NEWARK, NJ.- The Newark Museum
is presenting the 2014 edition of the New Jersey Arts Annual in Fine Art, Ready or Not, an exhibition featuring works by 40 New Jersey-based artists, at different points of their careers. Ready or Not, opens on June 27 and runs through September 7. The works in the exhibition vary in practice and style, and include a wide range of artistic processes and approaches in color, form, material and content.
The shows title metaphorically proposes possibilities for engagement, learning and insight that the artists creativity offers at any given moment. It also suggests a factor of unexpectedness that increases awareness of art making and its presence in our immediate surroundings, said Shlomit Dror, the Museums Consulting Curator of American Art.
The common threads among the artists are not solely based on their shared geography, but also on the ways in which they perceive and address cultural and social values in this region. Engaging with individual works of art in this show will raise questions about place and experience, expanding the conversation on the regions identity, its narrative and context in relation to art.
The exhibitions multi-dimensional approach reestablishes the Newark Museums role within the local arts community by providing a forum to expand and cultivate our commitment towards this increasingly vital and independent art scene, said the Museums CEO and Director Steven Kern.
Some of the works are site-specific, with artists responding to existing architectural space both inside and outside of the Museum, to create a new body of work, specifically for this show, among them Ariel Efron & Lucas Vickers and Dahlia Elsayed. In this show, the City of Newark is a favored subject: LNY + Mata Ruda + NDA, Newark-based muralists, present their indoor mural dedicated to the city, and Noelle Lorraine Williams explores and celebrates the citys female hip-hop culture. Likewise, a special performance by jc lenochan and his students from Newark Arts High School will take place on the opening night inside the 1784 Old Stone School House, the oldest standing school in Newark, located in the Museums Leonard Dreyfuss Memorial Garden. This will be the first time this space has ever been utilized in a contemporary art context. The 2014 New Jersey Arts Annual showcases diverse practices and artworks including paintings, drawings, photography, video, sculptures, installations and performances.
The New Jersey Arts Annual is a unique series of exhibitions highlighting the works of visual artists in the state. The series is cosponsored by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts in partnership with major museums throughout the state including the Montclair Art Museum, the Morris Museum, the Newark Museum, The Noyes Museum of Art, and the New Jersey State Museum. Seeking to emphasize experimental approaches in contemporary art and ways in which interventions in space can transform the viewers experience and interaction, this exhibition was open to artists currently living or working in New Jersey. It was juried by Rocío Aranda-Alvarado, Curator at El Museo del Barrio, and Shlomit Dror, Consulting Curator of American Art at the Newark Museum, who also organized the show.