Up-and-coming art

Find unfettered works on buildings, in cafs, on a bus and outside.

  • 5 Pointz Aerosol Art Center

  • 5 Pointz Aerosol Art Center

  • Noguchi Museum

  • Noguchi Museum

5 Pointz Aerosol Art Center

Gorgeous asian art
Despite being surrounded by Flushing's traditional style, Crossing Art has focused on contemporary art since it opened in 2008. Showcasing a roster of 12 Asian and Asian-American artists, the gallery most recently hosted "Connections: Nature," which examined how the natural and human worlds intersect. On August 7, the gallery opens a new group exhibition "Metamorphosis of Ink," which runs through September 5. 136-17 39th Ave between Main and 138th Sts, Flushing (212-359-4333, crossingart.com). Subway: 7 to Flushing--Main St. Tue--Sun noon--6pm; free.

Local art! Local coffee!
You won't want for New York flavor at Espresso 77. Order some Gimme coffee (shipped down from Ithaca), sample sweets from around the block (including pastries from Ambrosia Bakery) and peruse the exhibition wall in this caf launched by architect-owners Afzal and Julie Nyman as a meetinghouse for neighborhood creatives. The current show, "Illumination," features graphic art by Laura Fayer and Sandra Mack-Valencia, who met in a Hunter College drawing class in 2004. 35-57 77th St between 37th and 35th Aves, Jackson Heights (718-424-1077, espresso77.com). Subway: E, F, M, R to Jackson Hts--Roosevelt Ave; 7 to 74th St--Broadway.

Mystery bus tours!
Nonprofit arts organization Flux Factory is a creativity incubator, serving the community at its doorstep not only by providing office space to arts entrepreneurs, but via monthly potluck dinners, a rooftop film series and other engaging events. The "Going Places, Doing Stuff" artist-led bus tours, for instance, whisk participants away to mysterious day-trip and overnight spots. Get on board ASAP, these always sell out fast: The August 14 trip is titled "500 Golden Buddhas and the Speed of Water," and the August 28 adventure is "Demonstrations of Aptitude." For those who prefer to stay closer to home, stop by the group gallery show opening August 26. 39-31 29th St between 39th and 40th Aves, Long Island City (718-707-3362, fluxfactory.org). Subway: E, M, R to Queens Plaza; N, Q to 39th Ave."Going Places, Doing Stuff" overnight tours are $40 per person, daytime tours are $20 per person, panels and exhibits are free.

Myth and snacks
Located just inside the entrance of Tang, a Korean restaurant, Yegam Art Space showcases art that highlights Flushing's Korean heritage. The show currently on view, "Treasures from the Mythology," asked nine artists to explore questions of culture. One creation combines tea leaves, rocks and sand to emulate gusts of wind. After contemplating the art, grab a bite at Tang, where you can choose various stuffed pancakes from the jeon bar. 196-50 Northern Blvd at Francis Lewis Blvd, Flushing (718-279-7083). Travel: LIRR to Auburndale; free.

Street art explosion!
Before you hit any of the conventional galleries in Long Island City, make a beeline for 5 Pointz Aerosol Art Center: The old warehouse has an exterior completely wallpapered in more than 350 bright graffiti murals. "We allow artists a place to expand, a place where they won't have to look over their shoulder," says curator Jonathan Cohen, who paints under the name Meres One. This isn't some random tag wall, though—artists, including legends like Cope2 and Tats Cru, are required to submit work and obtain a permit before painting. The inside of this hive of creativity (formerly the Phun Phactory) is buzzing too, filled with artists who rent its below-market studios. Arrange a guided tour, and you just might run into magazine or film shoots; a Tribe Called Quest, Mobb Deep and Joss Stone have all found inspiration here. If you leave craving more art, you're in luck: PS1 (MoMA's contemporary-art outpost) is just down the street. Jackson Ave at Davis St, Long Island City (5ptz.com). Subway: E, M to 23rd St--Ely Ave; G to 21st St--Jackson Ave; 7 to 45th Rd--Court House Sq. Weekdays by appointment, weekends open at noon. Free.

Zen garden!
You could say that any artist living in LIC now is just a biter—renowned sculptor Isamu Noguchi moved his studio to this warehouse way back in 1981. Today the Noguchi Museum exhibits his various sculptures and design projects in an airy indoor-outdoor gallery and a Zen-like sculpture garden. The current exhibition, on view through October 24, shows off the permanent collection of organic shapes carved from stone and wood, set up exactly as they were in Noguchi's lifetime. Stop by on the first Friday night of each summer month (through September 3), when the museum offers extended hours, pay-what-you-wish admission and a wine bar. On your way out, grab a list of other Noguchi works around the city that you've probably seen and wondered about, including Red Cube in the Financial District and News, a sculpted steel panel above the doors of Rockefeller Center's Associated Press Building. 9-01 33rd Rd at Vernon Blvd, Long Island City (718-204-7088, noguchi.org). Subway: N, Q to Broadway. $10, first Friday of every month pay what you wish from 5:30 to 8pm.

Moma PS1, Queens Museum of Art and Socrates Sculpture Park.


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