Here's What You Need to Know About JCAL's Evolution Group Exhibition

  • March 1, 2024

JCAL is set for the opening reception of Evolution, a group exhibition featuring the five-person cohort of ARTWorks, JCAL’s annual Artist Residency and Training residency and fellowship. The exhibition will span both JCAL galleries, featuring work created by the artists before and during their residency and fellowship. Evolution will run March 16 to May 3, with a 5-8pm opening reception on March 16 at JCAL (161-04 Jamaica Ave.).

RSVP to the opening reception:

ARTWorks is a 10-month fellowship focused on career sustainability for emerging, underrepresented visual artists in New York City. The five artists were chosen by jury for the cohort, and have honed their artistic and entrepreneurial skills in workshops and collaborations throughout the residency. The cohort has enjoyed free use of JCAL studios and galleries and participated in curated seminars. Lisa D. Wade, a distinguished artist-photographer based in Southeast Queens and longtime member of the Southeast Queens Artist Alliance, serves as curator for Evolution; she also served as Project Manager for ARTWorks for a second consecutive year.

In addition to the March 16 opening reception, Evolution will feature an artist meet-and-greet on March 22 and an artist talk on April 13. JCAL will also host an interactive art-making workshop with the cohort on April 27 and a closing reception on May 3.

“When the time came to prepare for the exhibition it was clear that the title would be Evolution and to support this theme the gallery will be divided into three spaces,” says Lisa Wade. “The first gallery will house works newly inspired, the second gallery will house works from the past, and the third space will be artworks housed in a mock living room with upcycled components. The third space in particular will expose our audience to art that moves from the gallery space to the home space. We look forward to sharing the Evolution experience with the community.”

Meet the Artists

Jaimee Todd is a self-taught multidisciplinary artist based in Sunnyside, Queens. She has worked in various mediums, including photography, digital collage, drawing and painting. She has exhibited with various institutions that include the U.S. State Department, National Black Theatre, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and Rutgers University-Newark. She has also been published in All She Makes Magazine and Mfon: Women Photographers of the African Diaspora. Todd’s work has also served as a form of advocacy for breast cancer survivors and the Flint water crisis.

Anisa Li-A-Ping is a first-generation Guyanese American from Jamaica, Queens. She is an emerging artist who has a background in traditional and digital art. She graduated from the School of Visual Arts in 2020 with a B.F.A. in computer art and visual effects. She created the art collectible, "A.I. (Ambiguous Individuals)," located at the Streams Art Gallery in Hong Kong.

LisaMaria Maya, a Latina visual artist born and raised in Queens, New York to immigrant parents from Puerto Rico and Spain, intuitively creates mixed-media art. From art educator to homeschooling mom to full-time artist, Maya’s goal is to inspire creativity and hope in others. Art heals her anxiety and expresses the joy that exists amidst the struggles of life. Inspired by human resilience, especially the strength and beauty of women, Maya desires to empower the viewer to embrace the possibility of redemptive transformation in order to shine beautifully through their brokenness.

Issa Cabrera is a New York City-based artist focusing on ceramics. Working exclusively on the wheel at present, Cabrera enjoys creating functional pieces that add beauty to everyday life. Since forming her first pinch pot in high school, Issa loved pottery. After a hiatus, Cabrera returned to ceramics and started a devoted practice intending to master the wheel and hone her own aesthetic. Cabrera holds a B.A. from Wesleyan University. She worked as a teaching artist in New York City public schools for many years and sang professionally. Born and raised in Montclair, New Jersey to immigrant parents, she resides and works in Queens. Partnering with JCAL now in 2023, her work continues to grow in artistry and notability. She still has that first high-school pinch pot!

Alexander Bustamante is a multidisciplinary artist and educator who creates installations and site-specific, public-engaged works. His work explores the experience of being a first-generation American and examines the role of race and class in American society. Alexander completed his B.F.A. at the School of Visual Arts (SVA) and his M.F.A. at Hunter College. His work examines the aforementioned themes by creating a rich vocabulary of symbols from everyday life and experimenting with their meaning and potential using different mediums such as painting, drawing, sculpture, performance, digital, video and installation. His work has been exhibited at MDW Fair, MANA Contemporary, Franconia Sculpture Park, Global Mode, Cervantes Spanish Cultural Institute, as well as with Hauser & Wirth’s M.F.A. Thesis Spotlight. Beyond his studio and exhibition work, Bustamante is also a museum educator and teaching artist. He has worked at the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute, the Smithsonian, Studio Museum in Harlem, and with SVA’s M.F.A. program.

Meet the Curator

Lisa D. Wade is a Queens-based intuitive visual artist. She uses photography, mixed media, clay, assemblage and collage. She has had solo and group exhibitions in Queens, Bronx, and Elmont, New York since 2017. Her work represents the confluence of intuition with material. She approaches her creations in service to her guides and allows the art to manifest in a form of its choosing. In addition, she has curated photography exhibitions, co-written arts grants, and worked on arts committees to produce several visual art programs. She now serves as Historian for Historic Addisleigh Park, Queens, archiving and leading tours.