Bridging the Divide: Astoria Houses, Queens

  • Elliot Johnson, Astoria Houses, 2022
  • Geobany Rodriguez, The View Gets Me Everytime, 2022

About

The artworks for Astoria Houses were developed over a series of workshops held at the Astoria Community Center and the Astoria Senior Center. The workshops included anime illustration, mask making, marbling, and sticker making. Two of the participating artists are Astoria Houses residents and had prior relationships with the Resident Association, which helped in the organizing and collaboration process. The majority of participants in the workshops were local youth. Their voices are significantly present in the final designs created for Astoria Houses.

Photo Credits for all Astoria Houses artworks: Paul Katcher

Elliot Johnson, Astoria Houses, 2022

Astoria Houses was created in collaboration with youth from the Astoria Houses. It was inspired by their voices and the creativity shared by community members. The artwork intersperses a kid-friendly, cartoon-like aesthetic with crisp illustrations of the New York City skyline. Johnson included representations of the W and N trains—two subway lines that culminate in Astoria—to further assert the site-specificity of this mural.

3-02 Astoria Blvd, Queens, NY
@ellijahart

Tipu Alam, The Astoria Project, 2022

In The Astoria Project, Tipu Alam layers the cityscape of Astoria behind portraits of young residents of the Houses. The youth wear masks that they made during workshops held at the local HANAC Cornerstone. Unity was the inspiration for this piece, as it came to fruition through a collaboration between the artist, the youth, and a combination of photography and digital design.

4-03 Astoria Blvd, Queens, NY
https://tipualam.us/ | @artisttipu

Geobany Rodriguez, The View Gets Me Everytime, 2022

Geobany Rodriguez’s The View Gets Me Everytime is composed of sketches drawn during trips to Astoria Houses. It includes images created by participants at his sticker station events—art workshops where people create their own stickers. Video games were identified as a favorite activity by many of the workshop participants. Therefore, Rodriguez prominently featured a video game aesthetic in his artwork. The title relates to another common theme shared by workshop participants—their love of the view across the East River.

3-10 Astoria Blvd, Queens, NY
@geobany

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Bridging the Divide