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

1-unnamedImage, Hidemi Takagi, ‘Hello, it’s me’

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.

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    News
    For Immediate Release Contact: Jennifer Passaretti
    The Marino Organization
    212.889.0808
    Jennifer@themarino.org

    MASSIVE SCULPTURES TAKE SHAPE IN THE GARMENT DISTRICT

    Group of colossal, 25,000-pound granite sculptures by artist Harry H. Gordon is the
    next public art installation on the Garment District plazas

    NEW YORK, January 19, 2016 – The Garment District Alliance today unveiled Mass Medium, a group of five, 25,000-pound sculptures carved from granite that will captivate New Yorkers and visitors alike with its tremendous stature on Broadway’s Garment District plazas this winter.

    Created by highly respected sculptor, Harry H. Gordon, who resides and operates his studio in Lambertville, New Jersey, the neighborhood’s second winter art installation will occupy the pedestrian space on Broadway from 36th to 41st Streets in the Garment District through April.

    “Mass Medium is a spectacular installation that amazes passersby with its enormous, impeccable stone structure, coupled with its ability to adapt to the Manhattan landscape,” said Barbara Blair Randall, president of the Garment District Alliance. “Harry Gordon’s sculptures truly embody the innovative and imaginative spirit of the Garment District, and we are thrilled to showcase his incredible work. I am confident these imposing figures will serve as the most popular art installation in New York City this winter.”

    The five works, Sandalphon, Snaphance, Enki, Flying Canoe and Grasshopper, are intended to become part of the environment, invoke curiosity among passersby and present New Yorkers and visitors with a new, unique way to experience stone in Manhattan.

    Harry begins designing his artwork by collecting large pieces of fine granite that were initially discarded by the stone industry. Through utilizing a crane in his studio, he assembles each fragment of stone into a sculpture that takes on anthropomorphic attitudes, gestures and stance, essentially relating to human life.

    “I have always felt that my sculptures need to be installed and viewed by the public to be complete – it is as if they get their batteries charged with each person that sees them,” said sculptor Harry Gordon.

    With an extensive background in public sculpture, Harry has served as the Department Head of Sculpture Installation at the Johnson Atelier, Assistant Curator at Clinton Hill Sculpture Park at Pratt Institute, and Curator at Sculpture Garden at Nexus Properties in Trenton, New Jersey. Additionally, Harry has participated in more than 60 exhibitions over the past 25 years.
    Mass Medium is the latest in the ongoing Garment District Art on the Plazas series of public art installations, which has also included Avian Avatars, Sidewalk Catwalk, Tour de Fashion, Figurations, Broadway Green, The Sentinels, and, most recently, Seward Johnson in New York.

    Garment District Art on the Plazas is made possible through Arterventions, part of the New York City Department of Transportation’s Art Program. The Garment District Alliance and DOT work closely to coordinate the exhibit and install the pieces, which enhance the public plazas and make them even more welcoming to New Yorkers and visitors alike.

    “DOT Art values partners like the Garment District Alliance and their dedication to reimagining the street for the public,” said the New York City Department of Transportation’s Assistant Commissioner of Design + Art + Wayfinding Wendy Feuer. “The enormity of Harry Gordon’s sculptures adds new drama and scale to the plazas.”

    The Garment District is home to thousands of people working in the “creative economy,” including fine and performing artists, designers, architects, photographers and more than a hundred theaters, galleries, performance spaces and studios.

    Please direct media inquiries to Jennifer Passaretti of The Marino Organization at 212-889-0808 or Jennifer@themarino.org. For more information on the Garment District Space for Public Art, please visit http://garmentdistrictnyc.com/arts/.

    About the Garment District Alliance
    The Garment District Alliance (www.garmentdistrictnyc.com), formerly the Fashion Center BID, is a not-for-profit corporation established in 1993 to improve the quality of life and economic vitality of Manhattan’s Garment District. Through programs in the areas of streetscape improvements, sanitation and public safety, marketing and promotions, economic development, and community service, the Garment District Alliance supports the neighborhood’s transformation into a modern, 24/7 destination for dining, nightlife, hotels and unique office space. For more information on the Garment District Alliance’s many art initiatives, please visit http://www.garmentdistrictnyc.com/art-design/.

    New York City Department of Transportation’s Art Program
    Launched in October 2008, the New York City Department of Transportation’s Art Program invigorates the City’s streetscapes with engaging temporary art installations. The Program partners with community-based organizations and artists to present murals, sculptures, projections and performances on plazas, fences, barriers, bridges and sidewalks for up to 11 months. Projects are presented within four program tracks: Arterventions, Barrier Beautification, Community Commissions and Art Display Case. For more information, visit http://www.nyc.gov/dotart.

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