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Noguchi Museum to host series of free admission community days in Long Island City


(From left to right) Cui Fei, June Shin and Dione Lee with Isamu Noguchi’s The Footstep (Photo by Justin Raul Baez)

April 17, 2023 By Ethan Marshall

The Noguchi Museum in Long Island City will be hosting a series of community days on April 22, May 5 and June 17. During these community days, admission to the museum will be free and there will be free art-making workshops held for people aged 16 years and over.

The art collection and interactive art-making activities all celebrate themes of peace while also uplifting the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities across New York City. The workshops will be conducted by artists who were finalists for the Noguchi Museum’s 2022 Open Call for Artist Banners. Dione Lee will conduct hers on April 22, Cui Fei on May 5 and June Shin on June 17.

Shin’s banners ended up being selected as the winning design for the Open Call for Artist Banners. Her banners are currently on display outside of the Noguchi Museum.
According to Noguchi Museum Director of Education Queena Ko, part of the initiative of the Open Call for Artists Banners emerged out of the COVID-19 pandemic, when members of the AAPI community experienced a rise in being targeted for hate crimes.
“We really wanted to provide the space for members of the AAPI community, especially the Asian American community in Queens, to find solace and community,” Ko said. “The Banners Project essentially asked artists to design banners to be displayed on the outside of the museum. This year the theme really focused on peace. We hope to highlight these banner designs as being a visual representation of peace.”
The workshops being held each community day are pre-registered. The first workshop, held by Dione Lee on April 22 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., explores cyanotyping. Lee will walk the participants through the creative possibilities of transparency and opacity, light sensitivity and time found within cyanotyping.

Cyanotypes by Dione Lee (photo by Xuan)

The second workshop, which will be conducted by Cui Fei on May 6 from 1:30 to 4 p.m., will be about the process of ink rubbing. Ink and rice paper will be used to create detailed copies of materials found within the participants’ surroundings.

Photo by Cui Fei

The third and final workshop, scheduled to be held by June Shin June 17 from 2 to 4 p.m., will be a design workshop. Participants will learn about working within constraints and the space between figuration and abstraction. Unlike the previous two workshops, participants must be at least 18 years of age. They will begin with introspection and self-reflection before making a work of art in response
to a personal prompt.
Ko said the amount of participants for each workshop will be capped out at 25. She also noted that educators will be available on site at the Noguchi Museum. Some will be hosting gallery kits on each community day, wherein those visiting the museum that day can pick up art materials and explore the works of Isamu Noguchi through art-making in the galleries.
“I think what’s really interesting about hosting this type of event at the Noguchi Museum is it really acknowledges the identity of Isamu Noguchi and his biography as a mixed race citizen, his father being from Japanese descent and his mother being an American in Brooklyn” Ko said. “The way that he’s really able to express this fluidity between the two cultures, but not that it’s a binary. The idea that it’s about the hybridity of being a global citizen and being an American. He really saw the museum as a place for all. I really see these community days as being in line with the mission and vision of the artist himself. Hopefully visitors can have that framework.”
Ko also said there will be artist videos released during the community days. These videos will be highlighting the artists on hand for the workshops and the process by which they approach and create their works.
The Noguchi Museum, located at 9-01 33rd Rd., was founded in 1985 by artist Isamu Noguchi. It had been the first museum in the United States to be established, designed and installed by a living artist to show their own work. The Noguchi Museum features open air and indoor galleries, as well as a serene outdoor sculpture garden.
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