Current Exhibitions

Main Gallery

Sep 02 2014 - Dec 24 2014

From There to Here

Opening Reception Sept 11, 2014, 5-7pm

Moving from a home country to another is an experience unlike any other. There are many reasons that people choose, or are forced, to undertake such an act. This exhibition will focus on the work of artists who explore all aspects of the migrant and immigrant experience.

Artists in this exhibition: Aileen Bassis, Sasha Bromberg, Maki Hajikano, Muriel Hasbun, Fidencio Martinez, Jenny Polak, Viviane Rombaldi Seppey, Leona Strassberg Steiner, Raul Villarreal, Mina Zarfsaz


Raúl Villarreal, La crisis de la abundancia (The Abundance Crisis), 2012, oil on linen, 48”x60”, Courtesy of the artist

Raúl Villarreal, La crisis de la abundancia (The Abundance Crisis), 2012, oil on linen, 48”x60”, Courtesy of the artist

The Wall

Feb 15 2014 - Jul 31 2015

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.

postcard for Mandela-1

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


Sep 02 2014 - May 16 2015

Sojourn: Linda Hu & Krissia Thaiane

Sojourn Fall 2014_Invite 5_v2-1

Though vastly different in style and medium, both Linda Hu and Krissia Thaiane’s practices are marked by a meditative, progressive building-out from simplicity to complexity.  These two emerging artists are recent graduates from Rutgers University-Newark’s Department of Arts, Culture and Media.

The bulk of Linda Hu’s work consists of traditional pen and ink on paper.  The black and white drawings expose a practice that is obsessive and precise, with complex detail rippling outward from a foundational framework.  The long periods of strenuous and meditative concentration, she writes, “provide the time and quiet for me to construct connections with people, ideas, environments.”

Krissia Thaiane writes, “My work explores the strength and frailty of the fabric of family and tradition through knitted industrial materials.”  Each individual knot is magnified by the ponderousness of the materials and multiplied by the outsized act of knitting, drawing attention to the relationship between part and whole.

Orbit 1

Sep 02 2014 - Dec 24 2014

Planar Scheme: Kati Vilim

Through her work, Kati Vilim deals with the classic issues of color, form and movement. She says, “I am composing the elements of structure, proportion, rhythm and color…reminding us of musical or architectural concepts where these different qualities are organized to a new form”. For this installation, Vilim has responded to the architectural specificities of the space, including the uniform grey cinder block construction of the University’s institutional modernist building.  Her methodical approach is evidenced in the geometric forms where she has bypassed contemporary tricks to paint all her hard edged objects with an unwavering hand.  Many experimental drawings are created by the artist as the work evolves.  The outcome is an actual palimpsest of ideas, presented in a distilled form, with a synthesis of lines, color and form.

Born in Hungary, Kati Vilim undertook her formal art training in Europe and the United States. She has had solo exhibitions both in her home country and the US. She currently occupies a studio based in Newark and she received the Prize of the Association of the Hungarian Artists for her degree work at the University of Fine Arts, Budapest, Hungary.

Kati Vilim, "Planar Scheme 1-4," 2014, cardboard, plaster, acrylic, dimensions variable, courtesy of the artist

Kati Vilim, “Planar Scheme 1-4,” 2014, cardboard, plaster, acrylic, dimensions variable, courtesy of the artist

Orbit 2

Sep 02 2014 - Dec 24 2014

Daniel Patrick Helmstetter : The Slumberous Antiquity in Us

Daniel Patrick Helmstetter

“The Slumberous Antiquity in Us” is a body of work exploring what is old inside.  On a macro level, it ponders the absurdity of living in the year Two Thousand and Fourteen when humans have been on Earth for hundreds of thousands of years. What have we forgotten?  What interests does it serve to fuel this disconnection?  On a micro level, the series explores what it’s like to work through old wounds that create patterns of subtle underlying influence on our behavior.  What is it like to address our old inner junk?

Daniel Patrick Helmstetter is a poet with a paintbrush based in New Jersey.  Rather than an image on a canvas, his work is a poetic spark of an excavated emotion, engaging the viewer and inviting them to paint the picture themselves. Daniel is the author of A Return To Mothers Love and Bodies of Water. His paintings have been featured in galleries, installations, magazines, and academic publications throughout The United States and Mexico. Recent publications include features in Type Spaces by Basheer Graphic Books (Singapore), and Lettering Large by Steven Heller and Mirko Illic on Rockport Press (NY).

Pequod Deck

Oct 30 2014 - Dec 24 2014

Sowing the Seeds for Future Success: Rutgers University-Newark Students in India

DSC_1096For the past four years, the Paul Robeson Campus Center’s Office of the Dean of Student Life has designed and implemented programming initiatives that challenge students as they move through critical stages of identity development. Through a series of intentional service-driven programs known as the International Service Learning and Leadership Exchange (ISLLE), highly qualified student leaders are offered an opportunity to develop their skills as global citizens and social change agents. In partnership with the Rutgers University-Newark School of Public Affairs and Administration, students earn academic credit through their participation in ISLLE. This curriculum includes international service learning workshops, seminars and readings to facilitate a holistic educational experience for its participants.

Through the summer 2014 Exchange to India, eight students from diverse backgrounds and academic disciplines worked to engage models of leadership and advocacy through provocative cross-cultural engagements. This 12-day experiential learning venture enabled Rutgers students to see firsthand the challenges facing developing nations, and to encourage them to embrace the role they can play in helping these communities achieve the economic, political, and social stability they seek. Spearheading rigorous service projects and working alongside Indian community members, grassroots organizers and seasoned professionals, ISLLE students fostered passions for international cooperation and public service.

The International Service Learning and Leadership Exchange to India is an undoubtedly transformative experience, and ISLLE participant Jose Muniz (Senior, Accounting and Marketing) agrees: “All in all, the India International Service Learning and Leadership Exchange tremendously improves the personal, academic and professional development of every student that participates. The ISLLE forces students out of their typical comfort zones and gives them obstacles that they have never faced. It is an experience like no other. It’s something that the classroom can’t teach. As we settle back in America, we will all attempt to relay the knowledge gained to those around us. Again, we know we can’t alter the world on our own. We only hope we can influence enough people who can together transform the world.”

Messier Gallery

Sep 02 2014 - Jul 30 2015

Under/Over: Dahlia Elsayed

Dahlia Elsayed, "Under/Over," 2014, acrylic and latex paint, 119"x165", Courtesy of the artist

Dahlia Elsayed, “Under/Over,” 2014, acrylic and latex paint, 119″x165″, Courtesy of the artist

Dahlia Elsayed writes, “The murals are all based around the idea of celebrating the brutalist architecture of the Newark Campus. The much-maligned architectural style features strong geometric shapes, repetition of modular elements, and raw materials. I wanted to use the physical experience of walking around the campus and viewing the buildings from multiple points—from eye level, from above and from below. So the painted shapes that appear on the walls are directly linked to those research navigations and echo the shapes of the buildings—the side view of the concrete awning on Boyden Hall, the thin windows in between concrete slabs of the Dana Library, the overhang of the roof of Smith Hall, etc. There are also references to the natural elements (day sky/night sky) but these too are presented in hard-edged forms, echoing the architectural shapes.  The three walls of the mural present three different readings of the sketches made during those walks. One is presented as a long panorama/scroll, another as a triptych, and the third as an unbound diagram. The title Under/Over relates to the different viewpoints when I was looking at the buildings and also to the formal elements and painting process of the murals.”

Dahlia Elsayed’s paintings and installations have been exhibited in group and solo shows in the United States, Poland, the Netherlands, South Korea, Sweden, Italy, Armenia, and Egypt.  Her work can be found in the collections of The Newark Museum, the US Department of State—Art in Embassies, Johnson & Johnson Corporation, The Jersey City Museum, Hunterdon Museum of Art, Noyes Museum of Art, Ritz Carlton Hotel NYC, and many more.  Elsayed is currently an assistant professor of fine arts at CUNY LaGuardia Community College.

Criminal Justice Gallery

Sep 02 2014 - Dec 24 2014

Cooking for Change

"Her Reward,"© 2011 Steven J. Riskind, Digital Chromogenic Print, 24" x 20", Courtesy of the Artist

“Her Reward,”© 2011 Steven J. Riskind, Digital Chromogenic Print, 24″ x 20″, Courtesy of the Artist

Reception on Monday, November 10, 430-630pm

Catered by Community FoodBank of New Jersey


Paul Robeson Galleries – Criminal Justice Gallery
Rutgers School of Criminal Justice

23 Washington Street, 5th floor
Newark, NJ 07102

Jobs in America are disappearing at a frightening pace.  But competent cooks—people who prepare school lunches, supermarket take-out, and standard restaurant fare along with meals for the sick and the elderly—are still needed.  That’s good news for the inner city poor—including ex-offenders and recovering addicts—who enroll in food service training programs around the country.

“Cooking for Change” focuses on students and staff at The Food Service Training Academy of the Community FoodBank of New Jersey located in Hillside, on the edge of Newark.  Candid photographs and narratives capture the energy and mystery, the hopes, heartaches, and resilient spirit of participants in the free, 14-week program.  Most students welcome the chance to learn new skills.  They want to believe that learning to cook professionally will change their lives.  The optimists among them imagine moving up the career ladder—from salad maker and breakfast cook to sous chef or food entrepreneur.  Staff members, while hugely supportive, deliver a no-nonsense message: the food service industry is demanding and unforgiving.  It’s no place for slackers.

The students and graduates profiled here want to believe that opportunity exists in their own country.  They are grateful for philanthropically-funded job training and job placement.  Still, they recognize the fragility of their situation.  Surrounded by a plague of poverty and joblessness, they worry about the future.  Will they be able to support a family on $10-$15 an hour?  Will employers be fair-minded?  Will they be valued for the work they do?

-Doris Friedensohn, April 2013

This exhibit is based on the book Cooking for Change: Tales from a Food Service Training Academy (Full Court Press, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 2011) by Doris Friedensohn with photographs by Steve Riskind.