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Queens Library Presents Cost of Living Exhibition
Chanika Svetvilas, Come out and play with me, 2007, mixed media, Image courtesy the artist.

JAMAICA, NY.- This winter, warm up inside Queens Library at Flushing’s International Resource Center , while viewing the latest exhibition in the International Resource Center Gallery, Cost of Living. The Gallery exhibit will be up on view during all public service hours from January 23 – April 14, 2008. The Queens Library is pleased to present Cost of Living, a two-person exhibition featuring the work of New York City-based artists Swati Khurana and Chanika Svetvilas.

In her drawing series Popular Pastoral, Swati Khurana has revisited the formal simplicity of ink on paper. The drawings, based on images she has collected from books, newspapers, and magazines are for the artist also an act of "collage". This body of work illustrates the intersection between the artist’s own imagination with the fantastic and often outlandish world of Bollywood cinema. Khurana will also be exhibiting Save 49,500 Rupees, an installation which refers to the practice of gender-selective pregnancy termination in order to avoid paying a 50,000 Rupee dowry for a daughter’s wedding. This piece takes a hard look at the value of marriage and the value of women’s bodies in Indian culture.

Chanika Svetvilas transforms suitcases into sculptural expressions using found objects, text, and mixed media to critique cultural consumerism. She also scrutinizes the power dynamics of increased security and border control and transcribes themes of migration and immigration, as well as the dynamics of personal journeys. The suitcases reflect the multitude of shared experiences of Queens residents in searching for a sense of home and new opportunities.

Swati Khurana was born in New Delhi , and emigrated to New York in 1977. She has shown her work widely, both nationally and internationally. Khurana holds an M.A. in Studio Art and Criticism degree from New York University .

Chanika Svetvilas is a New York City-based artist who has shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions in the New York area. She earned a B.S. in Studio Arts degree from Skidmore College . Svetvilas is also a founding member of ThaiLinks (

Queens Library is an independent, not-for-profit corporation and is not affiliated with any other library. The Queens Library serves a population of 2.2 million in the most ethnically diverse county in the U.S. With a record 21 million items in circulation for FY 2007, the Library has the highest circulation of any public library system in the U.S. and one of the highest circulations in the world. For more information about programs, services, locations, events and news, visit the Queens Library Web site at or phone 718-990-0700. Queens Library Enrich Your Life®.

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