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Library exhibition celebrates Hispanic heritage
Press Release September 17, 2001

The Newark Public Library has installed a cultural exhibition in its second-floor gallery of the main library, located at 5 Washington Street. The show is entitled Images of Our Hispanic Heritage in Original Prints and Posters. William J. Dane, Special Collections Division of the library, curated the exhibition from the graphic arts and literature in the Special Collections of the library. It is on view until November 3.

Featured is a deluxe portfolio of new poetry and original prints in a 2001 gift from the City of San Juan, which is entitled La Ciudad Infinita: Versions de San Juan. These materials on display combine poetic texts and original lithographic prints in color by thirty highly creative residents of this Puerto Rican community. The Newark Public Library is grateful to the donors, namely The City of San Juan and Sila Calderón, former Mayor of the City and now Governor of Puerto Rico, for arranging for this remarkable gift.

The San Juan 2000 Committee commissioned San Juan artists and poets in 1999 to contribute their work for the portfolio project. “This is the best way to honor the spirit of the city and to celebrate our “Puerto Ricanness,” Sila Calderón said. “This was an effort at capturing the soul of Puerto Rico at the end of one century and the start of another.” The edition was limited to 300 copies with only one hundred of these made available to museums and libraries throughout the world. The Newark Public Library was included because of its long interest in the history, culture, arts and humanities of the wider Hispanic community and its Puerto Rican heritage in particular.

In addition to the stunning gift from Puerto Rico, the Hispanic graphic celebration also includes works by artists with close New Jersey associations. These include original limited edition prints by Hugo Xavier Bastidas, who is on the faculty of the New Jersey City University in Jersey City, and Gloria Rodrigues, whose print Ex Voto shows embossing with many colors, including gray, orange, black, gold and red. Of timely and historic interest is 7 City Subway by Maria Mujardes. This color lithograph with a deep dark background shows four views of the 1954 Newark subway cars, which were retired from service on August 27th of this year. These handsome prints were a recent gift to the library from The Rutgers Center for Innovative Print and Paper in New Brunswick.

Other recent publications highlight the work of Alicea, Jose Rosa, and Antonio Martorell’s illustrations of poems by F. Manrique Cabrera. Notice is given to the inaugural exhibition of the new Museum of the Art of Puerto Rico in a beautifully restored building with a park setting near the Condado section of San Juan.

The exhibition is free and open to the public during library hours: Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays from 9am to 5:30pm; Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9am to 8:30pm.

For additional information, please call William J. Dane at (973) 733-7745, or visit the library’s website: www.npl.org.

 

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