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AMS 13 Flyer low res

The Space of the Everyday
Activate: Market Street 13

Joseph O’Neal & Armisey Smith

Curated by Jo-El Lopez
July 8th – August 31st
Opening Reception July 8th 7-10pm @ Gallery Aferro

From culture to political agendas, to speaking in their passions, these two artists transform the Activate: Market Street 13 space into a pleasant, serene environment. This public arts project speaks volumes through words and silence. Featuring the works of Armisey Smith and Joseph O’Neal, these artists each explore their own artistic process while exploring community and diversity through public engagement, embracing simplicity and complexities. The multitude of daily passerby who view the public exhibit represent a vibrant downtown Newark.

Joseph O’Neal is a multi-disciplinary artist but approaches all projects through the eyes of a painter, reacting to previous marks and only moving in directions that beckon. In his current work O’Neal explores the power of making as content; a way to connect viewers as well as himself to past and present humanity. By forcing himself to float only in the current moment of working O’Neal presents an opportunity for viewers to do the same. The artist views the act of making as a transcendental process and takes strict steps to ensure the work he creates doesn’t become the object of his desire. In doing so the process remains the sacred dance. The finished work becomes an artifact of what took place but never the objective.

Joseph O’Neal Claims North Carolina as his home and works in Newark, New Jersey. O’Neal is an internationally collected artist having participated in group and solo exhibitions through out The United States, Europe, and Mexico; including large scale exhibitions in Basel, Switzerland in 2011 and 2015 respectively. Joseph’s work has appeared in publications such as The Basler Zeitung, Sensitive Skin Magazine, Art Rated, Still Developing: A Story of Instant Gratification, as well as interview features with Telebasel, and NPR.

Armisey Smith, a native of Brooklyn, New York received a BFA in Illustration from Parsons School of Design and a MPS in Arts and Cultural Management from Pratt Institute. Her training provided by Parsons School of Design, one of the premier design schools in the country, imbued her with the foundation to work through challenges and still produce an exceptional product. Ms. Smith lives in the Forest Hill section of Newark.

Strength as a woman is divine. Sometimes there is vulnerability, but the strength is always ready to bubble to the surface. As a woman artist – particularly a woman of color artist, it is difficult to navigate multi-layered realms of racism, sexism, homophobia, etc., but you push through it to become a more evolved person. The paint brush, canvas, pencils, charcoal, etc., is the place to express feelings – to place it back into the universe with the hope of forgiving others and oneself.