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Aljira Announces November 18 Opening of Duron Jackson: The Missing – an Exhibition Confronting the Reality of Mass Incarceration in America

African American News

Duron Jackson in his studio in Long Island City, Queens

Community Partner Press Conference to Take Place in Newark on November 29

Duron Jackson: The Missing

On view: November 18, 2017 – January 13, 2018

NEWARK, N.J.Nov. 1, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Aljira, a Center for Contemporary Art is pleased to announce the November 18, 2017, opening of Duron Jackson: The Missing, an exhibition that confronts the reality of mass incarceration in America. The exhibition challenges viewers to consider the impact of mass incarceration on vulnerable communities, as well as the entire country. “As Aljira enters its 35th year in Newark, it’s important that we continue to be a platform for artists of all backgrounds to present meaningful work that reflects the major issues of the day. Duron Jackson’sinterest in social justice is aligned with Aljira’s mission to promote inclusiveness, diversity and cross-cultural dialog,” states Aljira’s Executive Director, Dexter Wimberly.

Duron Jackson is a multi-disciplinary artist whose practice combines academic and artistic research. He uses installation, photography, video archives, and objects to create new perspectives on dominant historical narratives. Jackson states that his exhibition, The Missing, “is inspired by a 2015 New York Times article that detailed the 1.5 million Black men who are literally missing from civic life due to early death or incarceration.” (Link to 3-minute artist interview:

An interactive and collaborative project, The Missing begins at Aljira as an art exhibition but becomes much more, as artists, students and the broader Newark community join Duron Jackson in sharing their stories of family and friends affected by mass incarceration. A community partner press conference, scheduled to take place at Shine Portrait Studio in Newark at 3pm on Wednesday November 29, 2017, will include presentations by New Jersey ACLU, the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, Shine Portrait Studio, and Duron Jackson, among others.

The timely subject matter, mass incarceration, is of both local and national consequence. The United States is the biggest jailer on the planet, with less than 5 percent of the world’s population but nearly 25 percent of its prisoners. Another 7 million Americans are either on probation or on parole. Operating federal and state prisons, including local jails, is generally calculated to cost the U.S. government, and therefore taxpayers, about $80 billion a year. Recent studies examining the economic toll of mass incarceration in the United States conclude that the full cost exceeds $1 trillion― with about half of that burden falling on the families, children and communities of people who have been imprisoned, and ultimately removed from civic life.

Aljira’s presentation of The Missing has been partially supported by The Kenneth Aidekman Family Foundation, Nina and Ted Wells, Shine Portrait Studio and Express Newark: a university – community collaboratory which receives funding from Rutgers University – Newark, the Prudential Foundation, Bank of America, PSE&G, Panasonic, and the Kresge Foundation.

“I’m thrilled that Shine Portrait Studio is working with Aljira to foster Duron Jackson’s multimedia and portrait based public art project, The Missing. Shine’s mission is to facilitate and support the expression and self-representation of the various communities of Newark, NJ and Duron’s artist-in-residency is supported by guiding equity for local creatives, educational opportunities for Rutgers University-Newark students, as well as being deeply engaged throughout the city beyond the walls of Express Newark. From dots on dominoes to the stories of individual people, Duron creates compelling portraits of people’s absence and presence in our lives, and does so without exposing or sensationalizing them in opportunistic ways,” states Nick Kline, Associate Professor, Photography Founder/Director, Shine Portrait Studio Department of Arts, Culture & Media at Rutgers University Newark.

About Duron Jackson

Duron Jackson is Brooklyn-based multi-disciplinary artist born in Harlem, New York. He received his MFA in Sculpture at Bard CollegeMilton Avery School of Art. Jackson is a 2013 recipient of the prestigious Fulbright research fellowship, granted by the U.S. State Department for creative research in Salvador da BahiaBrazil, where he was concurrently artist in residence at Museu de Arte Moderna da Bahia. Modern Painters magazine listed Jackson as one of the 100 artists to watch for 2012, the same year he was awarded Brooklyn Museum’s Raw/Cooked solo exhibition sponsored by Bloomberg Media.

About the Mission of Aljira, a Center for Contemporary Art

Founded by artists in 1983, Aljira, a Center for Contemporary Art fosters excellence in the visual arts through exhibitions and educational programs that serve as catalysts for inclusiveness and diversity, promote cross-cultural dialog, and enable us to better understand the time in which we live. Public understanding and support of the visual arts are strengthened through collaboration and community-based educational programming. Aljira seeks out the work of emerging and underrepresented artists and brings the work of more established artists to our community. Through the visual arts Aljira bridges racial, cultural and ethnic divides and enriches the lives of individuals.

Aljira’s operations and programs are made possible, in part, by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, New Jersey Cultural Trust, The Kenneth Aidekman Family Foundation, Bank of America, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Edison Properties Newark Foundation, The Fidelco Group, Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, James Douglas Family Foundation, Joan Mitchell Foundation, MCJ Amelior Foundation, Merrill Lynch, Newark Downtown District, Newark Museum, The New York Community Trust, Pharmachem Laboratories, Inc, PNC Bank, Prudential Financial, The Prudential Foundation, PSE&G Foundation,  Newark Celebration 350, Rutgers University-Newark, The Schumann Fund, Spire Group, The Turrell Fund, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Nina and Ted Wells, and many generous individual contributors.

Aljira is located at 591 Broad Street in downtown Newark. For directions visit our website at The Center is open Wednesday through Friday, 12–6pm and Saturday, 11am–4pm. Phone 973 622-1600, fax 973 622-6526, Website: On Instagram: @aljiraart. On Facebook: On Twitter: @aljiratweets.



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