Newark art galleries will throw open their doors this weekend with series of “Open Studios” events

A number of Newark art spaces will invite locals to exhibit openings and closings, performances, and artist talks this upcoming Saturday, April 1st, as they throw open their doors for Spring Open Studios events.

Newark art galleries will throw open their doors this weekend with series of “Open Studios” events

A number of Newark art spaces will invite locals to exhibit openings and closings, performances, and artist talks this upcoming Saturday, April 1st, as they throw open their doors for Spring Open Studios events.

From 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Gallery Aferro and Index Art Center (IAC) will team up for Art Block!, which will see the two galleries, which are located on the same downtown block, invite people to tour their artist studios, view exhibits, and enjoy the Activate Market Street public art installations in Market Street storefronts.

IAC (237 Washington Street) will feature Art and Artifacts of Newark, an exhibit comprised of Newark artwork made from Newark artifacts by Newark artists, and curated by resident curator Matthew Gosser. The first featured Art and Artifacts artist will be Anker West. Also on view will be Landholdings, a multimedia exhibition focused on questioning the ownership and stewardship of land, and the Fern & Fossil exhibition, which will also feature handmade goods and plants for sale (and is vying for a $10,000 grand prize in this year’s Etsy Small Business Contest–vote!).

Around the corner at Gallery Aferro (73 Market Street), attendees will be able to tour more than 20 artist studios and hear a handful of artists give talks about their work, including artist Kevin Durkin, who will speak about his solo exhibition, Only Home, on display in the main gallery at Gallery Aferro.

Spring Open Studios at Gateway Project Spaces (2 Gateway Center) will come with a side of brunch. From noon to 5 p.m., three dozen artists and other projects and ventures, including coworking space Equal Space and Public Radio For All, will open up for tours. Special pop-up art installations and performances will also be featured.

Saturday will also see the opening reception for the Metro31 Redux group exhibition at City Without Walls (cWOW) from 5 until 8 p.m. The annual Metro show, now in its third decade, will feature 60 works of art by 49 artists. One exhibiting artist will be awarded the cWOW Excellence Award, and another two a cWOW Merit Award. Participating artists were selected for the exhibit by a three-person jury comprised of New Jersey State Museum Executive Director Margaret O’Reilly, ARTNOIR Co-Founder Larry Ossei-Mensah, and culture journalist Siddhartha Mitter.

Meanwhile at the Hahne’s building, Newark Print Shop will host its Open Studio alongside the closing reception for the Transitions group exhibit from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The inaugural exhibit at Newark Print Shop’s new location in Hahne’s, Transitions includes work from 14 former Newark Print Shop artists-in-residence, as well as murals by artists BaJa Ukweli and Layqa Nuna Yawar.

And on the fourth floor at Hahne’s, Paul Robeson Galleries artist-in-residence Kati Vilim will have open studio from 3 to 6 p.m. The Budapest native is Paul Robeson Galleries’ first resident artist.

Doitall Kelly: “Party with me” for free at Apr. 6 Devils hockey game

For the past few weeks on Instagram, All Star Barbershop and 211 Media Group have been inviting the barber shop’s customers to get free New Jersey Devils hockey tickets along with their haircuts.


A post shared by @allstarbarbershops on

And 211’s Doitall Kelly, who is one-third of the hip hop group Lords of the Underground, recently took a group of Newark and East Orange elementary school students to see a Devils hockey game. That’s Doitall and his group on the lower left.


A post shared by Doitall Du Kelly (@doitalldu) on

(For our part, gave away four free tickets for the March 16th game versus the Philadelphia Flyers.)

It’s all a part of the Prudential Center and Devils’ effort to bring more community members out to Devils hockey games, under the leadership of Chief Marketing Officer for both the arena and the Devils, Dan Cherry III.

This is Dan Cherry III. Image courtesy Prudential Center.

Back in August of 2016, Dan told us he would be innovative about his approach to bringing more locals out to Prudential Center to see the game. In engaging venues like barbershops and tastemakers like Doitall, Cherry and his team have made good on that pledge.

With the season winding down, Doitall invited his Instagram followers  to “come party with us to close the season out!” with free tickets to the Devils game versus the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday, April 6th. According to his Instagram video, those interested can pick up tickets from All Star Barbershop at 522 Central Avenue in Newark (or just send Doitall a direct message) to collect the free tickets while they last.

Check out Doitall’s full video below:

Shine Snapcon will unmask cosplay enthusiasts during marathon portrait sessions at Express Newark

An upcoming event will try to unpack cosplay subculture. Shine Snapcon, which will take place April 7th through 9th at Express Newark, will see Rutgers-Newark photography students use photography and video portraiture to uncover the stories of cosplay enthusiasts.

Shine Snapcon will unmask cosplay enthusiasts during marathon portrait sessions at Express Newark

What motivates people to dress up in elaborate costumes to play act as a character who intrigues them?

If you’re into cosplay, what motivates you?

An upcoming event will try to unpack those very questions. Shine Snapcon, which will take place April 7th through 9th at Express Newark, will see Rutgers-Newark photography students use photography and video portraiture to uncover the stories of cosplay enthusiasts.

Short for “costume play”, the subculture sees people–often comic book and anime enthusiasts–don character attire and role play as that character. Comic book and other fan conventions are popular cosplay venues. Shine Snapcon will involve portrait sessions with local cosplayers in order to unveil who they are beneath their costumes, and explore why they’ve engaged in the subculture.

Twenty-four two-hour sessions profiling cosplay-engaging individuals and groups will take place non-stop over 48 hours. The extended length of the sessions is meant to give the students time to render unique, in-depth and dimensional portraits of each subject, rather than quick snapshots in the style of traditional photo booths. As of this publishing, slots are still available for the profiles. Minors are welcome to participate, but must be accompanied by an adult.

Rutgers-Newark photography professor Nick Kline runs Shine Portrait Studio, which is located at Express Newark in the newly renovated Hahne’s building. Shine was conceived as a community space “dedicated to education, business, community building and entrepreneurship,” according to a Rutgers-Newark writeup about the facility.

Featured image by flickr user Jason Grey

NJPAC bounds into spring with new programming

April is the month associated with foolery, rainstorms, taxes and Paris. It’s also linked frequently to the word “enchanted.”

At NJPAC, the 30 days of April are filled with a kind of arts sampler – classical music, jazz, dance, family shows and more – to entertain and captivate audiences.

It’s a breathless schedule that jumpstarts the warm-weather season. Throughout April on the Prudential Hall stage, enchantments are found in the magical metamorphoses of Swan Lake or the muddy-puddle explorations of Peppa Pig come to life. Concert-goers are bound to get swept up in the grandeur of Beethoven’s “Eroica” symphony, unleashed by the players of the Munich Philharmonic.

“Artistic excellence and diversity continue to be hallmarks of our Spring season,” says David Rodriguez, NJPAC’s Executive Vice President and Executive Producer. “As always, our hope is to make all programs accessible and entertaining to the diverse audiences we serve.”

Here’s a look at NJPAC’s spellbinding April, followed by a preview of other enchantments found in Prudential Hall before summertime:

Taking it from the top, on the first of the month, trailblazing country-folk artist John Prine (“Angel from Montgomery,” “Paradise”) makes his NJPAC debut, in the company of singing-songwriting duo Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams. A repertoire created over four decades is Prine’s calling card, and the double GRAMMY® winner has written poetic songs for the likes of Johnny Cash and Bette Midler. As Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters put it, “John Prine lives on that plane with Neil Young and Lennon.”

The aforementioned Munich Philharmonic arrives with conductor Valery Gergiev and guest pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard on April 2 as part of the Bank of America Classical Series. In addition to Beethoven’s Third and Richard Strauss’ Don Juan, the program showcases Aimard in Ravel’s Piano Concerto in D (for the Left Hand).

Prine’s fans may very well return on April 6 to hear the Somewhat Acoustic Tour of Jackson Browne. This Southern California rocker and hitmaker of “Running on Empty” and “Stay/The Load Out,” recognized for his work in social justice issues, also is joined by multi-instrumentalist Greg Leisz in this NJPAC debut.

The tale of a tragic curse, broken by true love, is danced devotedly to Tchaikovsky’s famous score when Moscow Festival Ballet brings Swan Lake to Prudential Hall on April 15. The Russians, who are fearless in setting the barre for sublime interpretations of the Romantic ballets, feature a cast of 50 for this production.

April is also “Jazz Appreciation Month.” Wayne Shorter Weekend, co-presented with Rutgers-Newark and its Institute of Jazz Studies, is a new, springtime spin-off of the annual TD James Moody Jazz Festival held at NJPAC in the Fall. The event gathers noteworthy jazz masters in a salute to the Newark-born saxophonist (April 20-22).

At the midpoint of this music-making, on April 21, is the return of six-time GRAMMY winner Gilberto Santa Rosa, known to his fans as El Caballero de la Salsa (“The Gentleman of Salsa”) and crowned “Tropical Music Artist of the Decade” by Billboard.

The British pig known as Peppa, star of her own animated TV series, brings her family members and the entire gang to the stage for the all-singing, all-dancing, all-snorting Peppa Pig’s Big Splash on April 27.  The show is designed to tickle preschoolers and their grown-ups through puppetry and the engaging antics of its costumed characters.

The month closes out on the 28th with the nostalgic, summery sounds of the Sixties as Beach Boy Brian Wilson marks 50 years of the iconic album Pet Sounds by performing it cover to cover. The lead singer-songwriter, who scripted classics like “Wouldn’t It Be Nice,” “God Only Knows” and “I Get Around,” is appearing at NJPAC in what’s being billed as the final shows of the recently extended Pet Sounds tour. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer is joined by Beach Boys Al Jardine and Blondie Chaplin in an evening that can only be described as fun, fun, fun.

Fast-forwarding into May and June, theater-goers will have an abundance of choices in music and dance, all leading up to the always hotly anticipated Horizon Foundation Sounds of the City free concert series to be announced. The vivid pageantry of Shen Yun – an all-new version of the music and dance spectacular from China – returns to Prudential Hall for a five-day, six-performance engagement (May 3-7). “Superb! Every performance was stunning,” raved WNYC, while The Chicago Tribune praised the troupe’s “nimble mastery.”

The annual homecoming of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, a Mother’s Day Weekend tradition at NJPAC, unfolds from May 12-14 with bold and beautiful performances orbited by special events, dance workshops, boutique shopping in the lobby – and brunch with Mom at NICO Kitchen + Bar. NJPAC’s Principal Resident Dance Company performs its signature masterpiece – Revelations – and three New Jersey premieres. Opening night has a jazz-flavored theme.

“Certainly there is a tradition of mothers and Ailey – bringing your mother to see a performance and mother bringing you – and it seemed to fit into the whole performance,” says Robert Battle, the company’s Artistic Director. “Revelations has the feeling of a celebration. It amplifies all the things people are feeling about Mother’s Day already.”

A GRAMMY Award darling, jazz pianist and singer Diana Krall appears on June 16 as part of her World Tour. On June 25, Emmy-winning Jersey guy Bill Maher promises political needling and lots of belly-clutching laughs during his stand-up comedy tour. The former host of Comedy Central’s Politically Incorrect, currently at the helm of HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, is back at NJPAC to provoke the intellect with his hilarious takes on the world we inhabit.

Tonnino Baliardo and Nicolas Reyes, patriarchs of The Gipsy Kings, return to NJPAC on June 29 with their GRAMMY-winning band and the party song “Bamboléo,” which is back on the charts – thanks to its renewed popularity in the hit movie Sing. (The group is also heard on the soundtracks of The Big Lebowski and Toy Story 3.) Raising the roof with infectious dance rhythms – fiery flamenco, salsa and pop – is their business, and has been for more than 30 years.

“We are very excited to be back at NJPAC – last time we had an incredible experience,” enthuses Baliardo, who is the band’s lead guitarist, co-writer and co-producer. “Looking forward to a fantastic evening of Gipsy fiesta! Bring your dancing shoes!”

For tickets to these performances, visit, call 1-888-GO-NJPAC (466-5722), or drop by the Box Office at One Center St. in downtown Newark.

NJPAC bounds into spring with new programming

At NJPAC, the 30 days of April are filled with a kind of arts sampler – classical music, jazz, dance, family shows and more – to entertain and captivate audiences.

NHL sets up shop at Championship Plaza for free fan experience to celebrate league centennial this weekend

The National Hockey League has taken the celebration of their 100th anniversary on the road, and this weekend, they’re making their first stop in the tri-state, and fifteenth overall, when the mobile fan arena rolls through Prudential Center’s Championship Plaza.

Double up. We’re matching your Newark First Fridays Indiegogo contributions March 23rd through 25th!

Newark First Fridays are coming to town in May. Part street festival, part art walk, and part market, it promises to be the coolest monthly party in town. Contribute to First Fridays Indiegogo campaign March 23rd through March 25th, and will double our collective impact up to $750!