History isn’t always so precise, but it’s possible to declare May 12 as the day when the arts of Queens came into its own. On that Sunday, the Queens Museum of Art organized what it promised would be a “historic art crawl” through an event called “Actually, It’s Ridgewood.”
The title was an amusing response—a declaration of independence aimed at Bushwick, Brooklyn, the neighborhood bordering Ridgewood that usually claims the Queens arts spaces as its own. The symbol for the event included a rendering of Arbitration Rock, the traditional border delineating the two boroughs, and included the motto “vere, Ridgewood est.”
Among the stopovers was the ersatz “Bushwick” gallery building 1717 Troutman, the influential galleries Valentine and Small Black Door, and the temporary sculpture garden, curated by Deborah Brown and Lesley Heller, now at the Vander Ende-Onderdonk House, the oldest Dutch colonial building in New York City.
The event became the talk of Twitter and was a coup for the Queens Museum (the Brooklyn Museum, which must need a trail map whenever it steps off Eastern Parkway, was notably absent from the proceedings).
The crawl also showed how this neighborhood, once the bastard child of Bushwick, is coming into its own.
One Ridgewood show I am especially looking forward to it Cathy Nan Quinlan and Kurt Hoffman at Valentine Gallery, opening June 1.
There's a gallery in there: Valentine Gallery (red brick building), 464 Seneca Avenue, Ridgewood, Queens
Cathy Nan Quinlan, The Morandi Series: The Candy Dish (2010).
--excerpted from Gallery Chronicle, The New Criterion, June 2012