sunnyside BID, the first $1,000 of donations will be matched by the Neighborhood Plaza Partnership. As Rachel Thieme, executive director of Sunnyside Shines, says, “Bringing arts programming to Bliss Plaza helps create a more dynamic place and generates foot traffic and activity in the neighborhood, which benefits businesses, residents and visitors alike.”

If you’d like to donate, do so here.

Photo by Michael Rapp

03/25/15 4:00pm

weird-loner-queens

“Weird Loners,” a TV show about “four single 30-something underdogs” living in Ridgewood, premieres on Fox on March 3st. To celebrate, Ridgewood’s Queens Tavern, at 6869 Fresh Pond Road, is holding a viewing party. The event description is pretty darn funny:

Grab a beer and uncomfortably watch the first episode at Queens Tavern on their full screen! Be in awe of how large their indoor apartment is! Then ask yourself… “if that is considered weird by mainstream standards… what am I?” Make bets with your fellow friends on how long until this show gets cancelled!

P.S. The word “Quooklyn” is banned from the party.

Sarah from Ridgewood Social will be the host of the evening. Here are details on the event, which begins at 9 pm on Tuesday. See you there?

Closing Bell: “Weird Loners,” Set in Ridgewood, Will Premiere This Month [Q'Stoner]

the-living-pyramid-socrates-sculpture-park

Check out this new, monumental sculpture coming to Socrates Sculpture Park! It’s by the New York City-based artist Agnes Denes and will be called The Living Pyramid. This large-scale, site-specific piece — commissioned by Socrates Sculpture Park — will span 30 feet at its base and rise 30 feet high. It will be created from several tons of soil and planted grasses.

The Living Pyramid will actually grow throughout its installation. It will be installed in April of this year, and the public is invited for a participatory volunteer planting at the site on May 17th from 3 to 6pm. According to Socrates, “As tens of thousands of seeds sprout into grasses and wildflowers, The Living Pyramid will continue to grow and evolve, with full assembly and completion this June.” It will be on display at the park until August 30th.

03/12/15 4:00pm

weird-loner-queens

The TV show “Weird Loners” is set to run on Fox March 31st, according to Queens Courier. The show, work of the co-creator behind The King of Queens, is all about “four single 30-something underdogs who are unexpectedly thrust into one another’s lives and form an unlikely bond in a Queens townhouse.” While the story is set in Ridgewood, it’s shot in Los Angeles, and the current script doesn’t include direct references to the neighborhood. Creator and executive producer Michael J. Weithorn, however, hopes that through the show, “We will get the chance to tell the world about Queens.” Doesn’t the world already know?

New Fox Comedy Set in Queens Premiering March 31 [Queens Courier]
New TV Show, “Weird Loners,” Will Take Place in Ridgewood [Q'Stoner]

02/11/15 3:00pm

flushing-town-hall-fundraiser

Back in September, an anonymous donor challenged Flushing Town Hall to raise $35,000 in new donations by February of this year. If the historic arts center reached its goal, the donor promised to contribute another $35,000. Well, here’s some good news straight from Flushing Town Hall: since September more than 300 people donated, for a total of more than $41,000. Says the Artistic Director Ellen Kodadek, “We are extremely heartened by this outpouring of support. People from all walks of life – new and returning visitors, supporters of the arts, neighbors and visitors from afar – all pitched in to help meet this challenge. We even received a number of contributions from people whose names we didn’t even recognize. This is just an amazing response!” The funds will be used to keep things running at Flushing Town Hall, which has undergone significant budget cuts in recent years.

You can donate to the fundraiser until February 28th. The “35″ in “$35,000″ actually represents this year’s 35th anniversary of the Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts.

All Flushing Town Hall coverage [Q'Stoner]

02/11/15 9:00am

46-55-metropolitan-avenue

A tipster recently passed along news that the four-story warehouse at 46-55 Metropolitan Avenue — right next door to the popular Ridgewood restaurant Bun-Ker — is slated to become artist studios. The tip was confirmed by a contact listed on this Department of Buildings application, which specifies an “interior renovation with partition works on 2nd, 3rd and 4th floor.” (Requests to the actual building owner went unanswered.) We couldn’t get any more specifics, except that the warehouse will be converted into commercial spaces for artistic use. (We’re wondering if it could be something like the now-defunct 3rd Ward art workspace in nearby Bushwick.) No word on the construction timeline, although the DOB issued permits to begin the interior renovation this month.

The warehouse is a total of 32,400 square feet with 8,100 square feet per floor and 13-foot ceilings. According to public records, it sold in December for $5,300,000. GMAP

Photo via Google Maps

court-square-park-long-island-city

Today the Parks Department announced that it is holding its annual Clare Weiss Emerging Artist Award in Long Island City’s Court Square Park. The Clare Weiss Award (named after the former Public Art Curator for the Parks Department) is given to an emerging, NYC-based artist with a compelling proposal for an outdoor sculpture. That recipient will be granted $10,000 for the costs of fabrication, insurance, maintenance, installation and removal of the artwork, as well as the restoration of the site. The artist will then install their work in Court Square Park sometime in the fall of 2015, and it’ll be on view for one year.

If you’re an artist interested in applying for the award, go here. The deadline for submissions is March 22nd, 2015.

Photo by the NYC Parks Department

01/16/15 11:00am

job1

On Park Lane, at the east end of the vast Forest Park, which includes the neighborhoods of Forest Hills, Kew Gardens, Richmond Hill and Glendale, a lone lamenting figure stands on a rise between the basketball courts and the tony homes spread out before it. His garments are ripped and his eyes look heavenward in a  supplicating manner. Passersby would be puzzled about what this figure symbolizes, were there not a NYC Parks sign positioned perhaps a bit too close to it.

job2

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IMG_2

First of all, the definition. Amigurumi is a traditional Japanese art form that involves knitting or crocheting small stuffed animals or other cuddly creatures. Second, the relevance. Resobox is currently displaying more than 4,000 amigurumi that were made by more than 140 artists from 32 different countries. In fact, the Long Island City gallery has turned its space into an “amigurumi room,” filled with a wide array of these handmade objects. Third, the pitch. These crafts are on sale… and Valentine’s Day is coming up.

Details: World Amigurumi Exhibition, Resobox, 41-26 27th Street, Long Island City, show runs until February 28th, admission is free, but pieces mostly cost between $20 and $50. Gallery is open on all weekdays, except Tuesday, 11 am to 5 pm, and weekends, noon to 5 pm.

Photo: Resobox

01/14/15 4:00pm

arts-connect-new-york

Art Connects New York, a group that curates free, permanent art exhibits for social service organizations in NYC, has partnered with the Markus Gardens development in Jamaica for its next project. (Check out some of the artwork Art Connects New York brought to the Queens Community House here.) The Queens-based artist and curator Karen Fitzgerald is organizing this next exhibit, which will be permanently installed in the Markus Gardens supportive housing development at 90-26 171st Street. To be called “In a Sheltering Place,” it will feature 15 artists exploring the ideas of shelter and home through various media. All of the artists donated their artwork in the exhibition to the Markus Gardens community.

The grand opening is scheduled for February, so stay tuned for images and details on the exhibit to come.

Image by Mary Pinto, “House by the Sea”