Articles By Rachel Alban
Finding the Rhythm: An Interview with Performing Artist, Educator Yahaya Kamate
To Yahaya Kamate, the work of a performer and an educator is inseparable. Every class he teaches is a dynamic performance, and public performances usually offer opportunities for audience participation, if not a full-length dance lesson. Born and raised in the West African country of Côte d’Ivoire and a former member of the National Ballet of the Ivory Coast, Kamate came to the United States in 1994, and immediately found work as a lead dancer, choreographer and teacher of modern dance, ballet, African dance and music. Kamate has been living in New Jersey since 1999, working at respected local arts organizations including NJPAC, City Lore, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Bronx Art Ensemble, and the Institute of Music for Children. We recently had the opportunity to spend time with this engaging artist at The Center for Modern Dance Education, (CMDE) where he has been offering classes and public performances for over 20 years.
published on 02/02/2023
The Space Belongs to Them: Artist and Community Collaboration on New Harriet Tubman Monument in Newark
Hailing from Kingston, Jamaica and currently based in Montclair, NJ, architect Nina Cooke John’s work includes a range of ventures - from remodeling homes and businesses, to designing interior and public sculptures, and teaching classes and community workshops.
published on 05/19/2022
Carlos Villa: Worlds In Collision, explores cultures through paint, bones, bodies, and feathers
On view through May 8, 2022 at Newark Museum of Art, Carlos Villa: Worlds In Collision presents 35 rarely seen works by Carlos Villa, a central figure in the San Francisco art community and a leader in the multicultural activism of the 1960s and beyond. Along with the exhibit and programs, the Museum has launched The Filipino Oral History Project with Rutgers University and welcome the community to share their histories.
published on 04/04/2022
"You Just Need to Create and Let the Work Have Its Own Life Afterward" – An Interview with Visual Artist Caren King Choi
New Jersey-native Caren King Choi is a visual artist of Chinese-Taiwanese descent and the mother of two young children. Her solo exhibition "Drawn In" – on view through April 1, 2022 at Gallery Aferro in Newark – showcases two different bodies of work. Meticulously crafted from thousands of tiny stickers, Choi’s Red Portraits depict friends and family members, mostly children. Meanwhile, her playful Mom Doodles illustrate the ups and downs of parenthood.
published on 03/17/2022
"I See Art as a Means of Connection" -- An Interview with Visual Artist Armisey Smith
Armisey Smith uses diverse materials to honor women of color and critique aspects of systemic oppression. On view until April 1, 2022 at Gallery Aferro, her solo exhibition “In Time and In Tide" presents powerful reflections on the causal relationship between the COVID-19 pandemic and systemic racism via oil stick drawings, masks made of tulle, zippers, and glitter, as well as her Side Eye/Pink Eye series of acrylic portraits, which depict women of color giving the side-eye, with hot, pink blood in their eyes.
published on 03/09/2022
Pink (Eye) and Red (Portraits): Solo Exhibits at Gallery Aferro
Gallery Aferro, located in downtown Newark, is an artist-run, alternative arts space offering exhibitions, events, and studio residency programs. On view through April 1, 2022, are solo exhibits by Armisey Smith and Caren King Choi. Visually engaging, technically impressive, and emotionally complex, each show uniquely explores the roles and lives of American women and diasporic communities at this point in history.
published on 03/05/2022
"I put myself into every story” - An Interview with Visual Artist Danielle Scott
Danielle Scott creates evocative compositions that tell stories of intense joy and heartrending pain. Artist, educator, and NJ native, Scott graduated from Newark’s Arts High School and earned a BFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York. We recently visited Scott at her Jersey City studio to learn more about her art and her life.
published on 02/25/2022
"Angela Davis – Seize the Time" On View Now at Zimmerli Art Museum
Located on the New Brunswick campus of Rutgers University, the Zimmerli Art Museum offers world-class, rotating exhibitions and a robust permanent collection of more than 60,000 objects. On view now, the Angela Davis—Seize the Time exhibit documents the image, influence, and activism of Angela Y. Davis.
published on 01/26/2022
Life, Liberty, and the Kool Kids: An Interview with Robert “Kool” Bell, founding member of Kool & the Gang, and Hakim Bell
In 1964, a group of Jersey City school kids started a band – never imagining that they would go on to influence the music of three generations with their own trademark blend of soul, funk, jazz, rock and pop.
published on 01/13/2022
Dionne Warwick Inspires an Arts Exhibit In Newark, Visits for In-Person Tour
Dionne Warwick's distinctive voice has been part of American pop music for more than 60 years. With more than 100 million record sales, 80 billboard hits, six Grammys, and one lifetime achievement award, Warwick has been credited with “bridging the gap” between pop and R&B audiences.
published on 11/24/2021
Artist Jonte Drew on Feeling like a "Black Sheep" and the Power of Arts Education
Hailing from Paterson, NJ, Jonte Drew is a visual artist whose work often explores issues around masculinity and physicality as they relate to the perception of Black men. A graduate of William Paterson University, where he received both a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2018 and Master of Fine Arts in 2021, Jonte is currently the resident artist for Art Fair 14C. The group’s residency programs were created to expand opportunities for artists who may not have access to other residencies, including artists with disabilities and those with recent MFA degrees.
published on 11/05/2021
Behind the Scenes at the Morris Museum
If you have ever been drawn to a mural on the street and wondered what kind of fine art could be made by the artist, this is the exhibit for you.
published on 10/08/2021
On the Street and in the Studio with LNY
Layqa Nuna Yawar is an artist based in Newark, NJ, known internationally for his large-scale, community-based murals. His work often centers the complex narratives of BIPOC communities throughout the world. We recently visited Layqua in his studio to hear the tale of this multidisciplinary storyteller.
published on 05/25/2021