Artists examine nation’s big health care machine
By Tammy Scileppi

The No. 7 train chugs past many different ethnic neighborhoods along its Queens route where cultural points of interest and venues offer ongoing, never boring, arts-related events. The 2012 Queens Art Express Festival kicked off an urban adventure last week, exploring visual and performance arts, music, theatre, dance and literature right here in Queens.

Lending a modern, upscale touch to bustling Downtown Flushing, the Asian-themed mall, Queens Crossing houses a variety of small stores: a food court, tea salon and the Crossing Art gallery, whose mission, according to Assistant Director Maria Boobis, “strives to provide a unique outlet for the Flushing community.”

The space is showcasing two concurrent shows for a two-month duration:

Going Green II

The sophisticated Manhattan-like gallery setting was an ideal venue for presenting such an eclectic collection, where guests enjoyed mingling and sipping wine while viewing intriguing works visualized by eight artists chosen from 70 worldwide. The theme was natural elements, as they relate to the environment and green initiatives.

Seeing beauty even in decay, artist Yeon Ji Yoo’s grotesquely transformed works are a study in decomposition and the natural cycle resulting in organic matter. Yoo’s “In the Darkness” series — expressed in black free form, creature-like sculptures — revealed a dramatic statement about her environmental self-awareness.

Conveying a more pleasing and less ominous message, it seemed nature’s rhythms were near and dear to painter Callie Danae Hirsch in her “Nature’s Pulse” pointillism series.

Going Green II will be on view through Aug. 14.

QAX 2012

Examining this question, four New York artists encouraged guests to ponder their own health care situations. This controversial, hot-button topic, inspired out-of-the-box presentations by two special artists who had navigated through devastating cancer diagnoses, and recounted their individual journeys, as they sought their own paths to wellness.

Now in remission, artist Ocean Morisset’s ordeal thrust him into the health care arena in June 2011, with Stage IV Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. He chose to write his views on public policy across his cancer cell-riddled chest X-rays, framed within lighted X-ray view boxes.

After performing a brain tune, Andrew D’Angelo showed guests his five headphoned functional art piece juxtaposing the saxophone player’s musical and self-healing awareness after licking brain cancer without chemotherapy or radiation. “This ‘Musical Brain’ holds music I created specific to certain diseases. My feeling is that health care and the Western Medical Military Machine don’t focus enough on healing.”

Boobis juxtaposed both exhibits held at the gallery, drawing commonalities among their differences.

“Separated in the space but joint in their vision, both shows raise questions, concerns and/or answers about ongoing issues in society,” she said. “Their visual narratives serve to create an active platform for this multicultural community and unites not only the Flushing commune but Queens overall.”

If you go

Crossing Art

136-17 39th Avenue

(Btwn. Main St. & 138th St.)

Ground Floor

Flushing, NY 11354


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