New York Daily News writer
Tuesday, June 21st 2011, 4:00 AM
Most mom-and-pop restaurants can't afford a slick advertising campaign, but a group of Queens artists have crafted a creative alternative.
As part of an effort to promote the borough's culture, the Queens Council on the Arts is recruiting local artists to produce short Flip camera videos about their favorite eateries in Queens.
Dubbed the "Moveable Feast," the project will feature about 16 videos on www.queenscouncilarts.org and at a screening later this month.
"It's always been a question: How do you market Queens?" said Hoong Yee Lee Krakauer, executive director of the Queens Council on the Arts, which works with artists of all kinds.
The group also frequently gets inquiries about food, she said. "It seemed like a natural combination to put the two together."
The project is tied to the organization's Queens Art Express festival, which promotes events and exhibitions in the borough.
For participating artists, the Moveable Feast has been a opportunity to learn about videography while also giving a marketing boost to independent restaurants.
"We live in one of the best food cities in the world, and in Queens, there's a lot of home cooking and a lot of cuisines that don't get a lot of attention," said painter Caroline M. Sun, of Jamaica, who made a two-minute video of her favorite food vendors in Flushing .
"It's cooking that's closer to the immigrant experience in Queens," added Sun, 48.
For featured restaurants, the project offers welcome advertising with a creative twist.
Mendez said his business can always use extra exposure.
"In Manhattan , it's easier - there are business people and it's a tourist area. There are no tourists in Queens," he said. Beatriz Gil, a 30-year-old writer from East Elmhurst who made a video for a local Thai restaurant, said she wanted to support Queens merchants.
"The whole purpose of this project is to promote culture, arts and food in Queens - and economic development," she said. "The borough has a lot to offer."
For Johnny Koljenovic, owner of the restaurant Locale in Astoria, spreading the word about his business is a priority, especially now when times are tough.
"I love what I do," he said, "but these days it's very hard to keep up with prices."
DWnews: Chinese Female Artists Move People's Emotion By Employing Gentleness
Caroline M. Sun’s Paintings of Animals Are Warm and Mesmerizing
In contrast to the abstract style of Lan, Chinese American artist Caroline M. Sun’s style of painting is more figurative. The majority of her work focuses on animals as the main theme. Under Ms. Sun’s brush, animals such as giraffes, seals, foxes, and polar bears are full of human warmth. Their friendly smiling faces will break your heart. Currently exhibiting her work at Flushing Town Hall, Ms. Sun says that her inspiration come from various media in which animals are the primary subject. These include news reports, movies, and documentary film. Unfortunately, most of the news reporting is about the sad stories of animal cruelty. Ms. Sun hopes that the animals in her work do not express anger or sadness, but rather display sweetness and beauty that can touch people’s hearts and move them to protect animals.
A graduate of University of Pennsylvania’s Law School, Ms. Sun has moved from being a lawyer into a professional artist. Ms. Sun has a pleasant personality, and she responds and speaks quickly. With her former history, Ms. Sun speaks frankly about her job experience and artistic practice. She realizes one has to be true to oneself in order to be happy. This is why she especially treasures her current creative process as a professional artist. In her depictions of the lovely movement of animals, each of Ms. Sun’s paintings seems to tell a warm and moving story. Friends of Ms. Sun have suggested that there is definitely a market for her work in children’s books, reproductions, and even mugs and T-shirts. But Ms. Sun said that at this point of her career, she wants to focus on her creativity, and any other related enterprise will be considered only when the time is right. In addition to Flushing Town Hall, her works are also currently displayed at the Holiday Inn Manhattan View (address: 39-05 29th St., Long Island City, N.Y.) until August 25, 2010.
Caroline M. Sun
Work on display at Flushing Town Hall until 9/12 /10
Hours: weekends from 12 noon – 5pm.
Address: 137-35 Northern Blvd.
Friday, July 25, 2008 1:14 PM EDT
What Queens-based artists Michael Puleo and Caroline Sun have in common is that they started out pursuing careers that didn't have much to do with artwork. Puleo, a Floral Park native, went to business school for marketing, and Sun, who lives in Jamaica, pursued a law degree under her parents' advisement and working for a top firm for several years but feeling unfulfilled by her profession.
"I became depressed and I thought, 'I can't keep doing this,' so I quit and went back to school for literature, got my master's and started teaching, and that's also when I started painting. Since then the painting has just kind of taken over," Sun said of her professional transition from the courtroom to the painter's studio.
Puleo, on the other hand, presented one of his professors with a series of paintings for a marketing assignment for a cologne ad. "He said, 'You didn't follow the assignment, but what you turned in here inspired me.'" It was that early encouragement from his professor that led Puleo to continue painting.
Both of these artists still pay the bills with less creative work but have removed themselves from the front lines of the rat race, committing their aspirations instead to the pursuit of an artistic lifestyle.
Puleo and Sun are just two of such Queens residents struggling to make a name for themselves in the art world. They, along with 48 of their contemporaries from the community — both serious artists and hobbyists — have their work on display at the Bayside Historical Society's "Celebration of the Arts" exhibit, which is running until Aug. 3.
One of the few juried art events in Queens, "Celebration of the Arts" is in its eighth year, and for the first time since its inception, the entrants have doubled. "We typically see about 20 to 25 entries, but this year there were 50. It's great and we'd like to see it get even bigger next year," said Alison McKay, who organized this year's event. "We like to bring artists from all of Queens out in the open."
The judges critiquing the works were Marie Marsina, the president of the National Art League in Douglaston, and Faustino Quintanilla, the director of the Queensborough Community College Art Gallery. Out of the 50 entrants this year, three works received awards and another three were given honorable mention.
Based on excellence in creativity, composition and technique, the first place went to a watercolor entitled "Sanctuary" by Christine Ferrari. Second place was awarded to Joseph Loguirato for a pencil drawing, "Manhattan Spotlight," and third went to Rosetta Benta for a small oil painting called "Dunes." Adolpho Caldas, Nancy Fabrizio and Robert Wolff were given honorable mention.
It's not about the awards, however, for people like Puleo, who has three pieces featured in the exhibit: "Mental Lava Flow," "Iron Man — If I Only Had a Heart" and "Circus Sun."
"There are a lot of artists out there and everyone wants to get noticed," he said. "You're like a drop in the sea of art. So if you can get your work out there any way you can, I'm happy about that."
If you go:
When: Thurs–Sun, noon-4 p.m., through Aug. 3
Where: Bayside Historical Society, 208 Totten Ave., Bayside
Cost: $3 suggested donation
For More: baysidehistorical.org, home.att.net/~csun/, puleo-art.com or 718-352-1548
“I do believe animals have all of the feelings that we have but can’t express in words,” she explained. “I put in visual form their emotional life as much as I can perceive it.”
“I’ve always been fascinated by animals,” said Sun, who remembers drawing them as a child. She is a self-taught painter, although she has taken several art classes over the years. Sun was born in Wisconsin and moved to Jamaica when she was just two.
She attended Queens College, where she studied literature and chemistry. Sun worked in a hospital, but discovered it wasn’t her calling. She attended law school in Pennsylvania and practiced patent litigation before returning to the City University of New York Graduate Center to study literature. She credits art with saving her life, noting that she had become very depressed while studying law.
Although she had continued painting throughout college, Sun returned to her craft in earnest when she began studying literature again. She is influenced by many works: “Everything from ‘Black Beauty’ to ‘Trumpets of the Swan’ to Greek mythology to ‘Watership Down.’” Her paintings, often noted for their resemblance to book illustrations, are also inspired by children’s literature.
Speaking to Sun, one easily notes her connection with people and animals. She has a unique sensitivity to the feelings and emotions of others, and her insight comes through on the canvas. Her vibrant paintings of penguins on an iceberg or rhinoceroses in a field, for example, revel in the small moments of interconnectivity: the penguins gaze at each other lovingly, and together, the rhinoceroses stare into the distance purposefully.
Admirers of her paintings quickly sense this intuition. Even though she strives to create a serene quality in her work, Sun was still surprised when a friend told her she felt a sense of calm after viewing her painting of a killer whale.
The artist mostly works with acrylic on canvas. She starts with the foreground, and paints the background last. As she translates the images in her mind onto canvas, Sun said a story will often unfold.
“I don’t know the story until I start painting the story,” she explained. “And that’s why the background comes last.”
Sun loves color, and is inspired by the works of Henri Rousseau, Henri Matisse and Vincent Van Gogh, in particular, for his liberal use of color.
She has exhibited her work at several venues throughout Queens over the years, including the Bayside Historical Society and the Women’s Studio Center in Long Island City. She also has two exhibitions this summer — one at Flushing Town Hall and another in Port Washington.
Sun works as a freelance editor to support her career as an artist and while she continues to exhibit her work, Sun plans on looking into children’s book illustration. To find out more about Sun, visit her Web site at http://www.carolinemsun.blogspot.com
New York News
Queens--Queens Council on the Arts (a New York arts association) held "an exchange for artists" in the Bohemian Beer Garden in Astoria. Nearly 100 artists came for the media exchange and to promote their ideas and creative work.
QCA's Arts Services Director, Chris Henderson, said that the event was primarily aimed at having Queens artists make contact with the local media outlets. By making connections directly between artists and their work with the press, QCA was helping to spread the word of the growing development of the art scene in Queens.
New York Times senior art critic Ken Johnson was one of the panelists who talked about the perspective of the media and how artists can become more involved in getting press exposure. Chinese artists also participated in yesterday's business card exchange including Caroline M. Sun. Ms. Sun was a practicing attorney for four years, then went back to graduate school to study English Literature, but has finally found that painting is her true calling. Her work focuses on animals using acrylic paint on canvas. Ms. Sun said that her work often reflects what she is feeling. When her work is joyful, it reflects her current attitude. You can see Ms. Sun's work at www.carolinemsun.blogspot.com
The Taiwan Design Center also had several artists present at the event. Yang Chin Chih said that most of his work is conceptual art concerned with environmental issues in recent years. He hopes that his work can be used to awaken people to the dangers of human pollution.
Chris Henderson said that if readers are interested in the artist community of Queens, they should check out Queens Council of the Arts at www.queenscouncilarts.org