Transart Advisor Nicolás Dumit Estévez taking part in the exhibition “Jameco Exchange”, Queens

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Transart Advisor Nicolás Dumit Estévez taking part in the exhibition “Jameco Exchange”, Queens

No Longer Empty is pleased to present Jameco Exchange, a site-responsive exhibition and socially engaged education platform that revolves around the art of storytelling about a place: Jamaica, Queens. Located on 165th Street in the heart of downtown Jamaica–between the old trail and the former Beaver Pond–Jameco Exchange interweaves themes of commerce, movement, and travel, considering how both objects and stories create resonant forms of communication and exchange.

Opening: Saturday, May 21, 12 – 6pm
Location: 89-62B 165th Street (between Jamaica and 89th Ave.), Queens
Opening reception: 12 – 2pm, with a performance by Hector Canonge at 1pm. The first live performance of Margaret Rose Vendryes’ African Diva will take place at 2pm. Thereafter, visitors are welcome to take the stage and get their own African Diva on!

Jameco Exchange takes its name from the etymology of “Jamaica” (Queens)–a distortion of the name of the Jameco Indians–and the first settlers’ purchase of Jamaica for two guns, a coat, powder and lead. From its origins as an ancient trade route to a rural village, today’s downtown Jamaica is a vibrant commercial and intermodal corridor. With a plush history of trade and commerce, jazz and hip-hop; Jamaica’s rich political heritage includes the abolitionist spirit of 18th-century New York Senator Rufus King; the activism of 19th-century farmer, abolitionist and publisher Wilson Rantus; and the political activism of former Black Panther Assata Shakur. “The Green,” an African-American homestead from the 1800s that once ran parallel to Jamaica Avenue is now concealed by concrete, industrial buildings and garages, weathering the next crux of significant change. Featuring site-responsive artworks informed by Jamaica’s global urban setting, Jameco Exchange is inspired by the retail vernacular of the two-story storefront and the cobblestone pedestrian mall in which it is situated, the social culture of Jamaica Avenue, and the histories of Jamaica, Queens, through the lens of collective narrative.

Artists & Projects: Ibrahim Ahmed, Sol Aramendi, Kahiem Archer, Gabrielle Bendiner-Viani, Jane Benson, Hector Canonge, Carolina Caycedo, Stephanie Davis, Diego de la Vega Coffee Co-op (Gabriela Ceja + Fran Ilich), Nicolás Dumit Estévez Raful, Nicholas Fraser, Rico Gatson, Kimsooja, Local Project, Azikiwe Mohammed, Odathrowback, Richard Parker*, Antonia A. Perez, Calo Rosa, Juana Valdes, Mary A. Valverde, Margaret Rose Vendryes, Ezra Wube and Addam Yekutieli*.

*An exhibition of works by Addam Yekutieli will be held at tattoo studio Think Before You Ink, with a response by owner, visual artist and tattoo artist Richard Parker; 167-16 Hillside Avenue, 2nd Fl., Thursday – Saturday, 12-8pm (closed July 4th).

Jameco Exchange will feature an exhibition of youth artwork curated by No Longer Empty’s teen curators from the Teens Curate Teens, and an educational hub for visitors of all ages. The educational hub will showcase NLE’s signature education programs, including No Longer Bored family art-making weekend workshops, and the Y.Dot Youth Docent Program. Through No Longer Empty’s educational programming, 26 high school students from Jamaica, Queens, are helping to curate the educational hub, and teach community members about the exhibition.

In conjunction with Jameco Exchange, No Longer Empty has organized Once Upon a Place, a public engagement series presenting an arts-based oral history model expanding upon panel and town hall formats. The series will include a panel discussion by local arts leaders who will share histories through the visual anthropology of object sharing, and three forms of public engagement arranged at the intersection of diverse audiences and everyday places. Reflecting on Jamaica’s identity as one of the world’s most ethnically diverse places, and a multi-modal transportation hub, local participants will employ humanities and arts methodologies to interpret, analyze and represent neighborhood issues important to them, within the context of a larger dialogue about a moment of social change sweeping across Jamaica and New York City. 

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