FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Newark cultural figures to be honored with launch of the Eleta J. Caldwell and Rodney M. Gilbert Memorial Gallery, with inaugural exhibit opening February 10, 2018 at Gallery Aferro
Inaugural Exhibit: Well Hung: a Multifaceted Interrogation of Stereotypes
Curated by Jo-El Lopez
Opening Reception and Gallery Dedication February 10, 2018 from 7-10 PM
February 10 – March 16, 2018
Featured Artists: Ben F. Jones, Jerry Gant, Victor Davson, Vaughn Spann, Kevin Darmanie, Mashell Black, Anthony E. Boone, Steve Green, Suliman Onque, Kern Samuel, Ron Powell, & Ceaphas Stubbs
Gallery Aferro and Newark Arts are honoring the lives of two powerful and much-beloved Newark culture workers: Rodney Gilbert (July 27, 1967- November 8, 2017) and Eleta J. Caldwell (June 13, 1945 – December 13, 2017). Ms. Caldwell was Mr. Gilbert’s teacher, and both were working artists passionately committed to cultural leadership in Newark, and to mentorship of the artistically inclined youth of the community. The new Memorial Gallery, located within Gallery Aferro’s downtown location at 73 Market Street, is an intimate space appropriate for visual arts exhibits, poetry readings, screenings, and other sorts of gatherings where people connect with ideas and each other. The gallery is a place to linger, and a place for remembering.
The public is joyfully invited to join us on February 10 for the gallery dedication and opening reception curated by Jo-El Lopez, as well as two other exciting exhibitions. RSVP is not required and there is no charge to attend and enjoy.
The inaugural exhibition, running February 10 – March 16, 2018, curated by Gilbert’s friend and colleague Jo-El Lopez, explores Black male identity and showcases the talents of local, Black male artists. Lopez writes: “My friend Rodney Gilbert and I spoke about creating the “Well Hung” show numerous times before he passed away this December. The title that I suggested in jest took on a life of its own as we spoke about the overwhelming need to highlight nuanced portrayals of African-American male identities. He reminded me of the importance of creating an art show like this. He wanted to take on a powerful stereotype and give it a totally different direction. I want to create something influential, evidencing an extraordinary range of personalities, impulses, and ideas too complex to ever be contained or constrained. This show in Rodney’s memory is about the African-American Male artist: his power, identity, joy and his trajectory for the future.
In selecting these artists, ranging from established, mid-career, emerging and novice, I focused on artists who have had positive influences and are great role models to their community. Our working definition of these criteria differs from the reactive pressures sometimes put on artists to make exclusively “affirming images;” we instead find that when people are their most authentic, idiosyncratic and personal, they lead the way by showing others that it is possible to live freely.”
For Gilbert and Caldwell’s contemporaries and (now-grown) mentees, the dedication of the gallery is evidence that another new generation of youth will be inspired by the lives these two led, what they accomplished and the example of public service they modeled. Gallery Aferro, being close to Arts High School, is a frequent destination for students to visit, both informally as well as with field trips, and as such is a space where moments of inspiration and discovery happen for youth on the verge of believing they, too, can succeed. As an LGBTQ-led space, we also can honor the legacy of those who lead proud, out, professional lives. Planned exhibits throughout 2018 showcase the extraordinary talent and stylistic range of Newark-affiliated artists
About Ms. Caldwell: Born in Chapel Hill, NC, Eleta J. Caldwell moved to Newark in the late 1940’s and graduated from Arts High School. She began drawing at age 3 and went on to earn a Bachelors and a Masters of Fine Arts from Montclair State University. She began her teaching career at Weequaic High School and then went on to Arts High School, where she was first a teacher, then a Department Chair, and then the principal. She began exhibiting her work in the 1970’s with Gladys Barker Grauer’s AARD Gallery, and exhibited extensively including at the Newark Museum, the Studio Museum in Harlem, City Without Walls, Clocktower Gallery, Art in the Atrium, and others. She dedicated most of her work, time, and life to the city of Newark, NJ, and is remembered as a tireless and powerful mentor, advocate, and culture worker by countless former students as well as by her colleagues. Eleta wrote: “My parents raised six children with love and respect. My father was a Pullman Porter, while my mother worked occasionally her primary obligation was the home. It was a major sin to be “idle” in my household. My father would give you a boring domestic chore if he caught you doing nothing. Therefore we all had interests: reading, art, sewing or music. We had a great deal of freedom, and that freedom was based on trust and respect. Art has always been my first love. During junior year my college class visited West Kinney Jr. High to observe a class and I was assigned an art class (of course), and I fell in love! I loved the teaching, the atmosphere, and especially the aura emanated by the students and their teacher. I felt a strong connection to my hometown, the city of Newark, where I received a great education. How better to give back to the city than to teach- I’m so glad I did it! I created my art while I pursued my teaching- it was an excellent marriage. I believe education is synonymous with experience. For me, exhibiting and teaching go hand in hand. I wanted to give my students a broader experience. Art was my tool to emphasize a holistic approach that combined creativity and critical thinking. I began painting in a representational genre; I loved the African and American face and figure. My family members were often the subject for my figurative works and portraits. I drew and painted Black faces incessantly. My work started to lean towards a more abstract presentational style. I painted women and our contributions, historically, spiritually and physically. I still focus on women’s unrecognized contributions but now employ mixed media to broaden my statements.”
About Mr. Gilbert: In 2003 Rodney M. Gilbert founded Yendor Productions in Newark, NJ to meet the challenges of the underserved artists and communities. As CEO of Yendor Productions he developed, oversaw, and produced arts education programming and events and consulted on numerous projects. As one of the leading teaching artists in the tristate area, he provided acting instruction for numerous institutions. A professor in the Theatre Department of Drew University, an arts educator for the Kennedy Center’s Wolftrap Program, and the Director of the Writers Program for Playwrights Theater, he developed the afterschool arts education program “ZOOM” for the City of Newark, NJ and provided professional development for the Caucus Educational Corporation’s Stand and Deliver Program. He conducted workshops as far as Johannesburg, South Africa.
As the Senior Program Manager for the Newark Murals Program, He was directly responsible for many of the murals that enhance the esthetic of the City of Newark. He advocated tirelessly for equal pay for artists raising awareness for a better Newark through the Arts. He curated many art shows throughout the City of Newark focusing on new and developing artists as well as showing established ones. Yendor Productions provided many arts activities to Newark children in the form of outdoor activities as well as summer arts programs. Mr. Gilbert, a Newark Arts High School graduate, earned a BFA from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia in 1989. A member of the Actors Equity Association, a Leadership Newark Fellow, and a Audelco Award Nominee and recipient of numerous awards including the Civic Engagement by Drew University. In 2014, he was appointed by Mayor Ras J. Baraka to serve as one of the first members of the City of Newark’s LGBTQ commission.
In remembering and honoring both Ms. Caldwell and Mr. Gilbert, we are inspired by how many lives they were able to make a positive impact on, and by how affectionately, and vividly, both are remembered by so many people. Educators and activity planners are encouraged to contact the gallery to book a free tour of the exhibits for their youth or adult groups.
Exhibition Resistance Across Time: Interference Archive curated by Gallery Aferro’s Founding Artistic Director Evonne M. Davis on display at Paul Robeson Gallery in Express Newark reviewed by the Brooklyn Rail
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Newark Museum Acquires Artwork by Gallery Aferro Resident Artist Jo-El Lopez
NEWARK, NJ – Gallery Aferro is pleased to announce the acquisition by the Newark Museum of a painting by current artist-in-residence Jo-El Lopez. Millennial Guardian Angel, first exhibited in Lopez’ solo show at Gallery Aferro in 2016, will be accessioned into the Newark Museum’s permanent collection of American art and will be included in a future installation of contemporary art in the Museum’s Seeing America galleries. Lopez is inspired by the usage of technology as “millennial’s most defining characteristic”, as well as “their tech-based rituals that other generations find intriguing.”
Born in Juncos, Puerto Rico and raised in Paterson, New Jersey, Lopez uses the visual storytelling of traditional realism to convey complex commentary on the intersection of faith and modernity and the multidimensional contemporary urban experience. The decades the artist spent under the Pentecostal doctrine, a bold color palette informed by both abstract painting as well as older traditions of icon-making, all meld to create Lopez’s kaleidoscopic worldview. His is a restless, deeply engaged spirit closely observing not only his immediate environment, but the larger historic trajectory of national news.
Millennial Guardian Angel’s is representative of Lopez’ emotional range, sense of spirituality, and playfulness. “Other works created during the same period, such as “The Kiss at the 16th Avenue Baptist Church,” depicting two women kissing within the church, and ‘The Virgin Miracle,” depicting the mother of Jesus as a woman of color mirthfully in possession of mysterious knowledge, seem to exist in a timeless space of love and resistance”, writes Gallery Director Emma Wilcox.
Gallery Aferro has once again been nominated for multiple awards by Discover NJ’s People’s Choice Awards! Click the image above to vote for us!
NJ State of the Arts feature on Gallery Aferro’s Exhibit Kea’s Ark of Newark. Click the image to watch the whole feature!
Girl Scouts from all over NJ converged on Gallery Aferro and worked with artists Norene Leddy and Jay Van Buren using drawing, photographs, and Membit (an augmented reality app), to visualize past, present, and future versions of Kea Tawana’s ark, and then geolocate the drawings in the Humanity Baptist Church parking lot at 235 Bergen Street in Newark, NJ, the ark’s final location. The drawings are viewable in and around the church parking lot via Membit, as well as online at redpinesmonument.com
Gallery Aferro’s Founder and Gallery Director, Emma Wilcox, speaking for TEDxNJIT. Click image to view whole talk.
Gallery Aferro brings the Mobile Portrait Studio to Baltimore’s Artscape!
7th Annual Art Auction and Party
June 13th @ Gallery Aferro, 73 Market Street, Newark, NJ
VIP Preview 6pm – 7pm
Auction 7pm – 9:30pm
Afterparty 10pm -?
Guest of Donating Artist Discount Ticket for sale here
If you cannot attend, but would like to donate to support, please do so here!
Gallery Aferro is excited to announce the 7th Annual Benefit Art Auction and Party on June 13th, 2015. This festive event features an exciting auction of hundreds of artworks by emerging and established artists, live music by Emily Turonis and friends, fun activities including interactive performance by Jackie Du and outdoor art selfie stations, strong signature cocktails and endless icy craft beer from Hunterdon Brewery, fine catering, and dozens of wonderful door and raffle prizes including two getaway destination packages!
All proceeds from tickets and purchases make possible Gallery Aferro’s year-round exhibitions, award-winning artist residencies, publications, education program, public art initiatives, and ongoing expansion. Stay tuned via our email list, Facebook and Instagram as the excitement builds.
*Tickets purchased at the event will be slightly higher. Advance ticket purchase option will be available until June 12th, end of day.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Emma Wilcox 646 220 3772 email@example.com
Mark Krasovic 973-353-1051 firstname.lastname@example.org
KEA TAWANA’S ARK TO BE REMEMBERED AND CELEBRATED IN UPCOMING NEWARK EXHIBITION: Gallery Aferro and the Clement A. Price Institute on Ethnicity, Culture, and the Modern Experience to Draw on Community Memory to Explore Newark’s Legendary Piece of Public Art
In the 1980s, when popular visions of Newark steered many people clear of the city, visitors arrived from around the globe to see Kea Tawana’s Ark, a three-story wooden boat that rose above the Central Ward. Over 2015-2016, Gallery Aferro and the Clement A. Price Institute on Ethnicity, Culture, and the Modern Experience at Rutgers University – Newark will collect oral history interviews with those who knew the Ark, gather relevant archival and press material, and launch an exhibition and public programming to explore the meaning and significance of this quintessential Newark story. More details about our discoveries, events, and offerings will be announced regularly throughout the next two years.
A self-taught artist and builder, Kea Tawana began collecting materials from abandoned and demolished buildings in the late 1960s. After studying maritime construction manuals, she laid the keel for her boat on an empty lot in 1982. As the Ark slowly rose over the neighborhood, residents, artists, school groups, politicians, and enthusiasts from around the world came to the corner of 14th Avenue and Camden Street to visit. The Ark became an international cause célèbre in 1986, when the new mayoral administration demanded it be torn down as an eyesore and impediment to neighborhood development. After a lengthy legal battle, Kea herself dismantled the Ark and left Newark.
“The Ark became a vessel into which many observers poured their hopes and desires for Newark,” says Dr. Mark Krasovic, associate director of the Price Institute. “For some, it was an embodiment of the grit and spirit that anchored communities in some tough years for American cities. For those invested in new development and the oft-invoked local renaissance, it was the embodiment of a city best left in the past.” The Ark can be seen as the East Coast’s version of the Watts Towers (Oakland) or the Heidelberg Project (Detroit), but it also was wholly unique as art/shelter.
CALL FOR VOICES: The Gallery and Institute seek to capture the complexity of the Ark story and its meanings by interviewing people with memories of it, from those who led the fights for and against it to those who may have just driven by it on their way to work. Anyone wishing to share the own story of the Ark should send a message to email@example.com or call Mark Krasovic at 973-353-1051
The Ark exhibition at Gallery Aferro is timed to coincide with Newark’s 350th birthday celebrations in 2016. The complicated story it captures will connect to local and national conversations about art, equity, gentrification, and community self-determination. “Thirty years later, the story of the Ark could not be more timely, allowing us to talk as a multigenerational community about land use, agency, beauty, and utility in the built environment. Whether it is the impact of new developments, the sale of vacant lots, or public art commissions, we have so much to think and talk about right now” says Emma Wilcox, co-director of Gallery Aferro.
For more information about Gallery Aferro visit http://www.aferro.org
For more information about the Institute visit http://ethnicity.rutgers.edu
This program is funded by the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, a state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Discover Jersey Arts People’s Choice Awards
Gallery Aferro has been nominated for Best Art Gallery in NJ for the 2nd year in a row and Newark was nominated for Best Downtown Arts District! Click the image above or here to vote for us and Newark! Voting Ends February 19th so go vote now!!!!
Gallery Aferro and Critical Practices Inc. (CPI)
Newark’s Gallery Aferro and the New York City cultural nonprofit Critical Practices Inc. (CPI) are working together to create a program based on the idea that innovation and creativity are skill sets that may be developed. The program will explore how participants’ may acquire higher-order thinking skills through hands-on experience. CPI acknowledges that experiential learning cannot replace knowledge-based learning. However, the group seeks to design projects that will improve the participants’ understanding and ability in applying their knowledge and take constructive action relative to problem formation and resolution.
CPI—which functions as content provider, presenter, organizer, and facilitator—is initiating the Newark Lab (NL) project’s design process by convening small Focus Groups (FG) and larger roundtable discussions (PI-LTR). The project’s initial stage focuses on defining the links between education, pedagogy and creativity. These sessions are planned to interrogate common assumptions about knowledge and inventiveness, while identifying new resources of inspiration and thinking within the Newark community.
This exploration-and-discussion process is intended to accomplish two things: (1) provoke discourse around the issues of education and creativity; (2) arrive at better understanding as to the potential consequences that the type of laboratory program we imagine can and should have. The end result of these discussions will be the formation of a design team consisting of CPI staff, members of the Newark community, and a small group of innovation-and-creativity experts. This team will develop the Lab’s form, content, and pedagogy—and will outline how it is to be implemented.
Through this project, CPI and Gallery Aferro hope to establish in Newark an exemplary model of an incubator of ideas, practices, and possibilities capable of affecting developments in a view of pedagogy education that does not pit the practical against the imaginative manner.
ABOUT CULTURAL PRACTICE, INC.
Critical Practice Inc. (CPI) was founded in 2010 to support the emergence and development of new practices and ideas within the field of critical cultural production. The 501(c) 3 organization aims to create a dynamic network that will contribute to the shaping of critical discourses and practices. CPI believes that the producers of critical culture are an underserved community whose need for discourse and critical engagement —amongst themselves—has gone unrecognized. To achieve these ends, it is important to us that we build programs and practices that operate beside the norms of the institutional and instrumental perspectives of the marketplace and its apparatuses. Our programs operate neither in opposition to, nor in compliance with, institutional models.
New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and Gallery Aferro partner for ‘Artist Box’ initiative
Gallery artists will attend NJSO performances at NJPAC, blog about their experiences throughout the season. Project will culminate with Gallery Aferro exhibit in May 2015
NEWARK, NJ (October 8, 2014)—The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and Gallery Aferro will partner for Artist Box, a unique initiative that will bring artists from the Newark-based art gallery to NJSO performances in Newark throughout the 2014–15 season and culminate in May with a Gallery Aferro exhibit of works inspired by the artists’ concert experiences.
The NJSO will welcome 10 of Gallery Aferro’s artists to the NJSO’s 2014–15 Friday-night classical series at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) in Newark. The artists—Alex Cumming, Andrew Demirijian, Alexandra Desipris, Sophia Domeville, Dominique Duroseau, Jerry Gant, Sheikia S. Norris, Vaughn Spann, Amanda Thackray and Adrienne Wheeler—will share content about their concert experiences on the gallery’s website, www.aferro.org, and the NJSO’s website, www.njsymphony.org, throughout the season.
Cumming, an artist and musician in his early 20s who is part of Newark’s local Oculus Art Collaborative, says, “I really want to use this experience to integrate the different parts of the scene: the experience of music and the fine artists.”
Gallery Aferro Director Emma Wilcox says: “It’s going to be so much fun. We are excited to see which great pieces of orchestral music will be inspire the Newark artists. All the artists are especially looking forward to the #OrchestraYou event in March.”
“We are thrilled about our new partnership with Gallery Aferro for Artist Box,” says NJSO President & CEO James Roe. “A vital part of the Orchestra’s mission is collaborating with diverse organizations in Newark, and this project is an exciting way to explore the relationship between musical and visual arts and to engage with audiences and artists in new and thoughtful ways. We are looking forward to seeing the creativity of these talented artists as they respond to our performances this season.”
The NJSO’s five-concert Friday-night series at NJPAC starts on October 10 with the Orchestra’s Opening Night program, Carmina Burana. Other series highlights include”
- The first performance of the 2015 “Sounds of Shakespeare” Winter Festival features interpretations of Romeo and Juliet by Tchaikovsky, Gounod and Prokofiev and the return of actors from The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, who will perform scenes from the Shakespeare tragedy. (Jan 9)
- Principal Flute Bart Feller solos in Mozart’s Flute and Harp Concerto. (Feb 27)
- Pianist Kirill Gerstein performs Bernstein’s Symphony No. 2, “The Age of Anxiety,” on a program that also includes Mahler’s Symphony No. 1, “Titan”; the NJSO’s second #OrchestraYou follows the performance. (Mar 13)
- Christoph König returns to conduct a Czech-inspired program of works by Dvořák, Ravel and Dohnányi. (Apr 24)
Full series information is available at www.njsymphony.org/subscribe/subscription/24.
Alex Cumming is a young artist and musician with Oculus Art Collaborative, a collective of recent art-school graduates who regularly create experimental projects throughout the tri-state area. Cumming was raised in Essex County and works across media, including painting, sculpture, film, music and poetry, to explore ascetic and anarchist ideology.
Andrew Demirijian combines computer programming with audiovisual production to create experimental portraits that explore the relationships between psychology and time. Conceptual systems of juxtaposition, categorization and randomness replace conventional narrative arcs and character development. Demirjian draws upon his experience as a musician and filmmaker to produce interactions between sound and image that respond to and shape one another. His most recent work has been developing algorithms for audiovisuals that are inspired by organic systems and adaptive environments. His work has been featured in numerous exhibitions and galleries including Rush Arts, the White Box gallery, Harvestworks, LMAK Projects, The Roger Smith Hotel and The Center for Book Arts in Manhattan. He has participated in international exhibitions in Belgium, England, Finland, France, Germany, Korea, the Netherlands, Poland and Russia. Demirjian received a 2013 fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, fellowship from the MacDowell Colony, Puffin Foundation grant and Artslink grant, and he has been awarded artist residencies at Eyebeam Art and Technology Center, LMCC Swing Space, The Clocktower Gallery, Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, SUMU, Diapason Gallery and CYLAND Media Art Laboratory.
Alexandra Desipris is a Newark-based artist of Greek descent whose work focuses on deconstructing and examining ritual, religion and ethnicity filtered through her own experience. An intense interest in liminal positions, binaries and our relationship to the unknown drives her work. Her youth spent in Byzantine-style churches is apparent in her limited palate of colors and extensive use of gold and gold leaf throughout her paintings and objects. She was an artist in residence at Gallery Aferro and has shown at various galleries throughout Newark, including the Gateway Project and Solos Project House.
Sophia Domeville is a Haitian-American abstract expressionist painter and a member of the Essential Elements Creative Collective currently in residence at Gallery Aferro. Her passion for giving back to the community includes workshop series taught for youth at Monroe College Bronx campus, Bergen Community College and Safe Space Organization in Queens. This year, Domeville introduced her new 12-week art program, “The Dreamers Project,” a comprehensive program that combines art history, community activism, leadership skills and self-awareness through art. She is currently facilitating “The Dreamers Project” with the I Have a Dream Foundation scholarship program in Newark.
Dominique Duroseau is an emerging artist working across media in sculpture and printmaking. Her work approach bundles questions, by abstracting aspects of our lives through the manifestation of concepts and emotions. She is heavily inspired by two literary works: Jean Paul Sartre’s Huis Clos and Etzer Vilaire’s Dix Hommes Noirs. These writers embody existentialism and provide a direction, yet varied routes or paths emerge. Duroseau avoids literal depictions of gender, race and the use of color; specificity becomes a distraction to hinder insightful observations or our relationship with that which we observe.
Jerry Gant is a multi-disciplined visual fine artist, arts educator, activist and self-driven historian. Gant seeks to create work that reflects the human spirit of the community’s people, while challenging conventional thinking. The Newark native has been a fixture on the arts and culture scene for more than 25 years. He has cultivated projects “outside the cube” to heighten the exposure of a fine art aesthetic in urban communities. Before there was a formal mural arts program in Newark, Gant was developing a repertoire of murals that could be viewed in every ward in the city. In the past decade, he has been commissioned to create permanent public artworks by Verizon, NJ Transit and the Trust for Public Land, with the latter featuring 13 sculptures installed at Nat Turner Park, the largest city-owned park in Newark.
Sheikia S. Norris, lyrically known as Purple Haze or Haze, was born in the birthplace of hip-hop, The Bronx. Currently a Newark resident, Haze challenges audiences with a natural ease and a voice that inspires audience movement and positive thoughts. She is a member of the Essential Elements Creative Collective currently in residence at Gallery Aferro. Enthusiasts of the art form appreciate her energy, impeccable flow and clever deliverance of truth. Haze has mastered her own rich style of spitting lyrics with both power and substance. As the Hip Hop 101 Edutainment Program Facilitator & Recruiter for the Hip Hop Culture Center, a member of the Rhyme Like A Girl Collective (Freestyle Union) and up-and-coming curator for Hip Hop art and performance, Haze is a diversified talent poised for success in a host of arenas. She is recording her EP, “pH Balance,” for a release this year.
Vaughn Spann was born in Orlando, Florida, and raised in Orange, New Jersey. He has used art to develop his own visual language defining his opinion on politics, pop culture and history. Growing up in various urban environments has sharpened his understanding of identity and social discourse, which is reflected within his work. Spann is a BFA candidate at Rutgers State University. His work has been shown at Reginald F. Lewis Museum, Newark Museum, Rupert Ravens Contemporary Gallery, Gallery Aferro and the annual Newark Open Doors.
Amanda Thackray is a New Jersey-based visual artist and Gallery Aferro artist-in-residence whose work focuses on drawings, prints, conceptual artistsʼ books, installations and multimedia experiments. She is a Scholar of Advanced Studies of the Book at the Center for Book Arts in New York and the printmaking shop technician at Princeton University. Her work is most inspired by the human body and its relationship with the natural world. Indulging a deep connection with process and the ephemeral, Thackrayʼs work is highly detailed, often utilizing minute repetitive mark-making techniques or actions. Thackray has attended residencies at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, VT, and the Womenʼs Studio Workshop in Rosendale, NY, where she garnered a book production grant; she was Printshop Coordinator at Pilchuck Glass School in Seattle, WA, in 2012. In addition to showing her work regularly in New York, New Jersey and nationally, she often curates shows and has lectured at the New Jersey Book Arts Symposium, Brown University and Womenʼs Studio Workshop. Thackrayʼs works are in more than a dozen national and international public collections, including those of the Newark Public Library, Yale University and Mediatheque Andre Malraux in Strasbourg, France.
Adrienne Wheeler is an artist, independent curator, arts educator and advocate for social justice. Her art provides a platform for expressing her discontent with injustices, particularly those affecting the lives of women and children. Informed by various Central and West African ancestral and spiritual practices and cultural traditions, she explores the role that these traditions (misunderstood, marginalized and often demonized) have played in resistance to the inhumanity of slavery and other forms of oppression. Her process involves collecting fallen timber with anthropomorphic and sculptural shapes, which when wrapped and bound with fabric or other materials are transformed into healing, guardian and carnival figures, as well as conceptual wall sculptures and site-specific installations.
Gallery Aferro is a Newark-based nonprofit community arts organization founded in 2003 by artists Evonne M. Davis and Emma Wilcox. The gallery has received three consecutive Citations of Excellence from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and has been described by Inside Jersey as offering “a dizzying array of contemporary art.” Funder Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation has praised the gallery’s “expansive vision, impact in Newark as well as regionally and even internationally” and its “exemplary mentoring opportunities for young artists.” The mission of Gallery Aferro is to bring cultural education and aesthetic engagement with contemporary issues to all people equally and to create an environment where artists can gather and share physical and intellectual resources. The gallery offers an average of 12 to 15 rotating on- and off-site exhibitions of local, national and international artists annually; an array of events including screenings and artist talks; a year-round artist residency program; an expanding variety of educational offerings; a publication line; a gift shop and a public art initiative. This year, Gallery Aferro is renovating two additional adjacent 19th-century buildings on Market Street, an expansion that when complete will comprise a 90,000-square-foot cultural hub.
The gallery has occupied a leadership role in Newark’s local arts community through its presentations of diverse artist concepts across media; despite being a fairly young organization, it has frequently served as the sole representation for Newark and New Jersey arts within larger national curatorial initiatives, including nationwide screening events in 2009 organized by PPOW gallery in New York and the Marfa Dialogues on Climate Change organized by Ballroom Marfa in Texas with the support of the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. A key strength of the gallery is its affinity for collaborations with a wide range of other cultural organizations and nonprofits such as the Newark Museum, Montclair Museum, Print Making Center of New Jersey, Aljira: a Center for Contemporary Art, Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art and Center for Contemporary Art in Bedminster.
THE NEW JERSEY SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
Named “a vital, artistically significant musical organization” by The Wall Street Journal, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra embodies that vitality through its statewide presence and critically acclaimed performances, education partnerships and unparalleled access to music and the Orchestra’s superb musicians.
Under the bold leadership of Music Director Jacques Lacombe, the NJSO presents classical, pops and family programs, as well as outdoor summer concerts and special events. Embracing its legacy as a statewide orchestra, the NJSO is the resident orchestra of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark and regularly performs at the State Theatre in New Brunswick, Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, Richardson Auditorium in Princeton, Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown and bergenPAC in Englewood. Partnerships with New Jersey arts organizations, universities and civic organizations remain a key element of the Orchestra’s statewide identity.
In addition to its lauded artistic programming, the NJSO presents a suite of education and community engagement programs that promote meaningful, lifelong engagement with live music. Programs include the three-ensemble NJSO Youth Orchestras, school-time Concerts for Young People performances and multiple offerings—including the El Sistema-inspired NJSO CHAMPS (Character, Achievement and Music Project)—that provide and promote in-school instrumental instruction as part of the NJSO Academy. The NJSO’s REACH (Resources for Education and Community Harmony) chamber music program annually brings original programs—designed and performed by NJSO musicians—to a variety of settings, reaching as many as 17,000 people in nearly all of New Jersey’s 21 counties.
The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra’s programs are made possible in part by The New Jersey State Council on the Arts, along with many other foundations, corporations and individual donors. United is the official airline of the NJSO.
National & NYC Press Representative:
Dan Dutcher, Dan Dutcher Public Relations | 917.566.8413 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Regional Press Representative:
Victoria McCabe, NJSO Communications and External Affairs | 973.735.1715 | email@example.com
Gallery Aferro Announces Massive Expansion to Create 90,000 sq Ft Cultural Hub in Downtown Newark!
Newark, NJ – Gallery Aferro in partnership with RBH Group announces the launch of an ambitious expansion project to create a 90,000 square foot arts center on Market Street in downtown Newark. The space at 73-77 Market Street will attract and engage local residents, visitors, artists, students, and others in three adjacent buildings owned by RBH Group. The gallery’s sixth annual benefit art auction and party on June 14, 2014 will support this ambitious community-building effort. Tickets for a fun night of bidding, live jazz, performance art, cocktails and prizes, with exciting afterparty held at 77 Market Street, are on sale now at aferro.org.
Gallery Aferro began in Newark in 2003, and offers exhibitions featuring local, national and international artists, public events, studio residency program, educational offerings, group tours, a publication line, and public art initiatives. The organization’s mission is to integrate cultural education and aesthetic engagement within the context of contemporary issues, and to create an environment where artists can gather and share physical and intellectual resources equally. Donations to the gallery can be made via aferro.org
Being awarded “Citations of Excellence” from the New Jersey State Arts Council for three consecutive years is partially a result of Aferro’s commitment to innovative and responsive collaborations with museums, artist collectives and social service organizations. Working with collaborative partner organizations, co-founders, artists Evonne M. Davis and Emma Wilcox, have designed the newly expanded Aferro to include dozens of artist studios, new presenting spaces for visual arts, cinema and music, printmaking lab, a photography co-op, classrooms, and flux space for community programming like hackathons, poetry slams and yoga.
Local, national and international artists will select studios of various sizes that are spread out over six floors, at below market rates. Services such as enriched career support and exposure are among the resources Aferro offers with the residency program. A critical mass of artists under one roof will offer youth and the general public numerous exciting opportunities to meet artists and learn about contemporary art practice. Artists interested in studio consideration should email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
Activate: Market Street on NBC New York
Jerry Gant and Gallery Aferro Artistic Director Evonne M. Davis were interviewed on live television for NBC 4 New York, spreading news of Newark arts to a broad audience. Watch here: nbcnewyork.com
Call for Submissions: 9th Annual Juried Competition
William Way LGBT Community Center
Juried by Evonne M. Davis
Due April 7, 2014
For all the details, visit waygay.org
Panel: Newark Art Past, Present and Future
Sun. April 6, 3-5 pm
1978 Maplewood Arts Center
1978 Springfield Avenue
Evonne M. Davis will join artists Glady Grauer Barker, Kevin Sampson, Newark Museum Director Steven Kern, author Barbara Kukla for a panel moderated by artist Kevin Darmanie on the recent history of the Newark Art Movement; how it has evolved, its current state and plans for the future. This panel is part of public events organized for Gladys Grauer: Seven Decades Climbing, Reaching, Turning Corners. For information visit 1978artscenter.org