Prospects for Lincoln Park

Joan Whitlow for NJ Voices: Newark’s past and future are at Symphony Hall
Joanie opines on possible solutions to revive the Lincoln Park area. Funny she didn’t talk to these people, who have been at it for at least a few years now.

The elements to help do that successfully exist in nearby Lincoln Park. Lincoln Park has been designated as the city’s “arts district,” which is legitimate if you count Symphony Hall and its neighbor, the Newark Boys Chorus and School, on Broad Street, The Newark School for the Arts on the south side of Lincoln Park and the City Without Walls Gallery on Crawford Street, behind the other side of Lincoln Park — let’s link ‘em all up for the kind of experience that can draw visitors.

Three new exhibitions opening at Gallery Aferro

Gallery Aferro 73 Market St Newark NJ aferro.org
Tabula Rasa
Curated by Evonne M. Davis
March 21 – May 16, 2009
Opening Reception March 21, 7-10 PM
with fully illustrated color catalog, essay by artist Ryan Schroeder

Tabula Rasa (’ täbyoŏlə ˈräsə; ˈräzə) refers to an absence of preconceived ideas or predetermined goals; a clean slate. The phrase carries baggage from belief systems in which the human mind at birth is viewed as having no innate ideas. Denying what is obvious is practiced as a gesture of resistance by some of the artists, most or all of whom are affected, however indirectly, by the notions derived from existentialism and the nothingness of existence, ennui. Inspired curatorially by the concept of residual information that persists after erasure, the exhibition is one of several to date by Evonne M. Davis concerning the nature of knowing, learning and unlearning.

ORIGIN Latin, literally ‘scraped tablet,’ denoting a tablet with the writing erased.

Artists: Dave Beck, Katrina Bello, Michael Davies, Brian DeLevie + Isshaela Ingham, Gary Duehr, Maria Emilov, Jonathan Franco, Brian Gustafon, Erik Hanson, Emily Henretta, Greg Leshé, Casey Lynch, Carol Petino, Kara Rooney, Ryan Schroeder, Joshua Schwebel, Travis LeRoy Southworth, Ian Summers, Alexis West

Nitrogen Cycles
Andrew Demirjian and Zachary Seldess
New Media Room
March 21 – May 16, 2009
Opening Reception March 21, 7-10 PM
Artist Talk Date TBA

An eight channel sound installation.

Andrew Demirjian is a media artist whose work focuses on creating alternative relationships between audio, video and text that take the form of single-channel videos and multi-channel installations. He is interested in using sensors and motion tracking to create reactive environments between physical and mediated spaces. The works often explore the lines between interior and exterior, mass media effects on the individual and the psychology of male identity. Andrew employs conceptual systems of juxtaposition, categorization and randomness as structuring devices versus conventional narrative arcs and character development.

His work has been featured in numerous exhibitions and galleries including the White Box gallery, Harvestworks, LMAK Projects and GAS in Manhattan. Over the last year he has had multiple international exhibitions including the Garden of Earthly Delights in Korea, Küf/Mold in Belgium, Artist in Wonderland in Poland and Analogue/Digital in England. Andrew Demirjian received a 2006 Fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a Puffin Foundation Grant, an Artslink grant and has been awarded artist in residencies at the Newark Museum, the Experimental Television Center, the Visual Studies Workshop and The Armenian Center for Contemporary Experimental Art. Mr. Demirjian received his MFA in Integrated Media Arts from Hunter College and he is a professor at Monmouth University teaching courses in video production, visual culture and film history.

Into the Singularity
Tom Block
Project Room
March 21 – May 16, 2009
Opening Reception March 21, 7-10 PM
Artist Talk Date TBA

“Into the Singularity is a 72 foot long painting exploring the horror of classical mystical attainment. That path is cold, lonely, miserable, unloved, terrifying, insanity producing and just plain wrong. I have created this massive paper, collage, drawing and painting piece to express the seething human singularity that percolates in the deepest recesses of the mystic’s brain. Fusing color, a morass of hands, screaming faces and dribbling tears of line, this work explores the horrifying interior space created by the classical mystic’s path. It is an empty, narcissistic and rudderless journey, leading only into a cul-de-sac of a-human experience.

I utilize the visual arts, writing projects and scholarship to explore the interaction between the spiritual life of humanity and our sometimes-sad shared reality. My work explores humans’ attempts to make sense of this world. At the very best, I hope that my art will have an activist influence, causing viewers to question their own personal roles in making the world a better place to live.”

The New York Times Profiles the Richardson Lofts Building


The Times real estate section has a piece on the rehabilitation trend of old manufacturing buildings into condos in New Jersey urban centers: New Jersey Developers Recycle, and Sell, Some History

In addition to discussing how these projects have been fairly — though not wildly — successful in the face of the meltdown in the real estate market, a portion of the article is devoted to the promising Richardson Lofts building in downtown Newark.

The Newark building – which like the Hoboken and Jersey City structures lay vacant for years before being eyed for renewal – was originally a jewelry factory. Known as the Richardson Building, it has stood for a century at the corner of Columbia and Green Streets, and it gets a mention in Philip Roth’s novel “American Pastoral,” which is set in historic Newark.

The building has one jaw-dropping feature: a six-story-tall steel spiral staircase that stands in an open central atrium. The elements turned the staircase rusty, but that deterioration will be halted, as plans call for a skylight roof and a small courtyard around the central spiral.”

It will be a natural gathering place, a social center for residents,” said Brendan Murray, the chief executive of Tekton Development, which is creating Richardson Lofts.

Tekton is recycling materials, using “green” techniques, and installing energy-efficient features throughout the building, in a bid for a “silver” rating from the United States Green Building Council, which issues certifications based on LEED standards – for Leadership in Energy and Energy Design. This would be a first for Newark.

Shaq Wants to Bring the Nets to Newark

Steve Politi opines for the Star Ledger on the possibility of whether the Nets might ever come to Newark.
While idle speculation has been free-flowing since construction of the Prudential Center was completed, the prospect has caught the attention of real-estate developer and NBA phenomenon Shaquille O’Neal: Shaquille O’Neal may be the man to bring New Jersey Nets to the Prudential Center.

Why the Nets insist on moving forward on what seems to be a doomed project, abhored by fans and Brooklyn residents escapes all logic. Hopefully, Shaq can bring some much needed sanity and influence into the deal and convince the Nets to stay in their home state.

The question nags at Shaquille O’Neal every time he visits his home city now, the same way it should nag at every basketball fan in this state. He sees the gleaming Prudential Center in the heart of a community that loves his sport, then shakes his head in wonder and frustration.

“Why,” he wants to know, “aren’t the Nets playing in Newark?”

On this topic, like everyone else, Shaq is stumped. The Nets should be playing in Newark, and not just for a few lousy preseason games as the team is proposing. And the 7-footer could be a major force in making them — to borrow his favorite Scrabble word — a Shaqtastic success.

Theater Square Grill Annual Holiday Wine Party: Wed, Dec 17 6:00-8:30pm

Got plans for Wednesday night? Theater Square Grill will be hosting a Holiday Wine Party with a prix fixe $65 menu with a special menu (all inclusive: tax, gratuity & parking).  Mention Zing Marketing and get more than 20% off.
Click through for the full menu.

Continue reading “Theater Square Grill Annual Holiday Wine Party: Wed, Dec 17 6:00-8:30pm”

Crawford Street Partners Breaks Ground on Development in Lincoln Park

Crawford Street Partners breaks ground on a planned 28,000 sqft facility to open in September, 2009 for education, performance and retail venues. The development will add green space including grass areas and landscaping visible from both Crawford and Washington Streets to the neighborhood.

Crawford Street Partners’ history includes a strong track record of rehabilitating distressed properties, including five buildings in the Lincoln Park neighborhood. The Crawford Commons project builds on other recent improvements in the Lincoln Park area, including newly constructed “LEED-certified” lofts and apartments produced by the Lincoln Park Coast Cultural District, the Colleoni Building located at 39-41 Lincoln Park and the former Dryden mansion, also rehabilitated by Crawford Street Partners.

“Crawford Street Partners is very excited to continue our work in the redevelopment of Newark including the Lincoln Park neighborhood,” said Crawford Street Partners’ Principle Steve Burns. “This project combines unique facilities in which to learn and perform with new green space and landscaping to enhance what is becoming Newark’s newest Arts and Cultural District. We look forward to the neighborhood being active with children, residents and visitors alike and appreciate the support of our Lincoln Park neighbors to make The Crawford Commons a reality.”

Click through to read the full press release.

Continue reading “Crawford Street Partners Breaks Ground on Development in Lincoln Park”

UMDNJ Fights Rumors of Hospital Closure

UMDNJ, a key healthcare provider in the city, fends off rumors of closing its hospital: UMDNJ board assures community Newark hospital won’t close.
Despite the assurances from UMDNJ and Gov. Corzine, it’s scary how close we are to seeing yet another hospital closure — Newark saw two other hospitals close just this past year. The business of providing healthcare is not as profitable as it once was, and is particularly difficult in cities like Newark where much of the casework involves people who can’t pay their medical bills.

In fiscal year 2008 alone, the gap between the cost of the services the hospital provided and what it was reimbursed was $32 million, and annual shortfalls going back almost a decade amount to more than $172 million, said Denise Rodgers, UMDNJ’s provost.

The hospital does not get what it might otherwise receive for services because three-quarters of its patients are charity care, self-pay or Medicaid/Medicaid HMO patients, she said.

“Any other hospital that’s had a financial crisis like University Hospital has, without a commitment from the university, would have closed a long time ago,” Rodgers said.

A Corner Bar Cashes In as Newark Redevelops


A Corner Bar Cashes In as Newark Redevelops

One of many success stories about Newark’s resurgence since the opening of the Rock.

Chip Hallock, president of the Newark Regional Business Partnership, said of the neighborhood: “What I’ve heard is people saying, ‘This isn’t what I expected.’ There’s kind of a good will and a good feeling. People are on the street, and I think it’s just the beginning of what’s going to happen around here.”

Reminder: Sit for a portrait this Friday and Saturday


Alone and Together: Tintype Portrait Studio at Gallery Aferro October 3 + 4th, 1-7 PM

email ewilcox@aferro.org for an appointment, or walk in.

Photographer Keliy Anderson-Staley is inviting the public to have their portrait taken at Gallery Aferro on October 3 and 4th from 1-7 PM. Sitters can come solo or with a loved one. The sittings are free. A print of the image is $10.

The downtown Newark area was once home to many portrait studios where people could come to have a high-quality portrait made. By photographing contemporary America, especially in diverse New Jersey, Keliy is compiling a beautifully made record of what we all really look like, using a classic process.

Keliy hopes to meet and photograph as many people as possible while she is in Newark. All are welcome!

This portrait series is made with the wet plate collodion process, the leading mode of photography in the 1850’s and 1860’s. Tintypes are positive images exposed onto metal. This historic process has a different relationship to time than digital or film photography. The chemistry is hand-mixed and poured onto the plate in front of the sitter. As soon as the exposure is made in the wooden view camera, the plate must be taken to a portable dark box to be developed and fixed. The wet plate collodion image captures a pose held over several seconds or even minutes. This prolonged gaze creates a tension between the sitter and the camera. While a snapshot captures a moment about a 1/1000 of a second long, the tintype process allows for a portrait of a person or a couple to unfold over time; the image produced can then slow down our looking. A viewer sees the hard lines of bone structure, wrinkles and blemishes, but also sees bright, focused eyes staring back intently. This process allows the photographer and the viewer to stare, but it is not entirely voyeuristic, as the sitter stares back. The act of taking someone’s portrait can once again be an event.

Opening at Gallery Aferro this Saturday 7-10

Please join us for the opening of two new exhibitions:
Outside Over There
Fourth in the annual urbanism exhibition series curated by Emma Wilcox

Dwell, Robert Lach, Project Room

September 27 – November 22, 2008 Opening Reception September 27, 7-10 PM

Gallery Aferro 73 Market St Newark NJ

Will Work for Food by KH Jeron
Bring a can of food to barter with robots. All proceeds to be donated to Newark food banks

Outside Over There is an exhibition, as well as a food drive and a portrait studio. It is inspired by the signals traveling in the airspace of cities worldwide, and the ability of these signals to penetrate structures, by transmissions, codings and exchanges of ideology and consumer goods, interactions real and imagined, between more and less industrialized nations, including the cargo cult and the syndication of TV programming.

Artists: Keliy Anderson-Staley, Mireille Astore, Martin John Callanan, Karlos Carcamo, Margarida Correia,Susan E. Evans, Judith Hoffman, KH Jeron, Tamara Kostianovsky, Charles Huntley Nelson, Anne Percoco, Dorothy Schultz, Jeff Sims, Peter Tuomey Jr, Tammy Jo Wilson

The impending end of nondigital TV has evoked for some class and cultural divisions within America. By repairing TVs with reed thatch from the NJ meadowlands, Anne Percoco suggests such divisions, as well
as the complexity of a globalized economy.

Charles Huntley Nelson’s video, “Why Not on TV” questions the presentations of African Americans on television in relationship to their actual history and present realities, and is narrated by an
omniscient visitor who may be a space alien.

Photographer Keliy Anderson-Staley will be operating a tintype portrait studio in the gallery on Oct 3rd and 4th. Sitters can come solo or with a loved one. The sittings are free. A print of the image is $10. Made with the wet plate collodion process, the leading mode of photography in the 1850’s and 1860’s, the portraits echo downtown Newark’s past density of commercial portrait studio’s, while picturing the diversity of modern urban NJ.

For more information please contact Emma Wilcox ewilcox@aferro.org