Storefront Galleries and Arts Programs Break Barriers in Jamaica, Queens

November 29th, 2010 by Bianca Seidman

Jamaica, Queens is a diverse, mostly low-income community that doesn’t have much connection to the elite New York art world. So a grass-roots, non-profit organization called Reconstruct Art made it a priority to bring gallery art to them. Through their partnership with another non-profit called Chashama that solicits donated spaces from landlords, like empty storefronts, Reconstruct Art has been able to build educational programs, storefront gallery exhibitions and community art programs in what might seem like unlikely spaces.

The current exhibit in Jamaica, Queens by West African artist Eric Ajama is in a former dentist’s office that Reconstruct Art and Chashama have transformed into gallery and studio spaces. The storefront was donated by the landlord, the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation, who successfully sold a similar space after Reconstruct Art and Chashama placed art installations there.

Curator and Reconstruct Art member, Siphur, explains the synergy between the community, artists, students and philanthropists.

Community Building with Reconstruct Art from Bianca Seidman on Vimeo.

Comments are closed.