Wendell: Woodhaven Art Circle puts out call for artists

Calling all local artists! The Woodhaven Art Circle has put out a call for their very first art show this fall, which they hope will become an annual staple in our community.

“Our mission is to bring the arts to our neighbors, our community and our youth,” says Mahfuza Rahman, the artist known as MSR. “We hope to root out those artists who have retreated inwards when the pandemic hit.”

“Woodhaven is full of talented artists, and through the help of the Woodhaven Cultural and Historical Society we have begun to discover and connect with each other,” MSR adds.

The Woodhaven Art Circle’s Fall Showcase is scheduled for Saturday, September 24th and will be held at Emanuel United Church of Christ on 91st Avenue and Woodhaven Boulevard. If you are interested in participating, email the Art Circle at [email protected] or follow them on Instagram at @woodhavenartcircle.

Much of the work on display will be on sale and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the School Sisters of Notre Dame Educational Center for Women, located on 88th Avenue and 87th Street in Woodhaven, to help fund their free ESL program for women.

The members of the Woodhaven Art Circle are not only excited for the opportunity to show off their skills but they are looking forward to meeting and collaborating with other like-minded artists in our community.

“Everyone has something to bring to the table,” says the artist known as Dark Reconstruction. “We want to make sure the voices and visions of marginalized and emerging creators have a platform in our neighborhood.”

Technoquilter Jennifer Lambert sees tremendous potential for our art collective and how it can impact the community. “Art is the pulse of an individual,” she says. “It can radiate and engulf a neighborhood and bring the community together, helping to understand, grow and unify our colorfully rich diverse Woodhavenneighborhood.”

Currently, the Woodhaven Art Circle consists of a few painters, muralists, a photographer, a technoquilter collage artist, a jewelry maker, a textile quitter, a published writer and poet, a musician/busker and a DJ. But there’s not only plenty of room for more artists within each discipline, the WAC is open to all forms of arts and expression.

The group is excited to see where the WAC fits into our community and how it will help local artists.

Christine Barbour, an accomplished and published poet says “An arts organization is important to the community because it takes the artist out of themselves, from behind closed doors, and allows them into a learning community of like-minded individuals where, for the most part, their creativity will soar.”

“Our mission is to encourage artists to come out and share their message with the world to help inspire, heal and motivate others to discover (or rediscover) an artistic ambition that has resided within their soul,” says artist Deborah Camp, whose work may be familiar to you as she often paints murals on the windows of local businesses.

“We hope this exhibition is going to be the catalyst for launching and sparking uplifting discussions revolving around art with the inclusion of the diverse community from the youth to the elderly of all walks of life,” Camp says.

All local artists are welcome to participate, with a focus on the local artists right here in Woodhaven. MSR sees Woodhaven as fertile ground for growth.

“Woodhaven is a community filled with different cultures and we are hoping to bring them together by sharing our different artistic expressions,” she says. “There will be several free interactive workshops including mandala making, painting, arts and crafts, and an open microphone for storytelling.”

So if you’ve been creating art and would love to show off your talent and collaborate with fellow local artists, this is a great opportunity to do so. Maybe you know someone who is very talented but just hasn’t had the chance to show off their skills. Please pass this article along to them.

This is just the start of a movement here in Woodhaven, a movement driven by creatives and artists. It will be interesting to check back with them in the near future to see how well they are developing!

Arts & culture alive and well in Woodhaven

If you’re a fan of arts, culture and music, there’s a lot to look forward to in Woodhaven during the month of June.
On Monday, June 21, starting at 3 p.m., the Woodhaven Business Improvement District (WBID) is partnering with Make Music New York to bring the streets of Woodhaven live with the sound of music.
Held annually on the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, Make Music New York sponsors pop-up concerts all over New York City. This year, you will be able to see live music at Forest Parkway and Jamaica Avenue.
“We are very excited to participate in Make Music New York 2021,” says Raquel Olivares, executive director of the WBID. “After a very challenging year, we feel this event will help us bring some normalcy and much-needed entertainment to Jamaica Avenue.”
There will be a few different musical acts, and the local artists the Woodhaven Cultural & Historical Society has been spotlighting here in the pages of the Leader-Observer and through online events will be there.
We’re hoping some more local talent from Woodhaven will introduce themselves to us and join our growing roster of artists.
Deborah Camp, who is well known around Woodhaven for her window paintings on businesses, will be there, as will Jennifer Lambert Technoquilter showing off some of her collages and designs.
And you can ask Louise Naples all about the interesting process of making and designing quilts.
Other participating artists include Woodhaven poet Christine Barbour, musician Matt “The Reverend Matty F” Faccenda, and Woodhaven artist Mahfuza Shammy Rahman (MSR).
Some big news is that MSR will be holding an art show in Woodhaven at Geordie’s Joint on the corner of 80th Street and Jamaica Avenue (79-19 Jamaica Avenue). The launch of this exhibit will be on Saturday, June 26, at 3 p.m.
There will be a brief ceremony at 4 p.m., and if you attend you will be able to enjoy an “MSR,” a new drink created in honor of the artist and the exhibit. I don’t recall what was in it, but I plan to have three of four of them!
And if you miss the opening, MSR’s work will be on display at Geordie’s Joint through July 3.
When we profiled MSR in this paper in March, we noted her interest in holding a show at Geordie’s.
“I love Geordie’s and think it would be a great venue for a show,” MSR said.
Together, we met with Geordie and Trish, owners of Geordie’s Joint, and planned out the show. Geordie and Trish could not have been more excited or accommodating to us, and it’s going to be really interesting to see Geordie’s interior transformed into an art gallery.
And we hope other business owners around Woodhaven will stop by and see if what we accomplish there can be duplicated in other establishments. We are building a roster of artists and we would love to show off their work.
The Woodhaven Cultural & Historical Society has been well known for its promotion of our community’s past. The emphasis on arts and culture is also part of our mission and an embrace of the future.
As life begins a return to normalcy, it will be nice to look for opportunities like this to gather and enjoy each other’s company again.

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