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New Jersey City University Galleries presents "The Universe of Ben Jones" and "Constellations"

originally published: 12/18/2023

New Jersey City University Galleries presents "The Universe of Ben Jones" and "Constellations"

Ben Jones, Shrine for the Spirit, 1976. 102 x 48 inches. Mixed media. Studio Museum Harlem. Photo by Jessica Talos.

(JERSEY CITY, NJ) -- New Jersey City University presents "The Universe of Ben Jones" in the Harold B. Lemmerman Gallery and "Constellations" in the NJCU Visual Arts Gallery.  Both exhibits run from January 27 to April 3, 2024. There will be an Opening Reception for each on Janury 27 from 3:00pm to 6:00pm.

Ben F. Jones was born in New Jersey in 1941. A graduate of then-Paterson State Teachers College (now William Paterson University) with a BFA, he earned an M.A. from New York University and an MFA from Pratt Institute. In 1967, he took a position at then-Jersey City State College, now New Jersey City University, where he taught for 43 years. Since the 1970s Jones has made nearly 100 cultural exchange visits to Cuba, and is noted by the Granma International of Havana, Cuba as one of the most important African American artists of his generation. For more than four decades, his multimedia installations have reflected his travel and research in Africa, Europe, South America, the United States, and the Caribbean. Jones has lectured at universities, museums, and cultural institutions across the world including Harvard University, Howard University, Savannah College of Art and Design, the Wilfredo Lam Center in Havana, Cuba, and the University of Ghana.

Over his six-decade career, artist Ben F. Jones has focused on interconnections and relationships between global issues including politics, health, the environment, racism, and capitalism, among others. “The imagery is both figurative and abstract, interacting and affecting,” he says in a statement in the exhibition catalog. “We cannot solve our ecological, political, and even spiritual problems in the world if we fail to see the relationships among these things.”

This retrospective of the extraordinary artist presents many works—bold, insightful, and in a visual language all his own—that have rarely been exhibited or are on display here for the first time. Come see how Jones’s symbology has transcended global and local issues of ecology, technology, politics, and spirituality, making him the conscience of his generation and of today.



 
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The exhibition and its companion catalog are part of a year-long Mellon Foundation-funded collaboration between William Paterson University and New Jersey City University that is celebrating the American artist Ben Jones—a 1963 graduate of William Paterson University and a NJCU professor emeritus of art.

Co-curated by Casey Mathern, director of the William Paterson University Galleries, and Midori Yoshimoto, director of the NJCU Galleries, the exhibition was held in the William Paterson University Galleries during the fall 2023 semester.

The Harold B. Lemmerman Gallery is located in Hepburn Hall Room 323, (2039 John F. Kennedy Blvd.) in Jersey City, New Jersey.

New Jersey City University Galleries presents "The Universe of Ben Jones" and "Constellations"

"Constellations" is presented in the NJCU Visual Arts Gallery (Visual Arts Building, Lower Level) at 100 Culver Avenue in Jersey City, New Jersey. This exhibition features artworks by 17 artists who have been mentored and influenced by Ben Jones: Ray Arcadio, Josie Barreiro, Gianluca Bianchino, Gerardo Castro, Jose Manuel Cruz, Orlando Cuevas, Gerald Glover, Troy Jones, Heejung Kim, Mansa K. Mussa, Mustart, Orocoro, Jose Pardo, Michele A. Pope, Lucy Rovetto, Danielle Scott, and Bisa Washington.

Their community of practice now extends four decades and thousands of miles beyond the orbit of northern New Jersey—each with their own connection to Jones—working in parallel universes of their own creation.

This exhibition was co-curated by Casey Mathern, director of the William Paterson Galleries, and Midori Yoshimoto, director of the NJCU Galleries, and was held in the William Paterson Galleries during the fall 2023 semester.

Click here for more information on these shows. Both galleries are open to the public: Monday - Friday from 12:00pm - 5:00pm, and by appointment by emailing gallery@njcu.edu.



 
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