JUNETEENTH COMMUNITY MURAL IN NEW BRUNSWICK

Pigment International
2 min readJun 24, 2024

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Read this week’s newsletter in its entirety here.

Louie Blaka, currently a participant in the Calabar Art Gallery Residency in partnership with Co-Labs in New Brunswick, N.J., this past week designed & organized a mural celebrating Juneteenth in the city of New Brunswick. The community asphalt mural was commissioned by the New Brunswick Cultural Center, & Middlesex County Arts Institute. The public joined to help paint the mural and to participate in printmaking workshop and some of their work was incorporated into paintings by the artist. The second half of the day featured presentations & performances by community leaders/organizations in celebration of the holiday.

Mural by Louie Blaka

The artist hosted a panel discussion highlighting participating organizations and partners that support artist development, provide opportunities, and enrich the community through their projects. This highlighted the value, education, and networking opportunities for artists seeking to collaborate with similar organizations and projects.

Lastly, an arts and music workshop was held in collaboration with Racies Cultural Center, a Puerto Rican based non-profit focused on Bomba y Plena, traditional folk dance & music that originated on the island. The workshop was designed to educate participants on Afro-Caribbean and Afro-Latin American culture through music, dance, and art & provide a platform for participants to express themselves artistically through painting while engaging with cultural themes.

Blaka will host a Residency Panel Discussion on Wednesday June 26, titled Bridging Cultures: Empowering Artists and Enriching Communities.

About The Residency

Calabar Gallery Art Residency is a competitive program by curator Atim Annette Oton of Calabar Gallery providing Black artists (African, Caribbean and African American) space and consulting time and advice with art experts/curators/critics while they produce new work in a specific location — locally, regionally and globally.

This Social Justice Residency is for emerging and mid-career Black Artists globally who are working using unconventional ideas, materials, subject matter and doing some research based work on a particular topic and pedagogy on Black lives globally and socially engaging New Brunswick.

FRONT PORCH ART CENTER OPENS IN CHICAGO’S AUSTIN NEIGHBORHOOD

Congratulations to Front Porch Art Center on the grand opening of their new location — 5851 W. Madison. Last weekend, the community gathered to celebrate the launch of their innovative arts space dedicated to uplifting the rich narratives and cultural heritage of Austin.

The Austin neighborhood’s creative landscape has been absent of public investment in the arts and Front Porch Arts Center fills a much-needed void by creating arts programming, which includes enriching workshops, performances, exhibitions, while forming artist and community partnerships.

Congrats to Keli Stewart, Founder/Artistic Director and her team. We are filled with hope and encouragement + excited for this next chapter.

Learn more about their upcoming events here.

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Pigment International

PIGMENT-Intl ® is a multi-media arts collective redefining global arts, culture, and innovation. www.pigmentintl.com