This partnership marks a significant milestone as the NMOA embraces the work of a living artist of color, creating a space that promotes social justice and awareness within the community.
To emphasize the importance of this collaboration, the mural wall previously featured at Project Ready’s Voting Power Experience pop-up exhibit will be showcased in the Museum’s Engelhard Court.
“Suliman Onque’s artwork and his dedication to promoting social justice have made a profound impact on the community,” said Shennell McCloud, CEO of Project Ready. “We are thrilled to partner with The Newark Museum of Art to showcase Suliman’s powerful work and elevate his voice as an artist of color.”
The artwork chosen for this collaboration carries a profound message that aligns with the missions of both Project Ready and The Newark Museum of Art. Linking the past to the present via the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, the mural, titled “Building Bridges, Marching on America,” features black and white depictions of the Montgomery Bus Boycott with colorful depictions of the George Floyd protests.
“Featuring living artists of color prominently in our Museum spaces is a reflection of our continued commitment to inclusivity of diverse voices within the art world, an ethos that also speaks to our long-standing partnership with Project Ready and its impact in our communities,” said Linda Harrison, Director and CEO of The Newark Museum of Art.”
Suliman Onque, a multifaceted artist hailing from Newark, NJ, brings a wealth of experience and a unique perspective to this collaboration. With a diverse portfolio encompassing paintings, portraits, murals, logos, graphic design, comic books, wearable art, and NFT art, Onque has garnered acclaim throughout his artistic career. His work has been showcased in over 60 different art exhibits, including The Newark Museum of Art’s “Artful Healing Exhibit” in October 2022.
Project Ready and The Newark Museum of Art recognize the significance of Suliman Onque’s artistic contributions and his long-standing relationship with the Newark community. Onque, along with his family of artists including his mother, who won the Art After Dark NMOA: Battle Of The Wards competition, has consistently supported the museum and created community-centric artwork specifically for the Newark community. This collaboration further strengthens the bonds between Project Ready, The Newark Museum of Art, and the communities they serve.
The Newark Museum of Art’s P.L.A.C.E. (Promoting Legislative and Community Engagement) initiative, led by Mary Dowd (NMOA Chief of Staff) and Darryl Dwayne Walker (NMOA Manager of Community Engagement), aims to deepen existing partnerships and forge new connections with elected officials, arts organizations, and social service agencies to foster community well-being. This collaboration with Project Ready exemplifies NMOA’s commitment to creating a more equitable community that is reflective of its diverse audience.