Forum in Form, an exhibit housed at Index Art Center featured 5 female sculptors from the Newark area. Curated by Colleen Gutwein, the featured artists include Bisa Washington, Amanda Thackray, Adrienne Wheeler, Noelle Lorraine Williams and Dominique Duroseau. Using sculpture and installation art pieces, the exhibit visually unpacked questions of race, identity, gender and culture. Gutwein who is also a Newark based artist is the photographer and documentarian behind the Newark Arts Photography Project, an ongoing photography project that aims to document contemporary artists in Newark.
“There’s a community element to the arts in Newark. It’s never been, show up, show your work and leave. The community has always supported the arts, and there has been so much support from schools, elected officials and residents,” said Gutwein.
As well as the exhibition, attendees were given access to the work of Index Art center artists in residence. Jen Schwartz and Linda Chen, the artists behind This is the Afterlife and Creepy Gals clothing lines are two artist in residence. Both artists collaborate to produce multimedia art projects that range from art installations to fashion shoots. The minimalist and eerie aesthetic of Schwartz clothing line is complimented by youthful, feminist oriented vibe of Chen’s apparel line, Creepy Gals.
Artist in residence, Hila Sela explored femininity, beauty and aging with her painting collection of nude middle aged women. Against the backdrop of their naked bodies, Sela used cool blues and sunflower yellows as the base colors, each shade highlighting the undertones of her subjects skin and adornments.
“I was really interested in aging, and how aging affects beauty. A lot of women tend not to feel as beautiful the older they get and I wanted to explore that with these paintings,” said Sela
William Oliwa, another artist in residence takes experimental art to a whole new level. Oliwa uses wiring to create sound waves. One of his installations was set up to recite the poem, Two Rivers by Ralph Waldo Emerson. When asked what the inspiration behind the installation was, Oliwa stated that it was sheer curiosity that developed.
“When I make art, I’m always trying to learn something or teach myself something.”
With a wide range of artists whose mediums vary, Index Art Center should be on the must-visit list for every art lover.