FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Queens’ Wandering Art and Library Project tour Starts June 21st, 2019
Elmhurst, NY- Centro Cultural Barco de Papel, a local cultural center and book store, is bringing its "Wandering Art and Library” Project to 82nd Street for its tour kickoff. The library will travel the streets of Jackson Heights, Elmhurst, and Corona, Queens.
Sponsored by the Queens Council on the Arts, this project encourages the use of public spaces to reflect on literature, art and city life. It also sets out to pay tribute to those authors and writers who have used cities as an inspiration or literary theme and, at the same time, encourage respect and care for public spaces.
The list of activities includes a monthly tour through neighborhood public squares and, regular readings and an open microphone, where writers, poets, and artists from the community can participate. At the outset of the project, the mobile library will have more than 300 books in Spanish and English in various genres, including fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, among other topics. All books can be read for free.
Design and Construction of the Mobile Library
The "Wandering Art and Library” is a product of the Centro Cultural Barco de Papel and its design was inspired by a mobile bookstore that sells second-hand books in the streets of Budapest, Hungary. It was built by carpenter Hector Franqui.
The portable wooden structure was designed to be towed manually and consists of three bookshelves. The books will be protected by a transparent acrylic window that unfolds upwards as a visor. The mobile bookstore can also hold books in its lower part. The dimensions of this structure make it easily adaptable to either small or ample spaces. The books will be classified by thematic genres, such as urban literature, poetry, classics, translated Latin-American fiction, among others.
A mural by artist Guillermo Lorente will be displayed on the side of the mobile library. The juxtaposition of the mural will emphasize how cities serve as an inspiration for the literary world and visual arts.
The piece will be painted oil on canvas and wood and will be located on one side of the module creating a contrast within the traditional functions of a mobile library where an interrelation between arts and books in public spaces has not been commonly exposed. The work gathers allegorical architectural elements from the city of New York and images of Jackson Heights, Queens, as well as works of universal literature and elements triggering stimuli, seeking a visual-active involvement of the participant.
The tour begins on June 21, 22 and 23, in Dunningham Triangle, which is a small triangle park located on 82nd Street between Baxter Avenue and Ithaca Street. The project will be open to the public:
- Friday, June 21st (Opening day) 4-7: 00 pm
- Saturday, June, 22nd from 12:00 - 7:00 pm
- Sunday, June 23rdfrom 1:00 - 5:30 pm.
The appearance at the first location is being done with the support of the 82ndStreet Partnership, a local non-profit organization devoted to the area’s economic development.
Why Dunningham Park?
Dunningham Triangle is located at a busy neighborhood intersection where many visitors walk through, yet few know about the illustrious stranger who gives the name to this little park. Launching this project in the triangle is a recognition to the Londoner Jabez E. Dunningham (England 1868 – New York 1945), who lived on 40-71 Denman Street, a short distance from where the triangle is located. He was considered an early pioneer of progress and founded the Council of Civic Associations of Queens, which advocated against pollution, excess garbage and other problems that affected the area.
Mr. Dunningham was also the London representative of the well-known publisher Joseph Pulitzer (1847-1911) in the early 1890s. In 1896 he moved to New York, where he continued working for Pulitzer until the death of the publisher in 1911. After finishing his publishing career, he dedicated the rest of his life to fighting for public improvements.
The "Wandering Art and Library” project will provide pedestrians and park-goers in our community with the opportunity to interact with each other, exchange readings and ideas while bringing our diverse neighbors together.
Mr. Franqui is a New York born and raised Puerto Rican professional carpenter who is passionate about his trade. He loves transforming wood into usable items such as chairs, tables, bookshelves, and desks. His journey as a maker began by creating furniture for his home. Mr. Franqui attended Queens Vocational High School where he further honed his craftsmanship. He currently has his workshop where he continues to carry out his craft.
Mr. Lorente is a Cuban-born plastic artist and painter with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Habana’s Art University, Institute for Superior Art (ISA). Before departing Cuba, Mr. Lorente was a professor at the Pedagogical Art Institute and School of Design of Belascoin in Habana, Cuba. In 1995 he migrated to Sweden where he became a professor at the Art School of Upllands-Väsby. While in Sweden Mr. Lorente also launched his art studio where he was featured in various individual and collective expositions. He currently resides in Jackson Heights, New York, where he continues to pursue his creative endeavors.
To learn more about this project and others by Centro Cultural Barco de Papel please visit our website, www.centroculturalbarcodepapel.org.
“The Wandering library and art project” is made possible (in part) with funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and funds from the Decentralization Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and administered by the Queens Council on the Arts.”