Aljira Presents Derrick Adams: THE HOLDOUT —A Social Sculpture with Curated Radio Station Organized by Dexter Wimberly

Newark, New Jersey— On February 12, 2015 from 6 – 8pm Aljira presents THE HOLDOUT, a provocative solo project by artist Derrick Adams. Consisting of a large-scale pyramid-like sculpture, along with photography and text-based work, the project features a functioning radio station with music, special guests and programming selected by Derrick Adams and the exhibition’s curator, Dexter Wimberly. Around the gallery, Adams will exhibit works from his “Welcome to Monument City” series, 2009-present, including new photographs and sculpture. Live interviews will also be broadcast from within the sculpture during the exhibition, through April 25th.

“Aljira is extremely proud to present THE HOLDOUT. It’s an exciting opportunity for engaging many aspects of our community – music, culture, resistance and activism,” says Aljira Executive Director Victor L. Davson.

Using the format of a pirate radio station, Adams will video stream his DJ sets, the conversations, and guest DJ playlists online, in the gallery and onto the street. The artist will present 12 public events at Aljira. Adams will also hand the radio station over to guest hosts, on occasion, as well as to playlist contributors who will be uploading their content remotely. He will be facilitating all events and performances in and around THE HOLDOUT installation. Positioned in the middle of Aljira’s main gallery, THE HOLDOUT represents an outpost, bunker, fortress or temple.

“Holdout” is a real estate term for an owner of property in a row of acquired buildings who refuses to sell. Adams’ pyramid-like sculpture poetically references individuals within communities united as a wall of resistance and support. The installation and performative work acknowledges what is priceless and important to preserve in one’s own culture. It highlights a value system that appreciates these ideals.

“By allowing viewers to enter his sculpture, Adams is challenging the usual relationship between art and its audience. The various elements of the exhibition, particularly the pyramid-inspired sculpture with its functioning Holdout Radio station inside, is a send-up to real estate developers who ignore the negative impact that unchecked gentrification can have on historic and cultural preservation in less-affluent, urban communities,” states exhibition curator Dexter Wimberly.

All 12 events scheduled by the artist at Aljira are open to the public. Visit or to view the full event list and live broadcast schedule or access live streaming video and archived content. The closing reception on April 25, 2015 from 6 to 10pm will feature a dance party open to the public with a live-broadcast DJ. Follow THE HOLDOUT on Instagram at #theholdout. 

Special thanks to Artist and Cultural Producer, Jaret Vadera, for his project development of this exhibition. 

THE HOLDOUT will be on view February 12, 2015 through April 25, 2015. 


About the Artist

Derrick Adams, born in 1970, is a multidisciplinary artist working in performance, painting, sculpture and music. He received his BA from Pratt Institute and his MFA from Columbia University and is an alumnus of The Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture. He has exhibited widely in New York, Chicago, Miami, Boston, Aspen, London and Paris. He has participated in Performa 05, and his work has been included in museum exhibitions at PS1/MoMA, New York (“Greater New York, 2005”); the Contemporary Art Museum, Houston; Grey Art Gallery, New York University; and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, in “Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art, 2012-14” and on numerous occasions at The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York. He is a recipient of a Louis Comfort Tiffany Award, 2009, and an Honored Finalist for the 2011 William H. Johnson Prize.

About the Curator

Independent curator Dexter Wimberly was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. A passionate collector and supporter of the arts, he has exhibited the work of hundreds of artists in the U.S. and abroad. Wimberly maintains a critical dialogue with emerging artists throughout the world by way of his exhibitions, public programs, and lectures at galleries and public arts institutions. He has organized exhibitions and programs for  Mixed Greens Gallery; Driscoll Babcock Galleries; 101 Exhibit; Edward Tyler Nahem Fine Art; bitforms gallery; Koki Arts, Tokyo; the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA); and The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; among others. Wimberly is the Director of Strategic Planning at Independent Curators International in New York. 

Upcoming Aljira Exhibitions and Events

February 12, 2015 through May 21, 2015

Willie Cole 

Complementary Soles 

The suite of 9 colorful Complementary Soles prints by Willie Cole embodies two iconic gestures as double entendres -- the science of color, based on Josef Albers’ explorations, combined with the steam iron image.   While exuding a deceptively decorative and graphic quality the image communicates both physical heat and psychological mood.  All works are for sale, generously donated by the artist to benefit Aljira’s exhibitions and programs.


February 12, 2015 through May 21, 2015

Oliver Lake 


Sticks are created by celebrated master jazz musician and Doris Duke Impact Artist Award recipient, Oliver Lake.  Using found objects and materials, Lake has been making painted sticks for over thirty years. “When I create them, I am sharing a portion of my life,” states Lake. Sticks are available for purchase. A free Sunday afternoon jazz performance by Oliver Lake and his Big Band will be presented at Aljira on May 17, 2015, from 4 - 5pm.


March 24, 2015, 5pm

Women’s History Month Film Festival: And Still I Rise

Women in Media – Newark will showcase the work of emerging and established filmmakers featuring a selection of films on “disappeared women”. The festival opens at Aljira in partnership with Newark's Ironbound Community Corporation on March 24th.  Films to be screened: Border WitchesMy Family, and Janie’s Janie. Screenings will be followed by a panel discussion moderated by Whitney Strub, Associate Professor and Director of Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers University – Newark. For more info visit: 


May 7, 2015 through May 21, 2015

Preview of The Aljira (dreams are for real) Fine Art Auction 2015

Aljira’s annual festive fine art auction features original works of art by leading established and emerging artists of our time. Auction Honorees are celebrated artist Dawoud Bey and international curator and Director of the Visual Art Sector of the 2015 Venice Biennale, Okwui Enwezor. Art from the Auction will be previewed May 7, 2015 through May 21, 2015. Tickets to the Auction on May 21, 2015 are available now at


About Aljira, a Center for Contemporary Art

Aljira, a Center for Contemporary Art fosters excellence in the visual arts through exhibitions and educational programs that serve as catalysts for inclusiveness and diversity, promote cross-cultural dialog, and enable us to better understand the time in which we live. Public understanding and support of the visual arts are strengthened through collaboration and community-based educational programming. Aljira seeks out the work of emerging and underrepresented artists and brings the work of more established artists to our community. Through the visual arts Aljira bridges racial, cultural and ethnic divides and enriches the lives of individuals.

Aljira’s operations and programs are made possible, in part, by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, New Jersey Cultural Trust, The Kenneth Aidekman Family Foundation, Bank of  America, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Edison Properties Newark Foundation, Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, Hyde and Watson Foundation, Joan Mitchell Foundation, Lambent Foundation, MCJ Amelior Foundation, PNC Bank, Prudential Financial, The Prudential Foundation, The Turrell Fund, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and many generous individual contributors.

Aljira is located at 591 Broad Street in downtown Newark. For directions visit our website at The Center is open Wednesday through Friday, 12–6pm and Saturday, 11am–4pm. Phone 973 622-1600, fax 973 622-6526, Website: On Facebook: On Tumblr: On Twitter: @aljiratweets.