Viewing entries tagged
SU-CASA

LAB Presents Jinyu Li

Comment

LAB Presents Jinyu Li

On Friday, January 19, 2018, the LAB program presented works by painter Jinyu Li. A two-time QCA SU-CASA artist-in-residence, Jinyu's presentation explored Chinese traditional culture and politics. Much of her work reflects the relationship between nature and man and human rights issues in China. 

"In traditional Chinese culture, there is a core concept, 'Harmony between Heaven and Mankind.' If a man acknowledges Heaven, then he must acknowledge Divine, and when his mind is in line with Heaven’s rules, he can seek the harmony between Heaven and himself," says Jinyu. "All aspects of traditional Chinese culture are connected with Heaven, such as the human body, Yin and Yang, the Five Elements, Bagua, Taji, Hetu, Luoshu, Chinese traditional medicine, Chinese characters, Chinese music, so on and so forth. Traditional Chinese culture believes human body is a small universe."

20180119_193648.jpg

Jinyu wanted to use LAB as an opportunity to share her work and story with a larger American audience and solicit feedback that would help drive her work in the future. She exhibited almost 20 of her paintings via a projected slideshow and also installed several large scale original works. Jinyu's paintings ranged in a variety of styles including traditional Chinese painting and realism. 

20180119_210112.jpg

Some of her paintings featured images of Chinese royalty and deities, bamboo and lotus flowers, and more mundane aspects of daily life in China. But the work that Jinyu was most passionate about focused on issues related to the persecution of practitioners of Falun Dafa in China.

“According to reliable statistics, more than 80 million Chinese people were slaughtered by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Especially after the Great Culture Revolution, traditional Chinese culture became almost extinct. And the slaughtering is still going on- countless Falun Gong practitioners have been jailed, tortured, and killed in mainland China,” says Jinyu.

She shared her own journey from China through Canada and into the United States, and talked about why and how she has used her art as a tool for activism. 

20180119_195012.jpg

 

 

Comment

Apply to the SU-CASA Residency Program

Comment

Apply to the SU-CASA Residency Program

In 2014, I was a SU-CASA (formerly SPARC) Artist-in-Residence. Although I had taught the arts to young people for almost a decade at that point, this was the first time that I would be teaching older adults. I was both excited and a bit nervous.

Programs like SU-CASA are very important and can make such a great difference in the quality of life our city's elders. The majority of older adults in New York have no income beyond social security benefits and so many live at or below the poverty level. So this is a great opportunity for seasoned arts educators who would like to work with older adults and artists who are new to arts education to provide valuable service to their communities. 

10329674_10152175482608564_7358336423494943079_o.jpg

I was placed at Hillcrest Senior Center in Jamaica, Queens. Since I'm originally from South Jamaica, it was great to have the opportunity to do some good work in my old 'hood. At the time my grandmother was ill and the senior center was only a 15-minute walk from where she lived. So, during my residency, I was in the company of elders all of the time.

For two days a week I taught my senior students the fundamentals of drawing and painting and the class culminated in a large-scale mural on canvas. But I also learned a lot from my students as well. There were the small things that you can only learn by teaching older adults, but I also learned some amazing history and wisdom. 

12462828183_a50723fb6a_z.jpg

Hilda, my oldest student, was a 90-year old Cuban expat who witnessed when Castro came to power and talked about how he went from loved and supported to feared and distrusted. Rosa, my 60-something year-old makeshift assistant teacher and Spanish translator (all but one of my students were native Spanish speakers) always beat me to class and would give me a hard time if I was even five minutes late. Since the residency begins in the dead of winter, I was always impressed to see most of my students show up through rain, sleet, or snow. That was one of the small things that showed me how important the class was to each of my students.

In an effort to improve the quality of arts education programming for our elders, the Department of Cultural Affairs, New York City Council, and Department for the Aging has continued to support the SU-CASA residency with an award of $4500 with a 40-hour commitment. I encourage my fellow artists to use their talents and experience to bring some joy to the lives of our city's elders by applying to the SU-CASA program. APPLY HERE.

Are there any artists out there who can share their experiences working with and teaching seniors? If so please comment below!

Comment

SU-CASA AT ROCHDALE VILLAGE SENIOR CENTER

Comment

SU-CASA AT ROCHDALE VILLAGE SENIOR CENTER

On Wednesday, July 12, SU-CASA Artist-in-Residence David Mills presented the culminating event for his class. His students presented works of poetry at the Rochdale Village Senior Center where the class took place since January. Rochdale Village Senior Center Director Sheree Shivers gave a warm welcome and introduced David and his senior students to the audience. The community was very engaged in the reading which touched on love, life and death, and community issues. Learn more about SU-CASA HERE.

Comment

SU-CASA: HANAC Senior Center

Comment

SU-CASA: HANAC Senior Center

On Tuesday, June 13, SU-CASA Artist-in-Residence Brice Garrett presented the works of his senior students at HANAC Harmony Senior Center in Astoria. Brice worked with the seniors for 6 months, teaching them how to sculpt with different media. The seniors produced about two dozen original works referencing people, nature and some of their favorite activities. The works were sculpted on site at HANAC and fired at Queens College. See more photos from their final presentation HERE.

SU-CASA is a program that pairs professional artists with senior centers across New York City to produce art experiences that enhance the lives of seniors and their communities.

Comment