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Censorship: The Legacy of WPA Art, It’s Messages, and It’s Impact

Censorship: The Legacy of WPA Art, It’s Messages, and It’s Impact

Presented by Project For Empty Space
[at] Gateway Project Spaces

In Partnership with The Historical Society for the United States
District Court for the District of New Jersey

Site A:
Project For Empty Space [at] Gateway Project Spaces
July 19 - August 19, 2016
2 Gateway Center
Newark, New Jersey 07102
Opening Reception:
Tuesday, July 19th *6 - 8pm

Site B:
Frank R. Lautenberg
U. S. Post Office and Courthouse
October 15 - January 15, 2017
2 Federal Square
Newark, New Jersey 07102

Artists include:
CHARLES WARD
LUNAR NEW YEAR
ROMAULD KRAUS
TANNER CLARK
VENTIKO
VICKI TOTTEN

Project For Empty Space [at] Gateway Project Spaces is pleased to present a traveling exhibition, Censorship: The Legacy of WPA Art, It’s Messages, and It’s Impact. The exhibition will take place at the Project For Empty Space gallery at Gateway Project Spaces from July 19, 2016 - August 19, 2016; it will then travel to the Newark Federal Courthouse. The show will include works by Charles Ward, Lunar New Year, Romauld Kraus, Tanner Clark, Vicki Totten and Ventiko. 

These programs have been made possible partnership with The Historical Society for the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.

Censorship: The Legacy of WPA Art, It’s Messages, and It’s Impact will explore the historical context around the idea of federal censorship specifically during the time of the WPA initiative. The exhibition will identify, and subsequently analyze what made these works so contentious.

The exhibition will not only explore the continued art historical legacy of this era; but also, acknowledge what has or has not changed in America with respect to the social issues that prompted the works from the 1930s and 1940s. It will highlight New Jersey, and specifically Newark, as a regional grounding for this exploration, because of Newark’s rich, diverse, and historic relevance in the larger American historical dialogue.

The latter aim of the exhibition will be accomplished through the presentation of several large works that are directly inspired by and responding to the original New Jersey courthouse artworks by New Jersey based muralist Lunar New Year and New York based photographer, Ventiko. These works will be similar in scale, palate, and subject matter, but with a contemporary twist that demonstrates what has and has not changed over the past near-century. They will represent a continuation of an artwork tradition that comments on all aspects of contemporary American society.

Project For Empty Space is a not-for-profit organization that creates socially engaging, multidisciplinary art exhibitions and programming that encourage social dialogue, education, and systemic change for cultural tolerance. This mission is achieved through a permanent project/gallery space, an incubator program for artists addressing social change, and through collaborative and interactive programs in vacant and neglected spaces in cities around the world We strongly believe that there is a symbiotic relationship between artists, communities, and social discourse. It is our goal to foster socially and politically inspired artists in an ongoing residency program; to curate thought-provoking and culturally relevant exhibitions; and to create exciting, engaging, and inclusionary community programs around art and social change.

The Historical Society for the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey is a statewide organization that was founded in 1986 for the purpose of preserving and celebrating the history of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey through a series of lectures, publications, media presentations and other social events. The Court has been in existence for 225 years…the second oldest Federal Court in the nation.