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‘A Few Friends, Newark’ Continues on View at Ramapo College

(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)March 7, 2022

Kevin Sampson, 4 Dead in Ohio, 2007, found objects

MAHWAH, N.J.  –  A Few Friends, Newark, a small selection of works in various media by five Newark artists, continues on view through April 6 in the Pascal Gallery of the Berrie Center at Ramapo College of New Jersey. Each artist has been active in the Newark scene, and all knew the late Newark artist Jerry Gant, whose influential work is featured in Bulletproof Ambition: The Art of Jerry Gant on view in the adjacent Kresge Gallery. Participating artists are Manuel Acevedo, German Pitre, Kevin Blythe Sampson, Adrienne Wheeler and Nicole Lorraine Williams. A closing reception with artist talks will be held on April 6, from 5-7 p.m.

Manuel Acevedo (b. Newark, N.J., 1964) is a Bronx-based multidisciplinary artist. Acevedo began his career as a street photographer in Newark. Over time, he broadened his media to develop a distinctive style that combines photo-based projected imagery, wall drawing, animation, and text. Through these means, Acevedo amplifies the richness, complexity, and uncertainty of the urban landscape and experience. His work, including installations, public art projects, and proposals for utopian projects, intermingles contested histories of specific areas while addressing issues of gentrification, immigration, and ever shifting boundaries of space.

German Pitre is a Newark raised and based artist who has completed residencies at the Paul Robeson Galleries, The Brodsky Center for Innovative Editions and has been awarded a Joan Mitchell Foundation Award. He was part of the informal and infamous artist community based at 31 Central in Newark (on the corner of Halsey Street). He has been exhibiting for more than three decades, and has had solo exhibitions at the Jersey City Museum, Jersey City, and at Rupert Ravens and City Without Walls, both in Newark.

Kevin Blythe Sampson is a sculptor, painter, muralist who was born in Elizabeth, N.J. and describes himself as, “…a product of growing up in a household what was totally committed to civil rights and community concerns.” Sampson was a police-officer-Detective for more than 20 years. He is the first African American Uniformed Composite Sketch Artist in the country. Kevin has continued teaching at various art schools and community programs. He is represented by Cavin-Morris Gallery in New York.  He is a mentor to many Newark youths, and has assisted a whole crop of young artists in obtaining admissions into the various art schools in the metro area. He was recently selected as “100 People in Newark” by the 100 People Foundation, and has been embodied as a cartoon character on the PBS children’s cartoon “Arthur.”

Adrienne Wheeler is a multimedia artist, independent curator, arts educator, and advocate for social justice. Wheeler is from a family whose history spans 200 years in Newark. Her works blur the lines between spirituality, ancestry, oral history, and social engagement. Her working materials are varied, as she explores wood, glass, textiles and still and moving images. Wheeler has exhibited locally and internationally, including Cuba and Australia.

Noelle Lorraine Williams is an artist, curator, scholar and historian.  She was born in Jersey City and lives and works in Newark. She is a graduate of Rutgers University – Newark, and has exhibited at the Newark Museum, the African American Museum in Philadelphia, Jersey City Museum, Skylight Gallery in Brooklyn and Cue Art in Manhattan. She was the recipient of the Giles R. Wright Award for contributions to African American History in New Jersey, and recently received the Creative Catalyst Grant from the City of Newark, administered by Newark Arts.  She is also a recipient of the 2021 Individual Artist Fellowship Award for Crafts from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.

This project is supported in part by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. The Pascal Gallery is located in the Berrie Center for Performing and Visual Arts on the campus of Ramapo College. Gallery hours are Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 1-5 p.m. and Wednesday from 1-7 p.m. Galleries are closed for Spring Break the week of March 14.

For further information, please contact Sydney Jenkins at 201-684-7147.


About Ramapo College

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 comprehensive college is situated among the beautiful Ramapo Mountains, is within commuting distance to New York City, was named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler, and boasts the best on-campus housing in New Jersey per Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, data science, 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, Applied Mathematics, Business Administration, Contemporary Instructional Design, Computer Science, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a Doctor of Nursing Practice.


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