(NEWARK, NJ) -- On Thursday, November 18 at 6:00pm, Paul Robeson Galleries will host a film screening and conversation about "In My Solitude" over ZOOM. This a short film by filmmaker and photographer Vanessa Blake. After the film screening, Vanessa will be joined by independent filmmaker William Michael Barbee for a conversation inspired by the film’s main theme of men’s mental health. This program is organized in collaboration with Women in Media-Newark. RSVP required. Zoom details will be sent via confirmation email.
Vanessa Blake is a new filmmaker and a photographer. In 2017, Vanessa was awarded a video residency at Express Newark in Newark New Jersey. That residency afforded Vanessa the opportunity to connect with other like-minded creatives. In 2018, Vanessa wrote and produced her first stage play, The Race Before, a story of liberty and justice for some. In 2019 she also wrote, directed, and produced her first short film, In My Solitude. Also in 2019, the feature length documentary titled Being Gladys, which Vanessa worked on in several capacities won best documentary at the Newark International Film Festival. Vanessa is slated to work on two upcoming documentaries in 2020. Most recently, she is in the beginning stages of her next film project, The Waiting Room. Vanessa is a proud board member of Women in Media – Newark. A lifelong New York Knick fan and a Brooklyn/Queens native, Vanessa currently resides in New Jersey with her husband.
William Michael Barbee, a Newark native, was educated in the Newark Public School system attending Arts High School and graduated in 1984. He later attended Jersey City State University majoring in Biology with a minor in Fine Arts, and Rutgers University, graduating with a Degree in Business Management in 1997. He fulfilled one of his childhood dreams of graduating from the McAllister Institute/American Academy of Mortuary Science as Vice President of his graduating class of 2003 in New York City, New York. In Addition to being an entrepreneur, William Michael is an independent filmmaker, director, screenwriter, producer, songwriter, composer, fine artist and published author. He wrote the book Clipped Wings They Do Fly as a semi-autobiographical sketch of his life in which has now been turned into a full feature film.
Established in 1979, the mission of the Paul Robeson Galleries and programming embody Paul Robeson’s life-long commitment to unfettered artistic freedom, cultural democracy, and transnationalism. The Paul Robeson Galleries is dedicated to presenting art and cultural artifacts as well as educational and public programming in the spirit of the diverse metropolitan context of Rutgers University – Newark. This mission is carried out in the presentation of visual arts exhibitions, gallery education, and public programs, in a network of exhibition spaces across the Rutgers University – Newark campus and Express Newark. The Paul Robeson Galleries works collaboratively with individuals and organizations to achieve this mission.