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Online Exhibition: Artwork from Southeast Queens Biennial

Since the 2020 Southeast Queens Biennial was interrupted by COVID-19, JCAL is inviting audiences to view the exhibition online to explore the breadth of perspectives that Queens artists bring:

"Statistics document the impressive ethnic and cultural diversity of Queens but, for those who live here, numbers appear hollow and rhetorical. What is it like to live/work/playlike to live/work/play within culture-fluid communities that are still becoming "home" for its residents? The 2020 Southeast Queens Biennial curators, Molaundo Jones and Margaret Rose Vendryes, invited ten artists with a significant connection to Queens to address literacy, identity, and environment with work that investigates ways of being an integral part of the borough’s fabric through visual art. Exhibitions at the York College Fine Arts Gallery and the Miller Gallery at JCAL present work in a variety of media that can be read in more ways than one. Allowing for open-ended definitions of literacy, identity, and environment, Queens artists compliment, and complicate, New York City life through visual narratives that are like WRITING HOME." - SEQB Exhibition Statement

Participating artists: Jessica Alazraki, Christy Bencosme, Yarisa Colón Torres, Audrey Dimola, Nicholas Fraser, Jacqueline Herranz-Brooks, Jinyu Lu, William Jackson, Julian Luis Phillips, Tiger White.

Jessica Alazraki

Long Island City

My figurative portraits convey everyday stories of colorful characters. These are confronting the viewer, without interacting with each other, instead submerged in their own personal psyche. The narratives are based in ordinary and familiar scenes of Latino family life, highlighting the influence of American culture and implying indirect political political statements. The strong presence of primitive and naive style connects the works to folklore elements and Mexican crafts.

Composition and color are prominent in the paintings; I opt for the placement of the elements versus the realistic quality of the form. My intention is to break traditional viewing rules and come up with unpredictable pictures. Laws of perspectives and anatomy are altered thus creating distortions and exaggerations and ultimately prioritizing emotion over objective reality. Humor, nostalgia, patterns and decorative elements play an important role in the compositions.

The light source is not clear, nor consistent, and color enters the painting in radical, aggressive ways delivering emotion. Within the representational figures, abstracted forms appear. This subtle abstraction brings forth the social condition of the Latino, both defined and abstracted in the US.


Under the Table

2019, acrylic on plastic tablecloth.

Two Girls

2019, acrylic on tablecloth.

Christy Bencosme


This installation responds to living in a nation that directly oppresses one's identity. With red, white and blue representing America but also the colors of the Dominican flag, culture is questioned when identifying how American one wants to be. With the three words from the Dominican coat of arms, viewers are invited to place a grain of rice in the can that best represents their oppression during the Trump administration.

Please use the following representation for your grain of rice:

Dios= God; religious practices; faith

Patria= Homeland; patriotism; citizenship

Libertad= Liberty; freedom; autonomy


Holding onto Heritage in Trump's Amerikkka

2020, plaster, El Diario newspaper, rice, food coloring, Goya metal cans, acrylic paint, mop frills, screws, wire.

Julian Louis Phillips


Slogan is an installation of drawings from my video performance Lesson No. 1. In this work, I wanted to investigate my own feelings towards political advertising and fill an absence of messaging I wish I was seeing. By utilizing the graphic layout of political candidate placards and the hastiness of protest signs I want to question where this language intersects and departs from one another. In Lesson No. 1, which is at the other location of the Southeast Queens Biennial - York College, I invite the audience to make their own placards through "drawing lessons" and replace their work with my own during the course of the exhibition.



2020, paper, acrylic ink, nails.

Tiger White

Far Rockaway

My story is still being written: minute by minute, day by day, month by month, year by year... one vision at a time. I draw inspiration from my chronic illness, Systematic Lupus. I strive to influence Lupus Awareness through photography by creating campaigns that tell the story of others who share my illness.


(On the left)


2017, digital photograph.

(On the right)

Lupus Awareness 2017, digital photograph.

Check out the full exhibition here!

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