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Celebrating the Art of Powdermaker Hall
Contact: Maria Terrone
Executive Director of Communications
(718) 997-5591
Maria Matteo
News Assistant
(718) 997-5590


--Commissioned Work Includes Huge Photos of Queens Today;
Artists Will Give Free Tours--

FLUSHING, NY, September 23, 2004 – Queens College will present a major new art collection for Powdermaker Hall, its main classroom building, in a ceremony and reception on Wednesday, September 29 from 12:15 to 1:30 pm. The event takes place inside the main entrance lobby of Powdermaker Hall, located on the Queens College quad. President James L. Muyskens will give opening remarks, followed by comments from the four artists–Julie Ault, Frank Gohlke, Christian Philipp Müller, and Joel Sternfeld—who will also lead tours of the collection.

The Powdermaker Hall Art Collection includes four newly commissioned artworks that were developed specifically about the campus community and the borough of Queens. The collection was organized by curator Diane Shamash and the Powdermaker Hall Art Acquisition Committee, and made possible through the Percent for Art Program administered by the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York.

Frank Gohlke and Joel Sternfeld have completed 58 color and black-and-white photographs—18 of them are
4 by 5 ½ feet—that explore the wide-ranging communities and architecture of the borough of Queens. Well-known for their documentary and expository work about landscapes throughout the United States, Gohlke and Sternfeld are collaborating for the first time at Queens College. Their subjects include neighborhood parks, gardens, streets, restaurants, signage,and pedestrian malls in Astoria, Flushing, Jackson Heights, Jamaica Hills, Long Island City, Maspeth, Sunnyside, Oakland Gardens, and Woodhaven, Queens. The other artworks had been previously installed in Powdermaker, but these photographs are being seen for the first time.

Christian Philipp Müller’s project Spice Up (Powdermaker Hall) is a site-specific artwork that includes oval tables, porcelain enamel letters, and stools for three student lounges at Powdermaker Hall. These lounges are designed as “comfort-zones,” places for students to meet and rest from academic activities on campus. The artwork examines how food staples are shared worldwide, and how specific spices transform basics such as corn, rice, and potatoes into familiar tasting dishes. Eleven oval tables, laminated with images of bay leaves, cardamom, chilies, cinnamon, lemongrass, porcini mushrooms, nutmeg, oregano, tamarind, and turmeric suggest how students from diverse cultural backgrounds “spice-up” Queens College and enrich student life. Spice Up (Powdermaker Hall) was developed collaboratively with students and faculty from Queens College, who offered recipes from their countries of origin.

Julie Ault’s site-specific artwork, Points of Entry, includes twelve stainless steel quotations by contemporary and historical luminaries such as bell hooks, John Dewey, James Baldwin, Emily Dickinson, and Simone Weil located above the doorways to Powdermaker Hall. This collection of quotations offers diverse educational concepts and is intended to stimulate thought and dialogue among the users of the building. Points of Entry was developed collaboratively with students and faculty from Queens College.

Powdermaker Hall, which reopened in fall 2003 after a major renovation, was designed by Mitchell/Giurgola Architects. It includes classrooms, computer labs, seminar rooms, laboratories, offices, and workspaces for thirteen academic departments.

The Dormitory Authority of the State of New York provides financing and construction services to public and private universities, not-for-profit healthcare facilities and other institutions that serve the public good.

Queens College in Flushing, Queens, opened its doors in 1937 with the goal of offering a first-rate education to talented people of all backgrounds and financial means. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY) since its founding in 1961, Queens College is one of CUNY’s largest senior colleges. Often referred to as “the jewel of the CUNY system,” the college enjoys a national reputation for its liberal arts and sciences and pre-professional programs.

Lobby of the main entrance of Powdermaker Hall.
Main quad of campus.

Building Hours:
Monday – Friday: 8 am – 10:00 pm
Saturday and Sunday: 8 am – 4:30 pm

For more information about the Powdermaker Hall Art Collection, contact:
Diane Shamash, Director of Minetta Brook, (212) 431-7165 or

Fee: Free and open to the public.


 Office Information

Deputy Director of News Services
(Position vacant)

(718) 997- 5597

Maria Matteo
Assistant Director of News Services
Queens Hall, Room 270B
(718) 997-5593

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