‘Onwards’ Exhibition and Reception in Rainey Park

Saturday, May 4, 2019 - 3:30pm - 4:40pm

Rainey Park, Long Island City
May 4–November 20, 2019
Opening Reception: May 4, 3:30-4:30 pm

The Noguchi Museum’s Teen Advisory Board [TAB], composed of twelve New York City high school students, was challenged with the task of creating a community-based public art project for Rainey Park, in Long Island City, Queens. Led by teaching artist Sejin Park, TAB met once a week beginning in the fall of 2018. They used Isamu Noguchi’s sculptures, such as Red Cube (1968) and Unidentified Object (1979), as resources for learning about public art, and discussed issues of space and context in site specific projects.

Before going out into the community, TAB members reflected on their own identities as young adults living in New York City. By creating identity maps and using Noguchi’s art as a catalyst for sharing stories about their lives, TAB members created a supportive environment for discussing issues centered on social justice. They investigated prejudices that both warrant and deny privileges such as racism, classicism, and ageism. They also considered how people are often unaware of social divisions and each other’s inequities.

TAB focused their project on bringing awareness to how people uplift and care for each other in the face of systemic inequities. They contemplated their own life experiences and thought about a time when they helped someone in a disadvantaged situation. Using these stories as motivation for their interviews, TAB visited libraries, museums, community centers, and their own schools in LIC. They asked the following questions:

• Could you share a time when you helped someone who was disadvantaged?
• How have these experiences shaped your opinions about inequity in society?
• How will you confront these injustices moving forward?

Having interviewed over 100 members of the LIC community, TAB curated twenty-six summarized stories that describe actions or thoughts towards building an equitable future. With uplifting quotes printed along the stretch of Rainey Park, Onwards aims to empower the community and ultimately strengthen the ties and bonds that unify LIC.

Onwards is a part of LIC Partnership’s LIC Arts Connection community art program.

TAB Members, 2018–19
Karen Alban • Carmen Belmonte Sandoval • Alessandro Colacito • Fede Esteves • Noah Harvey • Huihui Jia • Madeline Jhun • Artemis Motamed • Aneesa Razak • Noelle Salaun • Melissa Sanchez • Zeynep Torgut

Major support for Teen Advisory Board at The Noguchi Museum is provided by The Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation and by an anonymous donor. The program is also supported, in part, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council and from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Support for Onwards is provided by the Long Island City Partnership, Packard Café & Grill, and The Sandwich King.