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“Voices Envisioned: Memories Made in Northern Ireland”


— On Exhibit at Queens College Art Center November 4–December 23, 2010 —

What: A collaborative oral history and visual art project in which a group of Protestants and Roman Catholics in Northern Ireland revisit and reinterpret the inter-communal conflict. Curated by anthropologist Jill Strauss, Dispute Resolution Program, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY and co-sponsored by the Irish Studies Program at Queens College, Clare Carroll, Director.
Where: Queens College Art Center (part of the Selma and Max Kupferberg Center for the Arts)
Benjamin S. Rosenthal Library, Level Six
Queens College, 65-30 Kissena Blvd., Flushing, NY 11367-1597
When: Thursday, November 4–Thursday, December 23, 2010
Curator's Talk/Reception:
Thursday, November 4, 5–8 pm; Curator's talk 6–7 pm
Lecture and Discussion: Thursday, November 18, 5–6:30 pm
Rosenthal Library, Level Five, President’s Conference Room 1
“From Widgery to Saville: From War to Peace in Northern Ireland?” by Paul Arthur, Peace Scholar, Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, University of San Diego, and Professor of Politics, University of Ulster
Poetry Reading: Tuesday, December 7, 5–6:30 pm
Rosenthal Library Auditorium (Room 230)
Paul Muldoon, Poetry Editor of the New Yorker, and Professor and Chair of the Peter B. Lewis Center for the Arts, Princeton University
Gallery Hours: Monday–Thursday, 9 am–8 pm; Friday & Dec. 21–23, 9 am–5 pm
Closed Nov. 25–28, weekends and holidays
Free and open to the public
Gallery Contacts: For more info: 718-997-3770

FLUSHING, NY, October 21, 2010 –Voices Envisioned: Memories Made in Northern Ireland offers an opportunity to visit a cross-community storytelling and visual art project undertaken in Northern Ireland over a period of five months in 2008 by curator Jill Strauss.

In Strauss’ ethnographic case study, an intergenerational group of Protestants and Catholics in the town of Portadown in Northern Ireland collaborated on an oral history and visual art project that revisited the painful inter-communal conflict of Northern Ireland’s recent history. The older generation reflected on their experiences from decades of violent conflict, and the younger generation explored ways of interpreting the elders’ memories and feelings creatively in visual form. As the region transitions from violence to peace, this experiment in sharing personal stories and interpreting them visually aided in addressing deep-seated prejudices in their lives.

Born at an intersection of history, memory, and art, the works created in this process of opening up and discussion have marked a path to reconciliation for the participants. These artworks also seem to have benefitted the wider communities that were exposed to them. Previously exhibited at the Millennium Court Arts Centre in Portadown in 2008 and the Macy Gallery, Teachers College, Columbia University earlier this year, they are here offered as a window into one region’s transformation from discord to understanding. The exhibition also documents the workshop process leading to the creation of the artworks, which include three textiles and two mixed media installations.

Jill Strauss, a born-and-raised New Yorker, is Adjunct Professor of Sociology of Conflict at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY. She was an art major at Music and Art High School (now Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts) and holds a BA in Social Science in the Visual Arts (SUNY Purchase). She also has a Master of Education degree in Peace Education and Conflict Resolution from Teachers College, Columbia University, and a PhD from the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland. The exhibition draws on her research on museums as informal learning spaces for reconciliation by applying peace and conflict theory to the creation and viewing of art. She has lectured and presented internationally on diversity, conflict resolution and peace education, the motivation for her involvement expressed by “If I didn’t speak up, then other people were speaking for me.”

The exhibition is free and open to the public. Images, as well as biographical and sales information, are available upon request. For information on additional events to be scheduled, please visit

While on campus, visitors to Voices Envisioned may also want to see Marlene Tseng Yu: Nature and Cosmos, 1966-2010 (through November 24) and Windows and Mirrors: The War in Afghanistan; American Friends Service Committee Afghan Civilian War Casualties Memorial Mural Project (December 9, 2010–January 30, 2011), both at the Godwin-Ternbach Museum..

For directions to Queens College, please visit

For a campus map, go to (Rosenthal Library/Art Center).

The Queens College Art Center, part of the Selma and Max Kupferberg Center Center for the Arts, founded in 1987, succeeds the Queens College Art Library Gallery established
in 1960. In more than 200 exhibitions to date, the Art Center has shown masters like Alice Neel, Joseph Cornell, and Elizabeth Catlett, and introduced scores of artists from around the globe. Focusing on modern and contemporary programming expressive of the best art of our time, this display space presents the works of emerging and established artists in diverse media. Art Center exhibitions support the educational and cultural objectives of Queens College. The shared goal of the Queens College Art Center and of the Godwin-Ternbach Museum at Queens College is to provide the means for participating in and upholding a democratic society through learning, adaptation, and critical thinking.


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