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Spring Exhibitions: Lisette Morel, 2 Spirits, Dimelo + Music

April 7 @ 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Join us for an extraordinary immersive set of new exhibits from artists across the world!

Main Gallery:

Places You Aren’t Supposed To Go:
[Don’t Play Me] Do We Still Call It Abstract Art?
Lisette Morel
Curated by Ayana Evans
Main Gallery, Gallery Aferro
April 7 – May 26, 2018
Opening Reception April 7th 7-10pm @ Gallery Aferro

For Lisette Morel the color black marks territory as it also points to “places you aren’t supposed to go” like extremely dark alley ways or metaphoric places like dark thought. In this sense, Morel literally marks her territory by considering and invading space that is not limited to the gallery walls or traditional canvas. She paints on found sheet rock that is hung on the wall and frequently bunches fabrics or allows canvas to run onto the floor. Her mark making extends to the gallery walls in a sense of urgency. Performative elements of mark making began to weave into Morel’s work in 2013. For this exhibit, the last in a 2017-2018 quartet of solo shows by women artists of color from different generations organized by the gallery, she will complete a new solo work at the opening. “For me performative pieces are an extension of my body and a vulnerability. While some of the performances express power; they are also fragile. There is a duality. And when I allow the performances to become public or invite the public it’s not me…I pray and ask for cojones… so that my most authentic inner self [emerges].” Morel was the inaugural recipient of Gallery Aferro’s Sustainable Arts Fellowship for studio residents who are also parents.

Two Spirits
Curated by Jo-El Lopez
Eleta J. Caldwell and Rodney M. Gilbert Memorial Gallery,
Gallery Aferro
April 7 – May 26, 2018
Opening Reception April 7th 7-10pm @ Gallery Aferro
Featured Artists:
Luis Carle
Gerardo Castro

Though in Western tradition, gender is understood as male and female, many world cultures, especially Native American culture, do not have such a precise division. Instead there is provision for, movement back and forth between genders. “Two Spirits” refers not just to the two artists exhibiting, but also evokes a body simultaneously housing both a masculine and a feminine spirit. This exhibit is also inspired by the interplay between spirituality, activism, and queerness, as seen in the longing felt by many people of indigenous descent to connect to this earlier, lost heritage.

Borinquen artists Geraldo Castro and Luis Carle’s works evidence how the radical influences pop culture, including ongoing pushback and questioning of gender roles. Castro painting of visually masculine nude men adorned in feminine trappings juxtaposes roles and notions of traditional beauty. Photographer Luis Carle’s nostalgic imagery recorded gay life and activism in New York City in the early eighties, and revisiting this work now reminds us of the necessity of more activism, as we see what has changed and what has not.

These Two Spirits, and other men like them, take on an important role in the art community; they are healers, visionaries and valued for their balanced perception of existence and a way of being.

Elevator Music 4: Brian Oakes
Elevator Installation, 2nd Floor, Gallery Aferro
Curated by Jacob Mandel
April 7-May 26, 2018
Opening Reception April 7th 7-10pm @ Gallery Aferro

Brian Oakes is a New Jersey-based animator, filmmaker, composer, and educator. His award-winning short films have screened at national and international film festivals and galleries. He studied animation and digital arts at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts. Many of his films are based on original musical compositions, in which he plays and records all of the instruments.

Activate: Market Street 17
Curated by Jo-El Lopez
April 7 – May 26, 2018
75 & 77 Market Street, Newark NJ
Opening Reception April 7th 7-10pm @ Gallery Aferro
Featured Artists:
Juan Gutiérrez
Ernesto Rodríguez
Wali Vidal

Dimelo (Dee-meh-loo), English translation: “Tell it to me”.

Juan Guitiérrez was born in 1968, in Santiago City, Dominican Republic. He studied plastics Arts at Escuela de Bellas Artes. Also he has dedicated part of his life to studying Art Prints, Drawing, Illustration, Graphic Arts, at Altos de Chavon in Dominican Republic, which is associated to The New York School of Design Parson. His work has been involved on multiple displays since 1996, some of them individuals and the others as a collective exhibition. In addition, his exhibitions has been both national and international. He has won a prize given by the Governor of Maryland for supporting women who suffer from AIDS though art.
Ernesto Rodríguez was born on 1964, in Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic. Considered as a multidisciplinary artist due to fact that he has worked with several materials such as wood, clothes, metal, mud, etc. Wali Vidal was born in Santiago in 1982. From a very young age he was interested in arts, participating in several workshops with prominent artists. During 2001 to 2002 he took a workshop of Bronze Sculpture, and introduction to the technique of lost wax with the artist Leo Núñez. Later on from 2003 to 2005 Wali Vidal took ceramic with the artist Ernesto Rodríguez, and in the fall of 2006 another workshop in Criticism of Artworks at the San Alejandro School of Art, Habana, Cuba. At the end of the same year he returned to Dominican Republic where he took engraving, installation and video art clinics with the artists Carmelo Sobrino, Pepón Osorio and José Alejandro Restrepo at Centro León, Santiago. To formalize his studies, Wali applied to the School of Design Altos de Chavón in La Romana, Dominican Republic obtaining an A.A.S. degree in arts in 2010.


April 7
7:00 pm - 10:00 pm


For any questions about the arts calendar, please email sindy@newarkarts.org