My public work of art is Grace Episcopal Church in Jamaica Queens. This church dates back from 1702 however; the present building was established in 1862.
I believe it is an art work because it was added to the American national register of historical places in 1983.The buildings architecture exterior displays an early English Gothic design with a tall spire. While the interior models a roman empire like design. The floor has Italian marble; the windows are stained with biblical images and English oak borders. The whole interior of Grace boasts beautiful, elegant and graceful patterns. The reading desk is an immaculately sculptured eagle, while the Lord’s Prayer and Ten Commandments is prominently displayed in the rear of the chancel. One of the main attractions is the sound and sight of a strikingly ancient organ, the sound is simply majestic. There is also a bell that weighs a whopping 400lbs. On several stones or blocks are inscribed names of former members that date back to the eighteen century; outside in the yard you’ll find the same thing. The graveyard is also an historical site, with a grand land space for cemetery. At the entrance of the church there are two gigantic locust trees on both sides of the pathway leading to the entrance of the church.
Grace Anglican church is located in a predominant black community. It is admired not only by members but also by people who pass by.It is located in the smack in the middle of what I consider to be a commercial area across the street from the Jamaica Queen branch of the social security office. The area consists of stores, restaurants, farmers market, apartments ,the former Mary Immaculate hospital which was recently closed,and the Jamaica center subway that connects you to the city and beyond. The church is pretty hard to miss given that it is also by designated bus stop for several MTA buses. It is also located near a public park, Rufus King. Rufus King was also a significant figure of Grace church in the eighteen century. King’s family gave bountiful contributions to the expansion, development and maintenance of Grace Episcopal Church.
The church serves as a haven, shelter, home, place for hot meal on Tuesday’s soup kitchen and most importantly a place of worship for mainly immigrants. This immigrant community hails from mainly the Caribbean. It is quiet fascinating the diversity and integration that the church provides. It is vastly appreciated and quiet welcoming. There are several programs and organizations offered in the church that is freely offered to the public such as, meals, counseling for alcoholics, drug addicts, family issues, immigration issues, prayer etc. There are two services offered on Sundays so as to accommodate all or most. It also offers scholarships and aid to students at secondary and tertiary levels. Due to its contribution and relationship to with the community it garners dedication and appeal. With an undocumented motto all are welcome, or ‘whose to ever will may come.’
I would consider Grace Episcopal Church to be included in the NYC 2010 exhibition because, it is very rich in history, it boast architectural beauty, and is definitely a testimonial of public art.