New Snug Harbor Exhibition, Queer Van Kult, Opens At Newhouse Center For Contemporary Art


The Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art at Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden is re-opening its doors to art lovers across New York City with its new exhibition Queer Van Kult: Revelation opening on April 30, 2022.

Queer Van Kult: Revelation transforms the Main Hall into a fully immersive dreamscape that subverts the societal narrative in which to be queer is to be “othered.” Growing up queer is to be subjected to religious dogma and often personal and familial rejection. Just by existing, a queer person instigates circumstances without their willing participation—scenarios fueled by patriarchal expectations and aspirations of a nuclear family. Upon entrance, Revelation invites visitors to be “unborn” from these societal expectations and enter a world where queerness is a preexisting condition. More information is available

Queer Van Kult: Revelation is an exciting, immersive platform for local artists pushing the boundaries of genre and form,” said Melissa West, Vice President of Curation, Visual and Performing Arts at Snug Harbor. “This residency and exhibition project advances Snug Harbor’s vision to be a springboard for the bold and unexpected, inviting artists to imagine, create, and connect to the unique space of the Newhouse Center. We are eager to present Queer Van Kult’s first gallery exhibition.”

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to present queer experimental art—especially in our home on Staten Island,” said the members of Queer Van Kult in a statement. “Our intended audience is the average Staten Islander who may not be exposed to queerness on a regular basis. While we aim on providing a richly queer and safe space, our main focus is to challenge preconceived notions and create a much-needed dialogue.”

Revelation is inspired by hell houses, nuclear families, dream logic, and creationism churches. Some of the topics explored are the sacred and the profane, passing as cisgender, and body dysmorphia. Queer Van Kult both curated and commissioned works from visual and new media artists local to Staten Island, and NYC.

Rainbow Flag. Image Credit - Raphael Renter

Rainbow Flag. Image Credit – Raphael Renter

The exhibition’s launch will be celebrated at the Opening Party on Saturday, April 30 from 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM in the Newhouse Center’s Main Hall Gallery in Building C. DJ Nazz Radiance, John Snyder, Elaichi and Juniper Spice, and Nicie Mok will perform. Admission is “pay what you wish,” with a suggested contribution of $5-$15. Advance tickets to the Opening Party are on sale at

Exhibiting artists include Zoë Alice, Rachel DeCesario, Lee Donlon, Therese Grossmeyer, Jurien Kampinga, Irina Katz, Peggy Lee, Mazzy Leinbach, Lovetapescollective, Rachel Lyngholm, Moody Marinaro, T. Marsh, Nicie Mok, Rena Parisi, Sea Shelves Productions, Jenno Snyder, John Snyder, Milange Solano, Samantha Tirado, and Zoë Tirado.

Queer Van Kult is a liturgy of performance, installation, and music with a focus on queer artistry and multimedia work. Imagined as a surreal funhouse of queer taste, Queer Van Kult was created as a response to a tapering of dedicated platforms for avant-garde performance and art on Staten Island.

The events presented and produced by the collective intend to encourage an atmosphere of community, unbounded creativity, and celebration—all while providing a home for the cultivation of experimental works by local and emerging artists beyond. Currently, Queer Van Kult is Rachel Lyngholm, Nicie Mok, Jenno Snyder, and Zoë Tirado.

Queer Van Kult: Revelation is made possible through generous support from the Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden is located at 1000 Richmond Terrace, Staten Island, NY and is open from dawn until dusk, seven days a week.  General admission to the Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art is $5 ($4 for students/seniors, free for Snug Harbor members and students grades 6-12 with student ID).  Hours for April 30 – July 24, 2022 are Friday – Saturday from 12:00 PM – 7:00 PM and Sunday from 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM.

About Snug Harbor

Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden is where art, history and nature converge. We offer dynamic programming in the arts, horticulture and agriculture for diverse communities and all ages, on our historic 83-acre campus. We envision being a locally impactful, globally renowned destination, true to our values of artistic vibrancy and community, inclusion and discovery, stewardship and conservation.

Snug Harbor is the result of more than four decades of restoration and development to convert a 19th-century charitable rest home for sailors into a regional arts center, botanical gardens and public park.  One of the largest ongoing adaptive reuse projects in America, Snug Harbor encompasses 26 historic structures, 14 botanical gardens, a 2.5-acre urban farm, wetlands, forests and park land on a free, open campus.  Snug Harbor is a proud Smithsonian Affiliate organization. Learn more at

Banner Image: Queer Van Cult postcard. Image Credit – Snug Harbor 


Snug Harbor Cultural Center

Snug Harbor was founded with the execution of the will of Robert Richard Randall, heir to a shipping fortune, who died in 1801. The will required the family fortune and estate be used to build and operate a haven for “aged, decrepit, and worn-out sailors.” Today, Snug Harbor is a place where history, architecture, visual and performing arts, gardens, agriculture, and education come together and provide dynamic experiences for all ages. It is one of the largest ongoing adaptive reuse projects in America and is one of New York City’s unique architectural complexes and historic landscapes. Majestic buildings of classic architectural styles are home to exhibitions on historical subjects and contemporary art. Snug Harbor’s Music Hall is the one of the oldest concert halls in New York City. Fourteen distinctive botanical gardens are spread across the site and include the celebrated New York Chinese Scholar’s Garden and the Richmond County Savings Foundation Tuscan Garden, based on a 18th century garden in Florence, Italy. Snug Harbor is also is home to the Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art, Snug Harbor Artist Residency Program (SHARP), Staten Island Museum, Staten Island Children’s Museum, Noble Maritime Collection, Art Lab, Children’s Harbor Montessori School, and Staten Island Conservatory of Music. Snug Harbor is also a proud Smithsonian affiliate.

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