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The Art of the City

Newark's street art represents the struggles and identities of its residents.

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Everyone has their own convictions when it comes to certain topics. In terms of Newark, people hold various beliefs that are, to be honest, simply negative. So what do people say about Newark. An informal survey of a dozen North Star students turned up descriptions such as “ghetto,” or “crackhead nation.” But one student’s response went against that grain:  “Newark is cultural.” One place where that term becomes apparent: the city’s streets

 
Newark is known for its bold street art, which can transform the abandoned buildings on which the works “hang.”  Explore the city, observe its art, and learn about how African Americans gained our identity.

Critics might dismiss the work as “graffiti,” which, technically, it is. But  in a second survey, of three dozen workers downtown, two thirds said the paintings appearing on buildings qualifies as “art.”  North Star students had a similarly high opinion. Sophomores Khair Love and Keshawn Porter felt that the art symbolized the “Beauty of Newark.” And junior Sylva Feedman added that the city’s art symbolizes “the struggle of African Americans.”

 

This struggle can mean different things. It can be the struggles our people faced through the movements toward freedom. It can be the struggles people face in their everyday lives. It can event represent the struggle that will be present in the future. If art holds so much purpose and virtue to individuals such as North Star students and the civilians who walk along the streets of Newark nearly everyday, how can it be called vandalism? That’s because it isn’t.

It is the work of creators who chose to express their thoughts and opinions about society around them. Banksy, a famous graffiti artist,  believes that if graffiti was to be embraced, every street [will be] awash with a million colors and little phrases…standing at a bus stop [will never be] boring.” A city that embraces graffiti, he adds, will feel “like a party where everyone [is] invited, not just the real estate agents and barons of big business. Imagine a city like that and stop leaning against the wall – it’s wet.

 

 
In Newark these art pieces hold the truth of what the world is meant to be and what it means to be an African American. All the children of our time are going to be the ones to shape our future and guide us through art and creativity to a world of prosperity. Even if their stories must be told through graffiti.

1 Comment

One Response to “The Art of the City”

  1. Stephanie Black on June 7th, 2017 3:26 pm

    this is a beautiful piece

    [Reply]

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The Art of the City