Bridging the Divide: Woodside Houses, Queens

  • Vanesa Álvarez Díaz, Generations, 2021
  • Natasha Herring, For The Ancestors: El Barrio Es La Familia, 2021
  • Chey Nelson, Connections Of The Past And Future, 2021
  • Colleen Kong-Savage, At Home, 2021

About

Artworks at Woodside Houses were developed out of ideas shared during workshops at William Cullen Bryant High School, Samaritan Daytop Village’s Woodside Senior Center, and Moore Jackson Cemetery and Community Garden. Workshops were promoted by the Woodside Resident Association, which was a true partner in this project, and included button making, collage, and painting on stones.

Photo Credits for all Woodside Houses artworks: Lloyd McCullough

Vanesa Álvarez Díaz, Generations, 2021

Generations, by muralist Vanesa Álvarez Díaz, was inspired by the youth and seniors of Woodside Houses. Honoring four matriarchs of the community—Ruth, Ilona, Anna, and Carol—the dynamic colors and patterns reflect art created during workshops at William Cullen Bryant High School and the Woodside Senior Center. By incorporating graphic designs and patterns generated by the community, Álvarez seeks to reflect the creativity of Woodside Houses back to the community.  

49-11 Broadway, Queens, NY
@vanesaalvarez

Natasha Herring, For The Ancestors: El Barrio Es La Familia, 2021

For the Ancestors: El Barrio es la Familia, is a digital quilt by artist Natasha Herring made in collaboration with the Woodside community. Inspired by Faith Ringgold, Heather Galler, and the Matinecock tribe, it pays homage to human connection and cultural diversity. It is a direct result of art collaborations held at Moore Jackson Community Garden, William Cullen Bryant High School, and the Woodside Houses. The artist layered photography, indigenous story stones, and pictographs to capture the stories heard, observed, and documented during the art workshops.

31-58 51st Street, Queens, NY
@natashaherring_ownyourstory

Chey Nelson, Connections Of The Past And Future, 2021

Connections of the Past and Future, by artist Chey Nelson represents a desire to strengthen the bonds that were tested in her Woodside community during the pandemic. Interlocking hands suggest a collective rebuilding and a conjuring of hope for the future. Using a pointillist technique related to her work as a tattoo artist, Nelson’s artwork is able to convey her message through a semi-realist, yet graphic sensibility.

50-43 Broadway, Queens, NY
https://cheynelson.mypixieset.com/ | @andromeda.bimbo

Colleen Kong-Savage, At Home, 2021

At Home, by illustrator Colleen Kong-Savage, depicts home as defined by students from William Cullen Bryant High School. Home is not only a physical space, but all that lives within it—our loved ones, our frame of mind, and sometimes loss. Built upon the principles of collage, Kong-Savage created this piece digitally, yet retains the illusion of layering finely cut patterned paper. Viewers are able to experience a sense of depth in the work, both materially and emotionally.

31-45 49th Street, Queens, NY
https://ckongsavage.com/ | @kongsavage

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Bridging the Divide