Foot-tall sculptures of human bodies with pig faces, waxy and brightly colored as a new box of crayons, photographs of women in colorful costumes, a collage, magazine clippings making up the New York City skyline and a dress woven from plastic bags — these are just a few of the 50 works by 40 Queens artists that will be making their way through the borough.
Many of the pieces have a common thread beyond the borough tie as well, with themes about gender, a certain country or heritage, beauty or the absurd and the city.
“It is as full of different colors and styles as Queens itself — as interesting, dynamic and full of surprises as ... riding the 7 train. It all works together,” said Jon Garfield, treasurer of the organization producing the show, Long Island City Artists, a group of Queens artists who came together in 1986 to promote the borough’s talent.
Nancy Rakoczy of Kew Gardens wove a dress from discarded plastic called “Where Did I Become Invisible.”
“I used discarded plastic bags because they are ‘invisible’ in our culture: We just don’t see them anymore, even if they wrap around our legs, and blow around in our neighborhood,” Rakoczy said.
The white dress camouflages with the white wall it is hung on to speak to invisibility because of age, race, gender and social status, said Rakoczy, who has worked with this medium before, knitting capes and shrouds from plastic.
The name of the piece and how it hangs limply also conjure a feeling of loneliness.
Alejandra Regalado will be showing some of her works from a series of 1,000 photographs called “In Reference to,” which shows Mexican women living in the United States along with an object that connects them back to their native country.
The women of ages about 13 to 80 are pictured in front of a white background just as their object is shown. Only their expression, always a relaxed pleasant, but no-teeth expression, and their dress give any extra information about them.
Mary Giancoli, a photographer of 34 years, took photographs of the annual festival celebrating indigenous culture in Cuetzalan, Mexico. She traveled to the country for a solo exhibition of her work in Puebla, a city about two hours from Mexico City, and decided to stay for the well-known October festival.
The photos show strong women preparing and participating in the event.
She met with the women who don the traditional white skirts with bright colored embroidery and create the woven wares.
“I had seen a lot of Mexican traditions in New York and I wanted to see them in the native country,” said Giancoli, who can trace part of her lineage to Mexico. “It’s also about coming of age and mysticism as well. It’s about women too.”
Amy Winter, director and curator at the Godwin-Ternbach Museum at Queens College, selected the pieces. Only a few works didn’t fit into the collection since LICA and Winters wanted to cast a wide net, bringing in a diverse array of photography, sculpture, paintings and installation works.
The show began at Flushing Town Hall last Thursday and goes until July 14. Then the show will be split in two. Half will go to LaGuardia Community College from Sept. 12 to Nov. 20 and to Queens Borough Community College art gallery from Nov. 7 to Jan. 19.
LICA will host an artists’ talk on Saturday, July 13 at 2 p.m., the day before the show wraps up at Flushing Town Hall.
‘Bridging the Gap’
When: through July 14, Saturdays and Sundays, 12 to 5 p.m.
Where: Flushing Town Hall
137-35 Northern Blvd.