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Queens Chronicle

Tires and paintings; all for the green of it

Environmental art: past, present and future

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Posted: Thursday, June 28, 2012 10:30 am

qboro Editor

Green and eco are terms we hear thrown around in conjunction with any product ranging from cars to laundry detergent, but this summer’s exhibition at Flushing’s Crossing Art, Going Green II, doesn’t use green in the generic sense.

These art pieces in the second annual show don’t save the world — perhaps artist Peter Hiers rids a few roadways of discarded tires — but instead deal with the environment in the larger sense, Assistant Gallery Director Maria Boobis said.

The pieces look at the environment from many angles and mediums as well as depicts the environment of the past, present and future.

New Mexico-based artist Marietta Patricia Leis’ sprawling exhibit ( there are about 20 separate pieces ranging in size and format) represents the past. Her monochromatic green canvases titled “Green” seem to depict a past world of abundance and untouched vegetation many urbanites don’t have too much familiarity with. She created the exhibit based on her travels in Thailand. These paintings are also accompanied by little waxy sculptures that look like presents tied with a ribbon, and poems.

Another artist of the past category is New York City-based Elly Cho. Her black and white, looping video, titled “Visual Kinematics: a State of Art,” of an ever- changing forest complete with the sounds of running water and chirping birds, shows a world without people.

Next the viewer sees the current world. Hiers takes discarded tires from the side of the road and reheats, folds and manipulates them into intricately twisted wall sculptures.

His tires have gained some prestigious recognition abroad as well as right here in the city at the Whitney Museum.

“He takes something that is destroying the world and makes some aesthetically pleasing,” Boobis said.

Another artist in the show who reused discarded items is Brooklyn-based Christina Massey. She layers found articles of clothing on top of each other and then tears away pieces, exposing swatches of thick cloth below.

Boobis says these pieces are constantly changing. If Massey’s works from the show do not sell (all items are on sale for around a couple $100 to $5,000) the artist will likely rework the art by adding or subtracting more layers.

Lastly the third category of art is from artists who visualize the environment of the future. Yeon Ji Yoo Park, a Queens resident who teaches at Queens College and for the Queens Council on the Arts, created mossy, half-plant, half-animal creatures titled “In the Darkness.” These sculptures pose in the middle of the gallery like giant chickens made of moss.

Another duo who envision the future environment are videographers Lorin Roser and Nina Kuo. Their two 3D videos, “Bubbling Pond” and “Manchu Couple–Storm in a Bottle,” envision what a future world will be like. The video looks somewhat barren and isolating.

The exhibit is a juried show comprised of 70 artists who applied; eight were selected.

The show ran along with the Queens Art Express — a boroughwide art show where galleries hosted four artists who envisioned the future of healthcare. The galleries each hosted opening night events with all proceeds dotated to various causes.

Going Green II

When: Through Aug. 14,

Tues. to Sun. 10 a.m. to 6 pm.

Where: Crossing Art 136-17 39 Ave., Flushing

Tickets: Free, (212) 359-4333 crossingart.com

Welcome to the discussion.