Rutgers–Camden Center for the Arts Presents All-Virtual Exhibition of “A New View–Camden” Community Art Installation Project

By Tom McLaughlin

The Rutgers–Camden Center for the Arts (RCCA) is presenting an all-virtual exhibition of A New View – Camden – a Bloomberg Philanthropies-funded public art installation project that addresses illegal dumping in Camden – through Sunday, October 31.

The material exhibition will open in the Stedman Gallery, located in the Fine Arts Complex on the Rutgers–Camden campus, in September.

A New View – Camden – a collaboration between the RCCA, Cooper’s Ferry Partnership, and the City of Camden – transforms six vacant lots formerly used for illegal dumping into community placemaking sites through engaging artwork installations, programming, and community events.

Athena Steen and Josh Sarantitis Touching the Earth, 2021 Artists’ Rendering Site #4, 5th and Erie Streets

The virtual “ANV-C” exhibition focuses on these site installations as well as two additional projects: a collection of “Camden is… Bright not Blight” photographs of city residents, and “PODS” – interactive, open spaces outlined with reclaimed materials such as lumber, machinery parts, I-beams, and square steel tubing – located at the art installation sites.

“These pods create a place for community to gather and enjoy the sites; for picnics, relaxation, and viewing of the artworks,” explains Nancy Maguire, associate director for exhibitions for the Rutgers–Camden Center for the Arts. “Pods create shade in this open space where there are not many trees, while making the space more inviting.”

The virtual exhibition includes before-images of the sites, sketches and artists’ renderings of the proposed projects, images of the works being installed, and final images of the fully installed works.

Bloomberg Philanthropies announced in January 2019 that the City of Camden was one of only five cities nationwide selected as a 2018 Public Art Challenge winner. The city received $1 million for the public art project that will transform sites plagued by illegal dumping along major transit corridors into dynamic art spaces, inspiring residents and attracting visitors. It will include art installations and creative programming at several sites along Camden’s rail, road, and bike routes. Additional information on the location of each art installation can be found at anewiewcamden.com.

Tyler Fuqua Creations Mechan 11: The Collector, 2021 Artists’ Rendering Site #5, 1599-1537 E. State Street Team: Tyler FuQua, Jason Hutchinson, Brad Batson

As a lead partner in A New View – Camden, Rutgers University–Camden encourages residents to combat illegal dumping of household or industrial waste through education efforts and public-private partnerships. The city also aims to strengthen the local artistic community and improve the quality of life for Camden residents. The collaboration engages independent curators; the Camden Collaborative Initiative environmental consortium; and local arts groups, businesses, and residents.

The RCCA then earned a New Jersey Council for the Humanities (NJCH) $12,802 Action Grant, which will support and expand the reach of the project as the artists now prepare for the April 2021 completion of the outdoor art installations.

To support education, community, and public programs for A New View – Camden, the Rutgers–Camden Center for the Arts Stedman Gallery is presenting ancillary programs that extend the reach of the project.

Program components funded by the New Jersey Council for the Humanities grant include a lecture series, featuring artists, curators and community members; the exhibition exploring the process and community responses; museum education and interpretation programs; and “A Public Art Field Guide for Families” with discussion topics and on-site activities. Programs will be hosted at Rutgers–Camden and/or virtually depending on the pandemic climate.

The Rutgers–Camden Center for the Arts, a distinguished arts organization recognized by the New Jersey State Council of the Arts, provides performances, exhibitions, education programs, and community projects that inspire a full appreciation and enjoyment of the arts. The RCCA is excited to have its programming taken to another level of engagement with the City of Camden and its residents that it has been serving for many years, amplifying the role of the arts in Camden’s renaissance.

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