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Artists-in-residence share their craft at two Long Island City hotels

Erin Treacy paints her colorful, abstract canvases in her studio at the Paper Factory Hotel.
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Two local artists have checked into a couple of hip hotels in Long Island City, and they’re inviting the public to drop by their studios and check out their art.

Erin Treacy and Jennifer Williams, both from Sunnyside, are artists-in-residence for the summer — at the Paper Factory Hotel and Z NYC Hotel, respectively — as part of the ArtHotel Residency, a new program of the Queens Council on the Arts in partnership with the Queens Art Fund and the two hotels.

QCA chose them from a wide pool of local applicants based upon criteria that included artistic excellence, a public engagement experience, and a clear proposal of art activity to happen during the three-month residency running from April through late June.

“We are delighted to be able to offer a chance for artists to create work in unexpected places, and we are thrilled to have the support of the local hotels who understand our concerns for artists’ need of space to work,” said QCA’s executive director Hoong Yee Krakauer.

Treacy is working out of a large, sunny studio in the historic Paper Factory Hotel, at 37-06 36th St., at the edge the Kaufman Arts District.

“Erin’s abstract, colorful art and her personality were the perfect fit for what the owner, Gal Sela, aims to build in his bigger-picture vision of artists at Paper Factory Hotel,” said the hotel’s creative director Jeigh Hall. “As many museums as there are in NYC for tourists, they don’t always have the ability to see live art-making while also having the opportunity to engage directly with the artist. Paper Factory Hotel’s aim has always been to create an environment dedicated to welcoming artists and musicians from all over the world, and we’re excited to have Erin Treacy as our first official ArtHotel Residence. This is definitely not the first or last time we plan on working with artists on projects like this.”

You can find Treacy working at her easel on Mondays and Fridays, from 2–6 p.m. You can also join her for an Artist Talk on Tuesday, May 30, from 7:30–9:30 p.m. Her closing talk will be Thursday, June 29, 6:30–8:30 p.m.

“Working in the studio is usually a solo pursuit for me,” said the artist, who felt that her hotel stay has allowed her to open up the studio process and discussion with a larger community. “It is a great open and sunny space that will surely contribute to my palette and allow for me to expand the scale of my work.”

Treacy, 35, has been adding the finishing touches to two large paintings and a series of drawings and paper sculptures, and said she works “to evoke beauty, vibrancy, and wonder of being in and of the world simultaneo­usly.”

“Using abstract and impressionistic forms, I work to deconstruct our sense of space and movement, allowing color and shape to be our only guide,” she said.

Photographer and collage artist Jennifer Williams is setting up her workspace in the Z NYC Hotel 11-01 43rd Ave. in LIC.

Since her residency started, Williams has been shooting photos around the neighborhood, printing them out, and assembling them collage-style into a surreal cityscape, “taking the non-descript space of a hotel room and localizing it by bringing the outside world in.”

The idea, Williams explained, was to use the hotel room as a blank canvas and cover it with images shot from each direction.

“For instance, to the north is the Queensboro Bridge, so the north will be filled with the intricacies of its off ramps and how they weave in between buildings and lots,” she said. “The southeast contains tons of new construction, so the walls will be filled with images depicting the area around the Citibank Building and its mega-growth.”

The installation has been growing as the artist walks and bikes the neighborhood repeatedly, “learning its intricacies and quirks.”

The public aspect of her ArtHotel project involves asking guests at the hotel to share their pictures of the neighborhood in hopes it will encourage them to explore the neighborhood and share the images they shoot along the way according to Williams, whose day job is teaching and managing the photo lab at The Cooper Union in Manhattan.

“The city is a vast machine that can seem overwhelming to the individual,” Williams said. “We often take the shortest routes between points A and B for efficiency and turn a blind eye to everything as we go. My work asks the viewer to take a moment when they leave the gallery to consider their surroundings and the past, present, and future they hold.”

If all goes according to plan, the pictures will be turned into a small takeaway book by the end of the project.

The photographer will open her studio starting on Friday, June 9, 4–8 p.m. Williams will not have regular open-studio hours like Treacy, but you can see the dates and times at: www.queenscouncilarts.org/calendar/2017/5/11/arthotel-open-studio-jennifer-williams.

If you go

Erin Treacy’s Artist Talk

Where: Paper Factory Hotel 37-06 36th St., LIC

When: Tuesday, May 30, 7:30–9:30 pm

Jennifer Williams’s Artist Talk

Where: Z NYC Hotel 11-01 43rd Ave., LIC

When: Friday, June 23, 6 pm

Posted 12:00 am, May 25, 2017
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