1. Can you tell us about your QAF funded project?

The project, Invisible Neighbors, involves the creation and exhibition of a series of mixed-media art pieces and the creation and distribution of a no-cost educational pamphlet on the wildlife of Queens.  The venue and exhibition date are TBD, however, I am currently reaching out to the Queens Public Library about an exhibition space (if that does not work out, I will show at THE LOCAL gallery in LIC), and intend the exhibition and pamphlet release to take place in late September/early October 2016.

2. How do you think this project will impact the community?

I hope to use the opening as a place for citizens and arts & environmental community groups to meet and have dialog about what wildlife exists here and what can be done to help promote species survival.  The pamphlet will be aimed at educating youth and any other interested residents on where the Queens wildlife can be found and accessed, at and how best to view and support it.  I hope to reach undervalued youth specifically, by distributing the pamphlet at local public schools and libraries, which is why an exhibition at a Queens public library would be ideal.  Hopefully this pamphlet and art show will raise ecological awareness in the community, and offer a starting point from which community participation can grow.  

The overall project for the grant is part of a larger project to create a children's book on wildlife in Queens, with the intent to raise awareness and participation in conservation efforts among the public.  

3. How has QCA been helpful in the grant process?

The QCA offers many resources, from information to financial support.  They are well-connected among many individuals and organizations in the greater Queens community, and are an invaluable partner to have in my project's development. 

4. Here is your chance, what do you want everyone to know about you as an artist and your process?

As an artist, I have discovered my voice by blending my passion for creating works with my interest in ecological issues.  I approach each art piece as a chance to work through all the thoughts and emotions raised by the reality of our present environmental crisis.  Often, people drown in the information overload of news media, and feel impotent to help create effective change.  Because of the local relevance of my work and educational content of the accompanying pamphlet, I hope that the viewer will walk away with new knowledge that they can find use for in their everyday lives, ideally inspired to take action.

http://www.kennethburrisstudio.com/

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