You are reading

Queens Students Unveil Social Action Bench Murals at Flushing Meadows Corona Park

Bench painted by students from P.S. 124 Osmond A Church (Photo courtesy of Center for Educational Innovation)

June 10, 2022 By Alexandra Adelina Nita 

Queens students from seven different schools have hand-painted several park benches at Flushing Meadows Corona Park as a means to address social issues such as racism, gun violence, gender inequality, homelessness, anti-LGBTQIA discrimination and environmental justice.

The artwork, which the students unveiled earlier this month, with be on display at the park until Sept. 16—and is located along New York Avenue by the entrance to the Pitch and Putt Golf Course.

The benches were painted as part of a citywide student arts residency program called CEI Benchmarks: Youth Setting the Standard– a program developed by the nonprofit Center For Educational Innovation.

The students from Queens who were part of the program attend the following schools: Catherine and Count Basie MS 72; Virgil I. Grissom JHS 226; Louis F. Simeone PS 7; Queens Transition Center 752; Osmond A Church PS/MS 124; The Lorraine Tuzzo, Juniper Valley Elementary School PS 128; and The Riverview School 277.

Students in the program participated in instruction on the history of public art and its relationship with activism. They also had an opportunity to lead peer workshops and meet with guest artists. This year’s guest artists were Domingo Zapata, Federico Solmi and Jordan Seaberry.

Zapata is a Neo-Expressionist painter and sculptor. Solmi is a multimedia artist whose work critiques American society through a dystopian lens. Seaberry is a painter and organizer for prisoners’ rights who received a Rhode Island Foundation fellowship in 2017.

The culmination of the program began with a kickoff event on May 26 at Washington Square Park in Manhattan. It was followed by the formal unveiling of the benches on June 3. Benches were not only painted in Flushing Meadows Corona Park but also in select locations in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Manhattan.

The program’s coordinators emphasized the importance of the arts to students.

“In this current climate, young people need a public platform to express themselves on current social issues in a constructive, creative and powerful way, so they can join the conversation and make a difference in our world,” said Alexandra Leff, the creator of CEI Benchmarks and CEI Executive Director of Arts Education.

Students discussed their artwork and what inspired it during the unveiling.

“Our bench is about inequality” said students Ava McBeatch and Gabriella Giampa from The Lorraine Tuzzo, Juniper Valley Elementary School.

“We think it’s not fair how people of different nationalities, genders, or skin colors are treated differently. It was fun to make this bench together, to meet new people, to work together and talk to each other.”

Bench painted by students from The Lorraine Tuzzo, Juniper Valley Elementary School. (Photo courtesy of Center for Educational Innovation)

Bench painted by students from P.S. 124 Osmond A Church (Photo courtesy of Center for Educational Innovation)

Bench painted by students from Q752 Queens Transition Center (Photo courtesy of Center for Educational Innovation)

email the author: news@queenspost.com
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Preserving Tradition, Embracing Innovation: A Journey through Katz’s Delicatessen

May. 22, 2024 by Jill Carvajal

In this episode of Schneps Connects, we delve into the captivating history and enduring legacy of Katz’s Delicatessen, a cherished institution in New York City since 1888. Jake Dell, the fifth-generation custodian of Katz’s, joins us to recount the deli’s evolution amidst the ever-changing landscape of NYC. From its iconic “Send a Salami to Your Boy in the Army” campaign to the traditional ticket system, Jake shares insights into the family business and invaluable lessons for entrepreneurs, especially in the demanding restaurant industry of NYC. He unveils some of Katz’s secrets, including the meticulous pastrami-making process that sets them apart, and discusses the enduring allure that keeps customers lining up daily. From expanding catering services to international shipping, Jake reflects on the milestones and challenges of running Katz’s, highlighting his proudest achievements and future aspirations. With a nod to its celebrity following and film appearances, Jake offers a glimpse into the deli’s cultural impact and what lies ahead for this beloved New York institution.

Brooklyn man who was cleared in the murder of 14-year-old girl, indicted for attempted murder of teen in Middle Village last July: DA

A Brooklyn man who had a murder conviction vacated by the Queens District Attorney’s Office in November 2022 was indicted in connection to a fatal shooting in Middle Village.

Shamel Capers, 24, of Herzl Street, was arraigned Tuesday in Queens Supreme Court on an indictment charging him with attempted murder and Dante Hunter, 25, of Mott Avenue in Far Rockaway, was arraigned Monday on an indictment charging with murder and other crimes in the fatal shooting of 19-year-old Joshua Taylor in Middle Village last July.