NEWARK, NJ — The social justice public art initiative that painted the words “All Black Lives Matter” in the streets of Newark this summer has added two more murals to its collection, the city announced Thursday.
The project, which leverages a partnership with the city to fund public art by local artists and activists, made waves in June when it shut down parts of Halsey Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to stage its response to Black Lives Matter, a collaborative street mural standing with protestors.
“Our groundbreaking mural campaign does more than decorate our streets. The murals help expand the creativity of the artists who produce them, they are meant to inspire our community, and they add to Newark’s luster as a home for the arts,” Mayor Ras Baraka said in a statement. “These projects bring hope, joy, and help to revitalize our city.”
Artist Layqa Nuna Yawar, photographer Chrystofer David and poet Jasmine Mans created “This Guiding Light” on McCarter Highway, a testament to the collective power of Newark artists and that of 2020’s global protests. The creators wanted to capture the overlap between the movement for Black lives and COVID-19 and the parallel intersection in the work of artists and activists.
A second collaboration between artist and Yendor Productions President Malcolm Rolling, Andrece Brady and Hans Lundy, is now complete on Crawford Street in Newark’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. It features an image of poet Ntozake Shange surrounded by figurative symbols that were unused models for the Statue of Liberty. Lincoln Park Coast Cultural District, which was home to Yendor Productions’ late founder, helped bring the mural to fruition.
A separate initiative by the Four Corners Public Art Project also completed part of the second phase of its project on Treat Place, “Will You Be My Monument.” Created by Newark-based writer Salamishah Tillet, designer Chantal FIschzang and photographer Scheherazade Tillet, the four-story mural recreates a photo of Faa’Tina, an 8-year-old Newark resident who celebrated her eighth birthday in Washington Park as the city removed a Christopher Columbus statue.
Property owners, developers and artists interested in sponsoring or collaborating on future murals in spring 2021 can direct all inquiries and proposals to fayemi shakur, Arts & Cultural Affairs Director at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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