Click the heading above to view art events this month in Queens. Click the following links to go directly into one of these Queens Neighborhoods: Astoria, Flushing, Jackson Heights, Jamaica, Long Island City and Sunnyside.
In Search Of A Civilization Lost By Mass Media
LaGuardia College Performing Arts Center Uses Theater & Art To Stimulate Cross Cultural Community Conversation
February 9, 2015 / Long Island City / Queens Theater / Queens Buzz. It was nearing sunset on Saturday evening as I made my way through a beautifully quiet Flushing Meadows Corona Park. The clean white snow glistened gently in the fading light, and the leafless trees along the road provided what felt like an ancient natural cathedral.
I checked in at the admissions desk and made my way to the second floor of the Queens Museum. The Queens Museum was once the home to the United Nations and hence provided the perfect context for this community conversational performance. The floor to ceiling windows looked out onto the landmarked Unisphere which emanated a universal vibe. In the long wide hallway a crowd was engaged in clustered conversations following the conclusion of four performances shown that afternoon. I had seen the performances at an event earlier in the season.
I began talking to Tasneem, a member of the audience who is shown in the photo at right standing alongside a photo taken by a friend of hers who is shown in the photo. Tasneem came from Jordan twelve years ago, only two years after 911. She said that it's important for the general populace of Muslims to stop being afraid of showing they're Muslim, because otherwise New Yorkers and the rest of America will be left with the picture of Islam as depicted by a few extremists which is amplified and continually repeated by the American mass media.
I couldn't deny it. It seems American television stations, radio stations, newspapers and magazines are obsessed with providing the Islamic terrorists all the publicity they want.
But here, tonight, in the Queens Museum; I would not see any of the faces shown by our mass media. I would see only the faces of everyday Islamic New Yorkers who generally receive no publicity at all. Muslims who hail from dozens of cultures around the world. And there wasn't a single terrorist among them. Hence - and likely not coincidentally - there also wasn't a single mass medium reporter covering this event.
Tasneem told me how she, like many other American Muslims, fears showing she's Muslim because of the stereotypes created by the terrorists and perpetuated and blown up by the American mass media. The notion of a silent majority came to mind.
It occurred to me that the gore of the Islamic extremists must be good for tabloids and TV ratings. And I pondered what it must feel like to be stereotyped by this relentless, distorted depiction of one's culture and people. Andy Warhol's characterization of the mass production of images came to mind.
I thought about what it would be like if I lived somewhere else in the world where the nation's media mass produced stereotypes of Americans, depicting us as murderers, rapists and thieves. That could easily be done if a nation's media decided to portray Americans by solely covering the 5.6 million violent crimes and the 17.1 million property crimes that took place in this country in 2011 alone [source: Wikipedia / Bureau of Justice Statistics]. That just wouldn't be right ... would it?
And yet, it seems that this is exactly what's been happening to Muslims in America, because of the unbalanced coverage of Islam by the big American mass media companies. The TV and newspaper tabloids make a living by sensationalizing - spinning things out of context - but aren't the real journalists supposed to provide perspective by putting things back in context?
This seems generally not to have been done.
And so the LaGuardia Performing Arts Center applied for and received a grant to begin such an effort. An effort to provide exposure to the lives and contributions of the other billion Muslims who go peacefully and productively about their lives each day, just like most of the rest of us. An effort to create a community conversant with a deeper and broader understanding of a millenial and centuries old culture that is embedded in the lives of over a billion people on the planet. People who live in dozens of nations around the globe, and none of whom are terrorists - and hence generally not represented in the American mass media.
I met American born Charles Bernett of Rego Park who had traveled to Cairo in 1979. Thirty-five years ago he was about to embark on his second trip through Africa ... [see photo at right].
More to come later in the week. Click here to learn more about the LaGuardia Performing Arts Center exploratory, year-long, theater and arts, cultural endeavor.
'Damn I Look Good'
Art Exhibit At Topaz Arts In Woodside
November 17, 2014 / Woodside Neighborhood / Art In Queens / Queens Buzz. On Wednesday I attended a performance of the Theater of the Oppressed NYC at Topaz Arts in Woodside. The performance is one of a number of artistic and theatrical programs organized in conjunction with a year long effort entitled, Beyond Sacred: Unthinking Muslim Identity, by the LaGuardia College Performing Arts Center.
On exhibit at Topaz Arts was a related art exhibit entitled Beauty, created by Qinza Najm of Manhattan. Qinza's work included a couple of oil on canvas paintings and a video, a photo still of which, you can see in the photo to your right. The intent of the art project was to challenge people's perceptions about Islam and Islamic garb.
The 911 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center killed 2,977 people and irreversibly changed the lives of the countless more who loved them. It also created a negative perception of all Muslims in the public eye, and hence also changed the lives for many millions of Muslims living in America who had nothing at all to do with 911. It's estimated that between five and ten million Muslims live in the U.S. - of which a third are believed to be from Africa, another third from southern and eastern Asia, and the remaining third from the Middle East. Is it estimated that there are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world, representing nearly a quarter of the world population.
Qinza's video has her wearing a black burqa in public places in New York City taking selfies [photos of herself as shown in the photo above]. The burqa has enscribed on it a Twitter hash tag followed by the art project name '#DamnILookGood'. The video includes Qinza's artistic statement that this is America and people of all cultures are free to wear what they want. In her video Qinza approaches people to try to get them to wear Islamic clothing for just a few minutes in public places in order to sensitize them to the current prejudicial feelings against them which is manifested through people's reaction to them while wearing traditional Islamic clothing. The burqa is the most conservative Muslim garb worn by Muslim women and is part of the ancient Islamic tradition of women completely covering their entire bodies when out in public.
We'll have more on this art exhibit and the Theater of the Oppressed at a later time.
Caught In The Act - The 13 Most Wanted
Queens Museum Opens Incredible Art Exhibit Grounded In History
I visited the Queens Museum [they dropped 'of Art' from the name] this past weekend to view their new exhibit - The 13 Most Wanted Men.
The exhibit is a tie into the 50th anniversary of the opening of the 1964 World's Fair and the preservation of the New York State Pavilion in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
Andy Warhol was one of several celebrity artists of the day, invited to create an artwork to post on the wall of the Theaterama [now Queens Theatre In The Park] which was one of the structures of the New York State Pavilion. It was a real honor as the work would be seen by tens and likely hundreds of thousands who would pass by it during the 1964 World's Fair.
Warhol decided to post the mug shots of the 13 Most Wanted Men in America. One can never know exactly what he was thinking, but it was an artwork designed to get people's attention, shock them and get them to think, perhaps a bit differently, about some of the things going on at the time.
The powers-that-be decided having 13 large mug shots of thirteen criminals in the midst of a fun family fair wasn't a good idea. So they whitewashed it off the building [sound familiar? - see our story about the Whitewash art exhibit in LIC]. This is the quick and dirty report of what happened, which the Queens Museum in a collaboration with the Warhol Museum of Pittsburgh, did an incredible job of presenting in an exhibit which is both art and history.
In the photo above is Curator, Larissa Harris, and Director of External Affairs, David Strauss. David is also one of the troika managing the Queens Museum while they search for a replacement for former Executive Director, Tom Finkelpearl. Tom was recently appointed New York City Cultural Affairs Commissioner.
We'll post our full report at a later date.
Epitaph To An Era: Whitewash In LIC
Long Island City Loses A Bit Of Its Heart & Soul
Jeffrey Leder Art Gallery Showcases Demise Of 5 Pointz Through Artwork Of Its Circle Of Graffiti Artists
April 5, 2014 / Art In Queens / Long Island City LIC Neighborhood / Queens Buzz. Saturday evening I made my way into Long Island City to attend the opening night of the Whitewash art exhibit at the Jeffrey Leder Gallery. Whitewash is an exhibit of the art works of a collection of the 5 Pointz graffiti artists. These artists recently lost their artistic and spiritual home – the 5 Pointz building in LIC - and the exhibit opening was part funerary rites and celebration of a new beginning. The photo to your right shows one of the paintings on exhibit at the Whitewash art exhibit at the Jeffrey Leder Gallery in LIC.
As I got off the #7 train, I decided to swing by the building to witness its whitewashed walls. I took a couple of photos of them, recalling prior visits to the outdoor art gallery, where every five to ten feet, in vivid living color, one could witness the creation of a local graffiti artist. The outdoor gallery exhibits would change, piece by piece, week by week, month by month and year by year. There always seemed to be a few artists working the walls. The 5 Pointz building is southeast of the Court Square subway stop, and for drivers it’s just across from PS1 MoMA on Jackson Avenue between Crane & Davis Streets.
As I shot photos of the walls and loading dock area, I could still see in my mind, the outdoor parties of the past. I recalled the art exhibits that had been thrown over the years, with music emanating from somewhere. Intellectually we all know it was within the building owner’s rights to whitewash his own building. And it isn’t hard for anyone to understand why the building owner would want to reap a huge profit by razing the building and erecting a new structure from which the cash will flow. I reckoned we were lucky to have had the years we had, to enjoy the beauty and the beat of the graffiti on the street, seen from the windows of the subway train as it snaked its way through LIC.
So with these thoughts, I headed onto 45th Road, to the Jeffrey Leder art gallery to witness and participate in the Whitewash art exhibit opening night reception. Click here to read our report about Whitewash art exhibit / 5 Pointz in LIC.
Queens Public Notices - Employment, Funding, Arts Open Calls, Housing & Business
This section of the site is dedicated to posting notices about government issues, the environment, community issues and art / cultural issues and opportunities. Queens Public Notices includes public notices for the neighborhoods of Astoria, LIC, Sunnyside, Woodside, Jackson Heights, Corona, Flushing, Jamaica neighborhoods of Queens NY.
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Queens Museum Of Art
Photos of Renovated Museum & Queens International 2013
November 10, 2013 / Flushing Neighborhood / Art Museums in Queens / Queens Buzz. I attended the re-opening weekend of the newly renovated Queens Museum of Art on November 9th & 10th of 2013. As I came strolling up toward the Unisphere, from the #7 subway stop, I could see the new façade of the museum in the distance. The warm golden light shone through the large floor to ceiling windows of the two main floors along the eastern side of the museum. Only a year ago, this entire side of the building was nearly all cement, interspersed with a few far smaller windows.
Inside there was a plethora of activity. Just beyond the ticketing area, was a large open space into which I stepped down into the open space. Much of this area had been in place prior to the renovation, but the area was difficult to access and was used more as a backroom, than as the showcase into which it had been recently transformed.
And ahead, just off to the right, was the Museum’s first claim to fame, the miniaturized replica of the City of New York. Click here to read the rest of our report about the newly renovated Queens Museum of Art in Flushing Queens. The report includes numerous photos of the newly remodeled museum and the Queens International 2013 which went on display in November 2013.
Art Exhibit: How Much Do I Owe You?
Clocktower Building 'No Longer Empty' in LIC
January 7, 2013 / Long Island City LIC Neighborhood / Art Exhibits in LIC / Queens Buzz. I went to a workshop in December sponsored by Materials For The Arts at the Clocktower Building in LIC. The workshop was an adjunct program done in tandem with an arts organization called No Longer Empty.
No Longer Empty is hosting an art exhibit entitled How Much Do I Owe You in the abandoned Clocktower Building in LIC through March 13th. The exhibit includes a number of workshops and programs throughout the exhibit period, which may be of interest to those who have a curiosity or fascination with modern art and our ongoing social / economic crisis.
As I approached the Clocktower Building I noticed figures moving across the face of the Clock … click here to read our report on the arts organization No Longer Empty, which is hosting the exhibit How Much Do I Owe You, at the Clocktower Building in LIC; and about the Collaborative Drawing Workshop sponsored by Materials For The Arts in LIC.
Art in Queens News
News Briefs About Art Events in Queens Neighborhoods
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M55 Art Gallery In LIC
August 19, 2012 / Long Island City / Art Galleries in Queens / Queens Buzz. It had poured all day Wednesday, but began to let up as I decided to brave the rain to attend the M55 Art Gallery opening of Relationships Undressed in Long Island City. I arrived early to meet with artist Emily Stedman who I had been communicating with for the past couple of weeks. This was her first solo exhibit in LIC, and it appeared to be an intriguing exhibit which she’d entitled Relationships Undressed.
The lead art piece she used to advertise the exhibit was a water color painting she’d done showing beautifully sculpted naked bodies swirling around in a variety of poses on the canvass. The art exhibit opening was by rsvp [& posted in our events calendar] and I was informed that the wine servers would be scantily clad.
Click here for our review and a slide show of the art exhibit at M55 in LIC entitled Relationships Undressed.
Persona Performa - Ming Wong At MOMI
Museum of the Moving Image Steps Out In Astoria
January 21, 2012 / Astoria / Film in Queens / Queens Buzz. People were lined up outside of the Museum of the Moving Image [MOMI] on both Thursday and Friday nights. They were waiting to see Ming Wong’s performance art production entitled Persona Performa. The production title tidily summed up its essence – an art performance based on an Ingmar Bergman film entitled Persona, which was being performed for Performa 11, the fourth biennial visual arts festival in NYC.
Artistic director, Ming Wong, developed the piece during his residency at MOMI in 2011. He told us that the inspiration for the production came from the minimalist architecture of the museum and an Ingmar Bergman film, Persona, which is generally believed to be one of the ten best works of cinematic art.
Click here to read our report of Ming Wong Persona Performa at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria.
Tony Vaccaro WTC Photos In Astoria
September 30, 2011 / Astoria Neighborhood / Art Galleries In Queens / Queens Buzz. Tony Vaccaro, Life Magazine photographer, has a photography exhibit covering the birth, the life and the death of the twin towers of the World Trade Center on display at the Buzzeo Building in Astoria. I went to the opening and this is what I heard.
Tony got his start photographing the action of World War II as a young lad. His photos landed him a job at Life Magazine, providing him with opportunities to photograph famous people and places out of reach to most photographers. Tony photographed famous artists, such as Pablo Picasso and Jackson Pollack, as well as famous architects, such as Frank Lloyd Wright and La Corbusier. His interest and work photographing people, art and architecture lead him more deeply into that world.
Click here to read the rest of our story about the exhibit and story as told by Tony Vaccaro through his photos of the twin towers of the World Trade Center covering the period from 1957 - 2001.
Art Exhibits & Galleries In Astoria / LIC
Museum Of The Moving Image - Performance Art / post renovations
Museum of the Moving Image - Short Description / pre-renovations
Public & Private Lives Converge in Urbanity
December 12, 2011 / Flushing / Art Exhibits in Queens / Queens Buzz. I visited the Crossing Art Gallery in Flushing Saturday for their opening of Personal.Spaces. The exhibit theme is about personal space in public places. An example of such is shown in the artwork to your right, where countless people are sharing public space, close enough to touch one another, but all living very separate lives. Living within their Personal.Spaces.
The Flushing art gallery did a nice job of dimensionalizing the theme through a number of different works from a multitude of artists, many of whom either work or live within the NYC area. Click here to view a brief report, including photos of the Personal.Spaces art exhibit at the Crossing Art Gallery in Flushing.
Queens International Art Exhibit 2009
Flushing / Queens Buzz. This a report and review of the fourth bi-annual Queens International Art Exhibit which opened at the Queens Museum Of Art in Flushing Meadows Corona Park in the Flushing / Corona neighborhoods of Queens NY.
Queens Museum Of Art
The Reason's Clue Art Exhibit opened at the Queens Museum Of Art in Flushing Meadows Corona Park in the Flushing / Corona neighborhoods in Queens NY. The exhibit features eight Chinese and Taiwanese artists who explore their own culture in today's world.
Queens Museum Of Art
Indian Arts Of The Diaspora
Flushing / Queens Buzz. This is a review of the Indian Arts Of The Diaspora Art Exhibit at the Queens Museum Of Art in the Flushing Meadows Corona Park in the Flushing / Corona neighborhoods of Queens NY. This exhibit is includes some forty Indian emigrant artists who delve into and express the influences of their multi-cultural lives.
Art Exhibits & Galleries In Flushing & Corona
Indian Diaspora At The Queens Museum Of Art
Experiential Literature - Stillspotting
An Intimate Journey Into The Jackson Heights Neighborhood
April 15, 2012 / Art in Queens / Jackson Heights / Queens Buzz. I rode my bike through the backstreets of Woodside on a warm spring Sunday of 2012. The sun was glistening, the air was fresh and warm. People were working in their yards, conversing in the streets, and heading to or from somewhere. And I was on my way to the Stillspotting kiosk in Jackson Heights.
A few weeks ago the Guggenheim Museum had contacted me about the Stillspotting program they were to launch in Queens starting April 14th. After a few brief conversations with the publicists, I thought I had a sense of it, but my understanding - like the concept itself - was fluid. I wasn’t sure whether or not it would be interesting, but I decided to check it out anyway.
Click here to read more about Stillspotting Queens in Jackson Heights.
Bulova Corporate Center
Queens Was Once On Bulova Time
The Bulova Watch Company & Building
Jackson Heights / Queens Buzz. We had occasion to visit the Bulova Corporate Center recently. The art deco Bulova Corporate Center building caught our interest because of its interesting architecture. And the history of the Bulova Watch Company, which has been a Queens mainstay since the 1950's, is as interesting as the building that was once home to an American icon.
Currently the building is occupied by the offices of a number of organizations including the Queens Chamber Of Commerce and American Airlines. The following piece is a history of the J. Bulova Watch Company and the building they once occupied: the Bulova Corporate Center. Click here to view our report on the Bulova Corporate Center in Jackson Heights. The photo at right was from one of the original murals of the Bulova Watch Company.
Art Exhibits & Galleries In Jamaica NY
Y Gallery - gone
Jamaica JAMS - Queens Largest Street Festival
Jamaica JAMS Satiates Visitors' Thirst For Music, Food & Things
August 2012 / Jamaica NY / Shopping in Queens / Queens Buzz. I headed down to Jamaica this afternoon, Jamaica New York that is. I was on my way to attend the largest street music festival and street fair in Queens. The JAMS event attracts upwards of 10,000 visitors by offering a mix of musical and dance performances, a wide array of street vendor foods and numerous vendor booths selling everything but houses, autos and the kitchen sink.
Click here to read our report and view photos of the Jamaica JAMS music festival and street fair in Jamaica NY.
Fashionable Clothing in Queens
Come To Fashion Show Features Local Designers & Models
April 30, 2012 / Jamaica NY / Fashion in Jamaica Queens / Queens Buzz. On April 21st the first annual Come To Fashion show stepped out into the fashion world in the Jamaica section of Queens. The fashion show featured local fashion designers, models and retailers doing business in Jamaica Queens.
When I arrived at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center, I was pleasantly surprised by unique set design for the show. Jamaica Center, the Jamaica BID, had hired a designer to create an original venue through which to present the models and the designers' clothing.
Click here to view photos and read our report about the Come To Fashion show - fashionable clothing & fashions in Jamaica Queens.
Art Exhibits & Galleries In Jamaica NY
Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning - Early Report
Space Womb Births New Talent
Color & Gray Exhibit Open Through Friday
July 16, 2011 / Long Island City Neighborhood / Art Galleries / Queens Buzz. I attended the opening reception of a new photography exhibit at the Space Womb gallery in Long Island City. Space Womb opened a couple of years ago on Jackson Avenue on the street level of the 5 Pointz building located across from PS1 Moma.
The exhibit featured nine artists, seven of whom immigrated from Korea. This lent an Asian accent to the opening and provided a different lens through which one could experience NYC through art photography, as many of the photos shown in the exhibit were taken in the NYC metro area.
The exhibit was entitled Color & Gray and was curated by Ung-Jib Park. I had opportunity to meet and converse with Ung-Jib, as well as Jongwang Lee the Space Womb gallery manager, and eight of the nine photographic artists, about their works.
Click here this weekend to read our report and view photos of the Color & Gray photography exhibit at Space Womb in LIC.
2007 Sea Odyssey Returns Home
New Age Love Seafarers Contemplating Next Mission
July 1, 2011 / Long Island City LIC Neighborhood / Art Exhibits / Queens Buzz. I just returned from one of the more interesting evenings I’ve had in quite a long while. The Flux Factory kicked off a summer long exploration of NYC waterways with an interactive slide show presentation by Sonanya Ahmed of Queens and Reid Stowe, who according to the Ripley's Believe It Or Not, holds the record for being the longest voyager to remain at sea without interruption.
Sonanya was at sea for 306 days and Reid stayed out upon the high seas for another 846 days [Reid was at sea a total of 1152 days]. They sailed the Atlantic, the Pacific and bodies of water in between, charting their journey via a GPS satellite, creating journey path art and other artworks along the way.
The journey bears similarity to the sort of isolated endurance and self sufficiency required to travel to and from the planet Mars. So imagine packing for a trip where you’re not going to go anywhere near land for three years, and you’re going to have to survive with what you bring and nature’s bounty.
Click here to read the rest of our story about the kick off event to the Flux Factory’s Sea Worthy summer in Queens NYC.
Free Things To Do In Queens I
Free Movies & Foreign Films In Queens
Queens NY / Updated August 8, 2012. This report includes a list of some of the free things to do in Queens this summer.
Click here to view a listing of the dates and times of free movies & foreign films free things to do in Queens Parks.
Art Exhibits & Galleries In Long Island City LIC
Housebroken At Flux Factory
Leopards In The Temple At Sculpture Center
Queens Art Museums & Galleries
Art Exhibits In Queens Museums
This story provides information regarding Queens art exhibits, art events, art galleries and museums in the Queens neighborhoods of Long Island City, Flushing, Astoria and Jamaica. All for the summer season of 2009.
Queens Art Express 2009
This story contains information about the Queens Art Express which is a program sponsored by the Queens Council Of The Arts. Queens Art Express events have been planned in Long Island City, Sunnyside, Woodside, Jackson Heights, Flushing, Corona.
New Cultural Center in Sunnyside
Bliss on Bliss Studio Begins to Take Root
February 20, 2012 / Sunnyside / Art in Queens / Queens Buzz. I attended the February exhibit opening reception and musical performances of Bliss on Bliss Studio in Sunnyside. It was my first visit to the studio which opened in October of 2011.
Ged Merino and Carolina Morales are the husband and wife team that run the studio. They met while working at the Metropolitan Museum, married, and are now sharing their bliss with the rest of us who live near Blissville.
The moniker of Blissville predates Sunnyside, and comes from the name of an early 19th century farm owned by Neziah Bliss. The farm was located along the southern edge of the neighborhood. But I digress.
At the February opening reception for its new exihibit, Bliss on Bliss was featuring ten photographers and two groups of musicians. Click here to read more about Bliss on Bliss Studio in Sunnyside.
Queen Of Angels Art Fair
Sunnyside Fair Becoming Established Art Sales Venue
June 18, 2011 / Sunnyside / Art Exhibits / Queens Buzz. It was a warm sunny afternoon in Sunnyside as I made my way down to the Queen Of Angels Church to view the work of about 30 artists. I went late in the afternoon, as last year there was a large crowd at the opening [after Sunday mass], and the numbers didn’t taper off until the end of the afternoon.
This art fair, like a fine wine, continues to evolve. The fair includes exhibitors from the Sunnyside, Woodside and other Queens neighborhoods, as well as from Brooklyn. The artwork on display is for sale, making it interactive so-to-speak, and it seemed like there was a fair amount of sales this year, although I can’t tell whether it’s because I know the artists better [and they feel more comfortable telling me such things] or because they sold more. In any case it’s for a good cause, as some of the proceeds also go toward the Queen of Angels Church. The eye shown in the photo to your left is the work of Casey Concelmo.
Later today click here to read more about and view photos of the Queen Of Angels Art Fair in Sunnyside.
Art Exhibits & Galleries In Sunnyside & Woodside
Queen of Angels Art Fair - 2010
Queen Of Angels Art Fair - 2009
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