Drawing Rooms partners with Jersey City Library for First Installment, public art project

Drawing Rooms recently announced its partnership with the Jersey City Free Public Library for the first installment: a community-based public art summer program that will run through August 18. Four Jersey City libraries will showcase new public art by artists Dennis RedMoon Darkeem, Ibou Ndoye, Maggie Ens and Norm Francoeur.

“Jersey City Libraries are such a valuable resource to all of us,” says Anne Trauben, Director/Curator of Drawing Rooms exhibitions. “We are truly pleased to present the works of these four artists who have been so engaged in their community for many years, and hope that the tranche’s public art projects can continue each summer in the form of a festival of art, music and poetry that will eventually be in all library branches and reach more neighborhoods in Jersey City.

Each of the artists was chosen from an open call that asked artists to create new work taking into account the history of the library site and surrounding area. Opening receptions at each site with music and presentations are planned.

The first was at the Five Corners Branch, 678 Newark Ave., Jersey City, on July 9 with artist Dennis RedMoon Darkeem. Darkeem presented “Giving Light to the Past, Present and Future”, a showcase of translucent color images inspired by the Native American wampum belt. He is also an art educator and a member of the wind clan within the Yamassee Yat’siminoli tribe.

The Miller branch, 489 Bergen Ave., Jersey City, has a program scheduled for Saturday, July 23 from 3-5 p.m. (rain date July 30) with artist Maggie Ens. Ens, who is also a teacher, will have her “Library Avant Garden,” an art ecosystem involving hanging flower baskets displaying “real flowers and faux greenery,” mixed mosaic art, and wooden seating. form created at the Miller branch. The pieces will include words of wisdom from authors such as Albert Einstein, Dr. Seuss, Carlos Ruiz Zalon, Maxine Hong Kingston, Maya Angelou, Kahil Gibran, Dena Colhoff and Anna Quindlen.

The Priscilla Gardner Main Library, 472 Jersey Ave., Jersey City, has a program Tuesday, August 2 from 5-7 p.m. (rain date August 9) with artist Norm Francoeur. Francoeur, who is known for his creative lighting projects and colorful displays using dollar store-style materials, will wrap ten large windowsills in the main library with blue and gold hardware to show his support for the people of Ukraine. This work follows a series of installations the artist has placed in Jersey City, including City Hall, Grace Van Forest Church and Harsimus Cemetery.

The Cunningham branch, 275 Martin Luther King Dr., Jersey City, has a program Saturday, August 6, 3-5 p.m. (rain date August 13) with artist Ibou Ndoye. Ndoye will create large cut-out figures of historic Jersey City residents to be placed along the fence of the Cunningham branch library. Originally from Dakar, Senegal, Ndoye has worked as an artist in the Jersey City area for 20 years. He will engage children and families in workshops at the library to help create his characters, which will have patterned costumes drawn from his cultural heritage.

This is Drawing Rooms’ second public art project with libraries, following the JC Library Prayer Flag Project which placed community-inspired flags and banners in all ten library branches during the 2020-21 pandemic. The program also continues to work with the library’s community outreach supervisor, Sam Williams.

Comments are closed.