(PATERSON, NJ) -- The Paterson Performing Arts Development Council presents “Silk City Select,” a Walk_Bye Public Art Exhibit to be held at City Hall in downtown Paterson. This Walk_Bye community showcase is the first of its kind in Paterson, celebrating artistic diversity and featuring digital art that captures and commemorates the heritage of Paterson and the unique journey of its citizens—their life experiences, traditions, and cultures. The Walk_Bye exhibit opened on September 19th and will close at the end of September 2022.
Once highly regarded as the “Silk City” for producing half of all silk fabrics manufactured in the U.S., Paterson was one of the mightiest industrial cities in the nation built along the Great Falls of the Passaic River, which is the second largest waterfall by volume east of the Mississippi River next to Niagara Falls. Paterson is on the verge of a dramatic rebirth in the arts, culture, and tourism around the Great Falls National Historic Park with burgeoning community and economic redevelopment.
“Paterson's arts community is unique and full of creative energy. They add value to our neighborhoods and engage Patersonians in celebrating and embracing our city's rich history," said Mayor Andre Sayegh. "Thank you to the Paterson Performing Arts Development Council for showcasing the incredible work of Paterson artists through "Silk City Select."
Artists were invited to submit works in which they interpret the theme: Silk City Select. Artists chosen for the group showcase have an opportunity to see their artistic images and poetry printed large on vinyl with their name, title of work, media of their original art, and Instagram handle or website. The “Silk City Select” art exhibit is a free event that opened to the public on September 19, 2022 at Paterson City Hall, located at 155 Market Street, #101, Paterson, New Jersey.
The artists whose works are featured in this exhibit include Jacqueline Bakal, Joel YOBE Beleño, Tyler Brooks, Carolyn M. Brown, Jonté Drew, Mark Miller, Chris Fabor Muhammad, Talena Lachelle Queen (Paterson’s Poet Laureate), Joan Tabor, David Thompson, Denise E. Womack, Sherida Yoder, and Matthew Zeitoun.
Walk_Bye Paterson features artistic work by former students and faculty of Felician University’s “Prism Paterson,” an interdisciplinary humanities program which received funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities Initiatives at Hispanic Serving Institutions.
Prism Paterson is a minor and certificate program that teaches the arts and humanities through a series of courses that focus on noteworthy artists inspired by the City of Paterson. “Prism Paterson” offers students the experience of visiting historic and artistic sites in Paterson,” said Dr. Yoder, who is the author and project director of “Prism Paterson.” A poet and professor of English at Felician University, Dr. Yoder added, “the students visit Paterson, read about it and write about it, learning about the famous people who have walked on the same streets they have and have been inspired by their same emotions and aspirations.”
The Walk_Bye Paterson public exhibit is supported by a grant from the New Jersey Council for the Humanities with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) through the American Rescue Plan Act. PPADC would also like to thank Mayor Andre Sayegh and the City of Paterson, NJ Office of the Mayor for their support in hosting the Walk_Bye Silk City Select exhibit at City Hall. Any views expressed in this exhibition do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the New Jersey Council for the Humanities or the City of Paterson, NJ Office of the Mayor.
Curated work by the artists for this show is accessible via a QR Code at the exhibit.
Founder of Walk_Bye, Catalina Aranguren, has always been inspired by the power of art to transform and connect us. The pandemic has allowed for her to share her artwork virtually in other countries including Sweden, UK, Hungary, and Spain. Art has become a way to continue to connect to others during a time when we all feel so suddenly disconnected from the outside world. The human element is severely missing, what we all really need right now — connection to others outside the virtual.
We want to take a moment to recognize that Walk-Bye operates out of Jersey City, New Jersey which sits proudly on the traditional and unceded lands of the Leni Lenape people. We offer our respect to the elders both past, present, and future.
The Paterson Performing Arts Development Council (PPADC) is a 501C3 nonprofit organization based in Paterson, NJ. PPADC devotes its energy and resources to fulfill its mission of bringing together diverse communities via performing arts and cultural events, driving citywide arts programming, providing professional developmental support for independent artists, and engaging creative local youth. PPADC is committed to promoting the City of Paterson as a destination for arts enthusiasts. PPADC is an Affiliate Member of the New Theater Alliance, the country's first statewide professional theatre service organization.