TSTI gallery will feature black artists’ reflections on civil rights

Photo Courtesy of TSTI
‘SHE-Silvia Rivera,’ acrylic paint on canvas by Jo-El Lopez, will be displayed at the Gallery at TSTI from Feb. 19 to April 2.

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — Starting in mid-February, the Gallery at TSTI, the synagogue-run art space at Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel, 432 Scotland Road in South Orange, will host an exhibit focused on the American civil rights era. The show, which is opening during Black History Month, will feature artwork by black artists that interprets their concepts of America’s civil rights history and the black experience in this country. An opening event will be Wednesday, Feb. 19, from 6 to 8 p.m. The exhibit will be on display until April 2.

Ten artists from across northern New Jersey, as well as Long Island, will have up to 30 paintings, drawings and photographs on display. Artists include Kathleen Celestin-Parks, Troy Jones, Jo-El Lopez, Mansa K. Mussa, Minal Parkhi, Ron Powell, Kay Reese, Akil Roper, Danielle Scott, Ameerah Shabazz and Cali Smith. At the opening event, attendees will have an opportunity to meet some of the artists and enjoy light refreshments.

The exhibit is being curated by Armisey Smith, an illustrator, educator and curator who resides in Newark. Smith has had her work exhibited throughout the Tri-State Area and has been the lead artist on several public mural projects in New Jersey. 

Richard Koch, chairman of TSTI’s art committee, said, “The purpose of the exhibit is to showcase how African Americans experienced the civil rights struggle in the U.S. We hope it stimulates thought and discussion, as well as greater appreciation by visitors of the difficulties people of color still face in America today.”