Jamaica storefronts, sidewalks, parks and vacant lots will be transformed by 19 artists as part of “Jamaica Flux: Workspaces & Windows 2016,” a public art project organized and presented by the Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning (JCAL).
The project, which is curated by Heng Gil Han and Kalia Brooks across downtown Jamaica, was previously mounted in 2004, 2007 and 2010. Next year’s project focuses on emphasizing public engagement and contemporary art as a vehicle to examine and discuss solutions to critical issues in the community, according to a press release.
The 19 artists were chosen by a selection panel of nine people, including JCAL Executive Director Cathy Hung.
“[Jamaica Flux] could not have come at a better time, with the public sector focusing on downtown Jamaica revitalization and tourism,” Hung said. “Through this effort, Jamaica faces a number of critical challenges that can benefit from artists’ creative ways of thinking. It has been my priority since I resumed the role of executive director that JCAL provide artists with resources to use art as a vehicle to examine critical issues in the community and to combat negative public perception.”
The commissioned artists will visit the neighborhood to investigate the sites that will be home to their art and this research will be the basis for their public artwork. Artist will explore topics such as the urban conditions of Jamaica, public interaction and engagement, community empowerment, environmental concerns and wellness.
The project will serve several purposes including giving artists resources to produce experimental art in public spaces, aiding community members in combating negative public perceptions of southeast Queens through art, and acting as a forum to discuss meaningful community involvement.