Newark is much more than an entry door to NYC. New Jersey has its artistic life too. Someone who knows (and loves) artists or musicians can decode from conversation, and writings such as biographies or resumes, the shape of a scene over decades. Newark’s extensive tradition of artist-founded and run art spaces is evidenced in places like the “Artist Files” in the Newark Special Collections of the Newark Public Library, full of soft, yellowed news clippings about the doings of the cool kids. Did you have a momma or auntie or gran would clip and save articles for you? Imagine if your city was like that! In the stories that important artist elders like Gladys Barker Grauer, still active in her arts practice in her nineties, can tell, there is more evidence. It’s like a river of names, names like Unicorn Gallery, or the Fringe. These names tell us that we are not the first to start a gallery, they give us community, and challenge us to contribute something meaningful.
30 June, 2018