March 22, 2021 By Christina Santucci
The Long Island City Partnership, a neighborhood development organization, has unveiled a new public art installation at five outdoor locations throughout the district.
The exhibit – called LIC is a Galaxy – features a total of 20 fiberglass spheres positioned in tree pits throughout the neighborhood.
Five Queens-based artists were chosen to each design and paint four spheres, which represent planets and celebrate the neighborhood’s diversity. The 18-inch spheres were manufactured by LIC-based Sculpture House NYC, and Culture Lab LIC oversaw the process of selecting the artists.
The installations will be on display through May 1, with the artists hopeful that the period will be extended.
“After what has been a difficult year for many artists, LIC is a Galaxy aims to lift our community up by showcasing engaging art by a range of local talent,” said Elizabeth Lusskin, president of Long Island City Partnership, in a statement.
The five selected artists each created works that reflect their approach to their craft while also showcasing the unique attributes of Long Island City.
Bonnie Astor’s “ALL EYES ON LIC” spheres are located at Jackson Avenue and 44th Drive, in front of the Altice Building. Astor painted four eyes to represent the diverse life forms in Long Island City, including humans and dogs. A fish eye symbolizes the area’s waterways, while a robotic eye represents the influx of technology.
Kerri Boccard’s “Brainflowers” features a bouquet of scattered flowers landing on people’s faces. “The faces are blended together abstractly,” according to the artist, “appearing as individuals and multiple people simultaneously, representing how we see ourselves in one another.”
Boccard’s four spheres/planets are located at Queens Plaza North between 27th and 28th Street, in front of the JetBlue building.
Meanwhile, Karen Fitzgerald used her four spheres to represent the elements of air, fire, water and earth. Her pieces, entitled “The Four Elemental Forces,” are located at the west side of Vernon Blvd. and 46th Avenue, across the street from LIC Bar.
At Jackson Avenue and 23rd Street, near the Court Square Subway Station entrance, Kaiser Kamal’s “Unity in Diversity” can be found. “Colors represent unity in diversity,” according to the artist “because one alone cannot be the world but mix them all and we have Earth.”
And to see Elinore Schnurr’s “WE ARE ONE,” head to the south side of 44th Drive between 11th and Vernon, near Brickhouse Ceramics. Schnurr’s juxtapositions of urban life’s figures and fragments indicate how individuals’ lives are interconnected.
The LIC is a Galaxy exhibit is part of the LIC Arts Connection initiative, which aims to connect the Long Island City community through access to art and culture.
The installation has come together through the work of the Long Island City Partnership; Eventscape, an architectural fabrication firm in LIC; and Culture Lab LIC, an arts non-profit run out of the Plaxall Gallery.
The Long Island Board of Realtors provided funding for the project.