Queens College Ranked Second (Nationally) In “Bang for Buck”


From a recent New York Times article:

Looking out over the quadrangle before him as students dashed from one class to the next, James Muyskens was feeling proud one recent afternoon, and why not?

The college he had led for the past 11 years had just been awarded second place in a new ranking of American higher education — ahead of flagship state universities, ahead of elite liberal arts colleges, even ahead of all eight Ivy League universities.

The college is Queens College, a part of the City University of New York with an annual tuition of $5,730, and a view of the Long Island Expressway.

Catering to working-class students, more than half of whom were born in other countries, Queens does not typically find itself at the top of national rankings. Then again, this was not a typical ranking. It was a list of colleges that offer the “best bang for the buck.”

Continue reading on Lists That Rank Colleges’ Value Are on the Rise.



OPENING: PROJECT LUZ: the classroom, Art for all.



PROJECT LUZ: the classroom, Art for all.

by Sol Aramendi


October 7th – 18th 10am-7pm


Opening; October 15th 5-8 pm

Klapper Hall Gallery, Queen College

(see directions below)


Sol Aramendi presents for her MFA Social Practice Thesis show, Project Luz: The Classroom Art for All. A series of classes and workshops for the College’s members of the cleaning and custodian teams. All classes are free and open for the whole duration of the exhibition and have been designed to fit Queens College’s staff members’ schedules, their breaks, and changing shifts.

Ms. Aramendi will lead photography classes for all levels and her fellow MFA classmates will teach Studio Art to collaborate with the project during the show. The exhibition consists of a series of spaces that present the processes, actions, together with their results, at the free temporary art school for the custodians of the College. Also on display is an installation including a selection of Ms. Aramendi’s recent works developed outside (but intrinsic to) Project Luz.

Project Luz started at the artist’s studio as a response to the need for change in her most immediate community. As Ms. Aramendi realized the lack of opportunities that both immigrant men and women (and even their families) had to access culture and the urban system, she organized workshops and classes for them. These events took place mostly in the evenings and weekends. Project Luz then started offering these classes at several cultural institutions, hospitals, and public libraries, among other places.

Ms. Aramendi is in constant search for opportunities to create an open space in which to discuss the role of the artist not only as an educator but also as a catalyst for social cooperation and change for the disempowered. The key is how artists and educators can provide anyone and everyone with access to information, culture and training in different disciplines, and make a difference. Based in Long Island City, Queens, Ms. Aramendi is the first Masters graduate of Fine Arts in Social Practice exclusively developed as a collaboration between the Queens Museum and Queens College.

Special Events:

Decolonization at Birth

Fridays, October 11 and 18 : In collaboration with Yaocihuatzin, who holds a PhD in Education focused in the opportunity of freedom and independency from the moment of birth. Both Fridays will include a session of free portraits for pregnant and breastfeeding women and women circles talking about education.

Students and teachers are invited to participate in every way and be part of or hold classes in the gallery and make collaborative projects.


Photo by Julio Hernandez Jr.

Worker Memorial Day Publication – Barrie Cline and Sol Aramendi


SPQ graduate students Barrie Cline and Sol Aramendi, founder of Project Luz, and their collaborators, are observing Workers Memorial Day this coming Sunday by launching a publication at Corona Plaza as part of a larger community health fair coordinated by the Queens Museum.  

The publication was the result of a series of dialogues that brought together union construction workers (enrolled in the Harry Van Arsdale Center for Labor Studies at SUNY) and day laborers (who are members of Corona-based immigrant advocacy organization New Immigrant Community Empowerment-NICE). In these encounters members from both groups shared with each other their feelings about safety and the conditions of their labor. The publication reflects the images and texts of what they hope is the beginning of a conversation towards safer conditions for all workers as well as different ways to look at their labor.

This project was initiated in association with The Harry Van Arsdale Jr. Center for Labor Studies, New Immigrant Community Empowerment, and assistance from the Social Practice Queens (SPQ) component of  Queens College and The Queens Museum of Art.

This project is funded in part by the Student Activity Fee of the State University of New York and the Spirit of Boz, founded by Julien Friedler, Belgium.

SPQ Faculty Greg Sholette Showing at the Queens Museum

Greg Sholette: Fifteen Islands for Robert Moses

On view through May 20, 2012 at the Queens Museum of Art

The other Saadiyat Island as imagined by Hana Shams Ahmed, One of fifteen islands fabricated by Greg Sholette based on ideas proposed by invited collaborators, Mixed media (paper, sand, plastic, wire, resin), 2012
The other Saadiyat Island as imagined by Hana Shams Ahmed, One of fifteen islands fabricated by Greg Sholette based on ideas proposed by invited collaborators, Mixed media (paper, sand, plastic, wire, resin), 2012


Fifteen Islands for Robert Moses is a site-specific art infiltration into the Panorama of the City of New York, which was built for the 1964 World’s Fair by urban planner Robert Moses and is now a centerpiece of the Queens Museum of Art. Artist and theorist Greg Sholette made and placed new islands about the Panorama’s waterways, where they exist as silent, post-9/11 observers of the City’s past, present, and future. Modeled in the same style as the Panorama, each island represents Sholette’s interpretation of a question he posed to a group of other artists and art theorists: “If you could add an island to New York City, what would that new landmass be like?” Touching on issues from environmental and economic justice to the overflowing archives of human memory and immigrant’s rights, the new fantasy islands interrupt the familiar geography of the Panorama, subtly haunting a favorite destination for students, tourists, and urban planners. Surrounding the Panorama is a series of posters about the project’s participating collaborators: Hana Shams AhmedBrett BloomLarry BogadMarc Fischer,Aaron Gach/Center for Tactical MagicLibertad GuerraDara GreenwaldMarisa JahnKarl Lorac/Themm!Ann Messner,Ted PurvesRasha SaltiDread Scott and Jenny Polak,Jeffrey Skollerand Nato Thompson. Special thanks go to Matthew F. Greco for graphic assistance.

Fifteen Islands for Robert Moses is supported in part by the Lily Auchincloss Foundation, and The Greenwall Foundation. Additional support provided by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and New York State Council on the Arts.