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Artist in Residency


Resident of Jamaica Queens for more than 20 years, Emmett Wigglesworth is a muralist, painter, sculptor, fabric designer and poet who has been creating for over six decades. He was born in Philadelphia, PA, where he attended the College of Art and later enlisted in the military service and honorably discharged from the U. S. Marine Corp. in 1957. Wigglesworth has designed and illustrated several books and magazines for various publishing companies including Harper and Row, McGraw Hill, Macmillan Press, American Books and Sesame Street magazine. He has written poetry which he combines with his printmaking. He produced a documentary on aging, while simultaneously designing the covers for two volumes of the Journal of Black Poetry. He has also taught art at the New Muse in Brooklyn, the J.O.I.N. Center, the Children's Art Carnival, the Harlem Parents Association in Manhattan and for a number of special programs for the Board of Education, where he taught academics through art.

In 1959 Wigglesworth began his participation in the Civil Rights movement and in the early 1960's he worked with the CORE Freedom School in Selma, AL teaching art. During that same period he wrote and directed two plays for the CORE Freedom Theater in San Francisco, CA. In 1968 he designed the interior and exterior of the Bedford Stuyvesant Theater in Brooklyn. In addition, he has designed costumes and stage sets for the Black Spectrum Theater in Queens, NY. Wigglesworth has exhibited in Ghana, and throughout the U.S. His mural commissions include private homes, PS 181 Elementary School in Brooklyn, NY, the NY Cultural Council, Metropolitan Transit Authority, Kings County Hospital, Abyssinian Development Corporation and the Brooklyn New York Children's Center. Wigglesworth is a member of the National Conference of Artists, the WeUsi Artists NYC, Association of Caribbean and American Artists, AAA Artists and Cross Sections, the Fulton Art Fair Artists, as well as the Artists in Transition.

Artist Statement:

“It seems that in a time of materialism, self-interest and self-gratification to the extreme, the purpose of life has been too is the purpose of talent. The enhancement of humanity gives life and talent meaning. It is my hope and prayer that by using my talent in a functional way, I can remind humanity of the need to search for, and put into practice, spiritual truth.”

In conversation with Emmett Wigglesworth

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Housed in the former Queens Registry of Titles and Deeds, JCAL's Basement Studio will allow artists the time and space to create a body of new work. JCAL is excited to announce a selective one (1) Year Long-Term Residency Program for established and mid-career artists. Visual Artists, social activists, cultural doers, writers, and collaboratives are encouraged to apply.

This opportunity seeks a way to engage and foster growth with the community of Jamaica, Queens; to use art as a spark for conversation, action, and reaction. Applicants should have a mature body of work and a thoroughly thought out proposal. Inserting the presence of a working artist in JCAL's space creates a platform to witness the process of art-making and encourage direct visitor access and participation. JCAL seeks artists with themes relating to, using mediums and technology in new ways, and developing work that is relevant to the contemporary changing landscape. 

Opportunities for public programs are encouraged, the public will have access to the Basement Studio when the Artist is present. The Long Term Resident is encouraged to work or perform in JCAL's public spaces, lobby, or exterior facade (weather permitting) during their studio hours. The residency provides recipients with 1 year of free work space in JCAL's semi-private studios (an estimated value of $500/month). The residency and programs will cumulate into a Solo Exhibition at the end of the cycle. Applications will be reviewed by a panel of Curators, Artists, and JCAL administrators. 

Proposals must Include:

  • A well thought-out concept with short or long-term goals

    • Can include how the artist/s will use mediums and technology in new ways; how the work is relevant to the contemporary changing landscape; how the work will engage audiences who may have limited exposure to the field of fine art and to encourage visitors in returning; and how the work is relevant to the community of Jamaica, Queens.

  • A timeline of the weekly/monthly/semester public component, which may be a single event or gradually build up over time.

(718) 658-7400


161-04 Jamaica Ave,
Jamaica, NY 11432, USA


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