This collaboration is a series of events that aim to showcase the work of local artists and promote the local economy in Jackson Heights. This collaboration celebrates the diversity of artists in the neighborhood and the vibrant commercial corridors.

The project goals are:
1) encourage new synergies between the local artist community and local merchants;
2) increase foot traffic into businesses through art and culture initiatives in the neighborhood; and
3) raise the visibility of local artists and storefront vacancies available for business.

Making Art Spaces is an initiative that aims to connect local artists and residents to under-utilized and vacant spaces for community engagement through arts and culture. This initiative is led by Hibridos Collective as a way to re-envision the neighborhood using public art. The collective is joining forces with the local merchants to support a thriving marketplace.


The 82nd Street Partnership invited Hibridos Collective to curate interactive art by Queens-based artist during the second annual Viva la Comida! festival to celebrate authentic food, music and culture along the commercial corridor of the 82nd Street Market. Híbridos Collective invited Mexican painter and graffiti artist Carlos Amador (a.k.a. Honexl Xe) and Japanese illustrator and mixed-media artist Rica Takashima to engage festival goers with their public art.

¡Viva la Comida! - Poster

¡Viva la Comida! – Poster

To commemorate the food theme of the festival, Carlos painted a live piece inspired by the significance of corn as a source of sustenance in the Americas titled “The Origin of Corn”. Using two pieces of plywood, he started illustrating the god of maize and by the of the end of the night he brought to life scenes depicting indigenous peoples harvesting corn and the industrial commercialization of corn. Carlos’ work is not only rooted in representations of Mexican culture, his work is also invested in social commentary as illustrated by an image of genetically modified corn.

Rica’s interactive work called “Aliens in New York”, is a life-sized portable peek-a-boo (Peekaboo-kun) that represents people from different cultures, including their typical dress and mannerisms. Rica brought over 30 peek-a-boos from a body of work containing over 200 peek-a-boos. Each peek-a-boo has a story of it’s own and a description is affixed to the back of the structure. It includes information about the peek-a-boo’s country of origin, the culture and personal story. Rica titled this body of work “Aliens in New York” to explore the experience people feel when they come to the United States from another country. “I think one of the reasons that my exhibits were better received by audiences than I expected is New Yorkers’ strong curiosity and desire. To rediscover New York from ‘aliens’ point of view is a universal theme” (Aliens in New York 2013 Annual Report Vol.1).