QNSMADE: Art From And For The Borough

BY JACKIE STRAWBRIDGE
Staff Writer

A local artist wants to depict our Borough face by face, conversation by conversation.

QNSMADE, a web-based project created and curated by Amy Wu,features makers and doers in Queens through a series of portraits and interviews.

The project will officially launch Friday evening at Queens Council on the Arts’ 3rd Space.

Inspired in part by “Humans of New York,” an ongoing collection of street portraits in the City, Wu conceived QNSMADE to define Queens through interviews with Queens natives and local transplants.

She posts the interviews and accompanying photos online at blog.qnsmade.com.

“I just wanted to do something for my hometown,” Wu said.

“A lot of my life, I didn’t realize this, but I went to school in the City, I worked five years in the City, I measured success in Manhattan.”

“Now I’m realizing I can measure success here, where I’m from, and give back to my community,” Wu continued.

Wu’s budget comes entirely from the crowdfunding site Kickstarter, and she sent out an online survey to bring local Queens artists, entrepreneurs and residents onto the QNSMADE production team.

“I really wanted to do something big, with lots of entries, lots of photographs, and data – and I knew I couldn’t do it alone,” Wu said.

Her teammates include a CNN reporter who conducts video interviews, as well as illustrators and other artists.

QNSMADE also has an entrepreneurial angle, in that Wu seeks out local businesses to produce QNSMADE merchandise.

She enlisted local embroiders and printers to produce caps, beanies and other items.

“Everyone wants to rock the Brooklyn brand, but I haven’t seen anything I wanted to wear,” Wu said.

“Amy’s project QNSMADE is all about honoring the work and lives of everyday folks, small business owners, as well as up and coming artists which felt really in line with our mission here at Queens Council on the Arts,” 3rd Space coordinator Lauren Zelaya said.

3rd Space is the Queens Council on the Arts’ answer to limited work and show space for artists in the Borough.

Wu said she became interested in working with 3rd Space, “[in order] to have a physical space of QNSMADE, because it’s so digital.”

The QNSMADE launch at 3rd Space will feature some QNSMADE contributing artists, with new portraits by Jaina Teelcuk and a live reading by poet Audrey Dimola, as well as new photos from the project and Queens food and drink vendors.

The launch party will run from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday evening.

Tickets are $5 – interested parties can register at queenscouncilarts.org/qcas-3rdspace.

Reach Jackie Strawbridge at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 128, jstrawbridge@queenstribune.com or @JNStrawbridge.