The BQE: Brooklyn Queens Elite art exhibition at THE POWERHOUSE ARENA in DUMBO, Brooklyn will open on Thursday, August 7th from 6pm – 9pm. Featuring the work of Brooklyn and Queens natives who came of age during the golden era of hip hop, artists in the exhibition include: Alice Mizrachi, Ambi67, Antonio KEL 5MH, CERN, David Cooper, Ernie Paniccioli, Greg Larmache, Olivia Jarowski-Lovera, TooFly, Tommy Rebel, URNewYork, and WRY TCK. Opening night will also feature several native Brooklyn/Queens DJs including Dr.Brown Celery, DJ Kilz, Nasty Vaz and O. Incredible.
Organized by Queens native and cultural producer Yvette “Yvey” Hidalgo, the exhibition takes its inspiration from the annual Brooklyn/Queens Day music concert and celebration. Hidalgo says, “In my youth this celebration was held on the first weekend of June in Flushing Meadows Park. It was an annual event in the 90′s, filled with vendors, food trucks, and stages with performances ranging from hip hop and freestyle to salsa. It was like a mini Puerto Rican Day Parade or El Barrio Festival. I want to bring back that energy that was once alive and kicking, a very honest and powerful display of LOVE for the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens.”
Artists featured in the BQE Collective include illustrators, fine artists, sculptors and photographers who all share a common inspiration, a 1990s’ Brooklyn/Queens style hip hop culture. This shared sense of community is still central to their artistic practices, while many of them have also branched out beyond the aesthetics of hip hop. Legendary hip hop photographer Ernie Paniccioli who was inducted in 2014 into the Hip Hop Hall of Fame was a defining visual voice in the formative years of the culture; for the last three years artist Tommy Rebel has been bringing his sign painting skills to updating new designs for the iconic Cyclone roller coaster in Coney Island, Brooklyn; multidisciplinary artist TooFly has taken her artistic practice abroad to Ecuador to continue a creative journey developed in NYC; and artist Greg Lamarche’s intersection of text and abstraction in his collage, mixed media and installation work has reached a wide variety of venues and audiences.
Hidalgo exclusively invited Native New Yorkers to participate in BQE for a particular reason, as her husband and artist Antonio KEL stated “New York natives are a dying breed in this Empire State and I think us natives have stories that can only be told through our native tongues. Stories that deserve to be heard loud and clear.”
BQE: Brooklyn Queens Elite will be on view from Thursday, August 7th – August 24, 2014.
About the Curator:
Yvette “Yvey” Hidalgo is a curator and cultural producer who has worked with artists and creative professionals in New York City, Miami and abroad. Her mission is to support the raw talent, arts and culture, and communitydevelopment activities of artists and creative professionals working in urban environments. She has developed and produced cultural programming including the Younity Arts Collective Pop Up markets, (which went on to springboard the Ladies Love Project Pop Up markets) national and international marketing campaigns, and gallery exhibitions representing artists from around the world.