Queens Art Express
We checked in with Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie for more insight into her artistic endeavors.
What are some career highlights of the past year?
Getting to meet students and dedicated educators across the country. I have read poetry and conducted creative writing workshops at universities in Ohio, North Carolina, Texas, Missouri, and Oklahoma over the last several months. I also visited a high school in Whitehall, New York. These journeys have made me a lot more hopeful about the future. There are talented, creative people who are engaging in making this world a more livable place. I feel as though I have family and allies everywhere. Having a letter I wrote to a young poet published on the HER KIND blog [sponsored by VIDA: Women in Literary Arts] has been really special for me. That is a piece of non-fiction that comes from my heart, and I hope can guide younger poets and remind those of us struggling to be heard why we do this. Getting to be one of the poets who opened for Amiri Baraka when he read at the Afrikan Poetry Theatre was a highlight, too.
What is your creative process?
It starts with a feeling, a song, an event, a longing—a stirring of some sort. Then I sit down and let that stirring come out on the page. I always write poetry by hand first. Then I go back over it. Reading it aloud has become an important part of the editing process (I learned this from hearing the poet Sonia Sanchez talk), and so I read the poem out loud and edit. Then I usually let it simmer in my journal for a while. I’ll go back to look at it days or weeks later and decide whether or not the piece is salvageable. If it is, I’ll type it and edit it some more. Now my process is totally different because I am involved in a thing called 30/30, where I write a poem and share it with a group of poets doing the same thing. Then I just write the poem, type it, and send it out. We are not supposed to edit. Scary stuff on one hand, liberating on the other. Doing 30/30 has shown me that writing is not about inspiration, it is about sitting down and being available, listening to what is already there in you that needs to be written down. It’s about doing the work.
Finding the time to nurture your talent and practice your craft is a challenge amid real world demands. How do you juggle it all?
Ah, balance. I was just telling a group of students I don’t think I have any real balance. I just do my best to be present in whatever it is I am doing. That is the best that I can do. If I am teaching, I am fully present in the classroom. When I am with my daughters, I don’t do schoolwork or spend all my time staring at my phone or the computer, I do my best to truly be with them. My husband and I work together, so we have to be careful not to allow work to dominate our interactions, but we support each other a great deal and laugh together a lot. I read something that said you don’t have balance in a day or month, but you get it over time. So if I spend three days away from home, I’ll spend the weekend with my family. And for part of the summer, I shut the world out. It’s just the family at camp, enjoying life. Oh, I also meditate every day. That has been a critical component of my self-care.
Describe how writing poetry makes you feel.
Writing poetry makes time stop. It feels as though everything outside falls away. Everything is blurry but the poem is clear. I feel very clear after I finish a poem.
What are you looking forward to?
I am looking forward to my vacation. Being able to spend time taking care of plants is one of the joys of my year. I am also excited about my upcoming readings and classes in Mississippi and Manhattan, and longer term, collaborating with my best friend Mirlande on a children’s book, and spending time with my fiction and non-fiction.
Check out Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie – Moveable Feast video!
Aliens in New York Peekaboo-kun Art Project
Date of the event? Friday, May 10th
Where is the event taking place? 21-21 Ditmars Blvd (Corner of Ditmars Blvd. & 21 St.)
“Celebrate Culture Night with Aliens in New York” is a one day interactive installation of Peekaboo-kun sculptures designed to celebrate the ethnic diversity of Astoria and beyond. This art show is an opportunity for everyone to enjoy and experience what it is like to be another person from another culture. “Aliens in New York” is a sponsored project of Artspire, a program of New York Foundation for the Arts.
Who is the Artist/Organization? 10 x 10 Benefit at Reis Studios and the Insite Design Studio
Date of the Event? May 15th 6pm-9pm
Where is the event taking place? 43-01 22nd Street (Reis Studios) / 21-54 45th Ave (Insite Design Studios)
I’m in the L.I.C. Arts Open in two events. One for the 10 x 10 Benefit at Reis Studios and the Insite Design Studio “Gimme Shelter” group show both on May 15th from 6pm to 9pm as well. Come to one, come to both… just come!
You don’t even have to see me. There’s plenty of other talented artists and great stuff to see at the L.I.C. Open from the 15th to the 19th.
Hey, at least you can get a free cup of wine. How bad can that be?
Who is the Artist/Organization? Michelle Cheikin, Annalisa Iadicicco, Ananda Lima, Studio 7: Junenoire Mitchell & Nadia Saburov
Date of the Event? May 15th 6-9pm
Where is the event taking place? Experimental Space at Reiss Studios, 43-01 22nd St. L.I.C., NY
As part of the Long Island City Arts Open, five photographers offering five points of view on various characters in their subjects are having a group show. Utilizing the medium of photography these five artists call to mind the myriad ways we mask, reveal and redefine ourselves as seer and the seen.
Date of the event? May 15th through May 19th
Where is the event taking place? STUDIO 34, 34-01 38th Ave, L.I.C., 11101
BEACH ELEMENTS II – a mixed media group show, Nancy Gesimondo, curator
I have always thought that there is something magical about the beach, specifically the transition from terra firma to the shimmering water with its hidden depths and oscillating currents. The metaphors for crossing this passage are as vast and poetic as the seemingly infinite horizon. Beyond their visual beauty beaches are some of nature’s most healing environments. The sound of breaking waves is deeply relaxing, as if subliminally encouraging us to let go and merge with the flow of life. The combination of sunshine and crashing waves produces an abundance of negative ions which, when inhaled, increase the flow of oxygen to the brain and produce biochemical reactions that reduce stress and energize the spirit.
Despite the urban density I have always enjoyed heading to the beach to feel the wet sand underfoot as I walk along the shore looking for shells – evidence of the mysterious underwater world – and contemplating what lies beyond the horizon.
The work shown utilizes a diverse media yet each of the artists use the beach, or elements there of, as part of the canvas. Whether as a backdrop to weave another story, to document the social aspect of leisure, or to extract a found treasure, the primordial landscape of the beach permeates the imagination with a sense of infinite possibility and renewal.
Who is the Artist/Organization? LIC Artists
Date of the Event? Thursday May 16th, 6-9 pm
Where does the event take place? 34-01 38th Avenue, 3rd Floor, Astoria
LIC Artists Independence Group Show features work by Marianne Barcellona, Indrajeet Chandrachud, Carol Crawford, Ayakoh Furukawa, Mary Teresa Giancoli, Robert Lobe, Kristen Martin, Sean Naftel, Mary Pinto, Nancy Rakoczy, Leonora Retsas, Caroline M Sun, Erin Treacy.
Opening Reception is Thursday, May 16th, 6-9 pm.
On View; Saturday and Sunday, May 18 and 19, 12-7 pm
Who is the Artist/Organization? Studio 34
Date of the Event? May 16th – 19th
Where is the event taking place? 34-01 38th Ave 4th Fl, Long Island City, NY 11101
Studio 34 will be part of LIC Arts Open Festival. Group Exhibition featuring 20 local artist will open Thursday May 16 6-9pm. The show will feature paintings, sculptures, installations, video, photography. Several resident artists will also open their films & installations during this evening. The gallery will be open Friday 12-6pm also. Saturday & Sunday 25 resident artists will open their doors also along with our films, installations, a fashion show, sample sale & shibori scarf weaving demonstration. Music & refreshments
Check us at studio34-artspace.tumblr.com
Who is the Artist/Organization? Long Island City Arts Open
Date of the Event? Thursday May 16, 2013
Where is the event taking place? Two Gotham Center, Queens Plaza South at 28th St.
Idle Hands… at the Gotham Center
May 15th – 19th 12 – 5:30 p.m. (note: brochure says 6, but guards have been known to close early…)
Reception Thursday May 16th 6-9pm
Idle Hands…You won’t find the Devil in these artists’ studios, but you might in the details. Keeping their hands busy and minds engaged, the Gotham artists summon a legion of inanimate matter and intellectual rigor to craft evocative, thought-provoking works of art. Transcending our notions of the everyday object, the artists’ alchemy conjure a second life out of the materials, both literally and figuratively.
Karen Cintron | John Day | Karen Dimit | Beth Williams Garrett | William Garrett | Peter Goldwater | Matt Greco | Kenny Greenberg | Jean-Marie Guyaux | Sin-Ying Ho | Osaretin Ighile | Eliot Lable | Antonia Perez | Priscilla Stadler
Hope you can join us!
Who is the Artist/Organization? Random Access Music
Date of the Event? May 16th-19th
Where is the Event taking place? Secret Theatre, 4402 23rd Street, LIC, NY 11101
The Queens-based composers’ group, Random Access Music, announces the second annual Queens New Music Festival from May 16-19, 2013, at The Secret Theatre Main Stage (44-02 23rd Street, Long Island City, Queens). The mission of the festival is to promote new music in Queens by focusing on the wealth of composers, musicians, and ensembles living and working in Queens, as well as highlighting artists from other parts of New York City and the country.
Following a call for proposals in fall 2012, Random Access Music selected nine diverse programs from established and emerging composers, choreographers, ensembles, and artists. Highlights of the second annual festival include the newly established Periapsis Music and Dance ensemble presenting new music with dance, the Kaufman Music Center’s Face the Music program featuring exceptionally gifted young New Yorkers, a staged theatrical performance of urban poetry and art song, two different programs highlighting Japanese and Spanish heritages in New York City, plus more cutting-edge music by some of today’s most exciting composers and composer-led musical ensembles.
Who is the Artist/Organization?: Queens World Film Festival and LIC Arts Open
Date of the Event?: May 18th, 2pm – 3:30pm
Where is the event taking place?: Secret Theatre 4402 23rd St Long Island City – NYC 11101
After our 3rd Annual Queens World Film Festival in March 2013, we selected 8 short films for an encore screening as part of the LIC Arts Open. We will open with a toast in the complimentary Stella Artois glasses, followed by the films and wrap up the afternoon with a Q&A with the filmmakers.
Curvas by David Galan Galindo (Spain)
Baby, I love You by Faiyaz Jafri (Queens)
Lonely Eros by Ellen Andies and Thomas Maddens (Belgium)
Problem with Cloning Yourself by Sergio LoDolce (Queens)
Pain Staking by Adolfo Martinez Perez (Los Angeles)
Freud by Federico Calabuig (Spain)
Emma by Anne Hu (Queens)
Sharp Love, Sharp Kittens by Jon Sajetowski (Queens)