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The Newark Museum of Art Announces Honorees for Art Ball 2024

originally published: 02/27/2024

The Newark Museum of Art Announces Honorees for Art Ball 2024

(LEFT) Nancy Cantor (RIGHT) Willie Cole

(NEWARK, NJ) — Linda C. Harrison, Director and CEO of The Newark Museum of Art (NMOA), announced that Chancellor Nancy Cantor and artist Willie Cole will be the distinguished honorees at Art Ball 2024 on Saturday, May 4th. The Art Ball is an annual signature gala at NMOA honoring leaders whose visionary creativity, generosity, and advocacy have advanced the Museum and the broader community in Newark and New Jersey.

“I am thrilled to acknowledge the vision, imagination of courage this year’s honorees, who have used their incredible talents to elevate and engage our community. Nancy Cantor and Willie Cole exemplify the civic engagement that drives the greater Newark community and rests at the heart of the Museum’s mission.”

Dr. Nancy Cantor, Chancellor of Rutgers University–Newark and Distinguished Professor of Psychology has championed higher education’s responsibility as a civic partner and as an engine for racial equity and growth. Dr. Cantor has reenergized the university’s presence in the community and has taken a collaborative, solutions- oriented approach to integrating Rutgers with the city of Newark and embracing its people, its challenges and its considerable strengths. She is known nationally for innovation in higher education, in the field of psychology and as a noted champion for women and for inclusion and diversity.

Dr. Cantor will receive the inaugural Beatrice Winser Award. Born 50 years before women had the right to vote in the U.S., Beatrice Winser helped establish both the Newark Public Library and The Newark Museum of Art and served as a trustee of Dana College and the University of Newark – precursors to Rutgers University-Newark. Largely unsung, Winser was a pioneer in the field of library and information science and fought for greater access for women in education and public life. The Beatrice Winser Award honors those who not only possess a vision for a better future, but have a demonstrated track record of creating practical change in their communities and advancing equity.

The NMOA will honor sculptor, printer, and perceptual engineer Willie Cole with the Artistic Impact Award. Cole is known for assembling and transforming ordinary domestic objects into powerful works of social commentary, often with wit and cheekiness. Cole has had numerous solo museum exhibitions including at the Museum of Modern Art, Bronx Museum of the Arts, Miami Art Museum and his works have been featured in shows at independent galleries, universities and museums internationally.

 

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New Jersey-born and raised, Cole participated in art classes at the NMOA as a child and has several pieces in NMOA’s permanent collection, including Sole Sitter and Por La Mesa de Me Abuelita, currently on view. He was the Artist in Residence at Express Newark in 2023.

The NMOA Art Ball is a cornerstone of New Jersey’s cultural calendar that brings together business leaders, entrepreneurs, arts advocates, and Museum patrons to celebrate and support of groundbreaking cultural innovation at the NMOA, New Jersey’s largest fine art museum. Art Ball 2024 will be a special celebration of Newark’s legendary role in international fashion, tied to the new exhibition The Story of Newark Fashion: Atelier to Runway.

Founded in 1909 and located on a four-acre campus in the heart of Newark, New Jersey, The Newark Museum of Art (NMOA) is the state’s largest museum and ranks twelfth nationally in terms of collection size. Global and diasporic, the collection includes more than 300,000 works from the ancient world to the art of today, including significant holdings of science and natural history. Visitor-and community-centered, NMOA responds to the evolving needs and interests of the diverse publics it serves by offering exhibitions, programming, a research library, paid internships, and local and global partnerships. Under the leadership of Director and CEO Linda C. Harrison, NMOA has launched an era of transformation to create an engaged citizenry by reimagining the role of the art museum for the 21st century.



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