Gallery Guide To Astoria and LIC
By Anni Irish
People tend to flock to Chelsea or the Lower East Side in Manhattan for the NYC art scene, but in the last decade, many artists have left Manhattan and even Brooklyn to set up shop in Queens. This new exodus of creatives has meant new galleries and artist-run spaces are popping up in both Astoria and Long Island City making it one of the best up-and-coming scenes citywide.
This guide will give you insight into some of the best art spaces this part of Queens has to offer.
Opened in 2017 by Parsons grad Tina Stipanovic, Afterwork Studios operates as an art and community space within the neighborhood of Astoria.
With a rotating exhibition of art shows, a dark room, studio spaces, classes, and workshops Alterwork is creating artistic opportunities in everything it does. And in the age of COVID-19, they have continued to offer the neighborhood a creative outlet with various in-person classes and exhibitions. If you’re looking to try your hand at pottery, printmaking, or something else, or are interested in seeing what’s currently on view, a visit to Alterwork is well worth it.
30-09 35th Avenue, Queens, NY 11106 | @alterworkstudio
Doubling as an art gallery and larger curatorial project, 5-50 Gallery is located in a former carving studio in Long Island City. Making its debut in 2018, the gallery has offered an impressive range of shows in the short time since it’s been open.
Their work has even been seen in well-known art fairs such as SpringBreak which is held yearly in Manhattan. Throughout the pandemic, the gallery has remained open and hosted several impressive shows. A recent exhibition titled Twilight featured the work of Mathew Zefeld and Naomi Nakazato, which considers the current times we live in and how screen time has affected this.
5-50 51st Avenue, Queens, NY 11101 | @550gallery
Long Island City artist has been a bit ahead of the Queens gallery scene. Opened in 1985, LiC-A, an art non-profit and exhibition space, has been a champion in advocating for artists in the LIC area since its inception.
They have continued to press on and o er an impressive number of exhibitions and workshops open to the public throughout the year. Some recent shows have included “Drawings in a Time of Social Distancing”, “Someone Will Remember Us, Even From Another Time”, and “Her Vote” an animated installation of the 100-year history of the women’s right to vote. Their programming is always topical and very much a part of the community they serve.
51-25 46th Avenue, Queens, NY 11101 | @licartists
What was originally a former spice factory rented by 7 artists in Williamsburg in 1993, FluxFactory has evolved into a premier art space in LIC in the two decades since. Offering a wide array of impressive programming from exhibitions, an artist residency program, classes, and other community initiatives Flux is helping to diversify the LIC art scene in many ways.