SPQ’s Greg Sholette at 2015 Creative Time Summit: “The Curriculum NYC”



2015 Creative Time Summit: “The Curriculum NYC”

November 14–15, 2015 | Register here

Boys and Girls High School
1700 Fulton Street
Brooklyn, NY 11213
After two years, the Creative Time Summit—the world’s largest international conference on art and social change—is headed home to New York City! Creative Time Summit: “The Curriculum NYC” will take place at the Boys and Girls High School in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn on November 14 and 15, 2015.

Building on the Summit held at the Venice Biennale in August, the New York Summit is dedicated to education and other ways knowledge is disseminated and obtained. “The Curriculum NYC” will focus on the effects of specific education policies in the United States. From within Boys and Girls High School, which has come to symbolize both the democratic ambitions and the pervasive inequalities of public education today, we will explore the relationship between knowledge and geopolitics, pedagogical art practices, omissions in contemporary curricula, and political issues such as the re-segregation of public schools and student debt.

In addition to hosting presentations by a distinguished roster of over 50 participants, the Creative Time Summit: “The Curriculum NYC” invites attendees to join in our afternoon sessions, which will comprise break-out sessions held in the school’s classrooms. Taking the form of roundtables, open dialogs, or workshops, they will provide opportunities for more intimate exchanges among attendees, special guests, Summit presenters, and students or teachers from Boys and Girls High School. While diving deeper into urgent pedagogical issues, sessions will also address topics specific to the field of socially engaged art.

Keynote addresses will be given by investigative journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones and artist/community activist Boots Riley. Participants include Bill Ayers, Luis Camnitzer, Hope Ginsburg, Gugulective (Athi Mongezeleli Joja), Hans Haacke, Tia Powell Harris, Kemi Ilesanmi, Rolling Jubilee (Laura Hanna and Astra Taylor), Stanley Kinard, Pedro Lasch, Simone Leigh, MFA NO MFA (ex-USC students), Naeem Mohaiemen, Pepón Osorio, Jolene Rickard, Andrew Ross, and Jennifer Scott.

Workshops, roundtables and panels to be led by the Center for Artistic Activism, Flux Factory, Deborah Fisher, Noah Fischer, Not an Alternative, Silvia Juliana Mantilla Ortiz, Douglas Paulson, Laundromat Project, Marinella Senatore, Visible Project, Gregory Sholette, Daniel Tucker, Caroline Woolard and Sue Bell Yank. In addition, there will be a featured special project by Chto Delat.

Get your tickets for “The Curriculum NYC” today! Pay-what-you-wish tickets available here.
Special opening event by The Visible Project
On the High Line at West 16th Street
Friday, November 13, 6pm

Creative Time Summit: The Curriculum NYC kicks off with an opening event co-presented with High Line Art. Curated by Matteo Lucchetti and Judith Wielander of the Visible Project, the event will include site-specific performances by Marinella Senatore, Nástio Mosquito, and others to be announced. Performances are free and open to the public.

Call for proposals
Are you an artist, activist or cultural producer living and/or working in the neighborhoods of Bed-Stuy or Crown Heights? Interested in organizing and leading a roundtable discussion focused on important issues in your community? Click here for more information on how to get involved.


For more information and summit updates, visit us at creativetime.org/summit.



Gulf Labor, Precarious Workers Rights, and SPQ at The CUNY Graduate Center

Gulf Labor, Precarious Workers Rights, and SPQ at The CUNY Graduate Center
Join SPQ and QCMFA’s own Gregory Sholette, Setare Arashloo, and Barrie Cline (’14) for a conversation on Nov 19, 2015, 6:30 pm at the Skylight Room 9100, CUNY Graduate Center,365 Fifth Avenue, New York.
Precarious Workers Pageant, Venice Italy 8/7/2015

What does Bertolt Brecht have to do with workers’ rights in Abu Dhabi? Although politically engaged art and theater takes many forms, the recent Precarious Workers Pageant at the Venice Biennale took a Brechtian approach as it pointed out the solidification of global capital in architecture in Abu Dhabi and the precarious state of migrant workers who are building these future cultural sites. The pageant’s street performance offered a new public commons fabricated out of the deconstructed architecture of the avant-garde museum. Join artists, scholars, and activists in conversation for an evening of discussion, debate, and for an evening of discussion, debate, and propositions as part of the Social Choreography seminar at the Center for the Humanities and in tandem with the exhibition by Zoe Beloff at the James Gallery, “A World Redrawn: Eisenstein and Brecht in Hollywood.” Following the Precarious Workers Pageant video premier will be another New York premier: a presentation of The Gulf: High Culture/Hard Labor, edited by A. Ross and published by OR Books, with contributions by Sholette and other members of Gulf Labor.

Read more about the Precarious Workers Pageant on a-n Artists Information Company, Hyperallergic, tumblr, and Gregory Sholette’s blog.

The event is co-sponsored by the Social Choreography Mellon Seminar in Public Engagement and Collaborative Research in the Humanities, Center for Place, Culture and Politics, and Committee on Globalization and Social Change.


- See more at: http://www.centerforthehumanities.org/program/gulf-labor-and-precarious-workers-rights#sthash.IkYj7MPT.dpuf


Gregory Sholette at UChicago | October 9th

Gregory Sholette: Precarious Workers of the (Art) World Unite!

Friday, October 9
4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Cochrane-Woods Art Center, Room 157
5540 South Greenwood Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637

Gregory Sholette, artist, writer, activist, and professor of Sculpture and social practice at Queens College, discusses the varied tactics associated with Gulf Labor Coalition as they seek to call attention to the plight of precarious migrant workers in Abu Dhabi where a new Guggenheim Museum is in the works, followed by an examination of Marina Naprushkina’s sustainable art project in the Moabit section of Berlin where she is developing an “artificial institution” whose mission is to service the needs of her “new neighbors”: political refugees fleeing military and economic conflict in Syria, Iraq and Northern Africa. The broader issue that both of these politically engaged, artistic endeavors confronts is how we might redirect resources, as well as invent new models, for rethinking the notion of a shared commons operating in opposition to the predacious appetite of neoliberal enterprise culture. This larger agenda seems especially urgent today as we witness an ever-tightening intersection between contemporary art, global capital, and the growing multitude of migratory, precarious, and paperless laborers who are simultaneously tasked with building the fabulous architectural fantasies serving the world’s .01% ultra-rich, while also demonized as a dangerous social surplus dragging down limited economic resources. People at risk, including refugees, low-income workers, indebted students, marginalized people of color and women, as well as most artists, and even perhaps an entire nation in the case of Greece, increasingly wield a dark transformative agency with nothing to lose except their precariousness.

Presented by the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society, Critical Inquiry, Art History, DOVA, and Art and Public Life.


Imaginary Archive: Zeppelin University Edition | Gregory Sholette with visionary architect Marcel Kalberer in Friedrichshafen, Germany

White Box, Friedrichshafen, Germany

September 12 to November 26, 2015

Tues – Thurs, 2 – 5PM


Imagine yourself uncovering a cache of materials and documents that record a past whose future never arrived? Imaginary Archive is just such a repository: pamphlets, books, photo-albums, records, blueprints, small objects, whose assorted narratives imagine alternative histories and speculative tomorrows that nevertheless frequently shed a precise light on concrete realities. SPQ’s own Gregory Sholette has invited participants from Germany, Philadelphia, Ukraine, Ireland, New Zealand, Austria as well as others from around the globe to produce this Imaginary Archive, which is a collection of unknown, under-represented, dreaded and/or hoped-for “historical” materials that point to multiple interpretations of the past, the present, and the future. Working with Sholette, architect Marcel Kalberer designed and constructed a bamboo labyrinth within Zeppelin University’s White Box exhibition space to house this most current edition of Imaginary Archive while simultaneously inaugurating this new cultural venue for students and the public.




Participating Imaginary Archivists (as of September, 2015) include: Aaron Burr Society: (Jim Costanzo), Agata Craftlove, Alan Hughes, Alexander Wolodarskij, Alien Abduction Collective: (Todd Ayoung, Heather Davis, Kim Asbury, Ulla Hvejsel, and Phoebe Bachman), Andrea Aversa, Anna Zvyagintseva, Austin Ivers, Azra Aksamija, Babis Venetopoulos & John Voyatzopoulos, Basekamp and Friends (Philadelphia), Ben Geoghegan, Brian Hand, Bryce Galloway & Students, Charlotte Schatz, Chris Esposito, Christina Lederhaas, Closed Engagement, Daniel Tucker, Dave Callen, Denis Pankratov, Doris Jauk-Hinz, Edda Strobl, Ellen Rothenberg, Eva Taxacher & Karin Ondas, Eva Ursprung, fabian dankl/johannes schrettle/christina lederhaas, Glen Goldberg, Grant Corbishley, Gerald Raunig, Gregory Sholette, Hanns Hoffmann Lederer, Helmut Kaplan, Jeffrey Skoller, Jenny Polak, Jeremy Booth, Liga für Kunst und Kultur: (Johannes Schrettle), City Life/Vida Urbana: (John Hulsey), Josef Fürpaß, Karl Lorac, Leah Oats, Lee Harrop, Lada Nakonechna, Lesya Khomenko, Malcolm Doidge, Matthew Friday, Matthew F. Greco, Maureen Connor, Markus Wetzel, Maryam Mohammadi , Miroslav Kulchitsky, Murray Hewitt, Mykola Ridnyi, Naeem Mohaiemen, Nannette Yannuzzi, Nayari Castillo, Niall Moore, Nikita Kadan, Oleksandr Burlaka & Oleksiy Radynskyi, Oliver Ressler, Eidia House: (Paul Lamarre & Melisa Wolf), Paul Maye, Patrik Aarnivaara, Pedro Lasch, REPOhistory, R.E.P. group, Reinhard Knall, Roger O’Shea, Salem Collo-Julin, Sarah Farahat, Sasha Dedos, Simon Fleming, Suchness, Tender & Endangered Cow/Horse of Dimness, TanzLaboratorium, Tiarnán McDonough, “TJ”, Theresa Rose, Thom Donovan, Trust Art, White Fungus Zine, Volodymyr Kuznetsov, Yevgeniya Belorusets, Yevgeniy Fiks, Zoe Beloff, and The Think Tank That Has Yet To Be Named: (Jeremy Beaudry, Katie Hargrave & Meredith Warner).


With special thanks to Professor Dr. Karen van den Berg,  Curator of Fine Arts Ulrike Shepherd, Bettina Pfuderer and the ZU Facility Management, as well as IA co-collaborators Olga Kopenkina and Matt Greco for their all around support, and to the White Box installation crew including: Caroline Brendel, Jona Kalberer, Laura Niemann, Toby Eckert, Friederike Kötter, Lena Mehner, Mathilde Nadeau, Maria-Luisa Villena, Christina Buck, plus the architects Prof. Eugen Rabold und Markus Müller for researching leads, Ingrid Feustel from the Hoffmann-Lederer archive and Hilde Corbo from the Narrenzunft Seegockel for materials, und Karl Heinz Mommertz for essential research.



Previous IA host curators and institutions include:

  • • 2015 Liz Park, Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.
  • • 2014: Larissa Babij, Les Kurbas Center, Kyiv, Ukraine.*
  • • 2013: Margarethe Makovec & Anton Lederer <rotor> Center for Contemporary Art, Graz, Austria.
  • • 2012: Megs Morely, Tulca Art Festival/Gallery 123, Galway, Ireland.
  • • 2010: Siv B. Fjaerestad, Enjoy Public Art Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand.

* IA Kyiv was made possible with assistance from CEC Artslink and individual supporters.





Precarious Workers Pageant & Gulf Labor

Deconstructing Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Abu Dhabi

The Gulf Labor Pageant & Procession: Aug. 7, Venice, Italy @ Sale Docs

Join members of Workers Art Coalition, Aaron Burr Society, Occupy Museums, Social Practice Queens, Sale Docs, G.U.L.F. and Gulf Labor Coalition in a collective performative experiment deconstructing Frank Gerhry’s proposed Guggenheim Museum on Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, UAE. Right now we are fabricating portable, modular elements based on Gehry’s design and rehearsing a public procession whose tones will be partially somber and partially celebratory.

The Gulf Labor Pageant and Procession starts off at Sale Docs on the South side of the Dorsaduro August 7th at 6PM after which we will wind our way out and around the nearby Peggy Guggenheim Museum where various stations, enactments, testimonials, and performances will focus on the struggle for social justice amongst migrant workers in the Gulf region, as well as labor conditions and the plight of migrant workers in Europe and the USA.

Following the procession stay for a book launch for The Gulf: High Culture/Hard Labor edited by Andrew Ross from OR Books. PLUS a party! (More details to follow soon, and note: a second performance is slated for this Fall in New York City, plus a panel at the CUNY Grad Center.) JOIN US! *

* This project is possible thanks to the generous support and labor of its participants, as well as the Mellon Seminar in Collaborative Research and Public Engagement in the Humanities at the Graduate Center, CUNY

Read more


Precarious Workers Pageant in Venice!

Precarious Workers Pageant in Venice

The Precarious Workers Pageant- a collaborative project with members of Workers Art Coalition, the Aaron Burr Society, Occupy Museums, G.U.L.F., and Social Practice Queens (CUNY) staged an pageant-intervention at the Venice Biennale this summer.


(re-blogged from: http://gregsholette.tumblr.com)

Zigzagging across the fever-hot streets of Venice a line of men and women advance. As they march a series of “liberated” geometric shapes and hand-made banners are worn or carried aloft overhead. A man in a blue cape blows a baritone trumpet. Everyone shouts, chants and sings about solidarity with migrant laborers in the Gulf State of Abu Dhabi. In fact, solidarity with precarious labor everywhere is called for. (photos by Setare Arashloo)

The group reveals dual influences. First, the Russian Futurist avant-garde of the early 20th Century, and second, the 1913 Paterson Silk Strike and Pageant, in New Jersey. After weeks of rehearsals this band of NYC based construction workers, students and artists traveled to Italy, marched past the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in the Dorsoduro on August 7th, and then come to a stop at the nearby Gallerie dell’Accademia plaza. At which point the deconstructed architectural elements of Frank Gehry’s new Guggenheim Abu Dhabi they carried with them were reassembled into a circular barricade. And there, inside this temporary public “commons,” a series of speeches, songs, poems and “mike checks” captured the attention of surprised tourists and residents.


As it turns out Guggenheim administrators were also caught off guard. The museum’s displeasure with the Pageant was compounded by other critiques made during the Venice Biennial that were similarly focused on the Guggenheim’s Abu Dhabi project. Bitterly their ire was conveyed  to members of Gulf Labor Coalition, and among other (now familiar) counter-accusations was the assertion that the museum has not exploited any workers in Abu Dhabi because no contract for building the Guggenheim there has been awarded. No exploited workers, no evil empire.


The counterargument is of course a dodge. Not only has the Guggenheim dotted its own colossal boardroom office map with the anticipated Abu Dhabi location, but they also prominently herald the coming new museum on their custom shopping bags. However, if you are of the opinion that the conspicuous rolling-out of one’s imminent plan of action does not truly constitute a line that has already been crossed; then consider the future museum site itself. The Guggenheim Abu Dhabi is literally being constructed on desert sands. Unlike an urban setting where builders can rely on a pre-established support grid for power and water and so forth, everything on Saadiyat Island must be built from the bottom up. That includes roads for trucks to travel on and water lines and power cables for contractors to use. So take a close look at the areal images of the site where  the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi is to be raised. Not only do we see roads, ramps and concrete supports already in place, but also the entire museum footprint is a man-made peninsula jutting into the water. Needless to say, the infrastructure for the future Guggenheim Abu Dhabi did not arise spontaneously. Instead, it required labor by migrant workers whose conditions of exploitation are well documented. (In fact, Gulf Labor has already commented on this all too obvious evasion: CLICK )


Still, one thing especially vexed the museum. A man with a black porkpie hat, blowing a large bass horn, and wearing a hand-lettered cloak that read: Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Evil-Empire of Art. The egregious phrase was hand-lettered onto a rectangle of canvas and hung like a thespian’s cape off the shoulders of performance artist Jim Costanzo, founder of the Aaron Burr Society. The paint-stiffened cloak declaimed its scalding indictment on a breezeless torrid day -although in Abu Dhabi the heat reached 41c, another five to six degrees hotter still than Venice- and it did not go unnoticed.


Along with the Precarious Workers Pageant, Costanzo’s theatrics belong to a long tradition of political satire whose practitioners include Honoré Daumier, Bertolt Brecht, Kurt Weil, Hanns Eisler, Lotte Leyna, Dario Fo, the San Francisco Mime Troupe, Carnival Knowledge (the 1980s feminist group), Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping, Occupy Museums and Pussy Riot. Against the extensive communicational power of mainstream media and established cultural institutions a certain DIY vernacular aesthetic has often been the preferred artistic weapon of the weak, the marginal, and the precarious.

Costanzo’s videos, performances and agitprop projects have often channeled this bottom-up energy, sometimes projecting into the public sphere a state of anger so raw it makes one flinch as in his 2003 piece “The Scream: 21st Century Edition.” Created in the lead-up to the illegal invasion of Iraq and made all the more unfathomable by the unprecedented global demonstrations against such aggression by the United States you can see his video here: CLICK

Years later, he founded  the “Aaron Burr Society,” a “mockstitution” whose nom de guerre honors the former US Vice President who railed against the establishment of a centralized banking system. This time Costanzo donned an archaic looking cape and topcoat, trained it down to Wall Street carrying a large, almost obscene sounding baritone trumpet with him (an instrument that he is still struggling to play “properly”) all in an effort to register his personal outrage over the 2008 financial meltdown and the subsequent welfare bailout for the world’s top bankers. CLICK


And so, through the steamy streets of Venice Costanzo blew his horn, clearing the way for members of Workers Art Coalition including Barrie Cline, Stephanie Lawal, Eliza Gagnon, Marquis Jenkins, Mirana Zuger and fellow participants from Gulf Labor, G.U.L.F., S.a.L.E. Docs and Social Practice Queens, as the Precarious Workers ostentatious and communal act of institutional critique called upon the planners of the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi to reconsider branding a regime whose abuse of migrant labor is as egregious as it is flagrant. Costanzo’s accusatory cloak was rhetorically embellished, for a reason. Against the extensive reach of mainstream cultural, political and media institutions the surplus army of precarious artists gleefully turns to the carnivalesque, spitting out an often vulgar aesthetics of the street, the circus, or fiesta in order to have their voices heard above the patronizing tones of proper cultural decorousness. Such ribald insurgency has its own dark strengths, even in an age of top-down, empire culture.





‘Sacred Space – Triangle’ debuts as part of Queens Museum exhibition


Here are a few images of the collaborative work of SPQ students and alumns Seth Aylmer, Gina Minielli, and Scott Braun, from the March 21, 2015 opening reception for the Queens Museum’s studio program.

The trio have collaborated to create a non-denominational, communally-occupied sacred space in the “triangle area” of the Queens Museum. With Aylmer a video artist, painter, and sculptor; Braun a sculptural furniture-maker; and Minielli an established photographer, each participant has a separate practice which contributes to the larger work.

The Sacred Spaces design/build crew consists of Jeff Gagnon, Ben Berton, Larry Healy, Alejandro Velazquez, and Claudio Stalling.

Photos: Steven P.Harris 2015

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Talk with Multidisciplinary Artist Gregory Sale —-Oct 14, 4:30–6:00pm—–In Partnership with Queens Museum’s Open A.I.R. Artist Services Program

Time: Oct 14, 4:30–6:00pm

Location: Queens College, Klapper Hall, Fine Arts Department Room 672 on the 6th floor.

Campus map:http://www.qc.cuny.edu/about/directions/2d/Pages/default.aspx

QC shuttle bus: http://www.qc.cuny.edu/about/directions/Pages/Shuttle.aspx


And a link to directions to the QC campus:http://www.qc.cuny.edu/about/directions/Pages/default.aspx

The Queens Museum’s Open A.I.R. Artist Services Program and the Social Practice Queens MFA Concentration at Queens College invite you to join multidisciplinary artist Gregory Sale for a presentation and discussion of his work.

About Gregory Sale

Gregory Sale is a multidisciplinary artist with a socially engaged art practice. Currently he is producing two bodies of work. One gives voice to the multiple constituencies of incarceration and criminal justice systems through engendering civility and discourse around complex issues without easy answers. The other, quieter initiative takes on love and language by flirting with the fluid parameters of public and private, prose and poem.

It’s not just black and white, 2011, at ASU Art Museum in Tempe, AZ unfolded during a three-month residency exhibition. With support from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, it considered the cultural, social and personal issues at stake in the day-to-day workings of the criminal justice system in Arizona. As a next multi-year investigation, Sleepover grapples with the challenges of individuals reentering society after periods of incarceration. Now in research and development, Sleepover (supported by a 2013 Creative Capital grant in Emerging Fields and a 2014 Art Matters grant) will bring together key stakeholder constituents for extended periods of time to reconsider their understandings of re-entry and their relationships to one another.

In summer 2012, as a resident artist at Yaddo in Saratoga Springs, NY, and at VCCA in Amherst, VA, Sale initiated Love for Love, a socially engaged project created in collaboration with eight organizations and 120 community participants in Chapel Hill, NC. The project was commission for More Love: Art, Politics and Sharing since the 1990s at the Ackland Art Museum, UNC-Chapel Hill in 2013 and traveled to Cheekwood Museum of Art, Nashville, TN in 2013-2014.

Sale is Assistant Professor of Intermedia and Public Practice at Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ. Before that he served as the Visual Arts Director for Arizona Commission on the Arts, the Curator of Education at ASU Art Museum, and as a public art project manager for the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture.

About Social Practice Queens

Social Practice Queens (SPQ) is a unique MFA concentration bringing together the resources of an academic research institution, Queens College (City University of New York: CUNY), with the long-standing community-based activism of the Queens Museum.

The new MFA concentration in social practice integrates studio work with social, tactical, interventionist and cooperative forms. SPQ’s goal is to initiate interdisciplinary projects with real world outcomes rooted in CUNY’s rigorous departmental offerings (e.g.: urban studies, environmental science, public policy, experimental pedagogy, social theory) in tandem with the Queens Museum’s ongoing community-based activities.

About Open A.I.R. Artist Services Program

The expanded Queens Museum features a new, expanded slate of artist services, including a brand new Studio Program, with professional development features and a networking Lecture Series that draws on human resources at the Queens Museum. Open A.I.R. programs will offer professional development topics targeted specifically to all interested emerging artists.

Open A.I.R. is made possible by a generous grant from The Scherman Foundation’s Katharine S. and Axel G. Rosin Fund. Additional support provided by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Questions? Email sjmo@queensmuseum.org





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 nytimes.com: 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.