Paul Robeson Galleries Celebrate 30 Years

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On April 9, 1979, a small gallery opened in Paul Robeson Campus Center, part of an effort to establish Rutgers University, Newark as an arts center.

Beginning in November, Rutgers will commemorate 30 years of what is now the Paul Robeson Galleries with a series of special events - highlighted by a Nov. 18 fundraising event - centered around the theme, "Climbing Jacob's Ladder: Here We Stand." The celebration keys in on the legacy of Paul Robeson, for whom the campus center is named, as an activist, artist, scholar and humanitarian.

The galleries will premiere a major 30th anniversary exhibition at the Nov. 18 celebration, with a public opening on Nov. 19. "Exquisite Corpse" will feature 30 works by 92 regional artists who have participated in a "collaborative drawing game" that was made famous by the surrealists of the early twentieth century. The exhibit will run through April 8.

An accompanying 60-page publication will "speak to the life of the galleries and how Robeson's ideals are embodied through our activities," which include visual literacy programs for seniors and students in the Newark community, according to Director and Curator Anonda Bell. She explains, "In addition to increasing artistic literacy for our students, the galleries offer exhibitions, openings and lectures that bring together community and college, establishing a common social/aesthetic experience."

The anniversary celebration also will include several onsite and offsite public and educational programs, including a Nov. 19 concert, "The Art in Music," featuring musical works inspired by art or created by composers who were also artists.

For more information on the special events and exhibitions, please visit