For Barco de Papel Cultural Center, art and culture constitute two of the fundamental pillars for the development of our community. For this reason, we invite our community to enjoy the “Elmhurst Literary Visual Mural” project that is displayed along Broadway Avenue between Cornish and Whitney Avenue, a block away from Elmhurst Avenue subway station in the Elmhurst sector of Queens, New York .
The inauguration of the ELMHURST LITERARY MURAL project is scheduled at the Elmhurst Public Library, located at 86-07 Broadway, Elmhurst on Saturday, September 16, 2017, from 3pm to 4:30 pm. The event is organized by the Visual Arts Program of the Barco de Papel Cultural Center, in coordination with the Art Department of La Guardia Community College.
The mural is a symbolic polyptych made up of five panels 3.5 feet high by 7 feet long. The mural aims to make visible five literary pieces written by five authors who have written about the city of New York, through the visual arts re-interpreting from a contemporary view these works and the city. The selection was no easy task, we are aware that this is only a small representation of the thousands and thousands of pages that New York and its five boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, Staten Island, inspire. Authors such as J.D. Salinger, Pete Hamill, Jaime Manrique, Sonia Sanchez and Pedro Soto represented in a convincing way the life of the city, its places and those who inhabited it at different time
For the young artists who made the mural: Anthony Andújar, Diego Castillo, Laura Girón, Stephanie Jiménez, Santiago Lenis, Natasha Ocoro, Miriam Rodríguez, Dayana Sadova, Andley Tyson and Fei Yin , the place where their art would be shaped is extremely important; not only because it is a historic location within the Elmhurst neighborhood but also because of its structure and texture.
This place was a branch station on the Washington Harbor of the Long Island Rail Road. It was first named that had around 1855 was Newtown. Shortly thereafter, in June 1897, it was renamed Elmhurst. On January 1, 1985, the station and the depot were closed definitively.
The mural as a whole represents a visual heterotopia not only because of the diversity that is reflected in each panel that conforms it, but because of its interaction with the urban space where it is located, the LIRR underpass, considered by itself a third space, a heterotopia by compensation that clearly affirms the differences. From a geocritical point of view, taking into account the relationship between life and times of the author, the history of the text and the narrative of the five chosen literary pieces for this mural, the mural is an intercultural response to the intertwined diversity between the neighborhood, the authors, the literary pieces and the artists.
This project was planned from a perspective of embellishing and appropriating the public space in a dynamic, effective and lively way. The space selected, the walls of the underpass of the LIRR bridge represents from a urban geographical perspective, a heterotopy as Foucault would call it, or a third space, in terms of Soja. That is, those spaces where everything is different and where the collection of elements have little or no connection to each of them. Or where space encompasses more meanings than that one that it is perceived with the naked eye.
This proposal seeks to make use of the urban space of the city through art taking part of the rhythm of life of its inhabitants, the delight of thousands of looks. An artistic gallery by the sidewalk with its own identity and the intention to revive the area where it is located.
Director Visual Arts Program: Joyce Sanchez | Coordinators Art Department of La Guardia Community College: Arianne Fernandez, Judy Richardson | Curators: Arianne Fernandez and Joyce Sanchez | Production: Ramon Caraballo | Graphic design: Joyce Sanchez | | Assistant: Joe Leon and Fei Xie | Video: Numa Roades.