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Queens Council on the Arts is thrilled to announce our Open Call for Art Commissioners as part of our Artist Commissioning Program! 

This is a paid opportunity to commission the dance work you want to see in the world. Art Commissioners will award a total of $40,000 to Queens dance and choreography projects. Commissioners ideate, select, and consult on their funded projects in this 9 month professional development and community building program. This role is ideal for arts advocates, art lovers, and community members passionate about supporting Queens culture and untold stories.

Applications are due May 2, 11:59pm! 


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Open Call for Art: outside/outsider

An open call to New York City artists confronting mental health.


Curated by Karen Gormandy and Issa Ibrahim

Outside Outsider (Art Exhibition and Film Screening) proposes to blur the lines of established and preconceived ideas of art created by the "mentally ill." Outside Outsider will feature work that moves the boundary lines and disposes of the term “naïve” or unschooled and explores the complexity and sophistication of many people who have disclosed their diagnosis but refuse to be defined by it.  We will include work by artists who are intentional, worldly, knowledgeable, aware and woke.

This is an open call to all artists confronting mental illness.  Work will be considered in all genres from artists who ruminate on the suffering, healing and the stigma associated with mental health.

Please include in the Artist Statement section a one paragraph description of you and your work and why you believe it qualifies for this show.

Background of Curators:
Karen Gormandy is the  Director for Fountain House Studio. She began as a volunteer with the gallery 10 years ago when her son, a Fountain House member, introduced her to the gallery.  Along with an intrepid group of determined artists she saw the growth of the studio program from two trays of markers, pens, pencils and a few tubes of acrylic paint to a full blown fully equipped art studio in Long Island City.  She is a former board member for NAMI New York City, NAMI New York state and NAMI Harlem and is also a literary agent at Harold Ober Associates who proudly represent the estate of Langston Hughes.  She attended the High School of Art & Design, has a bachelor's degree in film from Montana State University and received her master's degree in creative writing at Manhattanville College, all of these disciplines now serve to enrich the experience of offering guidance, support and education to the artists of Fountain House.  She currently facilitates Fountain House's virtual studio program which includes art history, technique and lively artists discussions.

Issa Ibrahim is a graduate of New York City’s High School of Art and Design, and studied at the School of Visual Arts and the Art Students League. He was institutionalized at Creedmoor Psychiatric Center’s Living Museum, where he reclaimed his life and found meaning as an artist, musician, writer, activist, and 25-year artist-in-residence. Issa is the author of The Hospital Always Wins: A Memoir, published in 2016 by Chicago Review Press. The book was met with laudatory reviews leading to interviews on NPR and other radio outlets, international press, and features including coverage in O, the Oprah Winfrey Magazine. He is an active member-artist of Fountain House Gallery.

On View (Virtual and in person):
May 1 – May 30, 2021
Opening Reception: May 1, 2021

(Timed Tickets will be available 5-9pm)

Tentative Venue (Covid Permitting): The Factory, 30-30 47th Avenue,  LIC, NY

Media: All, Video  art, film, poetry, photography, painting, dance etc.
Submission Fee: $20.00 (all LiC-A members receive a $5.00 discount)
Submission Deadline: March 31, 2021
Notice of Acceptance: April 10, 2021
Dates for Reading/Music Performance, Film Screening, Curator Talk, Panel Discussion: TBD

 Read More and Apply


LIC Walking Art Tour! Let us help you find a wall!

We will be holding an open call for muralists and street artists to submit proposals for multiple buildings around LIC, and we will be starting with our very own building: The Plaxall Gallery! Our city needs art now more than ever, and we want to partner with you to make it happen. 

In the next few weeks Culture Lab will provide images of participating buildings and preferred themes and open up a call for submissions. There will be some pay, as well as documentation in video and stills provided for further publicity and exposure. We will be announcing submission details soon, but in the meantime sign up for our Muralists Database: 

INSTALL DATES: Mural installation is planned to take place during the quarantine. We will make sure proper social distancing is followed to  protect you.



Please e-mail with any questions.

LIC-A Open Call for Art: "Drawn To paper"

Beyond canvas, aluminum, linen, or wood, paper has a special resonance for everyone. It is what we used in school to create cards for our parents, or to create a masterpiece at age 7 when we were all artists.

Now as professionals, paper offers a thousand possibilities. We can sketch, draw and paint, collage, sculpt, create books, wall hangings, and photographs or allow the paper to be the art. In this challenge we invite the artists to engage in a conversation with paper in whatever way they imagine. The paper is the thing!

Read more on LIC-A's website:

drawn to paper.jpg

Help us so we can continue to help the community...


at The Plaxall Gallery

5-25 46th Avenue, Long Island City, New York, NY 11101

(Enter via uncovered parking lot entrance  through door above staircase.)

View Map for Directions


Phone: (347) 848-0030

Note: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and in compliance with social distancing guidelines, access to the indoor gallery may be limited.

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​Culture Lab LIC, Inc. is a non-profit arts advocacy organization

founded by artists and incorporated in 2019 in Long Island City, New York

© 2021 Culture Lab LIC. All Rights Reserved.

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