On Friday, August 23, 4-7 pm, please join the Newark Public Art Program, South Ward Councilman Ras Baraka, the Clinton Hill Community & Early Childhood Center, lead artist Gladys Barker Grauer, arts administrator City Without Walls, and others to dedicate the Newark Public Art Program’s twenty-fourth large-scale outdoor painting, titled A Tribute to Newark Jazz Clubs, which overlooks David L. Warner Playground at 390 Hawthorne Avenue.
Dedication of A Tribute to Newark Jazz Clubs
August 23, 2013, 4-7 pm
David L. Warner Playground, 390 Hawthorne Avenue
Light refreshments and entertainment provided
The mural is the twenty-fourth completed since Mayor Booker launched the Newark Public Art Program (NPAP) in 2009 under the direction of the Newark Planning Office. Newark Murals tell Newark’s stories, celebrating and commemorating under-recognized people, places, and events. For each mural project, NPAP leads a collaboration of a community-based organization, artists and researchers, and young people to design and produce a large-scale outdoor painting.
A Tribute to Newark Jazz Clubs celebrates the city’s history as a hotspot of jazz composition and performance, featuring a lively scene of playing, dancing, and listening. The painting includes the names of 22 legendary Newark jazz clubs including Carvan, the Key Club, Sparkey J’s, and Lloyd’s Manor. It was designed and produced in collaboration by the Newark Public Art Program; community partner and wall owner the Clinton Hill Community & Early Childhood Center; lead artist Gladys Barker Grauer; supporting artist Melanie Stokes; additional artists and NewarkWORKS students Yasmine DeJesus, Malik Hardaway, Onnie Strother, Nicole Thompson, Lee Johnson, Larry Hilton, Cheryll Fowler, Kaela Berdecia; and arts administrator City Without Walls.
“We are creating a city where the physical environment reflects the bold aspirations and deep history of Newark and its people,” said NPAP Director Damon Rich. “A mural is not just a work of art, but the manifestation of real collaboration among artists, youth, community-based organizations, and residents. That’s how each of these murals tells the story: THIS IS NEWARK.”
“Newark Jazz Clubs were the pulse of the City’s entertainment from the late 1920s to the 1950s,” according to lead artist Gladys Barker Grauer. “It was a stop-over for gigs between New York City and Philadelphia for many great jazz entertainers. During the Depression, the clubs were a good business venture, a source of jobs and launched many careers for local entertainers of color. In the mural, the clubs are represented symbolically because so many of the original structures are gone. I attempted to give the viewer a glimpse of the jazz-era fashion showing the zoot suit and the conked hair. Of course ‘Sassy’ Sarah Vaughn takes over the center. The legacy of the jazz clubs lives todayin Baraka’s Blues People, Barbara Kukla’s Swing City, and WBGO’s 24/7 365 jazz.”