STILL, LIKE AIR, I'LL RISE
During the COVID pandemic, a group of women with whom I had worked during my artistic residency at the Queensbridge Houses came together and formed the Queensbridge Photo Collective. All were over the age of 65. All were leaders in their community. Many had grown up at Queensbridge. We met regularly by ZOOM, photographing the pandemic as it affected our neighborhoods and providing each other with support, companionship and some good laughs.
The Queensbridge Houses are located a short bus-ride away from MoMA PS1, an affiliate of New York City’s Museum of Modern Art in Long Island City. Despite their geographic proximity, a deep
conceptual gulf existed the two. We wrote a letter challenged the museum to help bridge that gap by including the art of their neighbors within its walls. In response, PS1 invited us to become artists in residence at the museum.
As part of the residency, we were asked to activate PS1's Homeroom. I and my collaborator, teaching artist Nicole Rosenthal, worked with Collective members to create an exhibition that celebrated resilience and perseverance in the face of adversity. We worked with Collective members to create photographic timelines telling their life stories. I produced a video in which each Collective member reflected on what Queensbridge meant to her. We published a zine that shared the Collective's hopes and aspirations for the future. The Collective’s work was exhibited in PS1’s Homeroom during the summer and fall of 2022