(NEWARK, NJ) -- The Four Corners Public Arts partnership (“FCPA”) has announced three new public art projects coming to Downtown Newark for Fall/Winter 2020-2021. In the upcoming weeks, FCPA phase II will commence with: The Newark Artists Photo Documentary Project by Colleen Gutwein O'Neal; Will You Be My Monument by Salamishah Tillet and Alliyah Allen of New Arts Justice at Rutgers University - Newark, designer Chantal Fischzang, photographer Scheherazade Tillet and Keary Rosen of the Form Design Studio at Express Newark; and We Are Home led by Yeimy Gamez Castillo in collaboration with the ImVisible project and artist Layqa Nuna Yawar.
This phase of the program is focused on community building through public art. Each project includes thoughtful, intentional collaboration, engages various audiences, and brings to life narratives that are constructed through open community dialogue. “We are living in time that demands that public art represents the diversity and dynamism of the communities in which it is made,” says Salamishah Tillet, director of New Arts Justice. “To meet this moment, Newark artists are collaborating on murals and monuments that reflect who we are and by doing so, are reimagining the vibrant possibilities of who we, as a city and nation, can be.”
FCPA is organized and curated by Rebecca Pauline Jampol, co-director of Project for Empty Space. Projects and accompanying programs will take place in Newark’s Four Corners Historic District and surrounding areas.
The Newark Artists Photo Documentary Project, led by artist Colleen Gutwein O'Neal is an initiative that centers Newark-based, multidisciplinary visual artists, creating an archive of artistic legacy and contributions that have defined our local creative community for the past century. To date, approximately 100 artists have participated in the project. O’Neal will create a permanent mural, as well as temporary murals located throughout the City. The temporary artworks will be a nod to vanishing architecture, forgotten places, and artists’ workspaces threatened with demolition or redevelopment, and will include portraits of artists that have had a profound impact on these spaces.
Will You Be My Monument is a collaboration between writer Salamishah Tillet of New Arts Justice at Rutgers University - Newark, designer Chantal Fischzang, and photographer Scheherazade Tillet. Inspired by the City administration’s removal of the Columbus statue in Washington Park this past June, a public artwork will be erected that includes an image of an eight-year-old Black girl, Faatina, who was celebrating her eighth birthday that night, and a set of mirrors that reflect the diversity and vibrancy of Newark. This artwork adds to international debates about the role of monuments in civic life and conversations about the ongoing (in)visibility of Black girls and young women in American culture. In the Spring of 2021, Alliyah Allen of New Arts Justice and Keary Rosen of the Form Design Studio at Express Newark will host a series of public programs that encourage everyday citizens to contribute to these contemporary conversations about memory, belonging, and our civic landscape.
We Are Home, led by Yeimy Gamez Castillo, is a collaboration with the ImVisible project and artist Layqa Nuna Yawar. ImVisible is a collective developed to empower the undocumented and immigrant community in Newark through multimedia storytelling, founded in 2018 as a peer-lead initiative between Rutgers University Scholars, faculty and community based artists.
Over the next six months, the collective will host a series of programs to conceptualize a permanent mural that will amplify undocumented voices. During the Fall/Winter of 2020-2021, community art-builds will take place in partnership with local organizations. These engagements will result in a collective mural design and an ongoing series of posters made accessible to the public for free. The mural will be implemented in the Spring of 2021.
“Phase II of the Four Corners Public Arts will expand public art, engage Newark’s diverse communities, and promote walkability and socially-distanced outdoor activities during the current pandemic. We’re proud of the artists and creatives who have explored the timely themes of representation and visibility as part of this exciting project,” said Jeremy Johnson, Executive Director, Newark Arts.
Four Corners Public Arts was initiated in 2019 through a public/private partnership convened to support public arts initiatives in Newark’s Fours Corners Historic District. The partnership includes The City of Newark, Invest Newark, Newark Arts, Newark Downtown District, Paramount Assets and RBH Group. The partnership evolved out of a common interest to give care to under-acknowledged areas of the City through the arts, with the goal of cultivating creative communal space for everyone. At a time when Newark is undergoing a marked transformation, the partnership believes it is imperative to create opportunities that strengthen the local creative community.
This phase is made possible by the FCPA partnership, Calello Agency, The Hanini Group, The Newark Creative Catalyst Fund, Rosemary and Robert Steinbaum, Sherwin Williams Paint Company, Provident Bank and more.
For more information about FCPA phase II, or sponsorship opportunities, visit fourcornerspublicarts.org
Newark Arts’ mission is to power the arts to transform lives. Established in 1981 as the Newark Arts Council, the organization’s vision is to become a nationally recognized catalyst for the collaborative power of the arts in the City of Newark and urban America. Newark Arts is the producer of Newark Creates, a community-led citywide cultural plan, created in partnership with the City of Newark. Newark Arts’ key initiatives include Arts Education Newark (AEN), the ArtStart community grantmaking program, and the Newark Arts Festival. Newark Arts is generously supported by Prudential Financial, the City of Newark, M&T Bank, PSEG, Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Victoria Foundation, Turrell Fund, Bank of America, New Jersey State Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, Verizon, United Airlines, Hanini Group and individuals, businesses and institutions.
IMAGES: (Left to right) Image by Colleen Gutwein O'Neal; Image by ImVisible; Image by Scheherazade Tillet