SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — Seton Hall University’s Walsh Gallery welcomes alumnus Nyugen Smith for his solo exhibition “Of Matter and Memory.” The exhibition conflates the artist’s original artwork with objects from the university’s Department of Archives and Special Collections to recontextualize interpretations of these artifacts. Drawing heavily on his West Indian heritage, Nyugen is committed to raising the consciousness of past and present political struggles through his practice, which consists of sculpture, installation, video and performance. He is influenced by African cultural traditions and the residue of European colonial rule in the West Indies. Responding to the legacy of this particular environment, Nyugen’s work considers imperialist practices of oppression, violence and ideological misnomers. While exposing audiences to concealed narratives that distort reality, he destabilizes constructed frameworks from which this conversation is often held.
The opening reception for this exhibit will be Thursday, Sept. 15, from 5 to 8 p.m. Nyugen will perform at the gallery on Saturday, Sept. 24, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The exhibit runs from Sept. 6 through Oct. 14.
Smith enrolled in Seton Hall University in 1994 as a political science major, became involved in theater and ultimately earned his a bachelor’s degree with a concentration in fine art in 1998.
For more information, see www.shu.edu/walshgallery. Seton Hall University is located at 400 S. Orange Ave. in South Orange. The Walsh Gallery is open 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. This exhibition is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council of the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts and administered by the Essex County Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs.