Sept. 8, 2015 By Jackie Strawbridge
Dozens of interactive public art pieces will launch across Queens next week for the second annual Queens Art Intervention.
The event runs September 19 and 20 and is presented by RPGA Studio, a nonprofit that addresses community issues with creative projects.
About 30 artists will bring pieces and performances to sites throughout the borough, including more than 10 spots in western Queens.
According to RPGA Studio, Long Island City will host an environmental dance performance and DJ lesson; a poet will write personalized poems at Socrates Sculpture Park; a “Walking Art” tour will pass through subway stations in Jackson Heights.
Yvonne Shortt, RPGA Studio executive director, described two primary motivations behind the curation of the Arts Intervention: diversity and community engagement.
“We wanted to have artists from all over Queens, and we wanted artists to be having their projects all over Queens,” she said.
She estimated that about 90 percent of participating artists are living in or near the communities they will exhibit in. About 10 percent of the artists come from outside Queens.
Shortt also noted that not everyone participating in the event is a professional artist. RPGA sent out proposals to yoga studios, restaurants, and others with skills to share.
The Queens Art Intervention is “not just from a [art] studio perspective,” she said. “There can be an artistic component to everything that you do.”
Henna body art, flash mobs and educational card games will be represented during the event.
Regarding community engagement, Shortt said that participating artists will be collaborating with, interacting with, or educating the public in their work. Essentially, the goal is to enliven public spaces for the people that live nearby.
The intended audience of the show is not tourists or professionals, Shortt explained, but passersby.
“People are just going to happen by. They’re going to be walking down their street, and they’re going to say, ‘what’s that?” she explained. “Our reason is truly to make you happy, to make you smile, to make you stop what you’re thinking about, and maybe sit down for a moment and have a pleasant conversation with another community member.”
A Queens Art Intervention map is available online here.