Exhibit shows of Queens as Art


| jlyons@queenscourier.com |



A current exhibition at the Queens College Art Center, “EXPRESS+LOCAL: NYC Aesthetics,” is focusing on the “underutilized” borough of Queens.

Prior to the exhibition opening on May 5, the 16 artists participated in a residency at the Queens College Art Center. They then created works that documented their “creative response to the city and, specifically, the borough of Queens.”

“Queens is underutilized as a borough, given the amazing diversity and the assortment of things it offers,” said exhibit curator Tara Mathison. “PS 1, Flux Factory, Socrates Sculpture Garden and the Queens Museum do an amazing job at getting people into art in Queens, and my charge is to get some of these viewers to see Queens College (and Queens College Art Center) as an arts destination. I think people are starting to understand the importance of art in Queens and we hope we can continue to offer a presence for contemporary, emerging and professional artists in Queens.”

Mathison explained that the idea for the exhibition came out of “a touch of Kevin Costner” and the idea that “if you build it, they will come.” In addition, she wanted more artists to be exposed to Queens while “fostering a sense of artist community at Queens College.”

The artists participating in “EXPRESS+LOCAL: NYC Aesthetics” are Becky Franco, Carl Gambrell and Rob Kimmel, Naomi Grossman, Erin Hanke, Howard Lerner, Tommy Mintz, April Nett, Antonia Perez, Derek Vadala, Ellis Avery, Kristyna and Marek Milde, Anne Sherwood Pundyk and Jon Wohl. They work in different mediums, including painting, graphic design, mixed-media, sculpture, photography and new media. Also included in the participants are a fiction writer and harpsichordist.

During the residency, there were times when the public could see the artists at work and interact with them.

“The residency, and show concept, really, was always about taking creating out of the studio and making it and the artist accessible to the public in order to illustrate that art is work and professional artists approach creating as anyone would approach their job,” Mathison said. She also said, “What was driven home for me was how difficult it is as an artist to open your studio and work in public. You’re engaging in a very intimate process and to allow viewers access to this practice is about as frightening as it gets.”

When people see the exhibit, Mathison said that she hopes people learn that art “involves living artists making art every day.”

“It is something to support and/or aspire to create something that adds to the world,” she said.

“EXPRESS+LOCAL: NYC Aesthetics” will be on display at the Queens College Art Center, located on the sixth floor of the Rosenthal Library at 65-30 Kissena Boulevard in Flushing, through June 30. The gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday.

For more information, visit www.qcpages.qc.cuny.edu/Art_Library/artcenter.html, email artcenter@qc.cuny.edu or call 718-997-3770.