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Queensborough exhibit showcases works by elderly artists

Bayside’s Queensborough Community College has provided space where eight borough painters who do not fit the typical role of aspiring artist can display their works for one month.

The college is hosting the works of Chinese and Russian immigrants, most of whom are in their 80s or 90s, who use the services of Flushing’s Margaret Tietz Adult Day Health Care. The 12 paintings, photographs and sculptures will be on display in the Loggia Room of the school’s art gallery through early July.

“We have a lot of talented artists at Margaret Tietz, so we brought the work to the gallery,” said Tina Antonucci, an artist who curated the exhibition. “I think for many of them this is their first exhibit. They are very excited to see their work up. Some of their work is so amazing that they could have solo exhibitions.”

Most of the artists are from Flushing or Forest Hills.

The artworks include painted sculptures of Chinese houses and bridges made of newspaper; a variety of watercolor, Chinese ink and oil on canvas paintings; photos of China; and two watercolor on paper paintings by 97-year-old Ukrainian immigrant Aleksandr Vinokur.

“It’s a place I went for the summer four years ago,” Vinokur said of his painting “My Young Time,” which shows a colorful house surrounded by grass with a ladder leading up to the roof.

Shu Bi, who grew up in Shanghai, contributed two paintings to the exhibition — “Baby,” an oil on canvas of an infant, and “Spring Trip,” which shows a boat on a river surrounded by lush plant life.

“I’m very excited and happy,” she said of her work being displayed. “If there are further activities like this, I’d love to participate.”

Linda Spiegel, director of public affairs for the Tietz center, said the site offers therapy and social programs to senior immigrants from Russia, China and India who are referred by their doctors. The center collaborated with Queensborough on the exhibit after the college learned Margaret Tietz’s clients included numerous artists.

The public will be able to view the artworks for free during regular art gallery hours at the college, at 222-05 56th Ave. in Bayside.

Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e-mail at or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 156.

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