‘A reawakening of sorts’: Artists open studios for tours in Long Island City

Long Island City
Artists open their studio doors at 43-01 22nd St. in Long Island City to fellow creators after COVID-19 shut them off from others. (Photo by Adrian Childress)

Long Island City artists opened their studio doors to visitors at 43-01 22nd St. for a one-day event Saturday, May 14, to symbolize renewed energy for creators after the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Long Island City building contains three floors dedicated to studio space where artists create work of various media, like photography, painting, fashion design and more. Around 65 artists participated in the open space event this year, opening their doors to fellow artists in the building.

This was the first open studio event in two years. It is usually an annual festival, which brings a large crowd to appreciate local art along with concerts and theater entertainment. This year, the event was scaled down so only artists in the building could tour the studio spaces.

Long Island City
Artists touring studio spaces at 43-01 22nd St. in Long Island City. (Photo by Adrian Childress)

Donna Levinstone, a local artist with a studio at 43-01 22nd St., said that the event was really about renewal and hope after the pandemic shuttered many creators inside.

“It was special because artists tend to be isolated,” Levinstone said. “We have our doors closed but they were all open [Saturday] and there was buzzing in the halls. The building really came back alive after COVID — it was such a hard time.”

Long Island City
Donna Levinstone in her studio. (Photo by Adrian Childress)

Levinstone mentioned that a lot of artists left the building during COVID for financial reasons.

“It’s really just a reawakening of sorts,” Levinstone said. “Times like this, people really want art. They want their souls to be nourished [as] opposed to what’s been going on. Seeing each other’s work, supporting each other’s work — it was really a celebration.”