SUMMIT, NJ - The Summit-based Visual Arts Center of New Jersey has received a grant from the New Jersey Council for the Humanities (NJCH), a state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities, in support of Fall 2015 Exhibitions and Programs.
“We are proud to receive this support from the New Jersey Council for the Humanities," said Melanie Cohn, Art Center Executive Director. "The grant allows us to organize this exhibition where important, and sometimes forgotten, sites of African-American history will be portrayed and discussed.”
The grant will fund the exhibition installation, fully-illustrated exhibition catalog, and related programs for the exhibition by New Jersey artist, Casey Ruble entitled "Everything That Rises."
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The exhibition, which will be on view September 20 of this year through January 17, 2016, focuses on the meaning of place, transgression, and memory, and features a series of 15 paper collages depicting two types of sites in New Jersey: former Underground Railroad safe houses, and places where race riots have broken out.
The artist has traversed the state researching and documenting these sites, most of which today seem historically unremarkable. Scattered across New Jersey, in areas urban and rural, wealthy and poor, these sites are now abandoned buildings, restaurants, hair salons, empty fields, and private homes.
Even sites that remain largely the same today -- such as Newark’s police headquarters on 17th Street and Irvine Turner Boulevard -- most bear little evidence of their charged past.
The exhibition will include an interactive component allowing visitors to link with smart phones to historical information about the sites pictured, and corollary materials such as slave narratives, music, maps, literature, photographs, and filmed news footage. A series of public programs with noted scholars around issues of slavery, reconstruction, civil rights and contemporary race relations is planned.
For more information on the Art Center’s upcoming Fall 2015 Exhibitions and Programs visit artcenternj.org/programs.