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Astoria Art Festival kicks off Oct. 10, with 60 artists, 35 restaurants


Sept. 28, 2014 By Michael Florio

Local artwork will soon be covering the walls at several Astoria bars and restaurants.

The third annual Astoria Arts Festival, which will take place from Oct. 10 through Oct. 19, will showcase the work of 63 Queens-based artists at 35 local establishments.

Festival founder Lizabeth Nieves said she started the event three years ago because Queens is home to so many dedicated artists. However, she added, it lacks space for artists to showcase their work.

“We don’t have any traditional studios and galleries in Astoria,” she said. “This allows curated art to be on display…and helps build community spirit.”

The artwork will include photography, illustrations, paintings, and mixed-media creations that will be shown at venues such as Sweet Afton, Bareburger, Snowdonia and The Pop Bar.

Each piece of art has been selected by a jury, with the organizers also deciding what restaurant/bar to display it at. Nieves said that there are space considerations as well as the type of clientele each establishment draws.

The festival will also feature a series of events at some of the participating bars/restaurants.

There will be an opening party on October 10th from 9 pm to 12 am at Front Toward Enemy, located at 40-11 30th Ave, with live music and DJs.

The following night, October 11, there will be live music and local vendors selling a variety of creative wares at Singlecut Brewery, located at 19-33 37th Street.

A curated art walk will also take place on October 18.

Throughout the week there will be happy hour specials, and several open-house events at participating bars and restaurants.

The festival continues to grow. The event is almost three times the size of when it started in 2012, when 20 artists and 15 restaurants participated. It was also just a weekend event at the time.

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