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(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)March 26, 2002

(Mahwah) – An installation by Atlanta artist Radcliffe Bailey about his slave ancestors’ arrival in New Jersey will open in the Kresge Gallery at Ramapo College of New Jersey with a reception on Wednesday, April 3 from 5 to 7 p.m. An artist’s talk is scheduled at 6:30 p.m. The exhibit will run through May 3.

Bailey has created a unique installation about spiritual migration that references his own family history in Georgia and New Jersey. Collaborating with students, Bailey transformed the Ramapo College gallery space by painting two of the walls green and building an environment. The installation includes large photographs from family albums and other found sources as well as actual tobacco leaves, glass jugs, preserved insects, text, silk-screened train tracks, and recorded sounds. Wall texts denote places of African Diaspora migration ranging from Richmond, VA to Benin, Nigeria. “His vocabulary,” writes Shannon Fitzgerald in the catalog for Bailey’s The Magic City exhibition, “is part fact, part fiction, part nostalgia, and part history – woven together to embrace memory, pay homage, and contemplate cultural identity.” The Birmingham Museum has called his installation style “a sophisticated riff on personal history.”

Bailey’s work is included in the collections of the Smithsonian Institution, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Harvard University, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C, among others. Recent solo exhibitions of his work were held at the Birmingham Museum of Art, Jack Shainman Gallery in New York City, Fay Gold Gallery in Atlanta, and the David Beitzel Gallery in NYC. Bailey is a painting instructor at the University of Georgia in Athens, GA.

The Kresge Gallery is located in the Berrie Center. For more information, please call Sydney Jenkins, director of the galleries at Ramapo College, (201) 684-7147.

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Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The College is ranked #1 among New Jersey public institutions by College Choice, and is recognized as a top college by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger’s, Princeton Review and Money magazine, among others. Ramapo College is also distinguished as a Career Development College of Distinction by CollegesofDistinction.com, boasts the best campus housing in New Jersey on Niche.com, and is designated a “Military Friendly College” in Victoria Media’s Guide to Military Friendly Schools.

Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Business Administration, Educational Technology, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education.

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