AnkhLave Arts Alliance at Queens Botanical Garden
On exhibit through September 8
AnkhLave Arts Alliance, Inc. works to to highlight black, indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) in contemporary art. AnkhLave has selected six female Queens-based artists of color, the 2020 AnkhLave Garden Fellows, to create site specific art installations within the grounds of Queens Botanical Garden (QBG). They consist of five immigrant artists and one first-generation US citizen. Due to COVID-19, AnkhLave Arts Alliance, Inc. interviewed them and recorded their social distanced art installations for a virtual audience.
By presenting artists and art-making in a nontraditional setting like the QBG, AnkhLave aims to promote BIPOC artists who represent and reflect the Garden’s visiting audience.
This project is made possible by the Queens Council on the Arts with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the New York City Council.
1. Asano Agarie Gomez
Location: Across from the Annual Garden
Asano Agarie Gomez creates a rose garden which mimics nature while using artificial materials and bright colors in order to investigate the concept of “otherness” in relation to the garden environment. The juxtaposition between her use of the artificial and the garden environment highlights both the differences and commonality between the natural environment and the human creative experience.
Asano Agarie Gomez is a Japanese born artist based in Queens. She creates large mixed media sculptural paintings using fabric, pigment, sewing, painting and drawing. She has exhibited her work in galleries including Chelsea, Lower East Side, Long Island City, Brooklyn, Long Island and Tokyo, Japan. She is a recipient of Therese Ralston McCabe Connor Awards NY, 2016, LIC-A residency program, NY, 2018. Agarie Gomez holds a BA from Lehman College, and MFA from City College of New York.
CLICK to learn more about Agarie Gomez and her work.
2. Cecilia André
“Blossom” and “Rainbow Squared”
Locations: Crabapple Grove and Entrance to the Green Roof
In Cecilia André’s work, incidental sun light traverses color transparencies projecting shadows on to the ground. Patches of color intensify or fade depending on the sun’s intensity. Participants can bathe in colored light and transform themselves under it. André is inspired by the transcendence of stained glass and the versatility of assemblage. Hand stitching brings these traditions together and evokes the realm of feminine expressions of the past.
Cecilia André is a Brazilian artist residing in NYC for 28 years, coming from a family of Lebanese immigrants to Brazil. She has a BFA and a BAE from FAAP in São Paulo. In the US, she has studied at the New York Studio School, Pratt Institute, and School of Visual Arts. She has had solo exhibitions at Gallery OneTwentyEight in the Lower East Side, Plaxall Gallery in Long Island City, and Bellas Artes Gallery in St. Louis, MO. She has participated in four editions of the NYC Figment Arts Festival on Governors Island with outdoor installations and made numerous outdoor pieces for two residency programs in Brazil: Instituto Baia dos Vermelhos and Artfarmproject.
CLICK to learn more about André and her work.
3. Natali Bravo-Barbee
“Flores de Femicidio (Femicide Florals)”
Location: Perennial Garden
Natali Bravo-Barbee’s project “Flores de Femicidio (Femicide Florals)” examines gender-based violence against women in Argentina.
In 2019, the rate of women murdered based on their gender was
one murder every 27 hours. “Flores de Femicidio” investigates and documents the rising numbers of femicides occurring in Argentina during the entire year of 2019. Each cyanotype flower represents a specific victim of femicide, who is memorialized with a label that honors each woman by her name. At QBG, Bravo-Barbee creates a large cyanotype paper flower surrounded by smaller cyanotype ferns, and tags with information honoring the many women that have met violent endings at the hands of a loved one.
Natali Sabina Bravo-Barbee was born in Córdoba, Argentina and creates works at the boundary of photography and sculpture. Bravo-Barbee has been photographing her world since the age of fifteen, incorporating alternative processes such as cyanotype into her practice. The artist’s practice uncovers lived memories of her family’s flight from Argentina while simultaneously investigating post-colonial and feminist topics. Bravo-Barbee holds an MFA from City College, CUNY and a BA, Studio Art from Hunter College, CUNY. She lives and works in Queens, New York and is on the committee of the Southeast Queens Artist Alliance (SEQAA).
4. Kayo Shido
Location: Green Roof
Inspired by a Japanese Dry Garden, the space is installed with sculptural rocks made of abstract paintings on Mylar and a large painting along the skylight railing creating a backdrop for the Green Roof plantings. Mylar, a drafting film, is durable enough to shape into three dimensional form to be exhibited outdoors.
Kayo Shigo was born in Hyogo, Japan upon graduating from Saga Art College in Kyoto, she came to New York to study painting at Art Student League, New York Studio School and School of Visual Arts. She is actively creating abstract paintings, murals, installations, The Iceland Project – drawing and collage with landscape photographs of Iceland, and exhibiting her work in New York. Her work has been exhibited at Govenor’s Island, Walter Wickiser Gallery, One Art Space, Site:Brooklyn, 440 Gallery, Plaxall Gallery, Tenri Gallery, Denise Bibro Gallery, WAH Center and St. Paul the Apostle Church in New York and Dab Art in LA.
5. Christine Sloan Stoddard
“Rabbit’s Storytelling Throne”
Rabbit’s Storytelling Throne is a fanciful installation that celebrates storytelling and the place rabbits hold in folk traditions around the world. Made largely from recycled and salvaged materials, the piece pays homage to QBG’s landfill history.
Christine Sloan Stoddard is a Salvadoran-American author, artist, and film/theatre-maker. She is the founder of Quail Bell Press
& Productions, which most recently published Her Plumage, an anthology of women’s writings, and is currently working on an anthology of contemporary Black writing. Above all, Christine loves telling stories, through imaginings often merged across media. Most of her work is fictional, parafictional, dramatic, and poetic. Her single author books include Heaven is a Photograph, Naomi & The Reckoning, Desert Fox by the Sea, Belladonna Magic, Water for the Cactus Woman, and other titles. She is a Visible Poetry Project filmmaker, Table Work Press award-winning playwright, and Puffin Foundation emerging artist. She was the first-ever artist- in-residence at Lenox Hill Neighborhood House in Manhattan and Brooklyn Public Library-Eastern Parkway Branch.
6. Mariana T. Vilas Boas
“Marielle Franco Presente!”
Location: Crabapple Grove
This portrait of Marielle Franco is an homage to her life and work. Marielle was murdered on March 14th, 2018 while returning from a speech. She was a politician, a feminist, and human rights activist fighting against police brutality in Brazil. Her murderers were never found. Mixing her portrait with that of the crabapple trees it is a way to say “Marielle presente!”
Mariana Tonini Vilas Boas is a digital and traditional artist from Curitiba, Brazil working and residing in Queens. She has a BA in Graphic Design by the University of Paraná in Brazil and currently is part of the Art Education masters program at City College of New York. Mariana is an anthropologist by heart, she is fascinated by human nature and she seeks to understand and look for extraordinary human beings. She focuses her work on producing portraits of people of interest.
To learn more about Queens Botanical Garden’s Art in the Garden, click here.