Queensborough to launch ‘hands-on’ museum program

By Nathan Duke

Bayside's Queensborough Community College will open its new gallery and museum studies program this fall, enabling students to use the college's extensive African art exhibit as their own laboratory and providing them with the opportunity to work with the city's top museums, the director of Queensborough's art gallery said.

The school, located along 56th Avenue in Bayside, will offer its new associate degree in Gallery and Museum Studies beginning in September, said Faustino Quintanilla, the school's art gallery director.

Students of the program will use the school's permanent exhibition of African art as their own laboratory, where they will receive curatorial training by learning how to handle and conserve works of art, said Bob Rogers, the school's Art and Photography Department chairman.

“It will be hands-on experience in handling art,” Rogers said. “Students won't have to travel the world to see works of art — the world has traveled to them. They'll learn how to handle, display and catalogue the pieces.”

Quintanilla said the gallery's exhibit features pieces from South African nations below the Sahara Desert.

Queensborough's art gallery has been developing a strong reputation after landing several high-profile exhibits in recent years, including a collection of 100 works by painters Willem de Kooning, Jasper Johns, Mark Rothko and Roy Lichtenstein and, earlier this year, a trove of rare prints by Pablo Picasso. With the Picasso exhibit, the college also launched its own academic press, which released as its maiden publication the exhibit's catalog.