Speakers on the Panorama

On Wednesday, July 8th, the Queens Museum of Art hosted a celebration dedicated to housing advocates that have devoted their careers to improving housing in our city. The occasion, to which over 100 housing advocacy groups from around the five boroughs were invited, came about as part of the museum’s latest exhibition Red Lines Housing Crisis Learning Center. More than 130 visitors gathered around the Panorama of the City of New York, the museum’s immense scale model from which the evening’s guest speakers presented a memorable lecture about housing issues.  Guests included Chhaya CDC, the Center for Urban Pedagogy, the Department of Economic & Housing Development, Housing Works, and the NY State Division of Human Rights.

Along with Red Lines designer Damon Rich, the panelists included Sarah Ludwig, Co-Director of the Neighborhood Economic Development Advocacy Project (NEDAP); Michelle O’Brien, Executive Director of Housing Here and Now, a citywide coalition for affordable housing; and Kenneth T. Jackson, the distinguished professor and urban historian best known for his extensive literature on New York City. Meandering along the city’s waterways, the speakers answered audience questions and highlighted the grand yet tragic “landscape of displacement”—as described by QMA Executive Director Tom Finkelpearl—that was reflected on the Panorama.

Panoramic View

View of the Panorama, with speakers on the left and audience on the right.

The event came about after artist Rich and QMA realized the opportunity of using the museum and its resources as a space to bring together advocates committed to various housing fields. As illustrated by the hundreds of tiny fluorescent markers throughout the Panorama, New York City has been strongly affected by the subprime mortgage and foreclosure crisis. These advocates and their organizations have been imperative in the efforts to reverse this crisis and its impact on thousands of families around the city. For this reason, it seemed fitting to have a “Thank You” party to honor the important and difficult work they have been doing and will continue to do as the housing crisis continues. In conjunction with the Red Lines Housing Crisis Learning Center exhibit, the Panorama was outfitted with markers highlighting blocks with 3 or more foreclosures of 1-4 family homes filed in 2008.

Markers on the Panorama depicting blocks with three of more home foreclosures in 2008

Markers indicating blocks with three or more foreclosures filed in 2008

The Red Lines project was initiated in 2007 at M.I.T. with the purpose of collecting the history and material culture behind the current economic crisis, as well as to explore the ways in which our society finances its living environments, and then use this information to create an experimental site for reflection, conversation and learning. For its display at QMA, several upgrades were made to the exhibition, including the new piece for the museum’s centerpiece, the Panorama. Data from NEDAP and the Regional Plan Association were collected to visually represent the impact of home foreclosures in the city, using the 9,335 square-foot Panorama. A bright pink triangle was placed on every block with 3 or more foreclosures filed in 2008, resulting in nearly 1,500 markers visible throughout the scale model.

It was on this same scale-model that the museum hosted its “Thank You” event for housing advocates. After a pleasant reception in the lobby that included champagne and Indian food where participants submitted questions for the discussants, visitors were welcomed into the Panorama, where Mr. Finkelpearl introduced the four guest speakers. The speakers —Damon Rich, Sarah Ludwig, Michelle O’Brien and Ken Jackson—were positioned over the Hudson River, between lower Manhattan and Staten Island, where chairs had been carefully placed. Surrounded by spectators throughout the Panorama, it wasn’t long before they stood up and got right into the action, tip-toeing around the model in their protective slippers.

Speakers along the East River

Speakers along the East River

Pointing to places like and Jamaica in Queens and Bedford-Stuyvesant in Brooklyn, the speakers discussed the direct connection between past predatory lending practices and discriminatory redlining policies, and today’s housing issues that exist in several African-American and Latino neighborhoods. Squeezing by Roosevelt Island and hopping over the RFK Bridge, they landed near LaGuardia, where communities like East Elmhurst and Corona—which the museum calls home—were covered in pink triangles. As the audience watched and asked questions from above, the speakers explored all corners of the city, themselves at times amazed by the precision of the model. As the discussion came to an end, we spoke with some of the visitors about their thoughts on the night’s event. Hear what they had to say:


Entrance to 'Red Lines Housing Crisis Learning Center'




——————–How does the private housing market really work?——————– —————————-How did the current housing crisis start?—————————- —————————— What could have been done to stop it?—————————— ———————————–——–What can we do now?———————————–——–

Bust of Frederick Babcock, a pioneer of real estate appraisal.

A bust of Frederick Babcock made of chipwood

On Saturday, June 20th artist Damon Rich unveiled a new exhibition at the Queens Museum of Art that takes a stab at answering these critical questions that have become more contentious in recent years.  Titled the “Red Lines Housing Crisis Learning Center,” the new exhibit incorporates several installations that provide the public with an incredibly physical experience of the current economic crisis.  Sculptures designed for the show range from a 40-foot-long plywood construction that illustrates the ups-and-downs of interest rates, to an outsized bust of pioneering real estate appraiser Frederick Babcock, a pioneer of real estate appraisal.  In addition, a series of images throughout the gallery take you on a walking tour of Detroit, a city deeply impacted by the housing crisis.  And video interviews introduce us to some of the protagonists of the housing saga, including mortgage brokers, housing advocates, and foreclosure victims.

Foreclosure Markers on the Panorama

Some of the nearly 1,500 fore- closure markers on the Panorama.

The highlight of the new show at QMA, however, lies beyond the Red Lines gallery space, and in the Panorama of the City of New York.  This 9335-square-foot scale model of the city, built for the 1964-65 World’s Fair, has been integrated into Red Lines as a means of visually representing the impact of foreclosures in NYC.  Each city block with three or more foreclosures filed last year has been marked with a fluorescent pink triangle—the same ones found in your pizza box—that stand out in the Panorama.  The clusters of these markers in certain areas help to expose the direct correlation between the redlining that occurred decades ago in ethnic neighborhoods, and the tragic troubles that the subprime mortgage crisis is imposing on these same communities today.

Film Screening & Panel Discussion

Opening night began with a screening of three short video productions that gave a backdrop to the issues addressed in Red Lines.  The first was The Road to a Better Living (Jerry Fairbanks, 25 min, 1959), which highlights the powerful role of the mortgage banking industry in building America’s housing infrastructure.  Next up was Damon Rich’s own Predatory Tales (20 min, 2007), which features victims of mortgage and housing scams in Lawrence, Massachusetts telling their stories through puppets in order to educate their neighbors.  The final short film was Primetime: Fighting Back Against Foreclosure (Manauvaskar Kublall, 23 min, 2008), which breaks down the complex issues of the subprime mortgage industry into comprehensible terms, and brings to light the disproportionate impact of the foreclosure crisis on communities of color.

Discussion Panel: (L to R) Prerana Reddy, Damon Rich, Manauvaskar Kublall, Lionel Oullette

Discussion Panel: (L to R) Prerana Reddy, Damon Rich, Manauvaskar Kublall, Lionel Oullette

Following the screenings was a panel discussion led by Red Lines’ Damon Rich, filmmaker Manauvaskar Kublall, Lionel Oullette of CHANGER, a homeowners justice organization, and facilitated by Prerana Reddy, Director of Public Events at the Queens Museum.  They discussed everything from the impact of the American Dream on immigrant communities and their vulnerability to predatory lending, to the striking resemblance between today’s condition and that of the 1930’s, when the nation was trying to survive the Great Depression. 

Opening Ceremony

As the panelists concluded their discussion session, visitors were directed towards the lobby, where a cocktail hour preceded the anticipated ribbon-cutting ceremony.  On hand for the occasion were Damon and Prerana, along with Larissa Harris, curator of the exhibit, and Tom Finkelpearl, executive director of the Queens Museum.  Together they cut the red ribbon, officially opening the Red Lines Housing Crisis Learning Center to the public!

Red Lines Gallery

The 'Red Lines' Gallery on opening night.

Artist Rich was readily available as spectators walked around the “Learning Center,” reading about disclosure and investment from light-boxes that lit up the room, studying the residential maps that outline the discriminatory practice of redlining, shifting through the photos of homes and real estate offices, walking into the head of Frederick Babcock, and playing with the S&L Railroad, a toy train that travels on one of two tracks depending on whether the operator wants to learn about regulation or deregulation.  We interviewed Mr. Finkelpearl as well as several visitors to get a general sense of the audience reactions to this new exhibit that is at once artistic, political and educational. 

Red Lines Housing Crisis Learning Center will be on display at the Queens Museum through September 27th, after which the museum will take a break from large-scale exhibitions and focus on  artist projects while it embarks on an expansion project that will double its size.

Museum hours: Wed.-Sun. 12pm-6pm; Fri. 12pm-8pm
Suggested Donation: $5 adults, $2.50 children & seniors
For more info, visit the QMA website.

Red Lines in the news

NY Times: Mapping a Bird’s-Eye View of Foreclosure Misery

NY1: Foreclosure Crisis on Full Display at  Queens Panorama

ArtInfo: A Panoramic View of New York’s Housing Crisis

Young performers

Young performers at Corona Plaza

On Saturday, June 13, the Queens Museum of Art teamed up with the Corona Community Action Network (CAN) to host an International Family Day in Corona Plaza. Intermittent rain storms didn’t keep local residents and visitors from across the tri-state area from gathering in the Plaza to hear music, dance and applaud as adults and children representing various nationalities performed. The event featured more than 10 musical and dance groups from around the area, including the Juarez Show Mariachi, Blue Pipa Trio, and the Charlie Cajares Salsa Ensemble.  There were also several booths set up by various organizations that serve the local neighborhoods, each providing different ways of learning about important health and social service issues in the community.

Local, International Performances

The event provided a means for residents of different cultural backgrounds to come together and celebrate the diversity present in the neighborhood. Vicky, a resident of Corona for 10 years, had never heard of most of the groups that performed at the festival. “It’s kind of new,” she explained, “because I was like ‘Where did they come from?” As someone born in Haiti she stated, “It’s nice, what has happened today, making everybody, all of the nations interact… Just like I’m not Hispanic, and I’m enjoying it.”

Jorge, who performs in the Afro-Uruguayan group Manos del Candombe, agreed. “For me and my group, it’s something very useful because it’s not just one country or flag being represented, but rather one united community of Hispanics. And it’s great to be able to display our customs, our music, and all that is ours, from our homelands. It is really a brilliant idea, and it’s a real honor to be participating in something like this.”

Manos del Candombe

Manos del Candombe performing through the crowds at Corona Plaza

While most spectators were from Corona and neighboring communities, some came from other areas to enjoy the festival.  One woman traveled from Long Island to see the Blue Pipa Trio, which plays a combination of Chinese folk, jazz and pop music. Noting the range of acts, she observed that the event was “very rich in different cultures, dancing —it’s more than what I expected… I definitely got to learn more about Hispanic music from this festival.” She also noticed the age diversity among the acts. “I was surprised about the performers’ ages. Someone can be really young, but they perform like dancing stars, and it’s very impressive.”

Exchanging Information

QMA Booth

Alexandra, the museum's community organizer, at the QMA booth

International Family Day also acted as a means for groups to share information about important local issues. Onias Pacheco, representing the U.S. Census 2010, encouraged residents to participate in next year’s collection, and a Greenmarket booth advertised the arrival of the city’s latest farmer’s market here in the Plaza. At the QMA booth, we offered information about free programming at the museum, including photography courses. In keeping with the festival’s focus on healthy living, we distributed copies of A Taste of Corona, a heart-healthy cookbook with over 30 recipes collected from restaurants, elected officials, and community-based organizations in the Heart of Corona Initiative. This book showcases traditional foods from a variety of countries reflecting the diversity of cultures in the neighborhood, while at the same time updating the recipes to make them healthier.


A nurse gives free tests for high blood pressure and cholesterol level at the HealthFirst booth.

Rosa Marticorena, who worked at the HealthFirst booth, expressed how important this kind of event is in providing information about health. ‘It’s a great idea, especially for us Hispanic-Americans, because honestly many of us are not well-informed about health. We’ve been testing many people today, and have discovered that several of them have high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and they didn’t know!” HealthFirst is a hospital-sponsored organization that aims to improve the health status of low-income individuals and families by increasing access to high-quality healthcare. “If you are healthy, you can work, stay active, and do achieve all of your goals in life,” continued Ms. Marticorena. “Because there are dreams, visions that people have upon arriving to this country, goals that they set for themselves. But without health, such success is not possible.”

Plaza Possibilities

Neighbors at the International Family Day also considered how Corona Plaza has changed in recent years, and what they hope for its future.  The Plaza, commonly recognized by locals for its proximity to the busy 103rd Street train station, is actually a parking lot used throughout most of the week as the unofficial garage of large mudanzas, or moving trucks. Enclosed on one side by Roosevelt Avenue and the elevated 7 train line, and National Street (one of Corona’s oldest) on the other, Corona Plaza is also recognized by many as the commercial center of the community. The businesses that surround the Plaza—small restaurants, barber shops, locally-based supermarkets, record stores, gift shops—are a reflection of most of Corona’s commercial environment.

Volunteer waters marigolds in the Plaza's garden

Volunteer waters marigolds in the Plaza's garden

Recently, a small fenced garden located near the station entrance, once covered with bird droppings, has been adorned with flowers and frequently maintained. And a couple of months ago, a new shiny automatic public toilet—only the city’s second—was installed near the busy intersection of Roosevelt & National. Mr. Leonido Bravo, waiting on line to check his blood pressure and cholesterol level, reflected, “Yes, it’s changed, mostly over the last two years. It’s become more organized and cleaner.” Florencia, another local, agreed. “I think it has changed very much. There was more garbage, more drunkards all throughout. And now it appears cleaner to me. There is a stronger police presence too, and you can sense the difference.”

The upgrades slowly being made to the Plaza become more visible when public events shine a spotlight on the busy space, and may even help provide the local community with an alternative vision of how public spaces can function for them. “If it continues to be done,” claimed Florencia, “…we will be able to come and have some fun for a while. It’s free, and not too far!” This sentiment was echoed by others at the festival. Mr. Bravo expressed, “I think the Plaza will have a better future, better than a parking lot. It looks more elegant today.” Jorge, the Candombe player, felt that International Family Day was “Like a calling. As you saw, at the beginning there was nobody. And then little by little, people started to join I, and then they started to open their eyes and take in all of this.”

Crowd in Corona Plaza

Crowd in Corona Plaza

And a representative from Corona CAN stated, “I just hope that Corona CAN and the [Queens] Museum can continue to do events like this, that show that they are concerned with issues in the community, and maybe it can grow into something where it’s more interactive, and more helpful to businesses, and potential entrepreneurs in the community.” As she continued, the last performers took the stage before a cheerful crowd that was unwavering even as heavy rain began to fall. “I think that this kind of event will bring more attention to [Corona Plaza], and will help show that there is organization around what the interests of the community are… that this Plaza does deserve an upgrade.”

QMA commissions second year of public art projects in Corona, curated by Sara Reisman / El Museo de Arte de Queens encarga por segundo año consecutivo proyectois de arte público en Corona.  Curado por Sara Reisman

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Miguel Luciano sold piraguas from his pimped out cart in Corona for a week to many happy patrons!

Miguel Luciano sold piraguas from his pimped out cart in Corona for a week to many happy patrons!

Pimp My Piragua

Puerto Rican artist Miguel Luciano’s Pimp My Piragua is a multi-media, mobile, public art work that combines nostalgia and urban fantasies in a modified street vendor’s pushcart. Miguel didn’t just design it, but cast, painted, and fitted out the cart himself in a painstaking process. “Piraguas” are cups of shaved, flavored ice popular in the tropics on hot summer days.

Pimp My Piragua commemorates and reinvents the humble piragua pushcart and turns it into a low-rider fantasy, a metaphor for “bling culture” and the accumulation of wealth. He also worked with local hip hop artists from QueTV to come up with his own theme song! The artist sold ices, often making his own flavored syrups (Tamarindo is my fave!) for an entire week to hundreds of eager customers and meanwhile had lots of interesting conversations with Corona residents and other vendors. It’s hard work as he can attest to, but an honest living that brings joy to everyone whom he encounters.

Check this great NY Times video story on Pimp My Piragua.


Lin + Lam’s Unisex visually and sonically maps the diversity of the Corona neighborhood as expressed through the voices and daily activities of neighborhood barbers and stylists and their clients. Hair salons and barbershops have long served as informal settings for conversation, gossip, and social networking, and the dynamic between stylist and client can be similar to the connection between therapist and client, requiring deep trust and intimacy. To document this intimacy, Lin + Lam interacted with the Corona community on street festival days by offering free haircuts (don’t worry Lam is licensed!) and interviewed barbers and beauticians in numerous shops. They produced a beautiful video installation for QMA with monitors behind two-way mirror evoking a salon, as well as installed monitors showing the videos in various Corona salons, which drew in local residents interested in seeing themselves represented on film.

The Adventures of La Coronita

Mike Estabrook produced comic strips and animation scripted by local community members at Corona Cares festivals based on the exploits of a fictional character, La Coronita (little crown) who acted as a petite superheroine or mascot for the neighborhood. These Adventures of La Coronita followed a young girl as she flew around the Unisphere in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, shopped with her family, witnessed a car accident, and even had a Western-style showdown with a Corona beer bottle. Estabrook produced new animations to be shown in the QMA galleries each week, providing area residents with a good reason to engage with the Museum on a regular basis. He also installed a life-size painted wooden Coronitas in the locations where each of his stories took place, acting as a mysterious marker for a place of meaning for a community resident. His comic strips were gathered together and published in a September issue of The Community Journal. At the last Corona Cares street festival of the year, he also distributed dozens of dvds of the compiled animations, each with on-the-spot hand drawn illustrations.

Spectacle Path

The artists’ collective vydavy sindikat (“Vydavy” in Russian literally translates to “you and you”) used Corona Plaza: Center of Everywhere as an opportunity to transform local residents’ views of their community. Spectacle Path invited pedestrians and cultural tourists to become part of a new visual experience, one that magnified, multiplied, and distorted the mundane views commonly associated with urban living, through Fresnel lenses and kaleidoscopes installed in storefronts and park fences. The installation followed a clear path throughout the neighborhood, serving as a de facto guided tour of the ways in which new perspectives can alter an environment.


Emmy Catedral, Germinalia, 2008. Collaborative project with various religious sites along Flushing's Freedom Mile and installation (seed beds, weeping beech saplings, paper mulch made from discarded religious pamphlets)

Colonial-era document on religious freedom becomes a springboard for artists’ exploration of contemporary religious diversity in Flushing, Queens. /  Documento de la época colonial acerca de la libertad religiosa se convierte en un trampolín para que los artistas exploren la diversidad religiosa en Flushing Queens

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In the new millennium, religion, its relation to the state and mutual respect are hot-button issues across the globe. In Flushing, Queens, this conversation started 350 years ago with a document called the Flushing Remonstrance when the Quakers fought for religious freedom against the imposed Protestantism of Peter Stuyvesant. In the Spring of 2008 the Queens Museum has a whole new take on the question of religious pluralism in Queens.

Embracing the notion that art can and should actively address and engage contemporary issues, QMA invited five contemporary artists – Emmy Catedral, Takashi Horisaki, Sara Rahbar, José Ruiz, and Tattfoo Tan – to partner with religious institutions in Flushing to create works that respond to religious dialogue and exchange. Components of each project were exhibited both in the Museum and in Flushing at participating religious sites.

Kim Badawi, Islam in Flushing Queens: Young boy during day-time school, 2000. Color photograph, 13 x 19 in. Courtesy of the artist.

Kim Badawi, Islam in Flushing Queens: Young boy during day-time school, 2000. Color photograph, 13 x 19 in. Courtesy of the artist.

In additon four four documentary photographers – Kim Badawi, Jenny Jozwiak, Stephanie Keith, and Scott Lewis – were invited to captured the religious diversity of the Flushing community through their compelling works. Last, but not least we had an open call to photographers – professional, enthusiasts, and even our own digital photography class students – to particapte in the documentation project, resulting in over 130 images capturing the spiritual pulse of Queens.

Amy Eddings’ WNYC Story on “This Case of Conscience: Spiritual Flushing & The Remonstrance”

Emmy Catedral’s Germinalia project

Takashi Horisaki’s Meet Me at the Unisphere Performance

Sarah Rahbar’s website

José Ruiz’s website

Tatfoo Tan’s Share-A-Prayer project

QMA launches first edition of public art projects in Corona Plaza, with curator Herb Tam  /  El Museo de Arte de Queens hace el lanzamiento de la primera edición de proyectos de arte público en Corona Plaza bajo la curadoría de Herb Tam

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El Conquistador vs. The Invisible Man

Shaun "El Conquistador" Leonardo battles El Hombre Invisible in Corona Plaza

Shaun "El Conquistador" Leonardo battles El Hombre Invisible in Corona Plaza

Shaun “El C.” Leonardo presented the final performance of El Conquistador vs. The Invisible Man, a recurring wrestling event in which the artist portrays a Mexican wrestling luchador battling an invisible opponent to fight invisibility, both metaphorically and literally, as well as to challenge the idealization of hypermasculinity in Latino culture. The match became a physical way to manifest not only a battle against societal obscurity, but also an internal struggle with the complexities of the artist’s identity (Queens-born, of mixed Dominican and Guatemalan descent).

The project in Corona Plaza entailed a slow building of hype around the luchador persona and the culminating fight performance which took place during the final 2007 Corona Plaza street celebration (September 15, 2007). A video piece simulating a “press conference” was presented on screens at local electronic stores and restaurants, along with wrestling workshops with youth at local elementary school’s and autograph-signing events our Corona Cares Street Festivals. Posters announcing the battle were plastered in shop windows from July 1 through the time of the September performance. El C also just spent a lot time hanging in local barber shops talking up the event and building anticipation. Over 1000 people packed Corona Plaza to see the nail-biting finale. The performance itself was a journey starting with the comical and “glam” and building in physical and psychic energy to a climax: the exhausted and defeated luchador finally unmasked.

Muros Distopicos/Dystopic Walls

     Hector Canonge helps a young particpant create a flag of her country of origin and letter to relatives on the other side of the border to be displayed at the local Western Union.

Hector Canonge helps a young particpant create a flag of her country of origin and letter to relatives on the other side of the border to be displayed at the local Western Union.

Hector Canonge’s Muros Distopicos / Dystopic Walls project erected a wall inside Western Union in Corona Plaza that referred to the border wall dividing Mexico and the U.S. Upon entering Western Union, viewers could look through peepholes at images evoking memories of various countries “south of the border,” and when exiting, images of America appeared, mimicking a border-crossing experience. Also on display were objects made by Corona residents during the street festivals referring to their status as immigrants or children of immigrants. For example, at one festival, Canonge asked attendees to write letters to their loved ones on the other side of the border on Western Union Moneygram forms.

The project pointed toward the ways in which immigrants support families and towns in their home countries through remittances, performing a type of transnational community development that these individuals might actually never benefit from themselves. The cost of these “development projects” is an often invisible individual sacrifice by the immigrant worker subject to separation from loved ones, anti-immigrant discrimination, and fear of deportation. This project made visible these transactions and dislocations.

This is What I Eat

Designed to look like a supermarket circular, This Is What I Eat was distributed for free in and around Corona Plaza and the Queens Museum.

Designed to look like a supermarket circular, This Is What I Eat was distributed for free in and around Corona Plaza and the Queens Museum.

Stephanie Diamond’s public art project involved her with the health and wellness of the Corona community. This is What I Eat, a cookbook created in the style of a supermarket circular, was developed in conjunction with residents living near and around Corona Plaza through workshops with QMA community partners and Cookbook Committee members, fun surveys and games with local youth during our street festivals, research conducted with shoppers in local supermarkets, and numerous dinners with residents. The contents of the cookbook consisted of local residents’ recipes and customs from their country of origin and how they adapted while living in New York, recommended food remedies, shopping lists, and written memories of family meals. They were visually arresting and gastronomically informative. The cookbook was printed primarily in English, but with sections featuring all the major languages spoken in Corona. This is What I Eat was available free of charge in several dispensers near Corona Plaza, and distributed with the help of local supermarkets and at QMA’s street festivals.

A New Americana

Xaveria Simmons takes portrait against backdrop in outdoor studio at Corona Cares Festival

Xaveria Simmons takes portrait against backdrop in outdoor studio at Corona Cares Festival

In stark contrast to the beautiful, but brutal, performance art of Shaun “El C.” Leonardo, Xaveria Simmons created idyllic vinyl backdrops featuring nature photographs of upstate New York. These were stretched between trees in Corona Plaza during April street festival days and served as a backdrop for the free portrait sessions she conducted with festival attendees. The backgrounds created scenes reminiscent of the American Dream, which for many Corona residents is impossible due to immigration status and long work hours. Simmons provided hand-printed portraits to members of the community free of charge. In order to better connect Corona residents with QMA, these portraits were available for pick-up at the Museum and were accompanied by free museum passes. The collection period coincided with QMA’s exhibition Generation 1.5 (June 10 – December 2, 2007), which featured the work of artists who were born abroad but came of age in America, a subject that proved to be of special interest to local residents – more than 1,000 people attended the show’s opening. Simmons selected four of the pictures to be blown up into translucent banners and hung in the second story windows above the bakery on Corona Plaza from July to the closing ceremonies on October 14, 2007. These banners, and the internal contradictions they present to many recent émigrés, were visible to all commuters exiting the 103rd Street 7 train station, making visible many families who are invisible due to their work schedules and lack of documentation.

Center of Everywhere v1 on WNYC radio

Siddhartha Mitter talks to Corona Plaza: Center of Everywhere v1 artists Hector Canonge and Shaun “El C” Leonardo.


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