Astoria is ready for its photo op.
Artists, friends and Astoria residents Maria Belford and Sara Sciabbarrasi have come together to showcase their admiration for the western Queens neighborhood in a new exhibition opening this Sunday at the Long Island City café COFFEED, located at 37-18 Northern Blvd.
The show called “FACES & FIGURES: Art from Astoria,” which will have a June 22 opening reception from 7 to 10 p.m. and run until June 29, will feature photographs by Belford and bronze and steel sculptures by Sciabbarrasi.
The name of the exhibition comes from the idea that the photographs show figures of people more than their faces and Sciabbarrasi’s sculptures explore the detail and aesthetics of the human face, according to Belford.
“I am really excited about this exhibition in particular because it is in Queens and close to my neighborhood,” said Belford, who decided to organize the exhibition with Sciabbarrasi, her roommate, because she wanted to showcase another local artist. “I wanted to have something new and different. It’ll show the juxtaposition of the two different mediums.”
Belford, originally from New Hampshire, is a street/documentary photographer who said she looks to capture the mysterious side of strangers, allowing the viewer to see the image and make up their own story in their head.
“It’s all about capturing the moment. I’ve always been interested in the kind of spontaneous types of photos that one moment are there and the next they are gone,” Belford said. “A lot of my best photos come from days that I haven’t been actively shooting. I can’t really plan for anything ahead of time. I really don’t know what I will get when I go out.”
Although Belford snaps photos from all over the world, she said the exhibition will showcase photos she has taken of strangers in her Astoria neighborhood.
“I can walk out of my door and see a wide array of people outside every single day,” Belford said. “It’s really interesting to see different types of people, old and young.”
All photographs and sculptures presented at the exhibition will be available for purchase.