Pictures at an Exhibition

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Photograph by Diana Shaman
Pictures at an Exhibition
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Reviewed by DIANA SHAMAN

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It was a first for the Kew Gardens Community Center at 80-02 Kew Gardens Road: an art show that was open not only to artists who were members, but also to artists from the community-at-large.
In an enthusiastic response, 27 artists signed up to exhibit their work, which included paintings in a variety of media, photographs, collages, hand-made greeting cards, sculptures and more.
The exhibit, which drew over 137 visitors, was so successful, said Dinah Morgan, the Community Center's dynamic director, that another show open to all, is already in the planning stages. Opening shows to artists at large was the idea of Rachel Bloom, one of the volunteer instructors whose drawing and painting class meets every Friday.
The Kew Gardens Civic Association, using its email membership list, comprising a majority of its members, sent out an e-mail notice that artists were wanted "and the phone began ringing," Ms. Morgan said. A hardworking committee consisting of art instructors, students, and others, helped her make the show a success.
The Community Center, a program of the Queens Community House in Forest Hills, is a hidden gem, unknown to many even in the office building that it shares with, among others, the offices of the FBI, the NY State Tax Department, and the Queens District Attorney.
In its roomy quarters on the second floor, volunteer teachers instruct students in everything from painting, to creative writing, to beginner French, to computer instruction, and all classes are free except for the encouragement of a voluntary donation of $1. It is probably the only place in the City where a cup of freshly-brewed coffee is still available for 25 cents. Books can be taken out free from a well-stocked library.
Visitors to the art show were treated to refreshments and beverages, which in the evening included a glass of sparkling wine. Joel Juarbe, a professional chef who will be teaching cooking classes at the Center once a month starting in July, served home-made cupcakes and other specialties. Piano music provided by Dean S. Heller, a Queens Community House member, gave the occasion an additional festive air.
Other programs to attract the public to the Center are in the works. On Saturday, July 16, Music Director Nelly Vuksic and pianist Cesar Vuksic will be giving a piano recital in yet another step to acquaint the community with a cultural resource that is increasingly making its presence felt.


Earlier Articles:
  •   "Surviving" - A Haunting Documentary Examines Growing Up and Growing Old in Kew Gardens
  •   Through the Looking Glass:  Kew Gardens as Seen by a New Generation of Photographers
  •   Spirits come alive in "Spirits Alive" at Maple Grove Cemetery
  •   Killer storm hits Kew Gardens
  •   Jazz at Maple Grove Cemetery
  •   The Blizzard of 2009
  •   Filming in Kew Gardens
  •   The 95th Annual Meeting of the Kew Gardens Civic Association, Inc.
  •   Let It Snow - Scenes from Forest Park
  •   A Community Discovers Its Village Roots
  •   Spirits Alive! (2007) at Maple Grove Cemetery
  •   Day of Remembrance at Maple Grove Honors the Dead with a Celebration of Life
  •   Summer in the City
  •   Concerns Over P.S.99, Post Office, And Impact Of Potential Landmarking Draw Large Crowd To Town Hall Meeting
  •   Kew Gardens Community Day (2007)
  •   A Parking Lot Becomes a Flea Market
  •   A Touch of Soho on Austin Street
  •   Kew Gardens Merchants - The Bliss Café
  •   Kew Gardens Lights Up for the Holidays
  •   Queens Borough Hall Garage in Kew Gardens
  •   The House on 116th Street
  •   New Development in Kew Gardens
  •   Autumn Scenes in Kew Gardens
  •   Lantern Festival at Maple Grove Cemetery (2006)
  •   They Lift Up their Voices Every Friday