A Four Story Interactive Public Art Installation is erected on Treat Place, Newark.
Image: “The facade’s mirrored structure in connection with Faa’Tina’s photograph, is a testament to the significance/monumentality of this moment, in this city,” said Chantal Fischzang. “We hope the design offers an experience of intentional representation — a reflection of one’s self
and committed community.”
Photo: Scheherazade Tillet
By Express Newark
Four Corners Public Arts (FCPA) is has just completed a new public artwork, Will You Be My Monument, located on Treat Place in the Central Ward of Newark, NJ. This artwork was conceived and created by Salamishah Tillet – Director of New Arts Justice, an Express Newark Partner Organization; Rutgers-Newark Arts, Culture, Media Professor Chantal Fischzang, and photographer Scheherazade Tillet.
Will You Be My Monument was inspired by the City of Newark’s removal of the Columbus statue in Washington Park on June 25, 2020 and features a photograph by Scheherazade Tillet of Faatina, an eight-year-old Black girl who celebrated her eighth birthday in Washington Park that night.
This work is made up of reflective typography and acrylic mirrors that Chantal Fischzang designed to structurally connect the installation with the pedestal of the original monument and to reflect the diversity and vibrancy of the people of Newark.
The sheer size of this installation — a four story building — and its aesthetic gravitas greatly adds to the debates about monuments, racial representation, and social justice, while also enhancing contemporary conversations about the ongoing (in)visibility of Black girls and young women in the United States.
Black girls are our most significant cultural producers, community connectors, and powerful organizers, but their contributions are rarely recognized or appreciated. At best, they remain invisible in our public discourse and monumental landscape.
In the Spring of 2021, Alliyah Allen of New Arts Justice and Keary Rosen of the Form Design Studio at Express Newark will host a series of public programs that encourage local artists and everyday citizens to contribute to these contemporary conversations about memory, belonging, and our civic landscape.
Will You Be My Monument kicks off the first of a series of public works, organized and curated by Rebecca Pauline Jampol that embrace collaboration and emphasize community building through public art. Additional works by The Newark Artist Photo Documentary Project and ImVisible will take place over the next few months. FPCA projects are developed with the support of a public/private partnership that includes The City of Newark, Invest Newark, Newark Arts, Newark Downtown District, Paramount Assets and RBH Group. This phase is with the support of the Calello Agency, Edison Properties, The Hanini Group, The Newark Creative Catalyst Fund, Rosemary and Robert Steinbaum, Sherwin Williams Paint Company, Provident Bank and more.
About Four Corners Public Arts:
Four Corners Public Arts was initiated in 2019 through a public/private partnership convened to support public arts initiatives in Newark’s historic district Fours Corners. The partnership includes The City of Newark, Invest Newark, Newark Arts, Newark Downtown District, Paramount Assets and RBH Group.
The partnership evolved out of a common interest to give care to under acknowledged areas of the City through the arts, with the goal of cultivating creative communal space for everyone. At a time when Newark is undergoing a marked transformation, the partnership believes it is imperative to create opportunities that strengthen the local creative community.
The inaugural effort focused on Treat Place and Beaver Street in the Central Ward of Newark, New Jersey. The first phase of the initiative erected 14 murals, executed by over 100 artists, organizations and volunteers. Phase II will expand upon this work, continuing to improve these spaces for the benefit of all.