Sat. May 25th, 2024

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Local Artist Spotlight

Stephanie S. Lee, Curator and Painter

Photo credit: Artwork by Stephanie S. Lee

Stephanie S. Lee is an artist and curator of Queens: Envisioning Habitats, an exhibition at Flushing Town Hall on view from December 16 through December 30, 2017. Lee’s work is inspired by Korean traditional painting. Her contemporary style connects with the symbolic, decorative, and symmetrical attributes found in Minhwa (Korean Folk Painting). Lee earned a BFA at Pratt Institute and learned Korean Traditional Folk painting at Busan National University in South Korea.

Is your studio Flushing-based?

My home studio is located in Bayside, just minutes away from Flushing. I teach Korean Folk art painting in Flushing at Flushing Town Hall and Gallery Chun.

Has Flushing inspired your artistic practice, and if yes, how?

Art is part of one’s life. If I think of everyday life as inseparable from art, yes, Flushing does affect and inspire me since it is such a huge part of my everyday life. I eat in Flushing, my daughter’s after school program is in Flushing, I meet people and work in Flushing. Flushing, for me, is a very diverse, raw, and energetic place. Every moment I spend in Flushing adds up to my life, and my life is reflected into my paintings.

Do you have any reflections on Flushing since the theme of this exhibition reflects upon location and environment?

In this exhibition, I take Queens (including Flushing) as a geographical and cultural hub for the Korean American artists. A large population in Flushing are of Chinese and Korean heritage, and even though there are many artists residing in Queens, not that many artist-led activities are taking place here. So I do wonder why there aren’t as many art venues even though while we have so many restaurants and other facilities in Queens.

Any other comments you would like to share that might interest Flushing Fantastic readers?

There are many exciting art programs in Queens including the ones from the Flushing Town Hall. Keep an eye on those events happening in Queens, so you can enjoy high quality art experiences right near where you live, and usually with affordable prices. You’ll find out how art can enrich your life, and be surprised that valuable cultural experiences don’t cost a fortune to enjoy!

Jeon Min Park, Artist

Photo credit: Artwork by Jeon Min Park

In Queens: Envisioning Habitats, Jeon Min Park showcases her use of color in her works that may resemble landscapes or creatures under the sea after many layers of abstract processes which connects to her memories. The artist studied at Suwon University in South Korea and earned an MFA at the C.W.Post, Long Island University. She has received accolades for her work including the bronze prize at Seoul International Design Plaza and the Fine Art Award at the National Museum of Contemporary Art in South Korea.

Is your studio Flushing-based?

Yes, it is. I have lived and worked in Flushing for around 10 years.

Has Flushing inspired your artistic practice, and if yes, how?

Yes. When I came to America, I first settled down in Flushing. I always feel that Flushing is my second hometown and I feel really comfortable here. My artistic style, using Korean pigments on canvas, was developed here in this neighborhood.

Do you have any reflections on Flushing since the theme of this exhibition reflects upon location and environment?

We can experience many diverse cultures easily here. This makes Flushing unique. Through my art works, I will showcase various colors that reflect upon Flushing’s diversity – from ethnic groups to street scenes. Different religions and cultural groups add to the liveliness of street scenes. Walking through Parsons Blvd, one can observe different religious organizations living peacefully and harmoniously together. I also know many fellow artists, based in Flushing and hope that there will be exhibition spaces where there’s more public engagement with artists.

Jennifer “Jay” House is a writer, fundraiser, and non-profit leader with nearly 18 years experience working in the arts. Jay is dedicated to supporting artists and making arts experiences available to as many people as possible. Jay was influenced by her grandmother who was a season ticket holder to the two repertory theatre companies and the symphony orchestra in New Haven, CT, where Jay grew up. Jay has lived in Queens since 2001, and now lives and works in Flushing, where she is raising a daughter.

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