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TIMESLEDGER | Q 14 NS.COM | DEC. 24 - DEC. 30, 2021
BY BENEDETTA TOMMASELLI
Next year, the Jamaica Center for Arts &
Learning (JCAL) will begin commemorating its
50th anniversary with an art exhibition accompanied
by Jamaica native and legendary artist
The exhibition, called “Early Days and Latter
Days,” will open with a reception on Saturday,
Feb. 5, 2022, and will remain on view through
Saturday, June 18.
It will feature both of JCAL’s galleries and
feature works from the beginning of Simmons’
career, as well as new works created specifically
for his yearlong residency at JCAL.
“Early Days & Latter Days” not only marks
Simmons’ return to Jamaica, but just one of several
capstones to JCAL’s remarkable 50 years of
service to southeast Queens.
“Jamaica, Queens, is deeply embedded in my
DNA. To be coming home with a retrospective
exhibition and an exhibition of completely new
work is a grand high honor. To be recognized
at the 50th anniversary of JCAL is a fantastic
benchmark for my career in the arts, a very special
honor which I’m truly grateful to receive,”
While he’s a legendary artist, Simmons is also
a leader in the art world with his philanthropic
ventures, artistic talents and drive.
He has also co-produced the hit HBO show
“Def Poetry Jam” and won a Tony award for the
Broadway version of the show.
Simmons inaugurated his residency at JCAL
back in October 2021 with “Homecoming,” a spoken
word-and-jazz concert that welcomed legendary
bassist Ron Carter and a lineup of acclaimed
poets to the stage.
In the spring of 2022, Simmons will participate
in two public artist talks to share his life process
and journey as a renowned multidisciplinary artist
“Simmons truly embodies living an artist’s
life in 360 degrees — with all the struggles, inspirations
and determination it requires. Danny’s
first artwork was indeed shown at what was once
called Jamaica Arts Center, and we’re honored
to welcome him back,” said Courtney Ffrench,
JCAL artistic director.
Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning is
known to be a multidisciplinary arts center based
in the diverse community of southeast Queens.
First founded in 1972, the center is devoted to
offering quality visual, performing and literary
arts, and to providing accessible education programs
to encourage participation in the arts.
Jamaica native and legendary artist Danny Simmons. Photo courtesy of JCAL
JAMAICA CENTER FOR
ARTS & LEARNING
TO CELEBRATE 50TH
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