By Naeisha Rose
The Southern Queens Park Association will hold a reception for its 16th annual art exhibit at Roy Wilkins Park Family Center Sunday.
The reception will run from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the center, which is located at 177-01 Baisley Blvd. in Jamaica.
Guests will have the opportunity to meet fine artist Julia Mann, who lives in St. Albans. After retiring from working at the Board of Education for over 30 years, Mann took up art classes at Robert Couch Senior Center in Jamaica, and advanced art classes at First Presbyterian Church of Jamaica. Her works include portraits, scenery and landscapes.
The reception will have light jazz music as well as a selection of hors d’oeuvres, finger foods, fruit, cheese, wine and punches.
The exhibit will take place Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and March 10 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. It will feature over 300 pieces of artwork.
Some of the Queens-based artists include Rowan Abbensetts, Charles Lilly, Emmitt Wigglesworth, Lyvan Munlyn, A. Larry Green, Shenna Vaughn and Maxine Townsend-Broderick.
In addition to pieces from professional artists, students from local elementary, middle, and high schools will have their art featured at the exhibit.
Olney Marie Ryland, the artist liaison for SQPA, works with artists who submit their work for the exhibit.
“I love working with the artists and going through the application process with them,” said Ryland, who does woodwork and photography herself. Her favorite experiences from past exhibits and receptions was watching seasoned professionals advising newcomers to the art world.
“I love when the new [artists] come in and the older ones teach them how to properly present their art,” Ryland said. “You can sell your art if it is presented properly.”
All artists who apply to have their piece in the exhibit are welcomed and SQPA’s main requirement is that the artwork is ready in time for the show.
The park’s gym, which will be transformed into a gallery, features not only work from Queens, but from throughout the city. It takes great care to be inclusive of people from a diverse range of backgrounds.
“It was initially meant to showcase only African-American art, but now we also have people who are Chinese, African, Indian, Hispanic and more,” said Ryland. “The work is very diverse and it is the perfect place for people in our community to come and show their work.”
“A lot of artists sometimes have no place to show their work,” Ryland added. “A lot of the artists are showcasing their work for the first time… and it is right in the middle of Queens.”
Unlike Manhattan, where art showcase fees can run as high as $1,500, according to Ryland, artists who participate at SQPA’s exhibit have to pay only $30 for the expense of transportation, storage and the space for the art. “We basically just cover our expenses,” said Ryland. “Whatever money we do make goes towards enhancing the next art show,” adding that some artists have sold their pieces for almost $2,000.
This year, buyers can use square point of purchase, which is a layaway system to buy art.
“It’s important to have authentic art,” Ryland said. “This allows [buyers] to do a payment plan and they can have quality work.”
Reach reporter Naeisha Rose by e-mail at nrose