Aljira Presents New Works by Rising Artmakers This Fall: "A wonderfully human show"

Newark, New Jersey— On Thursday, September 25, 2014 from 6pm to 9pm Aljira, a Center for Contemporary Art will proudly present “I put this moment... here. I put this moment… here. I put this moment… over here”, an Aljira Emerge 11 exhibition, curated by Jorge Rojas.

"Each of the twenty-one accomplished artists featured in this multimedia group exhibit explore artmaking as a way of experiencing life and making connections to the world around them. Many are investigating new methods for organizing memories, those neural elements that connect us to the past, and thinking about how we form those connections. These questions make this a wonderfully human show—one that addresses universal subjects including memory, personal history and identity as observed through a contemporary and often conceptual art lens,” acclaims Emerge 11 Exhibition Curator Jorge Rojas.

This year’s Aljira Emerge Fellows -- Isaac Aden, Nobutaka Aozaki, Ariana Barat, Maria Buyondo, William D. Caballero, Patricia Cazorla, Katie Cercone, David Rios Ferreira, Tai Hwa Goh, Heidi Lau, Phoenix Lindsey-Hall, Caroline Mak, Vikki Michalios, Ann Oren, Nell Painter, Stephanie Powell, Diana Schmertz, Rosemary Taylor, Barbara Wallace, Ken Weathersby, and Jennifer Williams -- represent a remarkable range of cultural backgrounds: throughout this country as well as other nations including Israel, Japan, Korea, Peru, Russia and the United Kingdom.

“Aljira Emerge is indisputably our most significant contribution to the artist community and community at large over the last 15 years, and I can think of no better way to begin our fall 2014 season than with this exhibition, the culminating event of Emerge 11,” says Aljira Executive Director, Victor L. Davson.

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 artists that make up each new Emerge group annually, and they deserve recognition for investing their time and energy to their enterprise.

This group exhibition will be on view through December 20, 2014.

About the Curator

Jorge Rojas was born in Morelos, Mexico. A multidisciplinary artist, independent curator and art educator, he studied art at the University of Utah and at Bellas Artes, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Rojas uses both traditional and new media, as well as performance, to explore processes involved in artistic production. His work and curatorial projects have been exhibited internationally and in the U.S. He is the founding Director of Low Lives, an international, multi-venue live-streaming performance festival, launched in 2009. Currently artist-in-residence at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, Rojas lives and works in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Upcoming Exhibitions and Events

September 28, 2014: Social Change Through Art - Aljira at 30, Dream and Reality Panel Discussion at The New Jersey State Museum. Moderator Judith K. Brodsky (Artist, Educator, Arts Administrator) and panelists Will "Kasso" Condry (Artist, Member of S.A.G.E. Coalition, Trenton), Victor Davson (Artist, Executive Director, Aljira), Chuck Schultz (Filmmaker) and Fausto Sevila (Artist, Educator), will discuss their experiences with art as a vehicle for social change.  

October 10, 2014 – January 1, 2015: Windows on Market Street: Aljira EmergeNEXT in collaboration with Gallery Aferro, Activate Market Street, and Newark Open Doors featuring works by Jayson Keeling and Mary A. Valverde; curated by Kalia Brooks and Jaishri Abichandani.  

October 17, 2014: Not Alone, a newly choreographed performance by The Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company created for and with Aljira, making unexpected connections among dancers, exhibited art works, and the audience.

October 25-26, 2014: The Dodge Poetry Festival readings at Aljira will feature a dynamic, diverse selection of regional and national poets.  Also visit  for future announcements.

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, Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, Hyde and Watson Foundation, Joan Mitchell Foundation, Lambent Foundation, MCJ Amelior Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, PNC Bank, Prudential, The Prudential Foundation, PSE&G Foundation, Tides Foundation, The Turrell Fund, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and many generous individual contributors.

Prudential Financial, Inc. and PNC Bank are generous sponsors of Aljira’s 30th Anniversary fall 2014 exhibitions and programs.

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