Elevator Music 7: IDES

Curated by Juno Zago

Elevator Music 7: IDES, curated by Juno Zago, invites visitors to step inside an early-1900s refurbished Otis Elevator and experience the work of New Jersey radical thinkers expertly remixing discord, introspection and hope.

IDES, an iconoclastic 4-piece punk band accelerating into the 22nd century, embraces unabashed lovers of both hardcore’s brutal dissonance and pop’s sharpest hooks. While combining harshness and harmony into a hybrid sound all their own, IDES’ music centers on concepts of loneliness, disparity, and withdrawal, both tangible and conceptual.

Though the music can be jarring and the subject matter bleak, IDES believes in the glimmer of hope hidden in their songs: 

There is a power in letting go and embracing our darker selves. And if you find yourself relating to any part of what you are hearing, know that you are not alone.”

IDES has self-released two LP albums and several Extended Plays. Their 2021 split-release with their comrades in Sunrot marks their 10th year as a band. IDES members includes: Jill (vocals), Nick (guitar + vocals), Nicholas (bass) and Tony (drums).

Enjoy their music at Gallery Aferro, then purchase their work via their Bandcamp page. 

Image courtesy of IDES

Poem Booth: Calling Upon Self

Curated by John Gavin White

Participating Artists:

Albert E. Cook Jr.
James C. Ellerbe
Ngoma Hill
B. Sharise Moore
Anjuli Nunn
Ameerah Shabazz-Bilal
Kindred Sojourner White
Empathy LaRue White
Shaheed K. Wood

Poem Booth: Calling Upon Self is the latest interactive installation that encourages language lovers to step inside a vintage 1960s-era wooden telephone booth to enjoy an innovative experience that only comes at the intersection of art and technology.

Curated by celebrated author, philosopher and poet John Gavin White, the poem booth will feature the voices of 10 spoken word artists, poets and griots sharing their brilliance channeled through the dialectics of the telephone as metaphor. In this selection, poets are being called on to call upon themselves as a means for calling out to the greater world in hopes of one day having that call returned.

White’s curation is one of several artistic experiences marking the release of his latest collection of poetry and prose: I, John de Conqueror: A New Spelling Of My Name. Drawing on inspiration from Zora Neale Hurston, the new title speaks to the perpetual dehumanization of cisgendered, heterosexual black males and the erasure of their trauma and vulnerability as human beings outside the lens of alienation and distress.

Images, left to right: Phone receiver by Alexander Andrews | Phone box by Daniels Joffe | I, John de Conqueror: A New Spelling Of My Name by John Gavin White

Raw Umber

October 12th, 2019 – October 10th, 2021
Opening Reception – October 12th, 2-4 PM

NICO Kitchen + Bar, 1 Center Street, Newark, NJ

Raw Umber is the inaugural exhibit that launches a new partnership between Newark’s artist-run Gallery Aferro and NJPAC. Rotating exhibitions featuring artists curated by Gallery Aferro allow patrons of NICO Kitchen + Bar to enjoy (and even take home) compelling works arising from the ceaseless vitality of Newark’s independent visual arts scene.

Raw Umber is a group exhibit titled after a family of colors derived from naturally occurring pigments in the earth, ranging from rich, dark brown tones, yellows, and fiery oranges and reds.

Join us for the opening reception of this new partnership, as part of the Newark Arts Festival. The exhibition will run through March 2020.

About the art and artists:

Marsha Goldberg is a current artist-in-residence at Gallery Aferro whose work is exquisitely sensitive to the atmospheric shifts of light, shadow, and air that define our experience of the world. Master Papermaker Anne Q. McKeown’s longtime residency at Gallery Aferro connects to her prestigious commissioned work in Egypt, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Cuba, Ghana, Nigeria, and South Africa. McKeown’s artworks included in Raw Umber are on Ugandan bark cloth hand pounded from fibers, visualizing a visceral tie to the earth. Kevin Durkin’s works reveal a constant longing for a remembered landscape of home while Gladys Barker Grauer’s (1923-2019, known as the “Mother of Newark Arts”) hypnotic self-portrait includes a subtle spiderweb motif. Ibrahim Ahmed iii (Aferro A.I.R.2013), now residing in Cairo, created a dramatically scaled portrait before leaving Newark, contrasting with a deceptively simple early 1960’s watercolor by L. Gluck of St. Thomas. Important works by Reginald K. Gee, Stephen Flemister, Floyd Newsom Jr., and E. J. Montgomery from the collection of Aljira, a Center for Contemporary Art reveals Newark’s cultural connections to multiple generations of important artists of color up to this very moment.