Kew Gardens children show off their masterpieces

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Art lovers gathered at a Kew Gardens gallery to toast a new exhibit by raising their glasses — and juice boxes.

The Kew Gardens Children’s Photo Show is the work of 14 industrious photographers from around the neighborhood, all of whom are under 10 years old.

“I like snapping photos because everything looks different through the camera and you can see things in a different way,” said 8-year-old Maya Giardina, who wanted to capture both the natural and urban parts of the neighborhood with her pictures.

Her 5-year-old brother, Cairo, whose blurry shot of the ground called “The Running Sidewalk” hung on the wall, had a more blunt assessment.

“I took the pictures because I think they look pretty,” he said.

Aidan Irigoyen captured a tense moment in “Mommy on the Run,” where the torso of his mother is seen hurrying down a Queens Boulevard sidewalk.

Other titles included “The Puddle that is the Shape,” “That Dog is so Cute” and “The Post Office.”

Miriam Block and her 8-year-old daughter Shayna, whose colorful “Construction” was taken from the inside of a large yellow pipe at a construction site, said they decided to try the project after seeing a poster in the neighborhood.

“She was very interested,” Block said while standing in front of a wall of prints at Q Gardens Gallery, at 80-61 Lefferts Blvd. “It’s amazing to see her artwork in the gallery.”

The show was funded by a grant from Citizens Committee NYC, a nonprofit that helps community projects in need of funding come to fruition.

Carol Lacks, an amateur photographer herself, applied for the grant after the idea randomly popped into her head.

“It just hit me,” she said. “I didn’t think there were many shows of children’s photos.”

Although the parents had to supply the cameras, Lacks used the money to make high-quality prints of the pictures, which offer insight into how kids view their surroundings.

“It’s what they’re looking at,” she said. “We wanted them to have a completely different slant on Kew Gardens.”

And with pictures of overflowing garbage cans and wrought-iron gates, the gallery showcases photos that adults might have not have taken, according to Ron Marzlock, who owns the gallery.

“With kids, there is no right or wrong way of doing it,” he said. “Adults are more restrictive.”

But aside from impressing visitors to the small art shop, the gallery also provides proof that artwork is important.

“We have to show the kids that what they do has value,” he said. “I wasn’t nurtured like this when I was a child. I took pictures of a cemetery and my parents thought I was crazy.”

Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4566.

Updated 10:48 am, October 12, 2011
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