QUEENS CENTERS FOR PROGRESS UNVEILS SCULPTURE
IN HONOR OF JUNETEENTH
Gina Jean-Baptist has been a staff member at Queens Centers for Progress (QCP) for more than 30 years. As a Direct Support Professional, Gina has been working in QCP’s Residential Program making sure the people with intellectual disabilities, whom the agency supports, are well cared for and kept safe.
Gina also has a brother who is a renowned sculptor, Tristan Cassamajor. Gina asked her brother to create a work of art to honor her staff and the individuals in QCP’s programs in celebration of Juneteenth. Her brother happily obliged and on Monday, June 20th at QCP’s Bellerose Campus, the sculpture was unveiled in observance of the recently enacted holiday.
During the brief ceremony, QCP formally unveiled the striking 4-foot-tall artwork, which was carved over a period of 5 days while her brother was in town visiting from Belgium, where he resides. The sculpture is carved in a dark green granite and represents celebration, recognition, and unity for all future generations. During the unveiling, QCP’s Executive Director, Terri Ross, along with Assembly Member David Weprin and Council Member Linda Lee, delivered remarks.
“We are incredibly moved by Gina and Tristan Cassamajor’s gift,” said Terri Ross, “particularly as we celebrate Juneteenth. This stunning piece of artwork will forever remind us of the fight for freedom and inclusion, and that the fight for equality still continues to this day.”
“Tristan Cassamajor is one of the most unique and exciting voices in contemporary monumental sculpture,” reads the Gallery, Maison Gerrard’s website. “His use of African themes juxtaposed with a classical sense of space and traditional sculpting practices creates pieces which are both physically impressive and thought provoking. His career has taken him across three continents, and his work is a fixture in both public institutions and in the private art market.”
The sculpture will live permanently in front of the very house where Gina proudly works within the seven-acre campus.