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EXPRESS+LOCAL: NYC AESTHETICS Asks if Queens Will Affect the Work of 15 NY Artists in Residence at The Queens College Art Center

-- Residencies from January 28-June 30 Will Culminate in a Spring Exhibition --

FLUSHING, NY, January 24, 2011 – For many New Yorkers, one’s zip code determines the pizza they eat, the baseball team they cheer, and their general attitude about life. But can it influence the art they make? By bringing New York-area artists to the Queens College Art Center in Flushing for a month-long residency, EXPRESS+LOCAL: NYC AESTHETICS explores the possible effect of locale on their works.

A total of 15 artists from diverse disciplines, divided into three groups, will share gallery space for one month at a time (Jan. 28-Feb. 28; March 1-31; and April 1-29). The public will have the opportunity to view the works-in-progress and talk with all the participants during an Open Studio one night each month and at varied times during their residency. A free culminating exhibition (May 5-June 30) will showcase pieces created during their time in Queens and feature artists’ talks with the curator, Tara Mathison.

Depending on their chosen residency, the visual artists, writers, musicians, and curators will work separately or together within the gallery space to respond to the idea of place. EXPRESS+LOCAL aims to offer insight into the varied studio practices documenting their creative response to New York and specifically, the borough of Queens. While some of the artists are very familiar with Queens and Queens College, others have had no direct experience before the residency; EXPRESS+LOCAL may lead each artist to forge a new sense of place.

 “This exhibition is a curatorial experiment investigating whether or not artists are affected by New York City and the borough of Queens, and, in turn, whether Queens and Queens College will be affected by them,” says Mathison. “EXPRESS+LOCAL will also try to learn whether a collective effort to explore Queens will reveal a regional New York City aesthetic.”

Through EXPRESS|LOCAL, the Queens College Art Center continues its support of contemporary artists living and working in New York City. The featured artists range in age, medium, and scale of work, with their New York residencies extending from the present to a lifetime, but each has a constantly evolving artistic relationship with the city. Given the borough’s size, diversity, and proximity to Manhattan, Queens may be able to offer unique insights on the contemporary art world.

An artist herself, Mathison received an MA and MFA in printmaking while teaching drawing at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. A member of the Brooklyn artist collective 3rd Ward, she has exhibited extensively in the United States and internationally. Her work is in collections around the world. During her 10 years of curating experience, Mathison has focused on contemporary artists and visual culture. At the Queens College Art Center, she has worked with more than 25 artists and 15 exhibitions since 2007.

The January 28–February 28 participants include Ellis Avery, a Manhattan-based novelist who teaches fiction writing at Columbia University and focuses on writing haiku influenced by the city. Becky Franco, a large-format muralist from Brooklyn now living in Port Washington, Long Island, explores extravagance within domestic life. Erin Hanke, a harpsichordist working in New York City, will webcast her daily practice sessions for viewers. Tommy Mintz, a photographer whose work captures the day-to-day life of city dwellers, will photograph the Queens College community to showcase the borough’s diversity.
Open Studio: Thursday, February 17, 5-8 pm

The March 1–31 participants all live in Brooklyn. Graphic designers Carl Gambrell and Rob Kimmel will physically explore Queens to create a map that illustrates their newfound understanding of the borough’s cartography. Photographer and web programmer Derek Vadala captures the decaying manufacturing areas of Queens. Czech-born artists Kristyna + Marek Milde explore issues of consumerism within their New York home. The sculpture of Howard Lerner, recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Painting and a Connecticut Commission on the Arts Individual Artists Grant, is made from local found objects.
Open Studio: Thursday, March 24, 5-8 pm

The April 1–29 participants include Manhattan-based painter Anne Sherwood Pundyk who strips away the pretenses of painting and art-making in a studio, hidden from those who see the final product—creating new work centered on the private vs. public. Mixed-media artist Naomi Grossman of Long Island City explores the body through sound. Sculptor Antonia Perez, also of Long Island City, reconstructs barriers and divisions of personal space by reusing everyday materials such as plastic bags. Inspired by the work of Ray Johnson, mail artist April Nett will use the U.S. Postal Service to construct a Queens Utopia. Musician and new media artist Jonathan Wohl of Astoria will compose a visual musical piece in response to Queens.
Open Studio: Thursday, April 14, 5-8 pm

Images, as well as biographical and sales information, are available upon request. A catalogue will be published following the exhibition. For information on additional events to be scheduled, please visit


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 

Gallery Hours:

Monday–Thursday, 9 am–8 pm; Friday and April 18–22, 25-26, May 31–June 30, 9 am–5 pm; closed February 11 and 21, May 30, weekends and holidays
Free and open to the public

Gallery Contacts:   For more info: (718) 997-3770 or  (Queens College Art Center) 

Visitors to  EXPRESS+LOCAL: NYC AESTHETICS may also want to see Mansheng Wang: Art and Artlessness (February 15–May 27) at the Godwin-Ternbach Museum on campus.

For directions to Queens College, please visit
For a campus map, go to (Rosenthal Library/Art Center)

The Queens College Art Center, 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.


 Office Information

Maria Matteo
Media and College Relations
(718) 997-5593

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