“It was a sign of hope, like Noah’s Ark.” Community remembrances like this add to an exhibit at Gallery Aferro exploring work by Kea Tawana, the artist who built an imposing Ark in Newark’s Central Ward in the mid-1980s. Kea’s Ark was made from building materials from the decaying buildings in the neighborhood, and the 3-story Ark became a focal point for discussions of urban blight and renewal. Kea also created stained glass windows, maintained a vast personal archive, and designed a utopian city. “Kea’s Ark of Newark: A Life in Works” is a joint project of Gallery Aferro and the Clement A. Price Institute on Ethnicity, Culture, and the Modern Experience at Rutgers University-Newark. The exhibit sheds new light on an artist who followed her own vision.
Produced by Susan Wallner, Videography by Joe Conlon.