Art Exhibit



“PORTRAITS: Paintings, Photographs, and Prints”
In Honor of Black History Month


Presented by

The West Orange Public Library
46 Mt. Pleasant Avenue, West Orange, N.J.


West Orange, N.J.  (February 7, 2021) - “PORTRAITS: Paintings, Photographs, and Prints”, a multi-discipline display by four New Jersey artists, will be on exhibit at the West Orange Public Library as a tribute to Black History Month. The exhibit opens on Monday, February 1, and closes on Sunday, February 28.

The exhibit utilizes painting, photography, and printmaking to depict the African American experience through a body of portraiture that includes historical context, faces and figures in repose and performance, and at work and play. The featured artists are painter Cathleen McCoy-Bristol, photographer Patrick Hiliare, printmaker Onnie Strother, and photographer Mansa K. Mussa.

Among the work on display is Patrick Hiliare’s study of the late trumpeter Roy Hargrove in performance at the “Giants of Jazz” series at the South Orange Performance Center in 2013. Cathleen McCoy Bristol contributes an acrylic painting rendition of a young Ruby Bridges descending the stairs of William Frantz Elementary School in Louisiana during the New Orleans school desegregation crisis in November 1960.  Acclaimed printmaker Onnie Strother uses a multi-layered approach in his depiction of the uprising of African American Army troops in Brownsville, Texas in 1906. It includes linocut printing, text, and photography. Exhibit Curator Mansa K. Mussa offers a preview of his P/Q/C iPadology series showcasing full-bodied portraits of dancers combined with geometric shapes and text on small basswood boxes.

“Over the past four years, I’ve developed a technique of digital collage I call iPadology.  It utilizes the iPad to create a form of gestural collage with layers of abstract images that focus on optical illusion techniques,” he states.

“At the beginning of the pandemic I thought dancers would be a group that would be greatly affected by the quarantine and I started designing images that I hoped would uplift their spirits, and be a source of healing for them and myself,” said Mussa.

In conjunction with the exhibit, the library is offering an online collage workshop inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. entitled “What’s In Your Hand”, on Saturday, February 13 at 3:00. Mr. Mussa will teach the workshop.  Go to the West Orange Public Library website for more information.