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Everything you need to know about our next Exhibition


On view: Sept. 17 - Oct. 21, 2020 at JCAL.org/artworks-2020

And by appointment at JCAL’s Miller Gallery

161-04 Jamaica Ave, Jamaica, NY 11432


Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning (JCAL) is pleased to announce the opening of the first of two culminating exhibitions for ARTWorks, JCAL’s year-long professional development fellowship for emerging artists, generously supported by the Jerome Foundation. The exhibition will be on view online at JCAL.org/artworks-2020 and by appointment at JCAL’s Miller Gallery.

ARTWorks serves New York City’s emerging and underrepresented artists (with priority given to Queens-based artists) through a studio residency and professional training seminar series in cultural entrepreneurial skills, with educational workshops and a hands-on practicum. ARTWorks stands for Artist Residency and Training Workshops and is a two tiered program: two Resident Fellows receive a stipend of $10,000 each, a full-time studio at JCAL, access to the ARTWorks Seminar Series and a curated two-person exhibition; up to 10 Seminar Fellows are invited to access the Seminar Series, and receive an exhibition stipend and group show. The goal is for the Fellows to walk away with knowledge for a successful self-fulfilled arts career in a range of fields, from self-defined and emergent, to existing competitive marketplaces.

The program culminates in the two exhibitions and a catalog of works created or curated during the ARTWorks fellowship period. First is the group exhibition for the Seminar Fellows beginning on Sept. 17 at JCAL’s Miller Gallery, with an exhibition for the two Resident Fellows to follow on October 29.

Many of the original plans for ARTWorks 2020 were interrupted by COVID-19 in the spring, but the program adapted to virtual meetings to continue supporting the artists through challenging times. Now, JCAL is excited to reopen its galleries to celebrate the end of the program while continuing to adapt to the new norms of social distancing and expanded digital access. A virtual exhibition will accompany the physical installation, and an Artist Talk will be live-streamed via JCAL’s Youtube channel on October 7, 6-8pm.

Eight artists will exhibit works in Art as Self-Reflection: ARTWorks 2020 Group Show -- Julia Forrest, Monnero Guervil, Angela Miskis, Dario Mohr, MO$H MALi, Nancy Paredes, Megan Roper and Marie E. Saint-Cyr.

In-person visits to the gallery can be reserved for Sat., Sept. 19, 26, and Oct. 10 and 17. Saint-Cyr will be in-person at JCAL on the Sept. 19th, Paredes on Sept. 26th. Miskis will be present in the gallery Oct. 10 and Roper on Oct. 17. To reserve a time for a visit, or for more information and the latest updates, visit jcal.org/artworks-2020.

The following curatorial statement highlights some close affinities between the artists’ ideas and artworks. It is an introductory summary of the complexities that each artist unravels in their art:

  • Julia Forrest’s photographs capture women performing in mother nature to highlight their enigmatic ability to change the landscape at will.

  • Monnero Guervil expresses the experience Carribean immigrants by organizing domino games, highlighting their hope for improving their quality of life and emphasizing their values: recognition, joy, privacy, faith, community, service, creativity, wealth, honesty, love, growth, knowledge, justice, diversity, security, sacrifice, wisdom, truth, health, and freedom.

  • By recycling household materials such as cardboard or plastic waste, Angela Miskis’ two-dimensional work symbolically represents her immigrant experience of synthesizing American and Ecuadorian cultures to grow beyond perceived boundaries of the two cultures.

  • Dario Mohr creates from a place of veneration in his installations, which include interactive sanctuaries and effigies. His work explores spiritual meaning and new ways of perceiving “sacred spaces” through the use of contemporary non-religious symbols, objects and materials.

  • In MO$H MALi’s conceptual work of combined media, they blur the boundaries between fine art and fashion, and portray the Black queer experience, exploring ways of empowering the Black community.

  • Nancy Paredes also works in photography, documenting objects from daily surroundings and preserving her memories and stories of them, specifically focusing on their similitude to natural landscapes.

  • Exploring the relationship between chance and choice, Megan Roper allows chance operations and makes choices to create her textile patchwork. She combines her stories with those of other people that are left in the found or donated fabrics.

  • Marie E. Saint-Cyr’s paintings resemble collages and represent urban landscapes with vibrant imagery to reflect the strength and vitality of Haitian people, challenging what urban dwellers conventionally perceive as reality.


Most of the group regard their art-making activities as a critical channel for self-reflection or as a moment in which they look back at themselves -- thus the title, Art as Self-Reflection. The term here means an activity of trying to find/define identity by means of cultural or educational backgrounds, childhood memories, or the given situation in which the artist finds themselves at the present time.

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