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JCAL ‘Ancestral Nourishment’ exhibit pays tribute to human ancestry, lineage and roots

Ancestral Nourishment
Photo courtesy of Seema Shakti Choudhary

The Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning is running an exhibit through Jan. 6 called “Ancestral Nourishment,” themed around honoring human ancestry, lineage and roots. The exhibit is meant to put an emphasis on the sense of community, strength and resilience people have inherited from their ancestors.

Photo courtesy of Seema Shakti Choudhary

Ancestral Nourishment marks the latest exhibit in the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning’s three-year visual arts initiative “Visual Voices,” which spotlights emerging Black, Immigrant, Indigenous and People of Color (BIIPOC) curators. This exhibit is conceived and curated by Queens-based visual artist Seema Shakti Choudhary.

Photo courtesy of Seema Shakti Choudhary

Over 25 artists contributed 60 works to the exhibit, with each piece being connected to the theme in some way. Most of these artists are also Queens-based.

Artists who contributed their works to Ancestral Nourishment. Photo courtesy of Seema Shakti Choudhary

“Ancestral Nourishment began as a series of work that I’ve been creating as a visual artist and I wanted it to be more than a series,” Choudhary said. “I wanted to build community around it and that’s when I decided to make it the theme of this group exhibit. So much of our daily responsibilities and the heaviness of current events in our world deplete and weigh on us. Through this exhibit, I want people to tune into the power of our ancestors and to leave the space feeling collectively energized and nourished. This show reminds us that we’re not alone and that we have a whole community of care and compassion around us—of neighbors, friends, family and ancestors.”

Astoria-based artist and educator Seema Shakti Choudhary. Photo courtesy of Seema Shakti Choudhary

As a cohort of the Visual Voices initiative, Ancestral Nourishment explores themes that reflect the BIIPOC experience. Emerging BIIPOC artistic talent are highlighted in the exhibit through their works.

Photo courtesy of Seema Shakti Choudhary

Among the artists whose works are on display at the exhibit are Alejandro Pinzón, Ameila Inderjeit, Anjeanette Ang, Annie Del Hierro, Anurima Kumar, Audrey Rodriguez, Carolina Amarillo, Christian Chang, Elizabeth Velazquez, Ellie Reynoso De La Rosa, Garry Grant, Ida Owens, Kadiatou Coulibaly, Karen Sonilal, Katie Frank, LisaMaria Maya, Marcy Chevali, Mellisa Severino, My Tien Pham, Nadia Misir, Raqeebah Zaman, Samantha Rae Hosein, Seema Shakti Choudhary, Shvadre Stiffend, Sita Sunil and Tariq Julfiker.

Photo courtesy of Seema Shakti Choudhary