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Artists Explore Fears of Changing Neighborhoods in Jackson Heights Show

By Katie Honan | November 19, 2014 8:50am
 Art like this acrylic installation from 2013 by artist Coco Lopez will be on display at "BONE RAZED" in Jackson Heights.
Art like this acrylic installation from 2013 by artist Coco Lopez will be on display at "BONE RAZED" in Jackson Heights.
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Coco Lopez

JACKSON HEIGHTS — Artists who are worried about the rapid changes that real estate development is bringing to the city will tackle their fears at an art show on Roosevelt Avenue this week.

"BONE RAZED" is the first curated exhibit at A&M Studios, a dance and music school that has been in Jackson Heights for more than 20 years.

Seven artists, all raised in the five boroughs, will display a mix of photography, sculpture and more as a way of looking at the role artists play amid the city’s “tumultuous” real estate landscape, according to organizer Kevin Marin, 25.

He and other artists teamed up to create neoCreos in 2013, an artist-run platform that is organizing the Jackson Heights show. It is the group's first exhibit at the music studio at 88-17 Roosevelt Ave.

All of the art, from photography to sculptures, is inspired by the city’s changing landscape, with a specific focus on Jackson Heights, Marin said.

“We make it very clear that the show isn’t about fetishizing a neighborhood and turning it into free ground for someone to eat up, increase the cultural capital there,” he said, admitting that artists can often contribute to neighborhood changes, both good and bad.

"The idea is to bring attention to all of this through the arts, and not divorce that relationship."

He referenced the current proposal to extend a business improvement district along Roosevelt Avenue, which critics fear will contribute to further gentrification of the neighborhood, pushing out current residents and small businesses, if it is passed.

Marin, who was born in Elmhurst Hospital and raised around Queens, said the artists discuss changes seen across the city as a whole.

“It’s dealing with it in a broader sense, dealing with it aesthetically," he said.

Artists include María Inés Toro Luna, Coco Lopez, HHCoatl, Arkadiy Ryabin, Gabino Abraham Castelán, Melissa Misla and MarinThe opening reception will be held Friday, Nov. 21 from 6 to 9 p.m.

For more information, visit neoCreos' website.