The Long Island City waterfront will be home to a new art sculpture in the outdoor garden between 5203 and 5241 Center Blvd. just as summer rolls in.
TF Cornerstone, the real estate company that just finished the two buildings on either side of the garden, will fund the transportation, installation and removal of the sculpture. TF Cornerstone is partnering with Culture Lab LIC to choose a sculpture for the courtyard.
Edjo Wheeler, the executive director of Culture Lab LIC, said that the outdoor space between the mixed-income residential development that TF Cornerstone launched late last year is perfect for a sculpture.
“It’s sort of like a no-brainer,” Wheeler said. “It’s almost like they designed it for it. There’s this wonderful oval path that cuts through the space and it’s right by the sidewalk, which is a major traffic area for people and it’s right by the waterfront. There’s also space for landscaping and benches— it just perfectly lends itself to be a sculpture garden.”
The waterfront buildings surrounding this garden offer 719 permanently affordable apartments and 473 market-rate homes. TF Cornerstone worked alongside several elected and city officials on this project to move toward a city goal of building 300,000 affordable housing units by 2026.
On the ground floor of the two buildings, there will be a series of retail stores — one of which will be an Italian cafe and pastry shop, another an organic market. Stores like these will help bolster foot traffic for the location housing the sculpture.
“Public art contributes to the community’s identity. It fosters community pride. It enhances the quality of life for residents and creates a destination for people,” Wheeler said. “We want to create a space so people don’t have to get on a train or take a cab to find someplace cool. We want the whole neighborhood to be filled with enriching art and culture and this is definitely part of that plan.”
Eleonora Bershadskaya, an associate director at TF Cornerstone, said that this space along the Long Island City waterfront is an ideal spot for a sculpture and they are excited to add to the already beautiful area.
“It’s perfect for an exhibition but also a unique opportunity to celebrate the constellation of public spaces that really define Long Island City as a neighborhood,” Bershadskaya said.
Artists may submit proposals until April 3. TF Cornerstone and Culture Lab LIC hope to bring in someone from western Queens or Long Island City to support a professional local artist.