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Gallery Aferro's Fall Season Explores Connection Through Identity, Death, Desire, and Funk

originally published: 08/25/2023

Gallery Aferro

Chad by Bleriot Thompson

(NEWARK, NJ) -- Gallery Aferro brings a phenomenal year of milestones and memories to a close with not one, not two, but five extraordinary exhibitions celebrating … well, milestones and memories. On September 29 2023, this always-innovating alternative arts space invites you to go beyond the conventional to see what truly connects us to our ideas and our ideals. Whether in the form of music, poetry, photography, mixed media or sculpture, the fall season at Aferro has something for everyone. All shows on exhibition will run to December 21, 2023.

Illuminating the first floor of Aferro, Public Enemy (curated by Juno Zago) takes center stage in the Main Gallery as the first solo exhibition by mixed media artist and activist Bleriot Thompson. In this visual deep dive into the Black cultural landscape that constantly defines and redefines what it means to be an American citizen, the artist seeks to create authentic connections between dignity, compassion and understanding.

Thompson’s thought-provoking showcase is buoyed by two unique exhibitions guaranteed to challenge your perspective. Featured in the art-shop-turned-mini-gallery, photographer Amy Becker explores the path of human connection through the remains of obsolescent technology in her solo show, Dead Ringers: Portraits of abandoned payphones (curated by Juno Zago). At the opposite end of the gallery, a revivified payphone brings to life The F*cking Reticence (Curated by Emma Wilcox), a curation of spoken word artists giving voice to the voiceless in a world where freedom of desire and expression are restricted by privilege and access.

Gallery Aferro

Death Chart by Anjali Benjamin-Webb

On Aferro’s second floor, two more solo exhibitions guide you along a path to expand your mind while cultivating your soul. Interdisciplinary artist Anjali Benjamin-Webb delves into the indefinable space between matter and the immaterial in Onward Upward Towards the Light (curated by Jordan Mayfield). Drawing from a multitude of traditions and fantastical imaginations of the afterlife, this exhibition centers on the universality of death and the stories we tell about where we go. Combine this singular show with a step inside Elevator Music 11: Lynnée Denise presents Case Studies in DJ Scholarship: Folk, Funk, and Toni from Ohio (curated by Juno Zago), an audio installation spotlighting the connection between Ohio musical artists and the words of a 1986 interview with the late great author Toni Morrison. 

The free, all-ages Opening Reception on September 29 runs from 6:00pm-9:00pm and will have refreshments. Gallery Aferro is located at 73 Market Street in Newark, New Jersey.

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The mission of Gallery Aferro is to function as a platform for the exchange of ideas in service of advancing human dignity and beauty, with a focus on visual arts as the vehicle, proudly located in Newark, NJ. Gallery Aferro is an artist-owned alternative arts space located in the heart of Newark, New Jersey’s downtown district. Founded in 2003, it is home to two major public exhibition spaces in a 20,000 sq. ft. building at 73 Market Street, offering exhibitions, events, and a studio residency program available all year-round. 




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