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Photo courtesy of LIC Arts Open
Photo courtesy of LIC Arts Open
Logo for the 8th annual LIC Arts Open

Celebrate local arts and culture in Long Island City this month at the 8th Annual LIC Arts Open, a weeklong arts festival that was started by the event’s executive director Richard Mazda and sculptor and mosaicist, Karen Dimit in 2011.

In addition to seeing the art of hundreds of talented, local creators, LIC Arts Open attendees can also participate in several cultural activities and events, including music performances and a silent auction.

The kickoff to the festival begins on May 16 at the LIC Arts Open Spring Festival Launch Party and Group Exhibition, in partnership with the group Long Island City Artists. The celebration will be at 5-25 46th Ave. at the Plaxall Gallery in Long Island City.

On subsequent nights of the festival, other exhibitions and performances will take place at locations across Long Island City, all of which can be found in the LIC Arts Open 2018 online booklet.

In all, 80 artists will be showing their work during the launch party at Plaxall Gallery, including Theo Sahos, a local photographer who will be debuting two new art prints for LIC Arts Open attendees to enjoy. The prints, which are digitally manipulated depictions of Sahos’ original photography, show unknown subway musicians performing in train stations.

The first of the two works is called “Rush Hour,” which Sahos said is something “we all go through every day” while taking public transportation. The second print is called “Crazy Train,” named for the 1980 Ozzy Osbourne song from his debut album “Blizzard of Ozz.” Sahos said that the title of the song “fit the mood” of the moment he captured.

"Rush Hour" by Theo Sahos

“Rush Hour” by Theo Sahos

The native Astoria resident got into photography after he took photography classes in college and “was sold forever.” Since then, he has been a photographer for over 20 years, and regularly exhibits his work in galleries across Long Island City and Brooklyn. It is Sahos’ second year showing his photographs at the LIC Open Arts Festival.

Though the subjects of his photos vary, Sahos said that photographing musicians presents a bigger challenge than taking photos of things that are not moving. He added that it is interesting to try and capture the atmosphere and environment of musicians into a picture.

"Crazy Train" by Theo Sahos

“Crazy Train” by Theo Sahos

Sahos’ prints and the work of hundreds of other artists will be on view from May 16 to 20 from 6 to 10 p.m. The festival will also have Open Studio Days on May 19 and 20. During this time, a number of galleries around LIC will open their doors to the public from noon to 6 p.m. Tickets for this free event are on Eventbrite, and more information on the festival can be found on the LIC Arts Open website.

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