Walking down 149th Street or Jamaica Avenue after sunset, you will come across a new film installation highlighting the Jamaica landscape.
Local artist Jason Anthony Lalor’s new video production is now on view every night from 8:30 p.m. to midnight for the month of August.
In order to complete his vision, the ArtSite award winner partnered with neighborhood businesses CH Martin & Rincon Salvadoreno Restaurant to debut his film “The Ave,” which aims to document and preserve the diversity and energy of Jamaica, while encouraging passersby to connect these spaces to their own memories and experiences.
“I want people to stop, ask about the work, maybe share their memories of Jamaica and discuss how the neighborhood is changing.,” Lalor said. “I also want people to walk away with the inherent beauty and impermanence of our neighborhood as we know it. At the very least, I hope people enjoy the views of the Avenue.”
As a Jamaica resident, Lalor wanted to focus on his community and create a film for his neighbors. His project is an observational documentary of Jamaica showcasing his daily commute through the neighborhood. Lalor’s idea was inspired by the rapid gentrification and the importance of creating visual records of Jamaica’s changing landscape.
“The Jamaica Center BID is pleased to support the Queens Council on the Arts in bringing this projected installation to Jamaica Avenue,” Jamaica Center BID Executive Director Jennifer Furiolli said. “Along with our many cultural partners in the neighborhood, the Jamaica Center BID seeks to amplify Downtown Jamaica as a central hub for art and culture in Queens, in addition to being a wonderful place to shop, play and do business. This installation from artist Jason Lalor is just one of many unique exhibits that has integrated art, business and community in creative and unconventional ways on our commercial corridor and we are thankful that restaurant Rincon Salvadoreno and the department store, C.H. Marion, elected to provide space for this new art installation.”
The BID also announced it would hold its second Weekend Walks event of the summer on Saturday, Aug. 17, called Family Fun on the Avenue. Vehicular traffic will be closed off on Jamaica Avenue between Parsons Boulevard and 162nd Street and be replaced with games and activities for kids and families from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Life-sized games includes Connect Four, Giant Jenga, Hula Hoops and Giant Checkers as well as miniature golf. Musical performances include a one-hour set by the Afro-Latineers, a tap dance performance by Omar Edwards and Miss Keila’s Jukebox Music.
“We are excited to bring Family Fun on the Avenue back to Jamaica this weekend,” Furioli said. “July’s event was a hit and we are grateful to NYC DOT for the Weekend Walks grant funding,which allows for this unique placemaking experience bringing neighbors together to create summer memories while attracting additional foot traffic to local businesses.
The BID decided to coordinate the two events after merchants, shoppers, and residents revealed in a recent market study that they would like more family-friendly community events in Jamaica. In addition to the event on Saturday, the Ave will also feature Sidewalk Sales Days at various stores for shoppers that will be out.