“Space:Queens”: First Fridays at JCAL

Last Friday, I went to Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning’s First Friday event where they showcase creative artists who participate in their one month residency program. Below are the three visual artists (Jason Lalor, Steven Sivells and Joyce Sanchez Espinoza) and works they showcased:

Multi-disciplinary artist Jason Lalor’s BlackBody Radiation

“In physics, a blackbody is an idealized body which absorbs the electromagnetic radiation it encounters and emits it as a spectrum of light; the body itself is revealed only through this spectrum. Similarly, the black and brown communities from which rap poetics emerged remain invisible to the pop culture it fuels. Nonetheless, the poetics – blackbody radiation – allow for the creation of new experiential worlds for its practitioners and audience.”

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Abstract artist and art therapist Steven Sivells:

“The three parts of the pyramid shown represent things I needed to work on as an individual, which were patience, focus and control. Growing up I was a wild child, yet very timid. Because I was focused on money instead of happiness, I pursued the wrong vision and went to school to study biology. But my grades started slipping, so I picked up art to raise my GPA. With a 3.7, my adviser suggested I switch majors. When I first expressed my creativity to friend, it was looked over and frowned upon. They told me, “There is no future in art,”  or “You will be broke.” When it came down to the final exhibition for graduation, a professor called out my work and called it simple and easy. At that moment, the spark inside grew into a flame.

The face in the middle represents our own individual struggles. We are all human. Despite our flaws and all, with patience, focus and control, we can determine what we want to be. As a whole it reflects societies view on artists, who are able to break out the mold themselves. Instead of drawing, I chose the abstract route. I’d rather hear what others see in my work than to give them a preconceived vision. No two pieces are the same. Just like no two people are the same. Each work connects differently. That’s what being creative is about — thinking out of the ordinary. Living out loud. With abstract work, I am able to fully express myself; it’s something money can’t buy. That is happiness.”

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Poet and visual artist Joyce Sanchez Espinoza:

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Below is portion of the description for Espinoza’s artwork above:



Weusi collective artist Emmett Wigglesworth will present his solo exhibition, It is Not Enough to See, One must See Through to Find Truth, at JCAL on September 16 at 7pm and it will be on view through November 25. An artist talk and demonstration will be on October 1, 2016 at 2pm.


“Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning is proud to present a solo exhibition by Queens-based artist Emmett Wigglesworth. This retrospective includes paintings, silkscreens, oil pastels, and sculpture from a career spanning over six decades, culminating in a newly commissioned piece by JCAL. Composed of a 10′ canvas with 6 life-sized painted foam core sculptures, the piece encompasses a viewer experience like no other. For the past 5 months Wigglesworth has worked 35 hours a week in JCAL’s Studios. He aims to use his talent as a functional way to put into practice a spiritual truth as a means to counter a concerned society, enhancing a more humanistic world.” (Credit: Art Haps)

Updated September 14, 2016 11:30am to include Steven Sivells’ statement.

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