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Meet ArtSite Artist Annabelle Popa!

Interview with artist Annabelle Popa by ArtSite Program Manager, Marissa Lazar

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What inspired you to apply to ArtSite?

I saw that ArtSite was doing a project in Jackson Heights, the neighborhood I grew up in, so I though what a special opportunity it would be to have my art in the very place I spent most of my life.

Please discuss your connection to Queens.

My parents moved to Jackson Heights when I was born and I have lived there ever since. As I grew I was able to explore the larger queens area, from Astoria and Steinway street to my favorite bubble tea and dumpling spot in Flushing. Jackson Heights will always be my home base that continues to grow, change, and flourish.

Briefly describe your ArtSite project and what inspired your idea?

Jackson Heights is known as the neighborhood of gardens. Growing up I would take different routes home and would discover some gorgeous courtyards of certain apartment complexes. I found the majority of courtyards and apartments would have 'guardian' animals standing in the pathways. From griffins to lions, to fish over windows, I felt like I was discovering magical lands that were attainable only to those with 'the key'. I feel these creatures have been overlooked and forgotten, so with my project, "Guardians of Jackson Heights", I wanted to bring them into the forefront. By bringing attention to these characters I hope people of the neighborhood will begin to notice and appreciate them once more.

Where will your project be exhibited and why did you choose this particular site for your ArtSite project?

My project will be on a wall along 76th street and 37th avenue at Image Heights Pharmacy. This site is particularly special due to its length, which allows enough room for a narrative to evolve. As viewers walk by the story within the art will be revealed to them. It also has an awning above with lighting so even at night it can be seen.

Will ArtSite be your first public art project? What are some of the key differences between your normal practice and working in the public sphere? 

ArtiSite is my second public art project, but the first that I have full creative control over. In my normal practice I have a commissioner. While I do get some creative freedom, there is a established goal that needs to be met. In my personal work, I do have a narrative or meaning I want to communicate, but it is not often seen by many. This project, I have full creative freedom within the theme that I have established, but I need to keep in mind that this is a piece created for the public. I have an amazing opportunity to make something that will be seen by many, and a responsibility to make something thought provoking.

How do you want/envision the public to interact with your work?

The location of the mural is quite an active block. Busses pass by it and its right on an active avenue. I want people to initially get a glimpse of it, be intrigued, and then go back (whether its on their way home from work or while they're out shopping) to get a closer look. Various elements in the mural are large enough to see from across the block, but many details will be small so going up close will be necessary for the full experience. The wall is right on street level so viewers can get as close as they'd like. I hope the mural encourages viewers to take a closer look at the architecture of the Jackson Heights and find the elements that I tried to emulate within the mural.

 

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Meet ArtSite Artist Jimmy Ferguson!

Interview with artist Jimmy Ferguson by ArtSite Program Manager, Marissa Lazar

What inspired you to apply to ArtSite?

 A neighbor posted the call for proposals in my building. I had recently moved to Queens from Brooklyn and was looking to connect with the local arts community. Everything aligned perfectly. I live and work in Jackson Heights.

  

Briefly describe your ArtSite project and what inspired your idea?

Between Neighbors: Jackson Heights is a large-format public projection. The black and white video, on continuous loop during the evenings, will be projected against a building beside the 82nd Street platform of the 7-train.  The video captures the subways of Jackson Heights, and the neighbors who ride them. I began shooting on the subways for a short documentary film that explores the distance between the self and the other in modern urbanity. On my initial exploratory trips for the documentary film, I was immediately struck by the differences across the boroughs. In the vast diversity of New York, each neighborhood, and subsequently each segment of train that passes through a neighborhood takes on its own personality. Of particular note in Jackson Heights is the extraordinary variety of cultures, languages, and faces.

 

Where will your project be exhibited and why did you choose this particular site for your ArtSite project?

The work will project on a building above Pollos A La Brasa Mario, whose owner, Oscar, has been wonderfully supportive of the project. The location is ideal as it’s right along the train platform in the heart of Jackson Heights. The projection can be seen from the corner of Roosevelt and 81st street, but the ideal view is from the west side of the 82nd street platform of the 7-train.

 

Will ArtSite be your first public art project? What are some of the key differences between your normal practice and working in the public sphere?

ArtSite is my first public art project. Working in the public sphere is very different from film in both practical and artistic terms. Normally I make a work and count on another to present it; here, I am responsible for the display itself, which has a lot of practical challenges. I reached out to Rooftop Films, who have been extremely generous with their support and technical expertise.  Artistically I find it very compelling to be in a public space. Between Neighbors demands a platform that directly engages those who I am filming. I filmed in public, and thus, the exhibition of the footage must be public. For me, the project could only exist in this way. I don’t wish to simply create a document of this fascinating area, but rather, a work that incites a dialog within the community.

 

How do you want/envision the public to interact with your work?

 By projecting our subway dynamics in large format on a building in the public space, I’m hoping to give us the pause we typically avoid in our daily commute. By focusing my lens on our individual interactions within the masses of commuters, I hope to spark reflection, and ultimately, a dialog between us as neighbors.  

 

Catch Between Neighbors: Jackson Heights on view every evening through February 2, 2019.

 

See more of Jimmy’s work!

www.jwjfilms.com

https://www.instagram.com/jwjfilms/

 

 

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Meet ArtSite Artist Margaret Rose Vendryes

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Interview with artist Margaret Rose Vendryes by ArtSite Program Manager, Marissa Lazar

 

What inspired you to apply to ArtSite?

 Jamaica audiences have enjoyed my work in the past and regretted seeing it taken down.  ArtSite offered an opportunity to bring The African Diva Project back to them and others in an even more public and interactive way. 

 

Please discuss your connection to Queens.

I grew up in Cambria Heights and, although I have lived in a number of other cities as an adult, my ties to Southeast Queens have remained through my position on the faculty at York College.  I now live in Richmond Hill.

 

Briefly describe your ArtSite project and what inspired your idea?

Jamaica Center has thousands of commuters, shoppers, and visitors to government offices passing through each day.  Perhaps more than any other audience, these people deserve a reason to slow down, stop, look, and enjoy what can be seen and learned from engaging with an art installation.  Standing Ovation: The African Diva Project is comprised of select figures taken from The African Diva Project, printed to life-size, and installed on the Jamaica Performing Arts Center lawn.  The location is appropriate given its role as a central space for this community to enjoy performances.  Each figure, mask, and rationale for their pairing will be on a sign/ legend installed just inside the JPAC fence.

 

Will ArtSite be your first public art project? What are some of the key differences between your normal practice and working in the public sphere?

 This is not my first "re-envisioning" of The African Diva Project paintings.  The inspiration to continue finding ways to allow the local population of Jamaica began with Jameco Exchange in the summer of 2016.  The interactive component of that indoor installation was more complex than Standing Ovation where the work will be out in the open for audiences to learn about the divas and their masks and to take photographs with them as if they were inside a painting.

  

Catch Standing Ovation: The African Diva Project from January 17th, 2019 through March 2019.

 

See more of Margaret’s work!

https://www.mrvendryes.com/

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ARTSITE ARTIST INTERVIEW: JASON LALOR

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ARTSITE ARTIST INTERVIEW: JASON LALOR

Jason Anthony Lalor is a new media and performance artist based in Cambria Heights. Check out this video where he shares how ArtSite impacts his work and how he hopes his project engages the community.

ArtSite aims to establish an ecosystem of local artists and art producers to create new work that reflects the diverse cultural stories particular to the communities of Jamaica and Jackson Heights. By allowing the artists to partner and create dialogue with the local business community, we can reinvent the external perceptions of these two communities as sources of inspiration and epicenters of the new America canon of dance, theatre, music, and art.

LEARN MORE ABOUT ARTSITE HERE

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Announcing the 2018 Queens Emerging Artist Business Prize Awardees

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About the Scholarship Award

Founded in 2017, the Queens Emerging Artist Business prize is a scholarship opportunity for students and alumni of Queens Council on the Arts’ (QCA) High School to Art School portfolio development program. A partnership between QCA and KOTRA (Korea-Trade Investment Promotion Agency), this year’s award is generously sponsored by LG Household and Health Care America, Inc. (LGHHAI) – the company is awarding an unprecedented $10,000 to seven emerging artists. LGHHAI collected designs for two products, the VDL Cosmetics Package Set, and Lucky Fiji Packaging. This competition aims to provide a platform for the best and brightest young artists in Queens, as well as help LGHHAI grow their brand with visually striking artwork.

2018 Awardees, from left:  From Left: SooA Kim, Shanjida Kibria, Clara Jeong, Deanna Cepeda, Kunning Huang, & Alexander Li (not pictured: Yuricik Canas); photo by Ken Brown

2018 Awardees, from left: From Left: SooA Kim, Shanjida Kibria, Clara Jeong, Deanna Cepeda, Kunning Huang, & Alexander Li (not pictured: Yuricik Canas); photo by Ken Brown

Read more about the seven awardees & their designs below, or check out photos from the event
on facebook and flickr!


FIRST PLACE: CLARA JEONG (HS2AS ‘13)

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When HS2AS opened the door to the language of art, the college experience taught me to explore different ways to communicate with it.
— Clara Jeong

Clara enrolled in the HS2AS portfolio program for the Summer and Fall of 2013. Upon graduation from the program, she attended Fashion Institute of Technology as a Fine Art Major in 2014, graduating this year in May. “When HS2AS opened the door to the language of art, the college experience taught me to explore different ways to communicate with it,” she writes. “My goal as an artist is to successfully understand the relationship between visual representations and human behaviors - how one influences the other.” Currently, Clara is studying User Experience Design to help gain further insight.

SECOND PLACE: YURICIK CANAS (HS2AS ‘16)

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Art has always defined my character in many ways. I can remember being surrounded by artwork from a very young age, and how this passion only grew with time.
— Yuricik Canas

“Art has always defined my character in many ways,” writes Yuricik. “I can remember being surrounded by artwork from a very young age, and how this passion only grew with time.” While Yuricik majored in engineering, she loves to create and design new things. “I´m sure it has been this aspect of art what has led me to choose what I wanted to do in life,” she says.

FINALIST: SHANJIDA KIBRIA (HS2AS ‘13)

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Shanjida Kibria was a HS2AS student in the Summer and Fall of 2014. At the time, she attended Laguardia Arts High School. Today, she is enrolled at Parsons School of Design as a communication design major. “My design focus has primarily been in branding, print, and package design,” she writes. “I hope to have a career focusing on branding and advertising.” Currently, she works part-time at the NYC Department of Sanitation's Recycling & Sustainability Bureau as a design intern. She grew up in Queens, New York, and hopes to travel a bit once she is finished with school.

FINALIST: KUNNING HUANG (HS2AS ‘12")

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Kunning Huang was born in Changsha, China, and moved to America when he was 15 years old. A graduate from The Cooper Union, he completed his studies in May of 2018 with a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Art. A 2011-12 HS2AS student, Kunning says, “It was an unforgettable learning experience that broadened my mind and changed my perspective on art, and helped me to get in my dream school.” In college, he pursued a multidisciplinary study that included disciplines as Sculpture, Photography, Graphic design, Video, Printmaking and Painting.

FINALIST: SOOA KIM (HS2AS ‘10)

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An alumni of HS2AS from 2008-10, SooA Kim is a multimedia artist based in New York. She works primarily with the mediums of video, sound and performance. Kim's current works examine socially constructed ideas within the sphere of performing arts, creating interdisciplinary work in live interactive spaces and also in VR/AR platforms. Her work has been selected for eminent exhibitions in United States, Canada, Germany, Russia, Vietnam and Czech Republic. She received her BFA from Parsons the New School for Design and is currently a candidate for Video and Media Design MFA at Carnegie Mellon University.

FINALIST: ALEXANDER LI (HS2AS ‘13)

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Alexander Li is New York based Illustrator and designer. He graduated from Parsons the New School of Design. He attended the HS2AS program in the 2013, during my senior year of High School.

FINALIST: DEANNA CEPEDA (hs2as ‘15)

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Deanna Cepeda participated in HS2AS in the summer of 2015. Currently a sophomore at Pratt Institute, she is currently studying Art Direction/Advertising. “I had a great time designing the front of this package,” she writes.


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ARTSITE ARTIST INTERVIEW: JOSE CARLOS CASADO

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ARTSITE ARTIST INTERVIEW: JOSE CARLOS CASADO

Jose Carlos Casado is a multimedia artist whose work is grounded in community. His work includes sculpture, painting, animation, and installation art. Check out this video where he shares how ArtSite impacts his work and how he hopes his project engages the community.

ArtSite aims to establish an ecosystem of local artists and art producers to create new work that reflects the diverse cultural stories particular to the communities of Jamaica and Jackson Heights. By allowing the artists to partner and create dialogue with the local business community, we can reinvent the external perceptions of these two communities as sources of inspiration and epicenters of the new America canon of dance, theatre, music, and art.

LEARN MORE ABOUT ARTSITE HERE

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2018-19 Artist Peer Circles

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2018-19 Artist Peer Circles

On Monday, November 26, 2018, we hosted an orientation for this year’s Artist Peer Circle program participants. The Artist Peer Circle program is designed to provide artists a structured support system in an effort to help advance their professional development. The artists meet once a month for nine months and finish the program with a public event. Our first two cohorts of the year consist of one peer circle for visual artists and one for interdisciplinary artists.

QCA 2018-19 Artist Peer Circle

This year’s Artist Peer Circle facilitators are Ran Yan, Executive Director of Lewis Latimer House, and Malcolm Chang, writer and Newtown Literary Alliance board member. Peer Circle artists include Zonia Tsang, Allison Escoto, Melanie LaRosa, Pichchenda Bao, Symin Adave, Kaiser Kamal, John Day, Aileen Bassis, Helen Quinn, and Will Kaplan. Learn more about the Artist Peer Circle program HERE.

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Emery Jones' Work in Far Rockaway

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Emery Jones' Work in Far Rockaway

Far Rockaway Cultural Performance Arts is a nonprofit organization that uses arts and culture to improve their community and contribute to the professional development of local artists. Founder Emery Jones is a Far Rock native and has served his neighborhood for over 30 years. We sat down with Emery to ask him about his organization’s mission and what it has been like to work with QCA in our efforts to bring more professional development opportunities to artists in Far Rockaway.

What does Far Rockaway Cultural Performance Arts do and who does it serve? 
Far Rockaway Cultural Performance Arts provides the Rockaways a space to create community, especially amongst artists and young people. We offer opportunities for people in the neighborhood to involve themselves in creative activities including animation, graphic design, cinematography, acting, and dance. Our goal is to help cultivate interest in these creative outlets and develop people’s abilities into productive tools that they can use to enhance their lives.

Emery Jones and Samantha Inniss

Emery Jones and Samantha Inniss

What has it been like to partner with QCA on hosting Creative Conversation? 
We have learned a great deal from this experience. It has been such a pleasure to work with the QCA staff and to become more familiar with QCA’s work in supporting artists and organizations.

What is one highlight that has happened since you started hosting Creative Conversations?
We have learned a lot about how to write a solid grant proposal. Each meeting has brought something new to the table- from watching participants discover new things about themselves to learning strategies for how artists can apply their creative abilities to move their personal goals forward.

What are your long term goals for your work in the community?  
Far Rockaway Cultural Performance Arts will be a consistent and viable part of the community and we will continue our work with the ultimate goal of becoming a University of Far Rockaway with a focus on arts and culture.

l-r: Jason Heuer, Elaine Short, and Emery Jones

l-r: Jason Heuer, Elaine Short, and Emery Jones

Far Rockaway Cultural Performance Arts is located at 44-19 Rockaway Beach Blvd and you can learn more about the organization at https://www.facebook.com/frcpag/.

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The First ArtSite Project Installed!

ArtSite Awardee, Yvonne Shortt Installs
What We Carry in Dunningham Triangle, Elmhurst

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Queens artist, Yvonne Shortt, with the help of NYC Parks, artists Joel Esquite and Mayuko Fujino, along with the Jackson Heights Community, recently installed the sculptural installation What We Carry in Dunningham Triangle, celebrating immigrants. 

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“We may come to the United States in a variety of ways, but once we come, we are the foundation for our community. We carry our stories and history when we leave one place, and form new traditions once we arrive. Whether we were forced to come or come on our own, from us flourishes strength, hope, and unlimited possibility. This community art initiative, “What We Carry,” celebrates immigrants through a collaborative aluminum sculpture installation, and employs wood flower sculptures to represent the positive force we bring to our communities. Its co-creative process provides a creative platform for everyone in the community, with or without artistic training, and empowers them to have a voice in public art.” – Yvonne Shortt

What We Carry celebrates immigrants through a two-part installation. The first element, an aluminum sculpture of a silhouetted woman, is adorned with cut-out designs illustrating the journey of those who come by plane, water, and land. She holds a bowl that symbolizes what binds all of us: our family and our community. A series of flowers comprises the second part of the installation. The flowers were co-created by the community members at the collaborative workshops, then fabricated in wood and hung around the iron fence, which traditionally sets boundaries but here communicates a sense of togetherness and collaboration.

In order to capture the stories of immigration in Jackson Heights, Shortt sat in Dunningham Triangle over a series of days speaking and listening to those community members passing through and enjoying the park.

“My family came by boat but I thought by listening to others I could incorporate other influences into the piece.  Sitting in the park I learned how some came by plane and others by land.  I think it’s so important to remember that in many cases, one doesn’t leave everything behind unless where they are leaving is worse.” -Yvonne Shortt


ABOUT ARTSITE

A key goal of ArtSite is to empower local artists to engage on a local level, understanding that they can be a catalyst for change. QCA, along with its partners, the Jamaica Center BID in Jamaica and the 82nd Street BID in Jackson Heights, seek to create a self-sustaining supportive art culture in these communities.

This program has been supported by the Queens Council on the Arts with funds from NYS Regional Economic Development Council in partnership with the New York State Council on the Arts, with additional support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

Special thanks to the 82nd Street Partnership and NYC Parks. 

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ArtSite Artist Interview: Margaret Rose Vendryes

At last month’s Creative Conversations in Jamaica, Queens, we were joined by some of the newly selected ArtSite artists. One of the attending artists, Margaret Rose Vendryes, is a painter and multimedia artist who works in Jamaica. Check out this video where she shares how ArtSite impacts her work and how she hopes her project engages the community.

ArtSite aims to establish an ecosystem of local artists and art producers to create new work that reflects the diverse cultural stories particular to the communities of Jamaica and Jackson Heights. By allowing the artists to partner and create dialogue with the local business community, we can reinvent the external perceptions of these two communities as sources of inspiration and epicenters of the new America canon of dance, theatre, music, and art.

LEARN MORE ABOUT ARTSITE HERE

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