Newark, NJ – City Without Walls (cWOW) is pleased to present The 5 Wards, a photography exhibition curated by Akintola Hanif featuring works by Manuel Acevedo, Cesar Melgar, Tamara Fleming, Colleen Gutwein, Fabian Palencia, Nema Etebar, Stefan Brown and Rhys Valmonte. On Friday, October 21, 2016, 6-9pm an opening reception will be held during the Newark Arts Open Doors City Wide Festival.
Presented in conjunction with HYCIDE magazine, the exhibition will also launch The 5 Wards online series, which is part of Newark Celebration 350. The series is a public engagement project that explores the diverse people and landscapes of Newark’s five wards highlighting perceptions, realities and struggles faced by Newark residents, artists and business owners. Through photography and video, the artists reveal nuanced reflections of change, culture and community, providing a deeper analysis of Newark as it commemorates its 350th anniversary.
“The 5 Wards provides a wake-up call to our imagination and a review of our perceptions. The curator and the artists are asking us: what do you see, what more do we need to see?”, says City Without Walls Executive Director, fayemi shakur. “There is certainly more to Newark than the stereotypes we often hear about this city that I love. Being here at City Without Walls feels like a homecoming for me and I’m honored to present this work.”
Ms. Shakur was recently appointed as the new Executive Director of City Without Walls marking a seminal moment in the organization’s history.
“At a time when the dominant narratives of Newark focus on either crime or redevelopment, The 5 Wards presents a more balanced view of the people and places that are often left out of these conversations,” says curator and HYCIDE magazine Editor-In-Chief, Akintola Hanif.
The online series, which will have its debut at the opening reception, features interviews with residents and business owners discussing their relationship to their communities and the city-at-large. Stories about the city’s street culture, art, and history, including pieces on vanished Newarkers, such as the Leni Lenape tribe, and the residents of Newark’s once-thriving Chinatown are also a part of the series. Gentrification, violence and the city’s burgeoning alternative media will also be explored. The stories will be featured online at www.thefivewards.com beginning October 21.
The 5 Wards opening reception will feature performances by Khalil Jibran and Jasmine Mans with music by DJ Ezrakh.
On Wednesday, November 2, 2016 at 6:30pm the exhibition will include a screening of Revolution ’67, a film directed by Marylou Tibaldo-Bongiorno (2007). Focusing on the six-day Newark, N.J. rebellion on July 12, 1967, the film reveals how the disturbance began as spontaneous revolts against poverty and police brutality and ended as fateful milestones in America’s struggles over race and economic justice.
The 5 Wards exhibition will be on view through December 17, 2016. Limited edition posters signed by Akintola Hanif will be available to purchase.
About the Curator
Akintola Hanif is a photojournalist and filmmaker. His photography and film projects have been featured in such venues as RUSH Arts Gallery, Columbia University, Princeton University, Aljira, a Center for Contemporary Art, the Newark Museum, the New Jersey State Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim Museum and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. His most recent show, Off White, is on view at MoCADA Museum through November 6, 2016, and was reviewed in The New York Times. Hanif also works as the resident documentarian for YouthBuild Newark and the creative director | field producer for The Amplification Project.
HYCIDE magazine, based in Newark, is a unique hybrid of photojournalism and art that presents stories of survival and freedom. It provides an intimate glimpse into the lives of marginalized people around the world and features the work of cutting edge emerging and established artists. Launched in 2011 HYCIDE has featured many city residents in its photo essays and stories. The entire collection of HYCIDE was recently acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art Thomas J. Watson Library and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and has won many other accolades.
About City Without Walls
City Without Walls (cWOW) is an urban gallery of emerging art that advances the careers of artists while building the audience for contemporary art. City Without Walls is New Jersey’s oldest not-for-profit alternative art space, in continuous operation in the City of Newark since 1975. We operate a professional fine art gallery that showcases the work of contemporary artists on-site, off-site, online and through traveling exhibitions. cWOW offers programs and services designed to address artist and community needs. We maintain an online artist registry, hold educational programs on topics relevant to new and established artists’ needs, and provide information about artist opportunities. Our ArtReach education program pairs Newark high school art students with working-artist mentors, and offers other students valuable experience through gallery internships. City Murals is a public art program initiated in 2009 that restores neighborhood pride and trains youth for community building and collaborations.
City Without Walls is the grateful recipient of donations and grant support from The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, the City of Newark and individual contributors. City Without Walls is located at 6 Crawford Street in Newark’s historic Lincoln Park neighborhood, an eco-arts district. The gallery is open Wednesday through Saturday, 12—6pm and by appointment.