Artists and staff members from Queens-based programs were showcased in Home: The Spaces We Inhabit, an exhibition held at The Local NY in Long Island City. The event was curated by Bonnie Astor, an artist and Art Consultant with AHRC NYC, and Lois Stavsky of Art BreakOUT, an organization seeking to provide opportunities for artists outside of mainstream culture to share their skills and visions with others, both online and in varied settings.

Lamija Kurtovic speaks to guests of the exhibition

Lamija Kurtovic speaks to guests of the exhibition

What is home? What does it mean to feel at home at a time when so many of us identify with more than one homeland? What memories do we carry with us from our childhood homes? And what is our fantasy home?” Those were some of the questions Bonnie and other artists asked and answered in their pieces.

Homes from Fantasy and Reality

Lamija Kurtovic poses with her painting of her dream home.

Lamija Kurtovic

Lamija Kurtovic painted a vision of her dream house—a white barnlike façade high amongst the evening sky and clouds, surrounded by waterfalls, trees, and other natural ephemera.

I was born with Down syndrome,” Lamija explained. “I’m proud of the life I live with my disability. My dream is to speak out for all the people who live with disabilities. I love doing art because when I create, I can express my feelings,” Lamija said. “I love to paint birds, animals, landscapes, and trees.”

Corey White took to his surroundings for inspiration. He too painted a nighttime scene, using his signature bursts of color to illuminate the area.

This drawing is of a house that has a backyard and a nearby park. It is my neighborhood in Queens,” Corey explained. “I also like to use water paint to make colorful collages, and I like to make sculptures out of recycled materials.”

“Where I Discovered I Was an Artist”

Sydney Buford proudly presents her painting.

Sydney Buford proudly presents her painting.

Bonnie introduced artistic principles to Sydney Buford when she joined AHRC NYC five years ago. “It was my very first art class ever and I loved it,” Sydney said. “Later, through ArTech and MoMA, I learned even more about other artists and various techniques. Art makes me feel proud because I create things that make me and other people happy.”

Sydney depicted a more realistic vision of home as she detailed her most common surroundings as she received remote services in 2020 and 2021.

My art piece was inspired by what I imagined people could see through my apartment window for the last two years of COVID,” Sydney explained. “My laptop, my tea and my coffee cups, my art supplies, and my sketchbooks. My dining room table became my desk and my art space where I did everything. This is where I discovered I was really an artist—on that dining room table.”

Home: The Spaces We Inhabit will be on view at The Local NY until June 29th.