Activate: Market Street 14
September 23rd – October 28th, 2017
Curated by Jo-El Lopez
Opening Reception September 23rd, 7-10 PM @ Gallery Aferro
Capturing inspiration and cultivating that into art, these three artists convey that process by celebrating its’ magic. They engage, dissect and romance the physical and spiritual elements of their site-specific installation; inviting the viewer on a fantasy journey that challenges their preconceived notions of reality.
Artist Agnes Deja creates an abstract and conceptual installation that explores environmental consciousness as well as gestural and body memory brought through the expressive exploration of acrylic paint and wire supported by asphalt-infused materials. Jo-El Lopez’s installation consists of one large scale painting inside the larger storefront space that juxtaposes daily human life with the spiritual, and pokes fun at the power of social media. Julie Ann Nagle dazzles and seduces the viewer with sculptures that use archaeological methods for excavating her personal heritage, questioning mythology, beliefs, identity and beauty.
Scattering Reflections brings dynamic contemporary art to a broad audience, allowing an eclectic contribution to the vibrant downtown Newark art scene. Selfies with the art are strongly encouraged.
The Space of the Everyday
Activate: Market Street 13
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.
Activate: Market Street 12
Mollie Thonneson, Patricia Arias-Reynolds, and Adebunmi Gbadebo
Curated by Jo-El Lopez
April 22nd – June 17th, 2017
Opening Reception April 28th 5-9pm @ Gallery Aferro
“I see your life as already artful, just waiting for you to make it art.” – Toni Morrison
As the political climate of our culture continues to be stirred by the women throughout the country, through activism and protest, there are some that have used this time in history as a unifying opportunity.
This exhibition aims to use that momentum, as well as a unity of different cultures, to lead in the conversation and to continue to keep the women’s march in the forefront.
Lawless Innovation by a Timeless Generation
Activate: Market Street 11
Alex Scott Cumming
In collaboration with Ngu Asongwed and Jasmine Mans
February 11th – April 1st, 2017
Opening Reception February 11th 7-10pm @ Gallery Aferro
Lawless Innovation for a Timeless Generation is a collaborative exhibition between Alex Scott Cumming, Jasmine Mans, and Ngu Asongwed for Gallery Aferro’s Activate: Market Street 11. The exhibition includes “67BRXSQAD”, Ngu Asongwed’s ongoing video journal within the first installation. Its footage of Newark, some shot by Asongwed himself and other artists, is presented within a “living room”. Locations in the footage, playing in a continuous loop, are familiar to viewers. This contrast of sculpture and film act as the “memory of the present” written of by Paolo Virno in Déjà Vu and the End of History and a “historical a priori” of Michel Foucault in Archaeology of Knowledge. The words of Jasmine Mans, a poet, are presented in the second installation by banners and shapes. Banners and shapes meet text to address our ability to speak and define experience as individuals and communities. The final installation is a structure resemblant of Pennsylvanian coal mine tipples as photographed by Bernd and Hilla Becher. The structure is built replicating the seemingly spontaneous construction of these tipples, some built by miners for mines abandoned during the Great Depression. In addition to the structure, this installation includes New Jersey state law books. As a whole, Activate: Market Street 11 presents interpretations of memory, language, labor, and law in poetry, sculpture, and video.
Alex Scott Cumming is a multidisciplinary artist. Their work is currently inspired by theories of memory, phenomenology, tarot, anarchism, and archives. Cumming has an active sculpture and installation practice, as well as collage and illustration. They write and self publish zines. From Essex County, New Jersey, Cumming is still currently a community member and organizer, working within DIY art and music spaces and creating others as collaborative practices. Alex Scott Cumming began working as Exhibit Designer at Gallery Aferro in 2014, and prior to that created with Oculus Art Collaborative in site-specific installations and gallery exhibitions.
Jasmine Mans is an artist…an artist who enjoys having various forums to express her thoughts, moods, opinions and a voice to speak out on behalf of others and the community around her. A recent graduate of the University of Wisconsin – Madison (2014), Jasmine received her BA in African-American Studies (Black Theory & Literature) and is the recipient of the Star Ledger – NJPAC; Arts Millennia; and (New York) Knicks Poetry Slam Scholarships and awards. However, Mans began stringing rhymes together as a middle-school student in her hometown of Newark, New Jersey. Those artistic skills were honed while attending the first performing arts high school in the nation, Newark Arts High School.
Ngu Asongwed is a video artist and curator living in Newark, NJ. Asongwed works primarily in video and curates performances and art shows in spaces around downtown Newark. The goal of Asongwed’s work is to explore the interaction between cultures and their environments. Using his main subject, skateboarding, he shows the effect an environment can have on the culture within it and vice versa. Asongwed seeks to re-contextualize the skate video by including commentary on the social issues that arise in the modern urban environment in to his work such as architecture, gentrification, violence and race. Starting with his involvement in the Submerged Art Gallery in 2010, Asongwed has been a key figure in the multi-disciplinary arts and music community in downtown Newark. His curatorial credits include The Kanek skateshop and gallery, The Metropolitan performance space and The Life Lab performance space and gallery. Asongwed is currently involved in organizing a monthly performance series with Newark producer and artist Uniiqu3 and releasing limited runs of apparel.
Image at top by Ngu Asongwed
Activate: Market Street 10
September 24th – December 17th, 2016
Opening Reception September 24th, 7-10pm @ Gallery Aferro
“Becoming “Them” – A Fantasy Narrative about our Relationship to our Tech Devices
Our cars, extensions of us: from bumper stickers to personalized license plates and now, the latest trend, the one dimensional ‘Iconic Stick Figure Family’ identify us to the persons in the car behind us. Our Tech world has reduced much of our communication to ‘Sound Bites’, ‘Likes’ and ‘Clicks’. We reduced Dad to “Dad”, and mom to “Mom”, “Son”, “Daughter”, “Pets”… all with slight variations in ‘stick figure-ness’. Using this ‘Iconic Family’ Suprina takes us on a journey. How will we relate to our world and each other in 1,000 years? Are we becoming machine-‘Like’?. Technology seems to control and isolate us under the auspice of greater communication. In this narrative it seems that the devices meant to serve humanity may be its actual demise.
Suprina describes herself as an ‘object historian’. She states, “I am in love with the object; with all their characteristics. Shape, texture, color, my process brings them together to form a larger than self intention.” Her themes are social, political, environmental and always includes an element of humor. Suprina does not limit her palette to only ‘found objects’ though, she will use any material and medium to aid in expression and open dialogue.
Suprina studied sculpture at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. After landing her first sculpting job at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Suprina started her own prop business. Her clients included Annie Leibovitz, Apple, Bloomingdales among others. Having lived near Ground Zero at the time of 9/11, Suprina decided, as a revelation, that she would focus solely on her art. In 2012 she create a public sculpture on Governors Island titled Circle of Intention inspired by a Tibetan Prayer Wheel. 2013 and 2015 she was voted ‘Best Portfolio’ by Pro-Arts curators, which resulted in a full room installation at the Drawing Rooms in Jersey City and an exhibition at the Jersey City Museum. Suprina was invited as a featured artist to Flux Harlem Art Fair in May 2015. She also lectured at Iona College, New Rochelle, NY as a visiting artist that same year. Suprina’s second public sculpture was installed in Marcus Garvey Park, Harlem, NY this past March as part of the MGPA Public Art Initiative and Flux Harlem Art Fair, thanks to two grants awarded by the Puffin Foundation and LMCC. This sculpture titled DNA Totem has been the most visited sculpture in the park. She has shown in Chelsea, Chicago, Scottsdale, Southampton, Bridgehampton, Brooklyn, Harlem, Monmouth Museum, and Jersey City Museum.
Activate: Market Street 9
Through A Moving Window
June 11th – August 27th, 2016
The themes Michael Wolf is investigating in his current work are the dichotomies of permanence and transience and sheltered vs. exposed. In these sculptures he has been exploring archetypal forms of architectural structures and the sculptural possibilities of these forms. Wolf is examining how openings can pierce and divide the structure. Piercing these solid forms allows shadows to be created that move with the changing light of the day. A quote from Gaston Bachelard’s The Poetics of Space conveys the essence of this series of sculptures “…the imagination functions in this direction whenever the human being has found the slightest shelter: We see the imagination build “walls” of impalpable shadows, comfort itself with the illusion of protection-or, just the contrary, tremble behind thick walls, mistrust the staunchest ramparts. ”
Through this work Wolf has become fascinated with how the movement of the sun affects shadows moving across the forms of buildings. He especially enjoys observing sunlight move across structures and how the angle and orientation of the sun shifts with the changing seasons. Ancient monuments inspire some of these sculptures, while others are inspired by local vernacular architecture, either urban-industrial or rural. Some of the structures that inspire this series are in current use and some are in various stages of neglect as their function has become obsolete with the changing technologies of our era.
Material integrity is an important aspect of Michael’s sculptures. He chooses the medium of each sculpture carefully so that the material speaks to the spirit of the piece. Wolf has a renewed interest with minimalism but with a post-minimalist perspective in which content, location, and historical connections are important to the work.
Michael Wolf is a New York City area artist working primarily in sculpture and installation. Wolf participated in the exhibition SANCTUARY at the Orlando Museum of Art in a show organized by the Jai Gallery and curated by Jai Gallery director Coralie Claeysen-Gleyzon. Frequently exhibiting in NYC and the surrounding area, Michael recently had a solo show at the Sculptors Guild Gallery in DUMBO, Brooklyn as well as recent summer exhibits on Governors Island, NYC. Guggenheim Museum curator Katherine Brinson selected Michael’s work for an exhibition at the Viridian Gallery in Chelsea, NY. He has shown at the Leigh Wen Gallery and The Painting Center also in Chelsea.
Wolf received an individual fellowship grant from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and the NJ State Council of the Arts. He received the Power of Art award personally presented to him by Robert Rauschenberg at the East Wing of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.
Michael earned a BFA from Philadelphia College of Art and an MFA from William Paterson University where he is now an adjunct professor of sculpture. Additionally, Michael serves as a board member of the Sculptors Guild, an organization founded in 1937 to educate the public about contemporary sculpture. Former members of the Sculptors Guild have included Chaim Gross, Louise Nevelson, David Smith and Louise Bourgeois.
Activate: Market Street 8
Night & Day
January 27th – May 21st, 2016
Gilbert Hsiao @ 85 Market Street
Gilbert Hsiao came to New York City to attend Columbia University. However, it was working as a disc jockey at the Columbia University radio station that had the most profound effect on his career as a visual artist, as visualizing aural patterns was to become a lifelong obsession. Not offering a degree in art at the time, he left Columbia to study figure drawing and anatomy at the Art Students League, eventually receiving his BFA at Pratt Institute. His work has always incorporated abstract illusions of space, motion, light and time, but with a structure akin to music.
He has participated in residencies at Art Omi (Omi, New York), Marie Walsh Sharpe Foundation (Brooklyn) and Millay Colony for the Arts (Austerlitz, NY), as well as being an ongoing resident at Gallery Aferro, and was a New York Foundation for the Arts Painting Fellow. His work has been seen in such institutions as P.S. 1, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, MassMOCA and the New Jersey Center for the Visual Arts, as well as in commercial galleries and alternative spaces and throughout the Americas, Asia, Europe and Australia.
Ming-Jer Kuo @ 77 Market Street
Ming-Jer Kuo’s work is the result of his observations on, research in and responses to the complexity of urban systems. He uses shifting perspectives and variations in scales to study urban areas and form, and to explore and respond to ideas of urban organization and management. Working with lens-based images such as aerial photographs, Kuo captures repeated urban patterns, presents unseen scenes and illustrates urban information. Through the presentation of both photographic prints and sculptural installations, he wants to blur the boundaries between architecture, urban planning, design and photography and to encourage viewers to resee and rethink our living surrounding.
Ming-Jer Kuo (born in Taipei, Taiwan) is a New York-based artist. He had worked as an environmental engineer for eleven years and came to New York for art. He creates interdisciplinary visual art works based on his lens-based media experience, urban living interests and engineer’s analytic perspective. Kuo graduated from MFA Photography, Video and Related Media at School of Visual Arts in 2014. He is a participant of NYFA New York Foundation for the Arts Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program in NYC (2015), a recipient Paula Rhodes Award for Exceptional Achievement in NYC (2014), and was awarded as Honorable Mention of Taoyuan Creation Award in Taiwan (2011). Kuo was selected in the group exhibitions of New York Hall of Science in NYC (2015), Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art in NYC (2015), The 2 Gateway Center Gallery in Newark, NJ (2014, 2015), Art Factory in Paterson, NJ (2014), Fotoaura Institute of Photography in Taiwan (2009) and Pingyao International Photography Festival in China (2004). Kuo’s work has been featured by numerous publications including Aint-Bad (2014) and Steadfast Arte (2015). His work, “Everyday Practice of Art” was solo exhibited and was included in a publication of government in Taiwan (2010).
Anne McKeown @ 77 Market Street
Anne McKeown’s work contrasts rational, conceptual processes with intuitive inquiry, and involves exploration with painting, printmaking, papermaking and wire drawings. She makes and takes apart systems using color, chance and intuition. She researches, investigates, and shapes materials using chance, accident, and random samplings, as well as imagery from the canon of art history. She is driven to create work that is richly layered, that feels expressive, measured, and substantial. Her work speaks directly to her world, where marks and shapes are broken from a strict order; tumbling over; blocking; competing for space. The crowding marks and shapes reflect the shifting world as systems and beliefs shred and burst into new compilations. There are bits of the familiar but those are hints and allusions. She is not looking to create an order, but recording a moment of being.
McKeown is an artist whose practice includes painting, printmaking and handmade paper. McKeown has traveled to and worked in Egypt, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Cuba and South Africa. She has worked with artists at the Artist Proof Studio and Phumani Paper in Johannesburg, South Africa. She has taught Art Appreciation and Drawing courses at the University of Connecticut in Stamford and Papermaking at Mason Gross School of the Arts; as well as many workshops and demonstrations. Since 2001 she has been the Master Papermaker at the Brodsky Center for Innovative Editions. McKeown holds her B.A in Studio Art, 1992 from Skidmore College and her MFA in Painting and Printmaking from Yale University School of Art. Over the last three years her work has been shown at the SOHO20 CHELSEA Gallery, NY, the Hall of Awa in Yamakawa, Japan JARFO Gallery in Kyoto, Japan, at Rupert Ravens Contemporary and Gallery Aferro in Newark, NJ, at the Noyes Museum in Oceanville, NJ and the Hogar Collection Gallery in Brooklyn, NY among others.
Wendy Letven @ 75 Market Street
The installation, “Random Misfirings of the Brain” is constructed of branches and paper, painted red, orange and blue. These colors and it’s branching connective structure are borrowed from the visual vernacular of scientific models of the human circulatory system, a nod to the artist’s interest in natural science and information. The individual drawings that comprise it form a complex interwoven mass of an ambiguous shape that shifts and changes as one moves around it. It may be experienced as a drawing in physical space, or as shapes and lines woven together that form an impression of the rhythm and complexity of visual experience and noise spiraling, circulating and accumulating around and within us in perpetual states of change. For the artist it is also a metaphor for a growing collective consciousness that is a by-product of the information age. It’s component elements are parts of the artist’s own language of form inspired by natural and human-made patterns ranging from electrical systems, flow charts and highway interchanges to the natural branching patterns that make up everything from our vascular system to the coral reef and the fiber of the cosmos.
Wendy Letven is a visual artist with a background in drawing, painting and mixed-media. She has been a faculty member at Parsons, the New School for Design in New York City since 2007, teaching courses in the BFA Program and in Summer Programs. Wendy has exhibited her work in and around New Jersey at Aljira Gallery and at The Montclair Art Museum and in New York at the Bronx Museum, Momenta Art, Concepto Hudson, and other galleries. Wendy received a BFA from Tyler School of Art in Phildelphia, her home town and an MFA from Hunter College in New York City. She has received many awards including a Workspace Grant from Dieu Donne Papermill in New York City and a Fellowship at the MacDowell Colony, in Peterborough, New Hampshire. Currently, Wendy is an Artist in Residence at Gallery Aferro, in Newark, New Jersey.
Activate: Market street 7
Curated by Jo-El Lopez
November 15th – December 19th
@85 Market Street
Bisa Butler has always been drawn to portraits. Butler was the little girl who would sit next to her grandmother and ask her to go through old family photo albums. Bisa was the one who wanted to hear the story behind every picture. This inquisitiveness has stayed with her to this day. Butler often starts her pieces with a black and white photo, and allows herself to tell the story. Bisa’s stories are told in the fabrics that she chooses, the textures she combines, and the colors that create a whole new thing. Bisa’s portraits tell stories that may have been forgotten over time. When you see vintage lace and aged satin it tells you the story of delicacy and refinement of times gone by. When you see African printed cotton and mud cloth it tells the story of Butler’s ancestral homeland, and the cradle of civilization. When you see multi colored organza and netting layered you are being told a story of something or someone colorful and multifaceted.
Each face, each portrait, is an invitation to understand the complexities of the subjects they were based on. Butler wants you to be able to tell the story behind the face simply by observation alone. Imagine you are sitting on that sofa, and you are small again. The story is being told, if you care to listen.
Activate: Market street 7
Patricia Cazorla & Nancy Saleme, Lizzy Storm, and Donna Conklin King
October 15th – December 19th
@ 75 and 77 Market Street
DeFence was the originally a collaborative large mixed media work that Nancy Saleme and Patricia Cazorla, created as an artist duo in 2010. This work was inspired by the enforcement of a new anti-immigration law in Arizona State. DeFence is a tribute to farm workers throughout the country. Mostly neglected Mexican and Central American immigrants who work in precarious conditions in order to maintain the food industry chain. The artwork has been exhibited as public art, and has since had profound impact among the viewers for its meaningful content.
Today, it seems extremely relevant to re-stage this work, because hard-working Mexican immigrants are currently on the hot plate of the US political debate. In this new version of DeFence, Cazorla and Saleme are including a well prepared dinner table to reinforce the connection between everybody’s meals and the farmland. An association which is consigned to oblivion by many urbanites. The piece has an important educational component, especially to the young college students who pass by daily. This installation talks about gratitude and recognition for the efforts of the other. It brings to light the image of the invisible picker who feed us everyday and perhaps spreads the powerful humanistic concept of compassion.
Patricia Cazorla & Nancy Saleme began working together in 2010 focusing on immigration issues. Since then, they have been awarded exhibitions and commissions such as the 2012 Juried exhibition at the Hammond Museum & Japanese Stroll Garden, North Salem, NY; 7th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art, Berlin, Germany; Art in City Hall, Philadelphia, PA; Jose Cuervo Traditional Mural Project, NYC; Armory Artsweek by Lehman College Art Gallery at Andrew Freedman Home, Bronx, NY; The Garment District NYC, Not Festival 2013, Copenhagen, Denmark, Market Street Convergence at Gallery Aferro, Newark, NJ, Pierro Gallery, South Orange, NJ and the Puffin Foundation, Teaneck, NJ. Their work has been reviewed in Univision News, Remezcla, EFE Spanish international news agency, El Diario – La Prensa, Univision 41, Daily News- New York-Bronx, and Riverdale Press. They have participated in the DUMBO Arts Festival 2013 and lately they have been commissioned a public art piece by Taller Puertorriqueño, Philadelphia, funded by the Knight Foundation. They have been awarded with the NFA Artist/Ensemble Project Grant by NALAC for the public art project Lighting the Road at the Port Authority of NY & NJ commissioned by the Garment District NYC.
Lizzy Storm’s artwork addresses space, light, and perception. Inspired by calculus and higher mathematics and how they are used in physics and other sciences, she delves into the mystery of the infinitely small and the infinitely large and comes to the surface with diagrammatic, illustrative works informed by the complexity of nature as well as minimal forms. She uses artistic conventions like atmospheric perspective, color theory, and tonal structure in combination with mathy visualizations like vector or streamline plots and three dimensional metric space to inspire visual thinking on abstract concepts.
Through her work, she can connect not only to experienced members of the science and technology communities, but to young thinkers who are also inspired by math and other STEM fields. Somewhere in the middle, countless thousands of “nonmath people” can still find a way to contemplate the beauty in the artwork.
Lizzy Storm is an emerging artist raised and currently residing in West Orange, NJ. A view of New York City’s skyline from the hills of her home town has left Lizzy with a constant reminder of the visual information involved in understanding deep space and spatial relationships. Studying illustration at Rhode Island School of Design, Lizzy honed her skills in visual communication. A well of inspiration was opened through her investigation of geometric perspective drawing in conjunction with landscape painting. The resulting work, both 2D and 3D, bridges a gap between the romanticism and realism of illustration and the abstract mathematics of geometry and physics. She has returned home to New Jersey to exhibit and work in the local arts community.
Donna Conklin King’s sculptural work focuses on creating beauty from the objects and daily rituals of life, sometimes-domestic life, seeking to transform them into beautiful and desirable objects and artifacts. Adapting the concept of Kintsugi, Conklin King seeks to create beauty from the broken and undesirable. A break or crack is nothing more than a view to history, deeply rooted in a strong foundation.
“Kintsugi is the Japanese art of fixing broken pottery with lacquer resin dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver or platinum. As a philosophy, it speaks to breakage and repair becoming part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise.”
Using plaster and gold leaf, Donna will transform the Activate: Market Street exhibition space into a large (12’ +) “root” that has broken through the ground, creating a crack in the surface, a crack that will be filled with gold leaf. Symbolic of Newark’s history and current rise, the roots of the community and the history of the city are at once recognized as beautiful, desirable and invincible.
Activate: Market Street 7
Curated by Jo-El Lopez
@85 Market Street
Nell Painter (formerly known as the historian Nell Irvin Painter—author of The History of White People and Sojourner Truth, A Life, A Symbol, among her seven authored books, and the recipient of many fellowships [e.g., Guggenheim, Fulbright], honorary degrees [e.g., Yale, Dartmouth], and awards [e.g., Centennial Medal, Harvard]—and Edwards Professor of History, Emerita, at Princeton University) is a painter who lives and works in Newark, New Jersey. She works digitally and manually, with subject matter both visible and obscured, depending on the work and her inclination toward meaning.
As a painter and former historian, she takes inspiration from archives, visual and historical. The book plates of Art History by Nell Painter Volume XXVII: Ancestral Arts were originally inspired by pieces she showed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2013, themselves responding to a Met exhibition on African art and New York modernism. They revision an art history with multiple origins, visual and social.
Activate: Market Street 7
Brian Gustafson, Katelyn Liepins, and Fausto Sevila
September 5th – October 3rd
@ 75 and 77 Market Street
Gustafson’s work is conceptually driven by questions about empathy and a desire to connect to others through acts of making and sculpture. Art is a social activity; therefore he sees the role of an artist as a choice in how one engages others in dialogue. As an artist, Brian is invested in exploring the dynamics of ‘empathy’ and how we facilitate a human connection in the things we make. He advocates for the need to communicate about our capacity to be in constant consideration of each other. Gustafson believes this conversation can help lead to more compassionate and humane interaction between peoples. The work he’s created for Activate: Market Street is about acts of desperation. It is a metaphor about seeking a respite from psychological pain and darkness. It is about praying for rainbows in the dark. It is about a quixotic endeavor to make connections to others through an act of beauty.
Katelyn Liepins currently lives in Bordentown, New Jersey and is a recent graduate from The College of New Jersey with her B.A. in Art Education and a minor in Psychology. She has been working with lines and how they can exist beyond the traditional drawing form for the past few years. She is constantly challenging what is a drawing and how can it exist in multiple mediums. Coming from a family of architects, she is attracted to the sharp crisp lines within a space and uses them consistently within her art. By using line, she likes to draw the viewer’s focus to a particular area of the space or to point out architectural elements that are typically overlooked. For example, the way the wall meets the floor, or how the corners of a room interact with one another. Beyond installations, Katelyn is also experimenting with video and performance art dealing with the body and it’s relationship to the audience.
Fausto Sevila was born in Santiago, Cuba in 1960. He came to the US in 1970 and has lived in Elizabeth, NJ ever since. Sevila studied at Rutgers University where he received his MFA in 1994. Sevila has taught in the Newark Public School system for 31 years and is presently at Arts High. Sevila’s work has been exhibited at the Drawing center in Wooster St. NYC, the NJ State museum, the Hunterdon Museum, Aljira A Center for Contemporary Art, Simon Liou Gallery in Brooklyn, The Jersey City Museum, and Kenkeleba Gallery in Manhatan. Fausto has also performed with Geoffrey Hendrix at the Film Anthology and the Snug Harbor Cultural Center. The Brooklyn Rail, NY times and the star Ledger have reviewed my work. Fausto has received grants from the NJ State Council on the Arts, The Geraldine R dodge Foundation, Union County Freeholders, The Wheeler Foundation and The Newark Arts Council. Sevila’s poems were published in a collection of poems and essays published by ASCD. Fausto has also discussed his works in forums at the Hunterdon Museum and the NJ State Museum.
Activate: Market Street 7
Curated by Jo-El Lopez
Gerardo Castro and Timothy Dingman
September 5th – October 10th
@85 Market Street
Gerardo Castro’s works in this series created through the use of fire and branding, provide a body of work that pushes its limits by using minimal materials; work that enables a connection to history, a courageous confrontation of meaning and myth. The works in this series are branded with branding irons, bolts, chains, nails and various metal objects, as to suggest a “primitive” magical transformation, a process of burning messages encoded with meaning and history. In the branding drawings, sacred symbols (signs), appear artistic as well as mystical- aesthetically compelling, multi-layered, encoded with meaning and beautiful symmetry. Images strongly influenced by Castro’s knowledge of indigenous cultures and Afro-Cuban religions: a belief in a Divine power and a direct connection to that Supreme force. Castro uses ideograms, sacred symbols, found in these belief systems to serve as a catalyst for manifestations: ideograms to call down the spirit to motivate forces into action; a direct connection to nature itself by using the stars, moon, sun to communicate with celestial beings; graphic symbols that represent the identification of a series of supernatural phenomena.
Timothy Dingman came to Newark nearly seven years ago to help his architect student son deal with housing and education expenses. The first things he did for Timothy were walking tours of the amazing heritage of Renaissance Revival, Romanesque and Art Deco architecture in the downtown business district. Buildings erected from the late 1800s to the mid 1900’s with “style,” with craftsmanship and consideration of the scale of the neighboring structures. Louis Sullivan would have felt at home here with his hopes for an “American” architectural model. After a year or so of trying, with varying degrees of success to photograph the architectural marvels of the City, Dingman realized that he was desperately trying to isolate his favorite subjects from more modern buildings that seemed…out of place with existing structures. This past six month’s, Timothy has been approaching architectural photography in Newark as an obfuscation. The images are of “heritage” architecture as seen as reflections in the glass facades of Gateway Center, the Panasonic building, 550 Broad St, The new Prudential building and the PSE&G building. We can’t and shouldn’t stop progress in our City but we could acknowledge our architectural heritage and remember that “new” is not always “best”…or even interesting…or not grossly simplistic and more than a little bit unimaginative.
Activate: Market Street 6
June 13, 2015 – August 22, 2015
73, 75, 77, & 85 Market Street
Blue Swimmer, an installation by artist Louisa Armbrust, fills the windows of four shopfronts on Market Street with life-sized cyanotype photographs of a ghostly figure swimming in deep blue space.
Each photograph, made using cotton fabric coated with a UV sensitive cyanotype solution, is based on an image from a 1950s Hungarian competitive swimming manual. The manual features black and white, stop-motion, underwater photographs of olympic athletes demonstrating perfect versions of the swimming strokes like the crawl, backstroke, and butterfly. The installation reanimates these beautiful but dated images, by reenacting the poses captured in the original images and transposing them into the urban Newark landscape.
“This project is about attempting to recreate poses from an instruction manual, but nothing in nature or human effort creates an exact replica. That’s what machines do, but not us. There is something inherently beautiful and interesting in the gap between the rule and the action, and that is what I try to show in my work. I hope these underwater images will create a visual respite from the heat and from the habitual everyday streetscape and encourage passersby to reflect on the creativity and wonder that we all embody Because we are imperfect.”
Louisa Armbrust lives and works in Brooklyn. Awards include Artist-in-residence at Millay Colony for the Arts, LMCC Swing Space, New Works Project Grant from Harvestworks Digital Media Art Center, New York, Artist-in-Residence at Vermont Studio Center. Her work has been shown at museums and galleries including the Urban Institute of Contemporary Art, Grand Rapids, MI, the Hofstra Museum, Hempstead, NY, the Museum of Contemporary Art/Denver, and Eye Level Gallery, Halifax, Nova Scotia. She received an MA in Visual Arts from Goldsmiths College, University of London.
Activate: Market Street 5
The Glass Chronicles
April 25 – May 18, 2015
85 Market Street, Curated by Jo-el Lopez
The Glass Chronicles began as an exercise in seeing how many times removed Mollie Thonneson could continue to create artwork based on a single image. From the original photograph of broken windshield glass scattered on a sidewalk She has created a realistic oil painting, six stylized acrylic paintings, a silk-screen print edition and twelve fabric pieces. Each new artwork is used as the reference for the next one. The different mediums are allowed to have their own voice and tell their own story yet they continue to express the same explosive energy that broke the glass in the first place.
Mollie Thonneson has been painting and constructing fabric sculptures for over thirty five years. Her work has shown nationally and internationally. She is the inventor, designer, and manufacturer of TAG the Art Game, a game that helps people overcome their fears about art making. Thonneson studied Illustration at Art Center College of Design in California from 1979-1981. She and her late husband, Joseph Franklin, designed and manufactured high end lamps, mirrors, and accent tables from 1990 – 2000. Thonneson moved to the East Coast in 2007 and earned her BFA in painting and drawing from New Jersey City University in 2012. Thonneson lives and works in Jersey City, NJ with her partner Alan Walker, their daughter Tulsi.
Activate: Market Street 5
February 20 – May 2, 2015
Opening Reception February 20, 7 – 10pm
Storefront Windows on Market Street
Sunil Garg A Comfortable Illusion of Order @ 75 Market Street
The installation was created for its location, a former furniture store display window in Newark, NJ. It evokes planar forms of pieces of furniture in a seemingly chaotic state illuminated at night by a program of lights.
Garg’s work uses accessible materials such as, paper, wire mesh, expandable foam, discarded plastic bags, and packaging, to create forms that interrogate and respond to the conditions of the environment they are placed in. His work is intended to adapt to its environment and change depending on environmental and visual points of view and also challenge viewers’ preconceptions and biases.
Robert Lach A Forest @ 77 Market street
Nesting is both a joyous time for birth, comfort and rest, and a fight for survival from the elements of the natural world. Nature provides beauty and tranquility but also potential danger and destruction. It can be a nightmare.
Lach builds nests and nest-like structures based on the architecture of birds, animals, and insects. Viscerally attracted by their nostalgia, ware, and uselessness, Robert mimics their design, form and structure patterns using locally gathered objects, trash, and recycled materials.
Activate: Market Street 5
Till The Break Of Dawn: Blue
March 28 – April 18, 2015
85 Market Street, Curated by Jo-el Lopez
Karlos Cárcamo’s work combines his interest in modernist abstraction, art history, and urban culture. Incorporating a process that subverts the formal language of abstraction with a hybrid vocabulary of forms influenced by the constructed nature of urban culture. Cárcamo creates work that samples from past art historical sources as a way of re-contextualizing the codified language of abstract art to address issues that relate to our everyday world.
Till The Break Of Dawn: Blue consists of shaped mono-chromatic paintings with police batons, solarized images of handcuffs on paper, and a sculpture made from Public Enemy vinyl records. All the work in the installation touches on aspects of police violence through a mix of materiality, form, iconography and color.
The installation title is both a slang reference to staying up all through the night and a play on the many meanings of the color blue. As insignia for police, the psychological state of sadness and a reference to art historical uses of the color blue by such artists as Robert Rauschenberg, Ellsworth Kelly, and Yves Klein.
Karlos Cárcamo is a multidisciplinary artist with interests in art history, urban culture, and modernist abstraction. His work often touch on themes related to high and low culture, its influence on art and how the constructed nature of urban culture can be used as a vehicle to understand the world at large. He has a BFA from the School of Visual Arts and his MFA from Hunter College, both in New York. He has exhibited extensively including at the Brooklyn Museum; the Bronx Museum of the Arts; MoMA PS1 and Queens Museum of Contemporary Art, both Queens, NY; El Museo del Barrio, Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space, and Artists Space, all NY; Jersey City Museum and Aljira Center of Contemporary Art, both NJ; and Museo de Arte de El Salvador. He was awarded a residency at the Lower Eastside Printshop in 2009 and was part of the Bronx Museum’s Artist in the Marketplace Program in 2000. His work has been reviewed in Art in America, The New York Times, and the Village Voice, among other publications. Karlos Cárcamo is represented by Hionas Gallery in New York. www.hionasgallery.com
Josama Loss Of Innocence
85 Market Street, Curated by Jo-El Lopez
Throughout Josama’s travels, he became largely influenced by Hip-Hop culture, primarily graffiti art and MCing. It was during the “die hard” era of New York’s graffiti scene where ten year-old Josama would lay his foundation as a visual artist. Within one year, Josama was keeping black books full of designs to be used for murals. Due to the near extinction of the graffiti train culture, Josama took a back seat to the declining art form and transcended his passion for the visual arts through oil painting. Josama immersed himself with his newfound love and began studying the works of various Renaissance masters, Mexican muralists and contemporary paintings.
The combination of Josama’s vagabond lifestyle, artistic upbringing and devotion for hip-hop culture, are the factors responsible for his unique artistic expression. Josama’s work can be defined as a living dreamscape that cross-pollinates historical moments with pop-culture iconography and everyday street life. Infusing elements of symbology, psychology and spirituality, Josama’s pieces are engaging and evoke a thought provoking analysis of the imagery conveyed.
ACTIVATE: LINCOLN PARK
Pink Dragon x Gantalism Public Art Pop-Up Gallery in collaboration with Gallery Aferro
At the 9th Annual Lincoln Park Music Festival | Newark, NJ
Saturday July 26 2014 12p – 8p
THE ART OF SOUND | Art Making and Music History Programming
Creative Director: Jerry Gant Program Director: Linda Street
Jerry Gant’s signature design aesthetic will distinctively embellish recycled vinyl records, featured in multi-site installations throughout Lincoln Park, including the Gantalism Sound Garden gracing the VIP entrance of the Lincoln Park Music Festival.
The Art of Sound | BYOV : Bring Your Own Vinyl : Public Art Materials Drive
Lincoln Park Music Festival attendees are encouraged to donate recycled vinyl records that will be used as materials for future The Art of Sound installations. Each donor can participate in an artist led workshop with Gant and others, to create 2 unique works – one to keep and the other to become part of future art.
PINK DRAGON’S BE THE ART | Public Photo Booth
Lincoln Park Music Festival attendees are invited to visit the Pop-Up Art Gallery and ‘be the art’ as the colorful, living subjects of the Pink Dragon’s Be THe Art Photo Booth. Participants will receive a complimentary souvenir photo strip and all photos will become part of an online photo gallery.
THE SOUNDS OF ART BY DJ MELLO MEL
DEBUT PHOTO EXHIBITION
A Gathering of Unusual Suspects | Photos of the Day | Curated by: Linda Street
On May 3, 2014 A Gathering of Unusual Suspects photo shoot, extended the narrative originally introduced by artist Jerry Gant’s Unusual Suspects exhibition for Gallery Aferro’s Activate:Market Street public art initiative. On a beautiful Saturday morning, a diverse, intergenerational group of Black males gathered to create and share an historic moment on the steps of the Essex County Hall of Records. This debut exhibition will include the digital print by photographer Akintola Hanif, along with other selected photos of the day.
FIBER ARTS INSTALLATION
Fencing and Fabric by Tyrone Chablis
Noted Newark designer Tyrone Chablis contributes his flair of fabric and fashion, in his first public art installation, to enhance the Lincoln Park Broad Street entrance of the Pink Dragon x Gantalism Pop-Up Art Gallery at the Lincoln Park Music Festival.
SPECIAL GUEST ARTISTS
The Pink Dragon x Gantalism Pop-Up Art Gallery will also feature exhibiting works from special guest artists including Connecticut’s Jahmane Artz, New York’s Craig Anthony Miller and Jersey’s own Frank Marshall, the recent first place recipient of the Union County 2014 Senior’s Exhibition.