A focus on inclusion: JCAL opens new art exhibit


| mhayes@queenscourier.com |

Photos courtesy of Vida Sabbaghi
Photos courtesy of Vida Sabbaghi

The Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning (JCAL) kicked off its new exhibition, “An Inclusive World,” showcasing artists of all different backgrounds in one common forum.

The traveling exhibition, created by curator Vida Sabbaghi and sponsored by COPE NYC, was inspired by how art transforms lives in many different ways and promotes the idea that there are variations of norms for any given individual.

It is also meant to affirm that there are many artists who can be creatively linked – the exhibit houses works from both formally-trained artists and those who are self-taught, all displayed without a label.

“You are able to just judge the work for what it is, not for who the artist is,” said Shari Lin Fischberg, a contributing artist.

Fischberg, an adjunct professor of art and design at the Pratt Institute and a trained artist, has two pieces in “An Inclusive World.” She combined encaustics, applying melted wax to a surface, and photo transfer to wood.

“It’s a very open-ended process,” she said of encaustics. “There’s a certain amount of the piece you can control, but there’s a certain amount of things you can’t control. It’s not a very precise medium, but sometimes it leads you into really interesting backgrounds.”

Fischberg was happy to contribute to the exhibit, especially happy to be a part of such a diverse group.

“I like the idea that people can hopefully just experience the art for what it is, not for who the artist is,” she said.

Fellow featured artist Juan Nolasco echoed this sentiment.

“[The exhibit] brought a variety of artists with enormous talents together,” he said.

Nolasco contributed a mandala, which he described as a piece that resembles looking through a kaleidoscope.

The self-taught artist loves working with geometric shapes and forms, and also has an interest in eastern cultures, from which the mandala originated. Through his piece, he hoped to convey the passage of time, specifically linear time.

“I find the work to be therapeutic and healing,” he said.

Nolasco’s mandala is a part of a two-piece display, paired with another artist’s mandala.

“It’s such a beautiful piece,” he said of his co-contributor’s work.

Since the exhibition took off, the two have been able to sit down and share ideas with each other.

“It’s an excellent medium to meet other artists,” he said.

The exhibition will be at the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning, 161-04 Jamaica Avenue, until April 23. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Special thanks for the exhibit go to Alice Wexler, Roger Ricco, Janos Marton, Hands Across Long Island and Vicki Schneps.

For more information, visit www.jcal.org.

 

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