Sunday, March 25, 2012

2nd Opening Reception | feeling like "Queen For A Day"!


One exhibit. Two receptions. Nutty, right?

The first opening reception for Pioneers of Bushwick: We Call It Home was on Feb. 23rd and was highly exclusive (dawling) for Center members, etc. only. The second reception took place the following evening and was joyously open to the riff-raff public. Yes, skies were stormy but the Sangria and snacks were in abundance and very much enjoyed by everyone.

The Director of Diana Jones Senior Center, Narcisa Ruiz, introduced me to the clamoring audience. Ok, ok . . . semi-clamoring. :-) I described the perseverance of residents that lived through Bushwick's ups-and-downs since the 1970s. I felt tremendous pride introducing the Pioneers to give their own perspective. To wrap up the talking, representatives from the Brooklyn Arts Council and the NY Department of Cultural Affairs enthusiastically spoke about their programs and support for creativity in the urban landscape.

(l to r) Sandra Christian, Narcisa Ruiz             Photo by Marilyn Stern



I was very pleasantly surprised to be presented with a beautiful wood plaque by the center Director. In addition, several of the Pioneers presented me with flowers and, well, I felt a little choked up with emotion. There I was with flowers in one arm, plaque in the other  . . . it felt like Queen for a Day and the only thing missing was the crown! How am I supposed to maintain my NY crust if people are going to be all thoughtful and everything?? Sheesh. Anyway, it made me smile a lot and all evening.
 
(l to r) "Pioneers" Lucy Mendez, Angel Mendez, Blanca Irizarry, Aida Irizarry and Ana
Nieves look on while a plaque is presented by Narcisa Ruiz to Artist Daryl-Ann Saunders.

Photo by Giuseppe Bergami

Thanks go out again to all the Pioneers that attended, the representatives from Brooklyn Arts Council (Kathleen Christie) and the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs (Kristin Sakoda, Danai Pointer and others), Ridgewood-Bushwick Senior Citizens Council and Diana Jones Center staff (Sandra Christian, Arlene Suero, LuLu). Your enthusiastic embrace of this project has meant the world to me. And thank you to my friends, "new friends" and colleagues for braving initial bad weather to share this with me. It was so great to see your smiling faces! (And special thanks to MS).

The exhibit is open to the general public through April 27th, M-F 8am-3pm at Diana Jones Senior Center, 9 Noll Street (corner of Bushwick Avenue) in Brooklyn, NY. It's super easy by subway - - the J/M/Z to Myrtle Avenue at Broadway and then a 5-minute walk. Links to additional info and directions are under "PAGES", the section at the top of the right menu. Please stop by and don't forget to sign the guest book! Enter your e-mail on the upper right of this page to receive periodic blog updates.