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LIC planets
Photograph: Courtesy Long Island City Partnership

These 20 painted planets have been placed all over Long Island City

The neighborhood-wide art installation was entirely created by Queens-based artists.

Will Gleason
Written by
Will Gleason

A new public art installation in Long Island City is out of this world.

Titled LIC is a Galaxy, the new neighborhood-wide installation from Long Island City Partnership and Eventscape features 20 fiberglass spheres placed in tree pits throughout the district. Five different Queens-based artists were selected to each paint four different “planets” for the installation which were all inspired by the vibrancy and creativity of the neighborhood.

Time Out New York got an exclusive first look at some of the new pieces which you can check out below. They were all manufactured by LIC-based fabricator Sculpture House NYC and the process for selecting the artists was overseen by Culture Lab LIC.

LIC Partnership
Photograph: Courtesy Long Island City Partnership
Photograph: Courtesy Long Island City Partnership


“After what has been a difficult year for many artists, LIC is a Galaxy aims to lift our community up by showcasing engaging art by a range of local talent,” says Elizabeth Lusskin, President of Long Island City Partnership. “Public art has taken on a new importance for our community and this installation, spread across the neighborhood, helps shine a light on various areas of our district while highlighting the artists that live and work here in Queens.”

“Planets” produced by each artist can be found grouped together at five different spots across the neighborhood. Here’s some more information on all of the works and where you can find them scattered throughout the area:

Bonnie Astor’s ALL EYES ON LIC  
“Four eyes depict the diverse forms of life which live together in LIC, as conceptualized by Astor. A human eye represents LIC residents, a dog eye represents LIC having the highest per capita ratio of dogs to humans in NYC, a fish eye represents the waterways in LIC and a robotic eye represents the influx of technology in LIC and its future.”
Location: Jackson Avenue and 44th Drive, in front of the Altice Building (former Citi Building) 

Kerri Boccard’s Brainflowers 
A culmination of Kerri’s thoughts blooming into her mind and growing out into the physical world. A bouquet of scattered flowers descends from the top of the sphere, landing upon the faces beneath them, highlighting how our different thoughts come together to create wild and positive beauty. The faces are blended together abstractly, appearing as individuals and multiple people simultaneously, representing how we see ourselves in one another.”
Location: Queens Plaza North between 27th and 28th Street, in front of the JetBlue building

Karen Fitzgerald’s The Four Elemental Forces
Four orbs represent the elemental forces where breath exists, according to Fitzgerald. In the air, birds remind us of the aliveness while the invisible wind teases us and sometimes takes our breath away. Fire is an element of transformation, and although can be fearsome, it’s a powerful force that is also regenerative. The realms of water; lakes, rivers, and the oceans, are alive with breathing, for little can remain alive without water. The Earth supports all life, including trees, grass and soil which sustain life in many forms and allow us to breathe.”
Location: West side of Vernon Blvd. and 46th Avenue, across the street from the LIC Bar

Kaiser Kamal’s Unity in Diversity 
Similar to how planets are formed by multiple colors, temperatures, and factors, Kamal’s work showcases how unity encourages creative expression and the importance of human connection. Unity in his artwork refers to how different elements, forms, and shapes come together to create a sense of wholeness. Color is vital to culture, providing depth and appeal to the eye but also holding tradition — green for example represents the land and planets in a community while blue is dominating like the oceans and its water. Colors represent unity in diversity because one alone cannot be the world but mix them all and we have Earth.”
Location: Jackson Avenue and 23rd Street, near the Court Square Subway Station entrance 

Elinore Schnurr’s WE ARE ONE 
Drawing inspiration from the idea that urban life consists of groups of figures and fragments that are on display from the many windows that line the sidewalks of the city, Schnurr’s work captures the essence of the collective. The quick juxtapositions seen from a passerby’s perspective looking in, indicate how individuals’ lives are experienced as one.”
Location: Southside of 44th Drive between 11th and Vernon, right near Brickhouse Ceramics

More information on LIC is a Galaxy can be found on LIC Local, a free mobile site that helps people navigate the waterfront Queens neighborhood. If you're looking for more great public art to catch outside right now, check out our roundup of the best public art installations in NYC.

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