By Naeisha Rose
Kamille “OGMillie” Ejerta from Jamaica and A. King McCarty from Astoria Park were announced as the winners for the Queens Council on The Arts’ ArtHotel Residency program Monday.
The two artists will have the opportunity in mid-February to interact with guests as they produce artwork for the SpringHill Suites LaGuardia in Corona and the Paper Factory in Long Island City, according to the QCA.
Ejerta and McCarty will each receive a $3,000 stipend over the course of three months to work at the Paper Factory, which is located at 37-06 36 St. and LaGuardia at 112-15 Northern Blvd.
During their residency, the artists will have 20 hours of open studio time to engage the public and share their vision while producing artwork, according to QCA spokeswoman Lynn Lobell.
The residency is intended to give artists a safe place to focus and work in the public realm, build an audience, and to be seen working within the Queens community, while in turn giving passerbys a chance to see an artist at work. It is also meant to support working artists as they become displaced due to development and gentrification across the borough.
Ejerta was excited when she learned that she earned one of the two slots for the ArtHotel Residency.
“I’m really shocked because I applied the day before the deadline to be honest,” Ejerta said. “I came the next day for an interview and I learned that there were three other people in the interview process, but they told me I won the residency.”
Ejerta has been an artist professionally for three years.
“I do decorative murals,” said the Jamaica resident.
She also does mirror art, where she paints on finely crafted mirrors.
Ejerta is looking forward to interacting with guests of the hotel who want to see her produce work.
“I really love the idea of people interacting with me while I’m in the process of doing artwork,” said the artist. “I love to share that with the community.”
Ejerta intends on creating an installation of the Queens’ Unisphere located at Flushing Meadows – Corona Park.
“To me the Unisphere illustrates diversity, and Queens is the most diverse borough,” said Ejerta.
Reach reporter Naeisha Rose by e-mail at nrose