Black Portraiture[s] VII: Play and Performance

Express Newark

Rutgers University–Newark and The Newark Museum of Art will host the seventh annual Black Portraiture[s] Conference from Thursday, February 17 to Saturday, February 19, 2022. Our theme for the conference is Play and Performance, which explores the role of “play” in past and contemporary African diasporic art and performance.

  • Thursday, Feb 17 & Friday, Feb 18Black Portaiture[s] VII: Play and Performance Conference. Black Portraiture[s] is an academic conference committed to the study of African diasporic art and culture. Hosting over 300 of our foremost scholars and artists at Rutgers University – Newark, visit to see the full conference schedule.
  • Thursday, Feb 17Picturing Black Girlhood: Moments of Possibility at Express Newark, an international exhibition that features over 180 works by over 72 Black women, girls, and genderqueer artists – ranging in age from 8 to 94 – who work in the mediums of photography and film and are exploring the concept of Black girlhood. Among the 30 artists are Carrie Mae WeemsLatoya Ruby FrazierLorraine O’GradyLola FlashSophia Nahli AllisonDeborah Roberts, and Tawny Chatmon.
  • Friday, Feb 18Scheherazade Tillet: Black Girl Play at the Project for Empty Space gallery in Newark. A culmination of Tillet’s artist in residency at Shine Portrait Studio and New Arts Justice at Express Newark, this exhibition is a common exploration of the ways in which coming of age, community traditions, and radical play, converge at various points in the lives of Black girls. Tillet’s photographs remind us that joy and play are not only prevalent and normal but things to be preserved and validated. The reception will be held from 5 – 7 pm at Project for Empty Space. Schedule a Visit.
  • Saturday, Feb 1942nd Annual Marion Thompson Wright Lecture will be hosted by the Clement Price Institute of Ethnicity, Culture, and the Modern Experience and The Newark Museum of Art. Our keynote artists all foreground the themes of play, utopia, and performances in their work, and are photographer Tyler Mitchell with Professor Deborah Willis; visual artist Bisa Butler and Linda Harrison, the Director and the CEO of the Newark Museum of Art, and Grammy-award nominated jazz violinist Regina Carter in dialogue with renowned scholar Professor Farah Jasmine Griffin, playwright Dominique Morriseau in conversation with Kamilah Forbes, the Executive Producer of Apollo Theater.