Newark’s Open Doors arts festival kicks off

Newark’s annual Open Doors arts festival kicks off today with a launch party from 6 PM to 9 PM at 85 Market Street, which will function as the Open Doors headquarters. Among the exhibits and activities will be an attempt at creating the world’s largest monotype print for the Guinness Book of World Records.

Visit the Newark Arts Council’s Open Doors 2013 landing page for the full schedule, programs, and more information. Check Brick City Live for dispatches from the events. The arts council also helpfully released a map of the participating exhibit spaces.

open doors galleries

A night at Aljira: People, poets, poets laureate and proud parents

Left to right: poets Anne Marie Macari and Amina Baraka, and two New Jersey poets laureate: National Book Award winner Gerald Stern, seated, and Newark native and American Academy of Arts and Letters Award winner Amiri Baraka, standing at the podium. Mrs. Baraka is pumping her fists because Mr. Baraka had just acknowledged that their son, Newark South Ward councilman and Central High School principal Ras Baraka, is running for mayor of Newark.

Note: The evening’s host, seated at right, is not reacting to the mention. He wore this contemplative posture throughout the evening.

Sneak peak: The sentinel of Broad and Market

We ask again: do you know this man?

He’s Max Henry, and he’s been selling house music and classics at Broad and Market streets for 20 years (disclosure: I’m a customer). BrickCityLive hung out with Henry this weekend to talk music, politics, who is benefitting from changes in Newark, who is not, and his not-so-hidden artistic talent. Look out for the full interview following our beta launch next week.

Shot of the day: City of the arts

A group representing Gallery Aferro, the Newark Arts Council, and the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation discuss ways to incorporate poetry into the Newark arts scene on a more consistent basis. The foundation, which in 2014 will again host the biennial Dodge Poetry Festival, is specifically looking to use this year’s Open Doors arts festival as a use case for melding poetry with visual arts in Newark.

The group leaned on previous examples of poetry/art syncretism they admired to develop ideas for Newark. They also thought through ways to make those presentations characteristically “of Newark” – including crowdsourcing poetry from its citizens – and ways to make Newarkers feel entitled to consume those presentations – including moving them out to windows, sidewalks, and even making them mobile.

Arting up vacant spaces downtown Newark

Evonne Davis, artistic director of Gallery Aferro on Market Street, discusses a possible art installation with artist LNY, on the third floor of the building that housed the former Bushberg Brothers furniture store at Market and Washington Streets. The building is one of a handful on the block that Aferro is looking to activate as part of its “Activate: Market Street” public art program.

All of the lights: “Activate: Market Street”

Activate Market StreetAccording to its Facebook page, Activate: Market Street, the newest public art exhibit downtown Newark, is officially always_open.

A partnership between Gallery Aferro and RBH group – the folks responsible for Newark’s Teachers Village – Activate: Market Street is a “year-round public art project transforming hundreds of linear feet of vacant storefront windows in Newark’s historic downtown district”, according to the project’s website. Activate is inspired by former Gallery Aferro feature artist Fannie Allié, whose neon sculptures were featured along Market Street previously (she’ll be one of the featured artists for Activate, too). The exhibition’s purpose: to make Market Street beautiful, accessible, inspirational, and alive.

The street exhibition officially kicked off with Aferro’s June summer auction. Check back for photos of the exhibition and conversations with the artists.

Image: “Silhouettes“, by Fannie Allié