Alumni News: Art Event at Fort Totten by Aaron Asis

Queens College art department alumnus Aaron Asis (BFA, 2003) is creating a unique site-specific installation at Fort Totten. Fortified is a special weekend event at Fort Totten Park which consists of a series of temporary installations and public access tours to highlight the under-appreciated significance of the Battery sites at Fort Totten Park. An open access installation inside the Water Battery will include a series of overhead cords, woven through existing structural passages to encourage visitors to observe and appreciate the structural details which we planned but never completed. Guided public access within the Main Magazine and behind-the-scenes access tour of the Endicott Battery will also be provided — to highlight the truly unique characteristics and historic significance of Fort Totten.

The hope is that together, we can create a wonderful opportunity to gather and celebrate one of the most spectacular hidden treasures in the city — right here in Queens!

Fortified will be open to the public on Saturday (6/15) & Sunday (6/16) from 12pm-4pm. For more information please see the registration page, at:

Aaron Asis is an artist focused on promoting access, awareness and appreciation—throughout our built environments. Born and raised in Queens, NY, Aaron’s work explores a variety of artistic processes designed to inspire, educate, and demonstrate the power of creative collaborations – at the intersection of public interest, community engagement, and governmental coordination.

2019 Art Department Graduation Reception

The Art department would like to invite students and their families to an awards ceremony and reception to celebrate our graduating art students in the Godwin-Ternbach Museum after the commencement ceremony on Thursday, May 30th. We hope to see you there!

College Night at the Met: Notes on Fashion

Students are invited to the Met after hours for a night of dancing, fashion, and art making in celebration of student fashion designers and The Costume Institute exhibition Camp: Notes on Fashion, on Thursday, May 23rd, 6:30-9:30pm.

In March, undergraduate and graduate student fashion designers submitted preliminary designs inspired by images from the exhibition Camp: Notes on Fashion. From among many excellent entries, Met curators chose ten finalists to fabricate their designs. During this event, curators and special guests judge the finished garments and select two winners (one undergraduate student and one graduate student) and two runners-up. Students can vote for one overall fan favorite.

This event is open to currently enrolled undergraduate and graduate students only. Space is limited and advance registration is required.

View more event details and register online here!

Senior Projects Exhibition

You are invited to the 2019 Senior Projects exhibition featuring work by our graduating seniors in Studio Art and Design! The show will be hosted in the Klapper Student Gallery May 16th-30th, with a reception on May 16th, 5-7pm.

Special course offering for Fall 2019: Caribbean Art

The art history program will be offering a special course taught by Professor Lawrence Waldron: Caribbean Art from Pre-Columbian to Contemporary! This course is a broad survey of Caribbean art from an aesthetic, social and historical viewpoint, spanning the pre-Columbian through Contemporary Art periods. Unique and regional approaches to art making will be explored within a wider survey of visual culture across the multilingual, multiethnic Caribbean archipelagos. The course will fulfill credit for ARTH 200 and will meet Wednesdays 1:40-4:30pm.

Course offering for Fall 2019: Immanuel Kant & Contemporary Art

Professor Kurt Kauper will be offering a new topic for ARTS 390: Studies in Contemporary Art/ARTS 731: Problems in Representation. The course will be offered Fridays, 2:00-5:50pm and will explore the intersection of Contemporary Art and Immanuel Kant. See the full course description below:

Why would Adrian Piper title her 2017 retrospective at MOMA “A Synthesis of Intuitions,” a reference to the theoretical philosophy of Immanuel Kant? Was her interest in his work an embrace of an important influence, an ironic reinterpretation of his thought, or a combination of both? Why does the work of this late 18th century Prussian philosopher continue to be referenced and grappled with by a wide range of contemporary artists and thinkers, after having been considered foundational to 19th and 20th century art and critical theory? Just off the top of my head–as I write this course description–I can think of references to his work in the writings of Andre Breton, Clement Greenberg, Barnett Newman, Martha Rosler, Mary Kelly, Mike Kelley, Arthur Danto, Laura Cottingham, Barry Schwabsky, Odd Nerdrum, Fred Moten, Gayatri Spivak, Charles Gaines, Andrew Cole, Sianne Ngai, and Anouka Faruquee. What was it about Kant’s philosophy that took such strong hold of visual and critical thinking in the nineteenth century, and hasn’t let go of its grasp?

While carefully reading the entirety of Kant’s “Critique of the Power of Judgment,” we’ll consider these questions, while asking ourselves whether or not the concepts in his theory remain relevant to us today. Do key ideas in his work mean anything anymore? His concept of the beautiful? Of the sublime? The disinterested nature of aesthetic judgment? The relationship between beauty, knowledge, and morality? What could he have meant when he claimed that aesthetic judgment was “subjective” yet demanded “universal assent?” Is there any way to square such an apparently contradictory idea with contemporary experience?

Because Kant’s aesthetic theory is intimately related to his theoretical and moral philosophy, we’ll also consider passages from his other major texts, including “The Critique of Pure Reason,” The Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals,” and “The Prolegomena to any Future Metaphysics,” along with selections from the writing of artists, theorists, and historians who have pondered his influence over the past two hundred and thirty years. In addition, we’ll visit galleries and museums to look at art and consider it in relationship to Kant’s ideas.

I have my own interpretation of Kant, and it has led me to think that some of the writers and artists mentioned above either misunderstood or misrepresented his work. By the end of the course, I hope you’ll be in a position to question whether or not I’m right, whether or not I do that myself, and most important, what Kant means to you.

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