Current Exhibitions

Main Gallery

Jan 19 2016 - Mar 23 2016

The Undesirables

Opening Reception Thursday, January 28, 5-7pm

It is a reality that we all share our homes with others—people and pets, but also a large number of creatures that have taken up residence without invitation, such as mice, bed bugs, cockroaches, spiders, squirrels, raccoons, pigeons, and so on.  This exhibition features work by artists considering our relationship to these creatures with which we commonly (and often reluctantly) cohabit.

Artists in this exhibition: Hetty Baiz, Catherine Chalmers, Cara DeAngelis, Adam Farcus, Emily Fleisher, Lorrie Fredette, Asha Ganpat, Kate Kern, Melinda Merinsky, Antonella Piemontese, and Mary Sweeney

Orbit 1

Jan 19 2016 - Jul 29 2016

“…We Say Fight Back!” Julieta Salgado

Photography exhibit by Julieta Salgado

Opening Reception Thursday, January 28, 5-7pm

“…We Say Fight Back!” is an on-going visual account of various social justice movements led by and for trans, gender non-conforming, two-spirit, and queer people of color in New York City.  This particular exhibit examines the intersections of immigration, policing, and people’s access to self-determination and freedom of movement from 2013-2015.

Julieta Salgado is a queer femme Latina artist & aspiring sociologist from Brooklyn, NY via Manabi, Ecuador.  She is a photographer, an occasional poet, a secret singer, and habitual insurgent.

Her visual work documents social justice movements in both Ecuador and the US, most recently focusing on trans and queer immigrants of color in NYC.  Through her self-portraiture, she also explores themes of queer sexuality, gender expression, femme identity, desire, depression, death, trauma, ancestry, coloniality, diaspora & creative tactics for destabilizing white power structures.

Picturing Justice: A Workshop on Photography for Political Change Monday, February 8, 230-350 p.m

Speakers: Julieta Salgado, photographer; Denise Lupita Romero, field organizer, Brandworkers International; Jijian Voronka, SSHRC Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, Women’s and Gender Studies

Sponsored by Department of Political Science, FASN Cultural Programming Grant, Paul Robeson Galleries, LGBTQ and Diversity Resource Center, Global Urban Studies

Orbit 2

Jan 19 2016 - Jul 29 2016

Women Like Jazz

“Like jazz, women are smooth, soulful and swinging; they are masters of improvisation and they sing the blues. As is jazz, women are ragtime, bebop, and cool. Women are jazz musicians and have jazz bands.”

Curated by Gladys Barker Grauer and presented in conjunction with Women in Media-Newark’s 7th Annual Women’s History Month Film Festival.

Artists in this exhibition: Cathleen McCoy Bristol, Bisa Butler, Grace Graupe Pillard, Evelyn Graves, Donna Conklin King, and Toni Thomas

Pequod Deck

Nov 09 2015 - Mar 29 2016

Rutgers University – Newark Students Engaging Rural Sustainability Projects

The International Leadership Exchange (ILE) initiative to India allows students to critically explore various forms of grassroots community leadership within India with the intent of understanding how communities can effectively create sustainable initiatives that address their needs.  This exhibition of pictures showcases the transformative journey of Rutgers University – Newark Students as they strive to create global impact in Indiaindia 2015 image for invite

Criminal Justice Gallery

Sep 01 2015 - Mar 29 2016

I Might Be Next: Jerry Gant & Bryant Lebron

Visitor and parking information

See State of the Art NJ’s feature on “I Might Be Next”

In the midst of recent headlines about unarmed Black individuals killed by white police officers, Newark artists Jerry Gant and Bryant Lebron are investigating the Black experience with criminal justice in modern America.

Newark historian and artist Nell Painter writes:

Wonderful things about being black abound, from the physical to the cultural to the social. Blackness is beautiful in the body, the skin, the vigor that shows in muscle and sinew. (Let us here praise Serena Williams.) Beauty in the music and the poetry and the art. (Let us here praise 2Pac and Duke Ellington and Elizabeth Alexander and Kara Walker and Stanley Whitney.) And the beautifully almost un-American sense of solidarity.

I want to talk about solidarity, as Bryant Lebron depicts it, and solidarity as Jerry Gant depicts the sadness when it is missed.           

That sense of community—of solidarity, of being connected over time and space and even clashingly different experiences—distinguishes Americans of African descent from the mainstream loudly proclaiming its individualism, stony, self-reliant individualism. But we who have been so persistently lumped together, discriminated against, even beaten as embodiments of a group, have long embraced our group identity. Solidarity has been our talisman, our key to sanity within an insane system of racial denigration. Where would we be without our peers to reassure us that we were not insane? How to survive as an isolated individual, when individualism would condemn a single person to insanity. No, individualism does not serve us when we are mistreated as part of a group. Solidarity has saved the sanity of most of us, even though legions have fallen victim to racism’s insanity.

In these times, the weekly drumbeat of murder turns solidarity into an endlessly renewed grief, as a person is killed as each week goes by. We may be personally safe. But our solidarity connects us, week by week, to each murdered black person. “That could have been me,” we feel, we say, each time another loses her or his life senselessly. This cruelty stretches back farther than Bryant Lebron says. In my mid-twentieth-century generation, it was the vicious torture-murder-drowning of Emmett Till in 1955. Then it was the three young men in Freedom Summer of 1964. The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense began in 1966 to combat anti-black police brutality. Each of the urban uprisings of the twentieth-century began with the fact or rumor of police brutality.  In each instance, we mourn the victims in racial solidarity and in the knowledge that it could have been me. It could have been me, walking down the street in a hoodie with Skittles in my hand. It could have been me avoiding the overgrown sidewalk. It could have been me in the dark stairway or in the street selling loose cigarettes. It even could have been me inviting the stranger into our prayer meeting. It could have been me changing lanes without signaling and smoking in my car. Yes. In solidarity, I know it could have been me.

Nell Painter, Newark, New Jersey, July 2015


Sep 01 2015 - May 12 2016

Bloom: Patricia Arias-Reynolds & Sarah Lamont

The works in this exhibition celebrate and meditate on the burgeoning energies found in nature—visible and invisible, implied through interactions of color and gesture.  Both artists, Patricia Arias-Reynolds and Sarah Lamont, are recent graduates from Rutgers University-Newark’s Department of Arts, Culture & Media.

Sarah Lamont’s process is one of exploration, chance, and control.  Lamont drips, splatters, and pours her materials onto saturated canvases to arrive at color interactions reminiscent of those created by foam bath bombs on the surface of water.  Lamont writes, “Nature now affects the final outcome of the work, which is not determined until completely dry.  Now all is chance.”

Patricia Arias-Reynolds’ work uses trees as a starting point to explore spirituality, nature, energy, and healing.  Beginning with photographs taken during her travels, Arias-Reynolds manipulates the images digitally and with paint in vivid, contrasting colors.  She writes, “The works attempt to manifest an internal energy that evokes a memory from my experience within nature.”

Messier Gallery

Sep 10 2015 - May 15 2016

One Worm at a Time: Armisey Smith

This series of murals tells the story of a person of color navigating mental illness, working through the stigma and taking the journey through this disability to find balance, peace, and resilience.  Armisey Smith is a Newark-based illustrator, graphic designer, curator, and painter.

Armisey Smith writes:

An acknowledgement of my biological shortcomings has always been an undercurrent in my work.  Although I was trained as an illustrator, I spoke to issues related to race, gender, sexuality and now the mental and physical well-being of African-American women.  My latest body of work depicts the struggle between mind and body.  Art-making is a mechanism which speaks to my clinical depression and serves to illuminate/dispel stigmas related to clinical depression in women of color. Historically black women are labeled with the “Strong Black Woman” moniker; thereby irresponsibly undermining potential mental disorders. Embracing the “Strong Black Woman” mantle means vulnerability within social and familial circles.

I choose to expose the organic and chemical disjunction of the mind/body with individual amorphous shapes layered with paint and objects sealed in resin. These shapes obliquely resemble neural pathways, cell structures, organs and musculature; the components of which make us human yet fallible. The movement or sculptural relief of each individual piece further emphasizes the disconnection between mind and body.  Eventually, by physical movement of the pieces or the convergence of the mind’s eye, the re-association begins. 

The Wall

Feb 15 2014 - Jul 29 2016

Nelson Mandela Tribute Mural by Warcheerah Kilima

Nelson Mandela (1918-2013) was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician, and philanthropist and the President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999.  This tribute mural by Warcheerah Kilima celebrates Mandela’s achievements on the world stage, and his lifelong commitment to equality for all.

About his use of a tree to symbolize Mandela’s life and work, Kilima writes: “Trees represent the movement from what something (or someone) has been into what it has become over time… Tree roots can run deep, travel far, and fit and attach themselves to places, around things, and survive in inhospitable locations.”  Kilima draws upon diverse African and global arts traditions, incorporating symbols, significant historical events, and lyrics from popular songs.

Warcheerah H. S. Kilima was born in Tanzania and raised near Dar es Salaam.  He studied at the Bagamoyo College of Art (TASUBA) and helped develop opportunities for local artists, including co-founding an artists’ market in an old slave market.  Kilima’s work has exhibited in Africa, Europe, and the United States.  He is also an educator, leading programs and workshops that teach many aspects of art making, including puppetry, murals, recycled art, and spoken word poetry.

This mural is brought to you by the Robeson Campus Center and the Paul Robeson Galleries.