14. Engaging Artists in an Inter-Generational Exchange at the Queens Museum

The issues of aging, health, home, isolation and immigration with a multilingual population are the subject of the current exhibit, Engaging Artists, at the Queens Museum. The exhibition features the work of eight New York City based, first generation, and foreign-born artists, who participated in the Engaging Artists Residency. Their exhibit emerged from a long-term project, by connecting with the aging populations at nursing homes and community centers in neighborhoods from Flushing, Queens to Crown Heights, Brooklyn.

The works in this exhibit document many of the critical issues and challenges. Each artist offers an intergenerational exchange in a variety of ways, such as a visit to Saint Teresa of Avila Senior Apartments in Crown Heights to compose portraits and audio-recorded dialogues of predominantly African-American and Caribbean-American residents living in a quickly gentrifying neighborhood. Or illustrating conversations about identity, hybridity and immigration overheard while facilitating a printmaking workshop at Carver Senior Center in El Barrio (East Harlem) with women of primarily Columbian and Puerto Rican background.

Artist Sara Meghdari, an Iranian-American, creates a video with her directly facing the camera, wearing a hijab, and slowly filming four emotions – happiness, sadness, anger and content, without speaking, attempting to alter the negative perceptions of Muslim women wearing the traditional head scarf. In addition, there are a series of related events, and a live performance and the closing reception.

Engaging Artists will be on view from February 7 to February 27, with an Opening Reception on February 7 from 3:30-5:30 pm. Located at the Queens Museum, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens.