Q100 was photographed by Salvador Espinoza during 2016. The only method of public transportation to and from Rikers Island, the Q100 bus originates in his hometown neighborhood of Long Island City. Beginning its route at Queens Plaza, the Q100 runs along 21st Street through the Queensbridge, Ravenswood, and Astoria neighborhoods, before crossing the commonly referred to “Bridge of Pain” to Rikers Island.
Rikers Island, situated across from LaGuardia airport’s runways on the East River between Hunts Point and Astoria, has not been without controversy in its 84 year history. Widely recognized as one of the worst jails in the country, it has been in the national spotlight for its frequent instances of abuse and corruption.
Espinoza’s motivation to photograph the Q100 was to present how mass incarceration doesn’t just affect the incarcerated, but also their loved ones, who can be seen waiting to board the Q100 as well. He adds, “As I would walk past the lines waiting to board the bus, I’d wonder about the mostly women and children starting their journeys to visit their loved ones on an island just across the east river not often thought about by the average New Yorker.”
Featuring: Salvador Espinoza
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Salvador Espinoza is a photographer born and raised in New York City. Primarily a documentary photographer and photojournalist, he specializes in focusing on social issues by photographing realistic slices of everyday life.
His work has won awards from The Queens Council on the Arts as well as The New York City Council, and has been published in The New York Times, BBC News, and Rolling Stone. He is currently an educator at the Bronx Documentary Center, and is a co-founder of Back to the Lab. He is proud to still call Long Island City his home, where he lives with his dog Miles.
The Queens Museum is dedicated to presenting the highest quality visual arts and educational programming for people in the New York metropolitan area, and particularly for the residents of Queens, a uniquely diverse, ethnic, cultural, and international community.
The Museum fulfills its mission by designing and providing art exhibitions, public programs and educational experiences that promote the appreciation and enjoyment of art, support the creative efforts of artists, and enhance the quality of life through interpreting, collecting, and exhibiting art, architecture, and design.
The Queens Museum presents artistic and educational programs and exhibitions that directly relate to the contemporary urban life of its constituents, while maintaining the highest standards of professional, intellectual, and ethical responsibility.
Major funding for the Queens Museum is generously provided by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, the Lily Auchincloss Foundation, the Booth Ferris Foundation, the Lambent Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the New York Community Trust, the Shelley and Donald Rubin Foundation, and the TD Charitable Foundation.
EDUCATION DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
What emotions do you observe in these photos? What do you feel when you look at these photos?
What are some of the common themes that occur throughout the photos, or the captions that accompany them?
Is this an experience that you are familiar with? If so, what resonates with you? If not, what have you learned about incarceration and how it affects families?