Opening Reception November 15, 2-5pm
Unwavering Truth: Archive of Our Own seeks to present an honest look at people with Neurofibromatosis Type 2 (NF2). The exhibit presents works of art by artists with NF2 or artwork related to NF2, meant to depict the emotional truth underlying the thought processes of someone with NF2, while demonstrating that there is more to the artist than just the disorder. In an accompanying video to be played at the exhibit, Kristina Diaz discusses her experience with the disorder throughout her life. She will tell her story in relation to artist Nathalie Trytell who passed away fighting the disorder in 2011 while striving to maintain her artistic voice despite diminishing physical ability to do so. Viewers will see the progression over time as NF2 has long-term effects that take their toll on people both physically and emotionally.
The exhibit will display MRI/CT scans, poetry, paintings, pictures, a sculpture to help the audience get a better idea of the artists and NF2. The centerpieces of the exhibit are 2 large collages that show pictures from throughout Nathalie and Kristina’s life shown left to right in a chronological order in order to establish and discover trends which may have manifested because of NF2. At the same time, the exhibit organizers aim to show that the subject’s sole trait is not the disorder, but that there is life beyond NF2. Through the expression of an individual these traits will be shown in their artwork, their words, their feelings expressed through a long period of time.
NF2 is a genetic nervous system disorder that causes tumors to grow around nerves and throughout the body; it affects about 1 in every 25,000 people and does not discriminate.
Symptoms can include:
Vestibular Schwannomas (bilateral tumors in the tissue around the eighth cranial nerve that often result in hearing loss or deafness, and/or ringing in the ear (tinnitus) and facial weakness
Meningiomas (tumors on the membrane that covers the spinal cord and brain)
Ependymomas (tumors that develop inside the spine)
Other peripheral nerve tumors
Weakness or numbness
Can lead to complications causing death.
Shannon Drummond Wachal
About the Exhibition Organizers
Kristina Diaz Diagnosed with NF2 (the first case in her family’s history) at age 8, has kept to her love for art and earned her Master of Arts in Creative Arts Therapy as a means to give back and help others. She has developed and implemented Art Therapy programs at the Queens Museum Art Access program for deaf school-aged children in her graduate research study. She continues to provide art therapy with both hearing and deaf communities with mental illness and developmental delays. Kristina has also been proactive in the NF community by fundraising while running in many endurance events (Half Marathons, 10ks, 5ks) and connecting with the NF community by forming friendships and support. She is an advocate for similar causes such as St Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the American Cancer Society because she understands on both physical and emotional levels what it means to struggle with chronic illness from a young age and maintaining quality of life.
Ryan Camarda Ryan cut his teeth working as a freelance, Director, DP, and Producer as well as by his stint as asst. Producer and Editor with 1TEntertainment. His short, The Craigslist Files: Episode 1 – Donnie and Charlotte, was selected as a Best of New York film in this year’s 48 Hour Film Project Festival. His short Departure has also been selected for the Melbourne International Student Film Festival.
This exhibition is a collaboration with the Queens Museum’s ArtAccess Program.
Thanks to GoFundMe Supporters: Maria Diaz, Randi C. Friedman, Catherine Engelmeyer, John Golfinos, MD., Thomas Roland, MD., Jeffry Wisoff, MD., Dominique lallemand, Victoria Station Hair Supply and Salon, Tan Yi Liang, Joseph Diaz, Daniel Diaz and Alexandra, Daniel Diaz, Sharon King, Children’s Tumor Foundation, Walter Diaz, Kristin Barcia, Jacqueline Murphy, Martin and Noreen Diaz, Helga Braun, Eileen Licausi, Liz Smith.
Additional support for the exhibition generously provided by DBUN Designs, Children’s Tumor Foundation, NY Physical Therapy & Wellness, and Lord & Taylor.
Community Partnership Exhibition Program
The Community Partnership Gallery at the Queens Museum provides opportunities for our cultural and other nonprofit organizational partners to develop and mount short-term exhibitions based on their programs and our collaborative projects. In addition, it regularly showcases the work of students in the Museum’s Department of Education programs.
Proposals are accepted on a rolling basis from January 1 -September 1 of each calendar year for exhibitions to take place the following year. Decisions will be announced no later than October 15.