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Have You Met Rutgers-Newark?

Newark has so many small galleries, and they are so open to new artists, so supportive and encouraging.

Although she earned her degree in art history and philosophy within view of the Manhattan skyline, the city of Newark, says Jacqueline Cruz, is a great place to be an artist, especially one starting out in the field.  “Newark has so many small galleries, and they are so open to new artists, so supportive and encouraging.”  And there are lots of spaces available to convert to personal galleries and work spaces, she notes.

Jacqueline should know; she is a painter and photographer (working in film) as well as a scholar of art history, with a dark room in a local gallery.  She also will be teaching photo classes at the gallery’s invitation. 

Jacqueline’s love of the arts stems from childhood and was nurtured by countless afternoons spent at the Newark Museum, a short distance from her hometown of Harrison and a couple of blocks from R-N.  As she commuted to the museum she would see the R-N campus and notice its location in the heart of the city’s thriving arts scene. The location, combined with positive comments from peers about the arts faculty and community atmosphere, made R-N the logical place for her to earn her degree, says Jacqueline.  Not surprisingly, she has also made the city her home.

Interestingly, Jacqueline spent the summer after her graduation at the Newark Museum she had visited so often, working as a curatorial intern.  The experience reinforced her life’s goal:  a job as a museum curator and archivist, once she earns a master degree.  “Art helps you understand a people and their culture: where the culture has been, where it is going.  It’s about identity -- individual and group identity -- –and it’s a way to communicate.”

Currently Jacqueline is gallery manager for City Without Walls in Newark, as well as project coordinator for the Newark Public Art Program, the partnership behind the city's murals program.