The QCC Art Gallery and the Department of Engineering Technology are Proud to Present Queensborough’s First Alumni Architecture Exhibit

Published: April 26, 2022

“Exceptional artists have within them what I call the creative light,” said Professor Craig R. Weber (AIA), Associate Professor in the Engineering Technology Department at Queensborough Community College. “For this show we will display the works of alumni who, as architecture students, constructed models of historically important buildings and residences of their choice.” 

“Like any sophisticated artwork, whether a painting, multi-media installation or sculpture, an architect needs a keen sense of purpose, placement, and aesthetic,” said Faustino Quintanilla, QCC Art Gallery Executive Director. “These artists exemplify this connection as they pay tribute to some of the greatest architects of the 20th century.” 

The architecture exhibit, which opens April 27 at the QCC Art Gallery, features eleven works by Queensborough graduates. 

Among them is Chelsea Cameron,’18, now pursuing her master's in architecture at Florida International University. Cameron is currently an architectural intern at Design2Form in Hollywood, Florida. Miguel Garcia, ’17, and Elan N. Grabarnik, ’20, are now pursuing their bachelor's degrees in architecture at The City College of New York. Grabarnik aspires to continue his architecture studies at Pratt Institute, or Yale University, where Queensborough alum Nicole LeBeau graduated about seven years ago. 

LeBeau already had a degree from SUNY Binghamton when she enrolled at Queensborough. Weber recalls that when he asked why she decided to enroll at Queensborough to continue her education in architecture she said, “I know I'll get a good grounding here.” After obtaining her associate degree, she applied to several Ivy League schools to pursue her master’s degree and told Weber of her offers from Harvard University and from Yale University (she chose Yale). “She was a magnificent student from every perspective. She had a perfect G.P.A., well-crafted models, and her creative response was architecturally superlative.” 

Another excellent former Queensborough student, Serge Jacques, now a registered architect, was a top graduate of The City College of New York. He was awarded a George Soros Foundation Scholarship to help rebuild affordable housing in his home country of Haiti for survivors of the 2021 earthquake, in which he lost a sister.  

“I make a point of taking my students out of the classroom to experience the history, the presence, the texture and the form of buildings—this is crucial in order to develop a skillful design instinct,” said Weber, who has been an instructor of Architectural Engineering at Queensborough for 42 years.  

Before the pandemic, Weber routinely took his students on field trips to some of the most famous architectural structures in the Metropolitan area, including the famous Glass House of 1949, located in New Canaan, Connecticut. 

These trips and the study of masterpieces around the world influenced several models in the show, namely the Mies van der Rohe weekend country house, considered to be a 20th Century masterpiece, The Soumaya Museum in Mexico City, and The Villa Savoye - Poissy, France. 

Two of the works shown displayed are original designs. 

Weber remarked, “I want to convey to all my students the importance of continuum in history. As architect Philip Johnson, who designed the iconic Glass House in 1949 in New Canaan, Connecticut said, “One cannot not know history.” 

Weber is a RA (Registered architect), a member of AIA (American Institute of Architects), and SAH (Society of Architectural Historians). Among his degrees are a master's in Architecture & Urban Design from Columbia University, and a master's in Art History from Brooklyn College. 

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