First question: Where to begin? Second question: Where to end?

For the ninth year in a row, more than 100 Long Island City artists will open their studios on both days this weekend. Galleries, consortia, and art-based nonprofits will also welcome the public to view their pieces, meet the talent, and get inside views of the creative processes.

And as always in Queens, the diversity is overwhelming. The visual disciplines on display vary from ceramics to neon to photography to sculpture. Plus, some venues will host dance, music, and live performance wackiness.

It’s called the “LIC Arts Open,” and though it’s technically on May 18 and May 19, it’s also part of a longer festival that began on May 15 and includes other activities, such as the Queens New Music Festival at The Secret Theatre, which QNS has covered.

The participating venues are almost as diverse as the art forms. Commercial buildings, a coffee shop, a hostel, a bar, and even a brewery join art-centric venues such as Flux Factory, The Plaxall Gallery, and Raw Gallery.

To help navigate all the options, LIC Arts Open organizers have created free booklets with maps of the studios, their addresses, and info on the participants.

Here are three examples – out of dozens – of what awaits patrons.

  1. Studio 34 Seventh Annual Group Exhibition
    Opening Reception: May 18, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
    Venue: Studio 34 Gallery, 34-01 38th Ave.
    Description: Works by 18 resident artists in painting, mixed media, editions, and sculpture. Meet and talk to the artists whose works are in private and corporate collections throughout the world. Explore a dozen open studios and find out what inspires the creative process. Free beer, wine, and refreshments.
  2. Plastique 4 “Passé Présent”
    Opening Reception: May 18, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
    Venue: The Plaxall Gallery, 5-25 46th Ave.
    Description: A continuation of a collaboration between local artists and Plaxall that goes back three years. This showcase includes a retrospective of previous art reconfigured for this show. Contributors include Annalisa Iadicicco, Diane Hendry, Jack Howard Potter, Jean-Marie Guyaux, John Long, Kenny Greenberg, and Lisa DiClerico. William Garrett is an exhibitor and the curator.
  3. In the Papers
    Opening Reception: May 18, 5 p.m.
    Venue: Communitea, 11-18 46th Rd.
    Description: Local artist/tattoo designer Gene Coffey imagines colorful inserts of weekly grocer specials and adverts from back pages of vintage comic books into larger-than-life painterly pop-art utilizing oil acrylic, watercolors, and pastels.

Admission to most events is free with a few paid ones.

Images: LIC Arts Open

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