Flushing community unveils new public outdoor Christmas art installation

Group Pic (1)
Photo by Fai Chen.

Members of the Flushing community on Friday, Dec. 4, ushered in the holiday season with the annual unveiling of a new outdoor art installation that is serving as a symbol of hope for the community amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

For the 13th consecutive year, real estate firm F&T Group partnered with Crossing Art Gallery to bring artwork to downtown Flushing. 

This year’s lively sculptural piece, “Hearts as One” is created by Asian-American artist Jaena Kwon, who has lived in Queens for five years. 

Asian-American artist Jaena Kwon. (Photo by Fai Chen)

Kwon’s artwork will be on display until Jan. 31 at the Queens Crossing Outdoor Plaza (Outside of Paris Baguette bakery) at 136-17 39th Ave.

“Flushing is one of my favorite places in Queens. I am glad to have my artwork speak to the hearts of many in the community,” Kwon said. “There is nothing more that the Queens community needs than positivity and something to look forward to.”

Although the global COVID-19 pandemic may impact the holidays this year, Kwon’s sculpture is sure to uplift the community spirit and remind people to be strong and positive and to look to the future.

The sculpture looks as if it’s been folded from paper into a heart shape, with its creased lines and rough edges. While most of Kwon’s pieces are painted one bold color, the new sculpture has a dark blue interior, while the exterior is painted a traditional deep red. 

The opposing colors connect to the idea of co-existence and unity rather than division, and the belief that even with different opinions, groups of people can exist harmoniously together. 

As one of the most ethnically diverse urban areas in the United States, Flushing is unique with its own distinct identity – an enclave of immigrants and dreamers who came in search of the American dream. 

Kwon’s sculpture, and ideas of peace, unity, warmth and aspiration, comes from a deep appreciation for the Flushing community at large.

Michael Lee, chairman and CEO of F&T Group, said their goal with every project and initiative is to bring the community together and to celebrate the immigrant roots Flushing was built upon. 

“This inspiring installation is a display of creative passion and a reminder of the importance of visual arts, especially during the holidays and a challenging year,” Lee said. “Whether it be the development of real estate projects that promote jobs, waterfront access and more, to cultural events that spotlight our diversity and contribution, F&T Group celebrates Flushing and its continued evolution as a New York City destination.”

As a long-term builder of innovative mixed-use projects in the Flushing community including Tangram and the proposed Special Flushing Waterfront District (SFWD), F&T Group urges people to work together as a unified community to move Flushing forward and recover even stronger from the pandemic. 

To achieve this goal, Tangram hopes to open to the public in 2021, and become the epicenter of Flushing. Additionally, the SFWD seeks to activate 29 acres of inactive and underutilized land along Flushing Creek, finally bringing a vibrant, free and public waterfront park for the entire community to use. 

For more information, visit QueensCrossing.com or on Instagram (@QueensCrossing).