Annual outdoor arts fair returns to Kew Gardens

Many artists showcase their work to sell at the Kew Gardens Outdoor Arts Fair.
Courtesy of Carol Lacks
By Cassidy Klein

Art “speaks to the aesthetic heart,” according to Kew Gardens potter Sheila Blunt.

This year’s Kew Gardens Outdoor Arts Fair, scheduled for Sept. 30, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., will give the community a chance to have their aesthetic hearts and minds spoken to through the diverse array of art and activities that will be on display.

“It’ll be great to see neighbors I know and to enjoy a nice day in the fall,” said Kew Gardens jewelry artist Naomi Rabinowitz, who has been involved with the fair for six years. “It’s great that I could do something for the community that I do art in.”

The fair, located on Austin Street, Lefferts Boulevard and neighboring streets, will feature an eclectic mix of fine art as painters, photographers, potters, glassmakers, jewelry artists, illustrators, fiber artists and more showcase and discuss their artwork.

Kew Gardens and South Hamptons based painter Georjana Macri will be exhibiting her series of hand-painted belly dancers, coloring books and more. She is currently working on a surrealist series. One of her pieces, Moonrah, is featured on the promotional poster for this year’s fair.

“It’s always good to have people see my work,” said Macri. “It’s nice to see what people gravitate toward. It might be something totally different from what you think people would like, so it’s important to go to these kinds of events.”

Macri said Kew Gardens has much more of a community feel than it did when she grew up there.

“[Kew Gardens] used to be much more isolated because these kinds of things didn’t really happen,” she said. ”It’s much nicer now because people are connected and there are so many great things going on.”

Sidewalk chalk artist Geovanny Lopez will be transforming the neighborhood streets into colorful concrete playgrounds. This year, he will be drawing superheroes.

“I do themes that kids like, which will inspire them to get into the arts,” said Lopez. “I create images that pop up from the ground when you take a picture of them on your cell phone. It is more of a 3D image in the photo. Kids love taking pictures with them.”

This will be Lopez’ fourth year volunteering in the fair as a chalk artist.

“This fair is part of being in the Kew Gardens Community,” he said. “You’re able to keep those memories and they stick with you.”

Face-painting will be available from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m., along with a “Silly Selfie Station,” which will give fairgoers a chance to take pictures with homemade props.

Demonstrations from local art establishments such as The Potter’s Wheel will be taking place at art fair tables throughout the day. The Potter’s Wheel is a pottery-making studio in Kew Gardens that will be selling their pottery at the fair.

Blunt, a potter at the Potter’s Wheel, hopes the art fair “brings about attention for art in the community,” and that Potter’s Wheel can sell some of its original works.

“The fair is full of fantastic art to look at,” said Blunt. “It’s good to come to the fair to see the art—it’s an art festival, always festive and always artistic.”

Along with the arts, the fair will include local information and interactive science booths from the Queens Botanical Garden, Kew Gardens Community Supported Agriculture, Garden of Eve Organic Farm in Riverhead, Girl Scouts of Greater New York and the city Department of Sanitation. There will also be a musical performance by the Kew Gardens Musicians from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the Kew Gardens Cinemas Park, located at 6-83 Austin St.

The arts day will continue at Kew & Willow Books — located at 81-63 Lefferts Blvd. — from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. for their Literary Sundays Reading Series, which will include Open Mic poetry and fiction readings.

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