Thursday, May 12, 2022

42nd Studio Anniversary in LIC


This May I celebrate 42 years since I found my studio in Long Island City. Back in 1980, LIC was a mainly industrial area in Queens with many factories and older low-rise homes. The East River offered spectacular views of Manhattan and it was an area easily accessible by subway. On week-ends the streets were quiet, during the week business hummed along. Over the years the neighborhood has changed dramatically, with major development of the waterfront and surrounding areas which are now dotted with towering corporate headquarters, apartment complexes and condos. Many of the older factories have either been torn down or converted, some to artists spaces. 

There is a bustling artist community to be found here, started in the 1970's when P.S. 1, the first public school in Queens, became an art space, giving artists studios in which to work for a year or two. One of the artists I met, Lou Kunsch, had a studio in one of the school's bathrooms before finding another studio when his residency ended.  (He was the first artist I met in LIC and we had our studios in the same building for years.) In one of P.S. 1's early exhibitions I remember seeing Christo wrapped radiators. The Museum of Modern Art took over and now the institution is known as MoMA P.S 1 and is a destination for those seeking out MoMA's contemporary art curated exhibitions and installations.

The rents have risen dramatically over the years and many artists who had studios in the neighborhood left. The advent of Covid saw a departure of many artists as well. Now, they seem to be coming back to the neighborhood with some art spaces having closed and others opening. Everything is cyclical in NYC and that goes for the rise and fall and rise again of neighborhoods and art scenes. 

So, to have been in my studio for 42 years is really something to celebrate. I am having a sale during the month of May with 40% off many of my works to celebrate this milestone and I look forward to creating many more paintings in the years to come in my LIC studio.