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Aljira Emerge 11: “I put this moment… here. I put this
moment… here. I put this moment… over here.”

September 25 – December 20, 2014

About Aljira Emerge:
Since its inception in 1999, the Aljira Emerge Program has been committed to providing artists in the New Jersey/New York metropolitan region with the skills and strategies to thrive in today’s competitive art world. Providing professional development opportunities for over 250 Emerge Artist Fellows. At the end of each program, each Fellow is included in a group exhibition as well as an exhibition catalog.The excellent reputation of the Emerge program is built on the perseverance and commitment of the 21 artists that make up each new Emerge group annually, and they deserve recognition for investing their time and energy to their enterprise.

Aljira applauds the over 250 artists that make up the Emerge Community.

Emerge 11 Workshop Leaders: Alyson Pou, Ela Troyano, Colleen Keegan, Beverly McIver, Amy Smith, Jackie Battenfield, Dread Scott, Aaron Landsman and Edwin Ramoran

Emerge 11 Artists:
Katie Cercone, Nell Painter, William D. Caballero, Nobutaka Aozaki, Diana Schmertz, David Rios Ferreira, Heidi Lau, Stephanie Powell, Ariana Barat, Phoenix Lindsey-Hall, Patricia Cazorla, Ken Weathersby, Rosemary Taylor, Ann Oren, Tai Hwa Goh, Barbara Wallace, Vikki Michalios, Maria Buyondo, Isaac Aden, Jennifer Williams, Caroline Mak

About the exhibition from curator Jorge Rojas:
One of art’s greatest purposes is to help us connect everything from our historical and cultural past to our wildest and most unimaginable future. The artists in this exhibition, each with a strong and unique voice, explore artmaking as a way of relating to the world and, in doing so, are creating new information about how we make contact.

This year’s EMERGE program participants all focus on making connections from specific aspects of their lives with the world around them. These relationships are numerous and diverse, including social, cultural, sexual, physical, spiritual, historical, architectural, environmental, and biological.

A few days after visiting the artists’ studios in preparation for this exhibit, I heard the song “Jig of Life” from Kate Bush’s 1985 album Hounds of Love. Toward the end of the track, the singer solemnly intones, “I put this moment… here. I put this moment… here. I put this moment… over here.”

These lyrics strike me as a wonderfully simple and poetic illustration of the way we selectively organize our memories and experiences; the lines point to the systems we construct to make sense of and archive our experiences. How we choose to make connections is examined and illuminated here in the works of these 21 artists, who deliberately juxtapose and cross-reference points of contact within their lives to different points outside.

Image (at right):

Ariana Barat
A lover’s discourse: a violent compassion
Plexiglass
2014

Ariana Barat, "A lover's discourse: a violent compassion"
PNC and Prudential sponsor Aljira's 30th Anniversary programs

Exhibitions

Current
Archive

Aljira at 30, Dream and Reality

March 29 – September 28, 2014

Aljira at 30, Dream and Reality  is a retrospective exhibition celebrating Aljira’s 30th Anniversary, now on view at the New Jersey State Museum, Trenton, co-curated by Margaret O-Reilly and Carl E. Hazlewood.

Aljira, A Center for Contemporary Art, was established in 1984, when a core group of artists came together in search of affordable work space in Newark. Aljira offers vital career development and exhibition opportunities for emerging and under-recognized artists; provides transformative experiences for Newark-area teens; and has helped to position Newark as a significant cultural destination.

The exhibition examines the important role that Aljira has played, and continues to play, in the contemporary arts in the state and region. The exhibition includes works from Aljira’s own rich and diverse collection, as well as works borrowed from artists who have exhibited or studied at Aljira. The exhibition includes paintings, sculpture, drawings, prints and photographs.

Read a New York Times review of Aljira at 30, Dream and Reality here.