10/06/14 11:00am

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An “intervention,” as the term is used in modernity, is when the family and friends of an addict or alcoholic gather to let the offending party know how their bad behavior is affecting the larger group. The idea is that the addict will be shamed into seeking some sort of professional treatment for their various issues. Clearly, things cannot continue as they are and the addict must mend their ways and conform to societal norms. There’s even a TV show called “Intervention” which presents the dramatic and emotional confrontations which ensue during these gatherings.

As everybody knows, those of us who live in Queens are dross consumerists. All of our time is spent at big box stores, fast food establishments, or just mindlessly sitting in traffic while going nowhere important. Work, breed, and die, that’s us. Brooklyn, on the other hand, has artisinal pickles, salty chocolate, and bacon ice cream. Queens needs to be more like Brooklyn, say the Brooklyn people. Well… that’s what everyone in Brooklyn and Manhattan thinks should happen around here.

Hence, the Queens Art Intervention was created, to expand our limited minds and offer a dab of color and smattering of high culture to our otherwise drab existence.

More after the jump… (more…)

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Tomorrow, the Department of Transportation plans to beautify concrete barriers in Jackson Heights. Twenty volunteers from New York Cares will paint designs created by the Greek artist Eirini Linardaki along the pedestrian walkway at 37th Avenue and 69th Street. They will be out working from 10 am to 3 pm.

The design, which you can see after the jump, will stretch across 150 feet of concrete barriers. It depicts the game of pick-up sticks. According to the DOT, “The artist aims to have the mural act as an illustration of the game, as a colorful abstraction, and as a New York City grid.” Pictured above is an example of the DOT’s past work with barrier beautification.

Photo via Flickr

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10/02/14 11:00am

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Last year, in the run up to Halloween, I told you about the “White Lady of Astoria,” a spectral presence which has been remarked upon by more than one resident in my corner of the neighborhood. Also described in 2013 was the historical story of the  ”Blissville Banshee” nearby Newtown Creek.

Queens is full of esoteric lore and magic. At my personal blog, Newtown Pentacle, a series of bizarre finds have been discussed — whether it be my long observance of ceremonial activity at St. Michael’s Cemetery, or the occasional sidewalk encounters one has with magic altars and offerings. I’ve even photographed “orbs” at Calvary’s Almirall chapel!

Queens can be quite spooky, it would seem.

More after the jump…

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10/01/14 3:20pm

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Our love for Open House New York weekend runs deep, and we already gave you a preview of what will be happening in Queens on October 11th and 12th. Today at 11 am, OHNY opened up reservations for specific sites, which tend to fill up fast. (Many other events do not require reservations.) We Heart Astoria compiled an awesome list of all your options in Western Queens — Astoria, LIC and Sunnyside. Events include tours of the Greater Astoria Historical Society, the Welling Court Mural project (partially pictured above), Smiling HogsHead Ranch and the Sunnyside Gardens Historic District. Check out the full list, which includes around 20 sites, here.

09/19/14 10:00am

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The NYC Parks Department and the Historic House Trust released an RFP for a site-specific art experience at the Lewis Latimer House, in Flushing. Specifically, they are looking to commission a Queens-based artist to create a site-specific installation on the grounds of house — work that will “forge connections between the Latimer family’s African-American heritage and Flushing’s current Asian and Latin American residents.” The official RFP lives here [PDF].

Proposals are being accepted through October 31st, 2014 and artists must be based in or native to Queens. The installation is expected for June of next year. You can read more on the history of the Lewis Latimer House both here and here.

Photo via Wikipedia

sculpturecenter-expansion

The SculptureCenter will officially reveal its shiny new expansion on Sunday, October 5th! The addition will include a new entrance lobby with a coatroom, restrooms and seating area, expanded exhibition space, an elevator and stairway to the lower level galleries and a 1,500-square-foot enclosed courtyard. Work started up this spring, and the SculptureCenter remained open throughout the construction project.

The Court Square Blog posted awesome photos of the new interior — pictured above is the view from the main entrance. CSB reports that the SculptureCenter will celebrate its expansion with the new exhibit “Puddle, pothole, portal.” And from 12 to 3 pm on October 5th, there will be free activities at the center including art-making, music, food, tours and the official opening ceremony. From 2 to 5 pm, there will be music and drinks in the courtyard.

Check out more interior photos after the jump!

SculptureCenter Puts on Finishing Touches Ahead of Oct. 5 Reopening [Court Square Blog]
All SculptureCenter coverage [Q'Stoner]

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Great news! The Secret Theatre, which started an Indiegogo fundraising campaign in August, just surpassed its fundraising goal. The theatre started having money problems after the founder found out that the building was not DOB compliant, and the theatre was hit with Department of Buildings fines. The Secret Theatre aimed to raise $10,0000 to go toward closing its funding gap and making crucial building upgrades.

Queens Courier notes that that happened just yesterday, when funding hit $10,860. Founder Richard Mazda doesn’t just plan to pay off the building fines, there are plans for renovations like adding a restroom inside the Little Theatre. He also hopes to establish the theatre as a nonprofit organization.

LIC’s Secret Theatre to Stay Open After Surpassing Fundraising Goal [Queens Courier]
Closing Bell: The Secret Theatre Needs Help [Q'Stoner]

Photo via Facebook

EAF14-Socrates-Sculpture-Park

On Sunday, September 6th Socrates Sculpture Park opens its annual Emerging Artist Fellowship (EAF) Exhibition. There will be 15 EAF14 artists on display, selected through a highly competitive process and a pool of nearly 300 candidates. This year’s artwork takes many forms, like an office cubicle, an interior room built with a false perspective, massive carved raw timbers, and a NYPD SkyWatch Tower with arachnid legs. (Check out a preview of the artist’s work right here.)

The opening celebration will last from 3 pm to 6 pm, and the entire exhibit will be on display until March 22nd of 2015.

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Calling all World’s Fair enthusiasts: the New York Times ran a nice profile on the Queens Museum’s latest exhibit, Behind the Curtain: Collecting the New York Fairs, and spills details on the museum’s World’s Fair memorabilia. The exhibit showcases just about any type of memorabilia related to both World’s Fairs, including souvenirs, Sony’s first portable television, touchtone phones, tickets and a preserved candy bar. There’s even a display case dedicated to the Society of American Magicians, who served as spokesmen to explain new products to the passing crowds.

As the New York Times says, “The closing of both fairs created a diaspora. Objects dispersed, in centrifugal motion, scattering the length and breadth of the land. By strange, circuitous routes, they have been coming back home.” And the exhibit curator, Louise Weinberg, agrees: “That’s the beauty of this museum. The magnetic aura of both the fairs brings these things back. People are just coming out of the woodwork.” You can catch the exhibit until October of 2015.

When Flushing Was Awash With Wonders [NY Times]

The Secret Theatre, an arts organization in Long Island City, just kicked off a fundraising campaign. The theatre is known for hosting two annual short play festivals, a variety of in-house shows and weekly children’s theater. The organization, however, has run into problems with its building and needs $10,000 to take care of it. Here are more details from the Indiegogo fundraising campaign:

After a tough year when we discovered that the building we were in was not compliant we were hit with Dept of Buildings fines, architect fees and we had to move the Little Theatre to a different location with all the attendant moving and construction costs. Our budgets are tiny and with no real reserve to speak of we are dealing with a cash hole that threatens our existence. The Secret has become a major contributor to the cultural life of Western Queens and LIC and has been responsible for creating a theatre scene in LIC where none previously existed. With your help we can continue to win plaudits from The New York Times [multiple critics pick awards] also many shows and artists have won or been nominated for the New York Innovative Theatre Awards, we can continue to support awesome artists and to push the envelope of what can be achieved in a borough that needs us.

The $10,000 will go toward the theatre closing its funding gap and making crucial building upgrades. There are rewards for donating, like becoming a sponsor of one of the annual festivals. To check out the full campaign, go here.