Meet our new 2016 Program Intern, Maya Reyes!
So, what made you decide to intern with The LP?
I decided to intern with The LP because I am deeply invested in the potential of community arts, particularly for youth of color. Over last summer and this past academic year, I conducted research on the impact and meaning of mural making within a gentrified context, focusing on El Puente’s murals in South Williamsburg. Through my research I became aware of the importance of arts accessibility to urban youth. Art workshops and programming that address relevant issues are so important because most of the art world often operates in an elite sphere, that is not open to marginalized communities. I see The LP as an organization that understands and resists that elitism, so I am really excited to work here!
Do you have your own creative practice? If so, tell us more!
Most of my artistic work is through writing—I have a lot of experience with spoken word and poetry. I also have made collages for a few years, and really enjoy developing film photographs. I made my first zine last year and that is something I hope to work on again this summer.
Can you tell us about an artist or project that has inspired you?
The mural I focused my research on, Cultura Con Azucar (2014)—which is on Kent Ave, continues to inspire me. The work was created by Los Muralistas de El Puente, and is on the temporary construction wall of a future condominium. The work is really exciting to me because it was created through a conversation about gentrification right next to a condominium, and incorporated the voices and artistic capabilities of local youth. Furthermore, the mural itself addressed such a wide history of the Puerto Rican community, from sugar plantations in Puerto Rico to the workers at the Domino Sugar Factory. I’m really invested in the idea of historical consciousness, so this mural is very meaningful to me.
What is your favorite… film?
I will give three for each because it’s too hard to pick one…
Volver by Pedro Almodovar, Blue Velvet by David Lynch, and The Great Beauty by Pablo Sorrentino
Albums: Ziggy Stardust (David Bowie), My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (Kanye West), and His N Hers (Pulp)
Pizza from Dani’s in Kew Gardens, Pad See Ew from SriPraPrai in Woodside, and bacalao con berenjena that my parents make
Where do you do your laundry?
I grew up doing my laundry at this Korean laundromat on Jamaica Ave and 76th st. In college, I either did laundry in my dorm or at a local place called Mr. Suds, in Brunswick ME. Laundry at Mr. Suds was actually a really fun group event with my friends, where we did homework or just chatted together. Now there is a laundromat in my apartment complex in Rego Park!
In your opinion, why does art matter?
Art matters because creativity is inherent to the human spirit, and everyone should be made to feel that they can and should access that creativity!