By Naeisha Rose
Residents came out in the hundreds for the Southern Queens Park Association’s 16th annual art exhibit at Roy Wilkins Park Family Center Sunday.
The exhibit featured paintings, photos, sketch work, collages and metal work, showcasing the talents of everyone from seasoned professionals to local school kids. All the while, DJ Twizz was manning the ones and twos playing old school reggae, dance hall, soul, R&B and 90s hip-hop music.
Throughout the evening there was a raffle and guests sampled pastries, fruits and hors d’oeuvres.
Mir Ahmed, a fifth-grader from PS 176 in Cambria Heights was excited to participate in the art show. She won the elementary school environmental challenge for her piece.
“I used chalk pastels to make jellyfishes,” said Mir.
Social justice artist Wanda Best had artwork that highlighted domestic terrorism caused by racism and domestic violence.
“With social justice art you create, educate and communicate ideas,” said Best.
Her first piece was a black, white and red collage that had a list going back to 1927 revealing dates and depictions of horrendous acts committed by the Ku Klux Klan, all the way up to present day. Her second piece was a white, red, black and gold collage of a woman crying tears of blood with an inscription beside it. “When a woman cries BLOOD her heart has been shattered,” it said.
Photographer Daniel Leake had framed glass pictures of lions and leopards from the Bronx Zoo displayed at the exhibit.
“I had a telephoto lens and I waited to just get a look and some feeling from the animals,” said Leake. “They are big cats, so… the mere fact that they could eat you is exciting. Even though you are 20 to 40 feet away, you know that you are safe, but you want to zoom in tight and get a nice clear expression.”
Glancing at some of the artwork throughout the evening was state Sen. Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans).
“I think this is great because it exposes the local work of a lot of people from southeast Queens who have a lot of talent that don’t want to go to Brooklyn or Manhattan to show it,” said Comrie. “This will open up a desire for a lot of local people to become artists as well.”
“Being able to display it here locally creates a sense of family and community,” said the senator. “This shows how much creativity we have in Queens and we have as much creativity as anywhere else in the world.”
Reach reporter Naeisha Rose by e-mail at nrose