QUEENS — A group of aspiring artists from Queens is hoping to encourage local teens to pursue their own talents by spreading their enthusiasm for literature, graphic novels and other forms of art.
The group — Flowered Concrete — was founded about two years ago by Kevin Anglade, 23, a blogger and writer from Jamaica, and his friend, Alton Taylor, 24, an illustrator and cartoonist from Long Island City.
The duo, who met at Queensboro Community College, where they pursued visual and performing arts majors, worked together on various art projects, including publishing their books and graphic novels.
“We are promoting literature and performance art as a way to boost the self-esteem of the youth but also to have them think creatively,” Anglade said.
On Monday, May 5, the group was set to host “Growing Literature One Rose at a Time” at the Richmond Hill Library, featuring young rappers and poets, a jazz group and a break-dancer.
Anglade will also read his poems and excerpts from his book “The Tales of the 23rd Precinct” and Taylor will present his drawings and graphic novels, including “The Serpent Samurai,” about the struggles of a samurai in feudal Japan.
The event is geared for teens who come to the library in large numbers, the organizers said.
“This group produces graphic novels, spoken word and other storytelling techniques which is being geared for our 12-18-year-olds who come to the library every day, but for whom we haven't yet produced a show,” said Deborah Emin, the vice president of the Friends of Richmond Hill Library.
Those who will come to the event will get a chance to learn about graphic novels and ways of publishing them through companies specializing in self-publishing such us Lulu.com or CreateSpace.com, which offer digital and print publication with no upfront cost.
Emin said the group will also help the library teach teens creative writing this summer.
Flowered Concrete also aims to educate their readers by including glossary and inspirational quotes in their books.
“We want our readers to get educated while being entertained,” Anglade said, adding that the group likes to describe their work as “edutainment.”
In the future, the group said, they are planning to organize more events at various library branches. They are also planning to launch their website.
“Growing Literature One Rose at a Time” will take place on Monday, May 5 at 6:30 p.m. at the Richmond Hill Library at 118-14 Hillside Ave.