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Queens Chronicle

Interacting with works of the city’s budding artists

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Posted: Thursday, May 14, 2015 10:30 am

Every year at the Fisher Landau Center for Art on 30th Street in Long Island City, emerging artists from the Visual Arts Program at the Columbia University School of the Arts have their works put on display.

The center’s three floors offer a perfect, wide-open space to feature the stunning works that are part of the school’s MFA Thesis Exhibition.

Curated by Omar L—pez-Chahoud and on view at the center until May 18, this year’s showcase features works by 27 artists.

As one makes one’s way from floor to floor, a range of different displays is apparent, as is an element of active engagement between artwork and viewer.

Some feature multimedia pieces and offer interactive experiences. One is Talia Link’s video installation “My Bed” on the first floor, which includes a large white bed in the center of the room that invites visitors to climb onto it and settle in with a pair of headphones to listen to audio from an accompanying computer monitor at its end.

Meanwhile, Ruth Patir’s HD projection documentary-style film “Sleepers,” on the second floor, takes viewers on a dreamlike journey.

The collaboration between Yujin Lee and Nicole Won Hee Maloof for the two-channel video “Same/Difference” on the third floor invites people to put the world of the gallery out of mind by beckoning them to don a headset to watch the presentation and listen to people share their life stories.

As visitors weave their way through these installations, sculptures such as “Couple Jogging,” by Cole Sayer, which stands out in the middle of the space, reflect the overall exhibit’s offering of an interactive feeling, with many pieces placed on each floor. As one stands next to or walks by Sayer’s two people in mid-jog, who both face in the same direction, it’s almost as if they are encouraging people to continue onwards through the gallery.

While interactive pieces placed in the middle of the vast floor spaces are prominent in each of the large white rooms, the walls almost seem to come alive more, filling the space with eye-catching color. Visitors will find themselves contemplating the “Guess who’s coming to criticize dinner?” paintings and ceramic installation by Samuel Cockrell on the second floor as much as Leah Moskowitz’s colorful inkjet prints on the third. The quiet space allows you to soak in each piece whether it has a multimedia element or not. Many compel viewers to think, in addition to being enjoyable.

Also on display are works from Cristina Camacho, Kelsey Elverum, Patrice Aphrodite Helmar, Stephen Paul Jackson, Bora Kim, Dana Lok, Ioana Manolache, Xiaoshi Vivian Vivian Qin, Jakub Milcák, Matthew Morrocco, JP Mot, Gina Lynn O’Connor, Ilaria Ortensi, Lorella Paleni, Sondra R. Perry, Julia Phillips, Angelica Teuta, August Vollbrecht, John Aaron Ganz and Jonathan Bruce Williams.

“Much of the artwork in the Center’s permanent collection was purchased or commissioned while the now-renowned artists were in similar positions in their careers as these graduating students are today,” wrote Emily Fisher Landau in the exhibit’s booklet. “As those masters did then, these students show a great deal of promise, ambition, and piercing originality.”

This look at these up-and-coming artists will stick with anyone long past a visit.

‘2015 MFA thesis exhibition’
When: Thru May 18; Thurs.-Mon., noon- 5 p.m.
Where: Fisher Landau Center for Art,
38-27 30 St., LIC
Entry: Free; (718) 937-0727,

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