Engaging Artists at the Queens Museum

Engaging Artists Projects

Engaging Artists at the Queens Museum

The Engaging Artists exhibition showcased the work of eight NYC-based first generation and foreign born artists, who participated in the Engaging Artists program. Using grassroots volunteering as a driving force for their art, their projects aimed to connect with aging populations through multilingual art-making, recreation activities, and conversations. This exhibit documented critical issues related to aging, health, home, and isolation, and fostered inter-generational exchange and diverse artistic perspectives on the challenges of aging and immigration in NYC.
Multiple Artists – Engaging Artists at Queens Museum

February 7–27th, 2016.



Queens Museum Community Partnership Gallery



Sunday, February 7, 2016 (2:00-3:30pm)
Artist Talk: Art + Inter-generational Exchange

Sunday, February 14, 2016 (1:00-4pm)
Family Art-making: “Memory Mats” Weaving past and present

Saturday, February 27, 2016 (4-6pm)
Engaging Artists Closing Reception + Live Performance


Soi Park, selections from Young Geong Sajin (Prearranged Funeral Portrait), Digital CPrints, 2015. Installation view at "Engaging Artists at the Queens Museum," 2016.
  • Project description
  • About the artist
Michelle Melo, Especies Migrantes, various textiles, 5 panel quilt, 2016

The Engaging Artists exhibition featured the work of eight NYC-based first generation and foreign born artists, who participated in the Engaging Artists program. The works emerged from grassroots volunteering as a catalyst for social practice. In 2015, More Art’s Engaging Artist participants developed long-term projects to connect with aging populations through multilingual art-making projects, recreation activities, and conversations at nursing homes and community centers in their home neighborhoods—from Flushing, Queens to Crown Heights, Brooklyn.

This exhibit featured works that served as documentation and response to critical issues associated with aging, health, home, and isolation through the lens of contemporary art. Engaging Artists fostered inter-generational exchange and diverse artistic perspectives on the challenges associated with aging and immigration in New York City.

Featuring artwork by Annie Kurz, Aurélien Grèzes, Christie Neptune, Hidemi Takagi, Michelle Melo, Sara Meghdari, Soi Park, and Uday K. Dhar. The closing reception featured a live composition and dance performance by Alon Nechushtan and Andrew Nemr.

Download the press release here


Multiple Artists – Engaging Artists at Queens Museum

Annie Kurz is a Hungaro-German interdisciplinary artist and designer currently working and living in Süßen, a small town near Stuttgart, Germany. Born in 1980 in Satu Mare Romanian, she holds a degree in textile and fashion design and an MA in Design, Fine Art Conception from Reutlingen University and studied art history and philosophy at Eberhard Karls Universität, Tübingen in 2011.

Aurélien Grèzes is a multidisciplinary artist working mainly in video. In his work he searches for the intriguing and confusing shapes that involve perceptual issues. Frictions occur between reality and appearances. Boundaries with fiction remain unclear. Having a particular interest in the relation between the work of art and the spectator, the artist tries to shape unexpected and singular connections. He attempts to embody works that are neither closed nor static. Beyond what they show, Grèzes focuses on the sensations they produce: absorption, detachment, strain, floating, etc. He imagines the experience of the viewer to look like a destabilizing flow, that brings him closer to or away from the work— striving to make the spectator feel powerless to grasp what he is facing or to determine at what they are “really” looking.

Christie Neptune is an Interdisciplinary Artist working across video, photography, sculpture, and performance arts. Her work investigates the spatial-temporal articulations of identity, place and historical cultural memory. Neptune utilizes the quiet of black subjectivity, disparate industrial materials, and varied processes of abstraction and assemblage to contest and dismantle infrastructural networks of hegemonic power embedded within space.

Hidemi Takagi was born in Kyoto, Japan and lives in Brooklyn, NY. Takagi has exhibited both nationally and internationally (London, Madrid, Tel Aviv, Berlin, and Paris). Her notable selected exhibitions include the Bronx Museum of the Arts, Queens Museum, BRIC Media Art Center, and the Nathan Cummings Foundation.

Born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia, Michelle Melo is an artist living and working in New York. Her work has been shown internationally including South America, Europe and The United States.

Sara Z. Meghdari (b. 1988 in Karaj, Iran) is an Iranian-American Interdisciplinary artist based in Brooklyn, NY. Meghdari holds a MFA in Photography, Video & Related Media from the School of Visual Arts and a B.A in Communication from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. She has been twice awarded the Alice Beck-Odette Scholarship Award as well as the Thomas Reiss Memorial Award. Meghdari is an alumna of the Female Engaging Artist Residency Series (FEARS) at the University of Colorado and the Engaging Artists Residency Program with the More-Art Organization.

Soi Park is an artist from Seoul, Korea, currently living and working in New York. Her work has been exhibited at the 14th Dong Gang International Photo Festival in Gangwon, South Korea, CUE Art Foundation and the Pennsylvania College of Art & Design Faculty Biennial; at New Insight at Art Chicago. She received her MFA and the Alice Kimball English Traveling Fellowship from Yale in 2011.

Uday K. Dhar was trained as an architect, earning his B.A. at Columbia College, Columbia University, and an M.A. at the Graduate School of Architecture and Planning, Columbia University. He received the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant (2005-2006) and the Weir Farm Trust Grant (2006), and is a former fellow of the Vermont Studio Center, MacDowell Colony, and Yaddo. Dhar's works are held in numerous private collections and have been exhibited globally including the African American Museum, Philadelphia, PA (2016), FLUX Art Fair, New York (2015), the Whittier Center, Boston, MA (2014), the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York (2014), LeRoy Neiman Gallery, New York (2013), Gallery Art & Soul, Mumbai, India, (2013), Figment, Governor's Island, New York (2012) and the Queens Museum, New York (2011).

  • Public Programs
  • Community Engagement
  • Partners and Supporters

Sunday, February 7, 2016 (2:00-3:30pm)
Artist Talk: Art + Inter-generational Exchange

moderated by Silvia Juliana Mantilla Ortiz, IMI Corona Community Organizer and Artist Services Coordinator, Queen Museum

Engaging Artists Residents discussed the challenges of working with aging immigrant populations. The event was co-produced by More Art and Artist Volunteer Center and a part of the ArtsEverywhere/Musagetes Artist Round Table (A.RT) series. A.RT was a platform that proposed new models for bridging artistic and scientific methods. Artist speakers included: Hidemi Takagi, Andrew Nemr, Guido Garaycochea, Aurélien Grèzes, and Raul Ayala. 

Sunday, February 7, 2016 (3:30-5:30pm)
Engaging Artists Opening Reception

Meeting with the exhibiting artists to learn more about their experience process of working with seniors throughout NYC.

Sunday, February 14, 2016 (1:00-4pm)
Family Art-making: “Memory Mats” Weaving past and present

More Art teaching artists led a textile-based collage activity. Both children and adults (ages 4+) were encouraged to design a set of drawn symbols and brief descriptions of memories on patches of textured fabric. Families used thread and yarn to weave these patches together, incorporating multi-generational perspectives into a single memory mat. The final object was both decorative and used at family meals.

Saturday, February 27, 2016 (4-6pm)
Engaging Artists Closing Reception + Live Performance

Engaging Artist residents Alon Nechushtan and Andrew Nemr presented Duologue – a cross-cultural exploration of music and percussive dance traditions. They engaged in a constant flow of musical information, rhythmic and ethnic cultural references, and morphed in a contrapuntal dialogue. Native of Israel, Nechushtan brought a few modal surprises from his homeland to this project, while Nemr, from a Lebanese heritage, found complementary rhythmic input to complete the cycle.

We thank the Artist Volunteer Center for facilitating volunteer opportunities in community organizations such as: Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration, Marcy Plaza Farmers Market (Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn), Brooklyn Gardens Nursing & Rehabilitation Center (Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn), Gaylord Senior Center (Harlem, Manhattan), India Home at Sunnyside Community Center for Active Adults (Sunnyside, NY), Institute for the Puerto Rican/Hispanic Elderly – Carver Senior Center (East Harlem, Manhattan), Jefferson Senior Center (Harlem, Manhattan) The Korean-American Senior Citizens Society of Greater NY (Flushing, NY), The New Homestead Home (Kew Gardens, NY), Prospect Hills Senior Center (Crown Heights, Brooklyn) Saint Teresa of Avila Senior Apartments (Crown Heights, Brooklyn), Queens Community House, Kew Gardens Senior Center (Kew Gardens, NY), Washington-Lexington Senior Center (East Harlem, Manhattan)

Engaging Artists was produced by More Art in partnership with Artist Volunteer Center (AV Center). The Program was supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with City Council. In-kind programming space provided by School of Visual Arts (SVA) and subsidized studio space provided by Industry City.

Partners and Supporters