(NEWARK, NJ) -- Newark's oldest operating artist-run gallery has seen a lot of changes in the last few years, and 2023 promises to be no different. And it is with this transformational spirit, Gallery Aferro is proud to announce Juno Zago as the new Creative Director of the innovative contemporary alternative arts space.
As a queer multimedia painter and collage artist who’s been active in the Newark arts scene for nearly a decade, Zago’s promotion from Registrar to Creative Director signals the start of a new role not only for the Ramapo College graduate and former Arts High alum, but a new position at Aferro as well. Previously, co-founder Evonne Davis served as Artistic Director of the organization for 20 years. Now, Davis will be stepping back into an advisory role as an Artistic Director Emerita, supporting the gallery in a different capacity.
Of his appointment, Zago says, “Gallery Aferro opened innumerable doors for me. Beginning as an intern in 2014, years later I would come on board as their Registrar – work I took pride in for six years. Now, in 2023, I step into the role of Creative Director. I admit I am green to leadership, but this is not an opportunity I take on lightly.”
This year marks the gallery’s 20th anniversary in the Newark arts community, and with a number of audacious projects on the horizon, Zago is more than ready to dive in and steer the gallery into even more avant-garde waters of artistic expression. “I'm excited to guide and curate many engaging and thought-provoking exhibitions. I’m committed to amplifying the voices of artists in our and other communities,” explains Zago. “I’m invested in the future of Gallery Aferro.”
Davis worked in Newark building Gallery Aferro for two decades, and although she will miss being a part of the day-to-day activities at the unconventional art space she co-founded, she is more than happy to see Zago step into this new position and make it his own. “I truly believe that Juno Zago and I share a similar vision and values in the most important ways. He wants to create truly inclusive spaces, and work with artists of many generations. The latter is an important aspect of any community and something I am very proud of when it comes to Gallery Aferro's approach,” shares Davis.
With Aferro’s mission to provide a platform for the exchange of ideas in service of advancing human dignity and beauty, the appointment of Zago as the new Creative Director will undoubtedly lead to even more fascinating programming, exhibitions and projects that will challenge the status quo.
If you’re excited to learn more about the organization’s evolution and take part in helping provide that platform for an even wider audience, please save the date and join Gallery Aferro on May 20, 2023 at the annual art auction and party!