More than 500 works of art are showcased at the Queens Museum of Art in Flushing Meadows Park, El Museo del Barrio and The Studio Museum in Harlem to celebrate June, Caribbean American Heritage month.
The exhibit, dubbed “Caribbean: Crossroads of the World,” includes books, paintings, sculptures, photographs, historic artifacts and videos, which span more than 400 years of history, deriving from countries in the Caribbean, Europe and North America.
“It really examines the full Caribbean basin,” David Strauss, director of External Affairs at the Queens Museum of Art, said.
A 1940 oil painting by Colombian artist Enrique Grau Araujo uses warm, comforting hues to depict a young mulatto woman sitting outside among plants with a placid expression. The piece is showcased in El Museo del Barrio, located near Central Park.
Another painting, by Jaime Colson, shows people of various shades in the Dominican Republic dancing the merengue in 1937. That painting can be seen at the Queens Museum of Art.
At The Studio Museum, a more modern piece of art by Ebony Patterson, a Jamaican artist who lives in New York, shows a man from his chest up, with pink lips and purple shades while the rest of the piece is gray-scale.
“Caribbean: Crossroads” is diverse in that it represents a large part of the Caribbean. Strauss said the exhibit is not restricted to the islands everyone thinks of, but other countries like Panama, Nicaragua and Colombia.
The scenes analyze how aspects of the nations’ economies, race relations, geography and interactions with other countries affected their history and development.
The exhibit is divided into six scenes, two for each museum, that highlight different events in Caribbean culture and history. The “Shades of History” scene, showcased at The Studio Museum in Harlem, highlights more than 200 years of artwork that embodies the history of the Haitian Revolution. The two scenes featured at the Queens Museum of Art are called “Fluid Motions” and “Kingdoms of this World.”
“‘Fluid Motions’ addresses the significance of water in the history of the Caribbean and how new developments in transportation have reshaped commercial routes, migratory movements and communications within the region and beyond,” Strauss said.
“‘Kingdoms of this World’ considers the variety of people, languages, art forms and religions that co-exist in the Caribbean.”
To encourage people to see all six scenes of the exhibit, admission will include a free ticket valid at any of the other three locations.
When: Through Jan. 6, Wed.-Sun., 12-6 p.m
Where: Queens Museum near Queens Theatre at 14 United Nations Ave. South, Flushing Meadows Park
Tickets: Donation, (718) 592-9700