Tuesday, December 8, 2009

From the Archives: John Lennon

29 years ago today, John Lennon was shot outside his hotel in New York City. In honor of the anniversary of his death, I'm pulling up a photo from our archives. But what does John Lennon have to do with Rutgers Newark?

(photo courtesy Special Collections & University Archives, Rutgers University Libraries)

A few years ago, I spent the better part of a day in the archives of the Alexander Library in New Brunswick, searching for photos from the Newark campus for our upcoming 100 year anniversary. One of the photos that immediately caught my eye, but that I was ultimately unable to use, was the one above, picturing, you guessed it, John Lennon (left, wearing his iconic glasses) with artist Al Hansen, who taught at Rutgers in Newark from 1967-74, according to the CV on www.alhansen.net.

As best I can figure it, John Lennon visited the campus sometime during that period (the photo, alas, was undated) - was he friends with Al Hansen? Did he perform here? Were any of you around during that time that can remember? I would love to hear from you!

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Art In Music

This week the Robeson Galleries celebrated its 30th anniversary with several days of events and openings.

A free lunchtime concert in the gallery yesterday featured music celebrating composer/artists George Gershwin, Paul Hindemith and Edgard Varese, whose artwork can be seen on the poster at left. (you can enlarge the poster by clicking on it)

The concert also featured the world premiere of a piece by our very own Henry Martin called "A Gershwin Mosaic." It was a fantastic piece, and in case you missed it, I'm uploading the video to our YouTube channel as I type this. It's slightly over their 10 minute limit so I may need to cut it down, but I'll add a link here once it's up. [update: in the meantime, you can see Henry Martin explain his process for creating the piece]

Below, the musicians warm up before the concert. Henry Martin is sitting on the bench, listening intently.

Asmira Woodward-Page tells the audience about the first piece, Gerswhin's Lullaby.

Flutist Jill Sokol performs a solo

The musicians: Asmira Woodard-Page, Yuki Numata (violin), Soo Bae (cello) and Miranda Sielaff (viola)

A packed house!!

The artwork on the walls is also part of the gallery's anniversary exhibit, Exquisite Corpse, in which 39 artists from the NY/NJ area participated including several faculty and at least one alumna. The exhibit is up until April 18, 2010. Visit The Robeson Galleries web site for more information.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

GlassBook Project Goes to Hollywood

This week I'm giving over the reigns to student (and documentary filmmaker!) Samantha Glovin, who attended the celebrity-studded Voice Awards at the famed Paramount Studios in Hollywood earlier this month.

Sam was in Hollywood to continue filming a documentary about the GlassBook Project, which started right here at Rutgers-Newark last spring, as part of a book arts class offered by Instructor Nick Kline. I was also in that class with Nick and Sam last year, and feel particularly proud of how far we've come with what started as a class assignment.

Sam writes:

What an experience! My trip to Hollywood to film the Voice Awards with the GlassBook Project as the featured exhibit was something I never would have imagined when starting this project in January. The responses from people admiring the books I received from interviews, as well as filming the red carpet and the awards ceremony, although extremely nerve-racking, was a once in a lifetime experience and something I will never forget. Seeing the GlassBook Project in the center of the main foyer immediately next to the red carpet was mind-blowing. To imagine how far we've come in less than a year! The project has become so much more than just an assignment for class that has come and gone. We are truly making an impact with lasting effects. I am so thrilled to be given this opportunity and to be part of something that is truly spectacular.

Sam is pictured below with her trusty camera, filming part of the exhibit:
The project was introduced at the awards by actor Richard Dreyfuss:
GlassBook Project video. Branding was done by Rutgers-Newark professor Ned Drew and Brenda McManus

The people who started it all! Helga Luest, of Witness Justice, and Nick Kline

More photos of the books can be found on the GlassBook Project Facebook Group. Information about the project, including detail photos of individual books, can be found at www.glassbookproject.org

If you're on campus, the books are going to be exhibited at the Dana Library beginning Nov 6.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Latin Caucus Party

Last Wednesday I attended the first Latin Caucus welcome reception at the Robeson Gallery. There was a great Latin jazz band led by Frank Villafañe, and also various latin foods for lunch, though sadly, the flan was all gone by the time I got there.

Amy Ortiz, who works with the MFA program, painted the image that appeared on the cover of the event program (left).

There was a short performance by Miguel Algarin, founder of the Nuyorican Poets Café, which, if you aren't familiar with it, hosts public performances of the many varieties of poetry emerging from New York City's Puerto Rican and African-American literature. (You can check out their website, www.nuyorican.org, for more info). He is also a former chair of the Puerto Rican Studies department at Rutgers. Unfortunately I missed his reading, though I did catch him dancing at the reception before he left.

Below are some photos of the event from Saskia Agustin of the School of Public Affairs & Administration. I'm working on getting some audio/video of the band that Claudio Mir of the MFA program sent me up on our YouTube channel as well. In the meantime, you can go to Frank's mySpace page to hear his music.

Miguel Algarin (right) with Vilma Perez:
Frank Villafañe (on piano) and his band:
One of the guests tries her hand at the conga drums:

Group photo:

At left, Amy Ortiz and Adela Diaz take a break to pose for a photo.

You can see Saskia's full set of photos from the event on Picasa.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Paint the City Scarlet! Homecoming 2009

Last weekend was the Rutgers-Newark Homecoming. This year we went bigger and better with a full carnival theme including a ferris wheel, games, and bumper cars.

Luckily the rain held out and we were able to hold the kick off in the Norman Samuels Plaza last Wednesday during free period. At left is the giant (6 feet!) R cake that started the festivities.

The Benjamins, a well-known cover band, gave a free concert and many other events occured during the four day event, including a walking tour of the city, alumni mixers at MiSaVi and McGovern's, a basketball showdown between old and new alumni, and the Mr. & Ms. Rutgers-Newark pageant.

Below are a few photos that Mary Grace Oania took at Fall Fest on Saturday. I am not quite sure what's going on in this first one below, maybe someone can clue me in? At first I thought they were making an R... but doesn't look like it.

Below, the Benjamins rock the house... er, the Bradley Hall parking lot.

Two future Rutgers students, perhaps?

By the way, I have seen several people wearing my t-shirts the past few days around campus! I love it! Keep wearing them!

You can see many more photos of all the Homecoming events, including the basketball game and alumni events, on Facebook

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Dharma Jazz Concert

Hope everyone had a great summer and has settled into their classes and fall routine by now. Last week we had our first free concert at the Dana Library, up on the fourth floor where the Jazz Institute is located.

The concert featured our very own professor of Jazz and musician Lewis Porter, along with Dharma, a group that blends Middle Eastern music with jazz. At left is Freddie Bryant on guitar.

The set included songs that Porter has arranged along with some improvisation and jamming, and even audience participation for one piece.

I recorded video for one of the songs and even got permission to post it but unfortunately am having technical difficulties getting it transferred from the camera to my computer (it's a large file). Hopefully I'll have it resolved soon so you can all hear how great they are for yourselves!

In the photo below, Dr. Lewis Porter on piano and synth.

Below, Karttikeya plays miscellaneous percussion - as you can see from the photo, he had quite a collection of different instruments (most of which I can't name unfortunately), and he was constantly switching over from one to another during each piece.

Below, Badal Roy on tablas. He also contributed vocals to one of the songs (and got the audience in on the act too)

Several of the band members have their own websites where you can find out more and listen to clips at the locations below.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Urban Garden

Maybe "sustainable bird garden" isn't the first thing that comes to mind when you think about downtown Newark, NJ, but did you know that we have not one, but two of them on the Rutgers campus here?

These gardens were planted and enlarged over the past several Earth Days with the help of student volunteers, the Greater Newark Conservancy, and campus staff. Our very own Professor Claus Holzapfel helped choose plants that would attract and feed the birds that regularly fly over campus on their migratory paths.

Right now both gardens are in full bloom in the Norman Samuels Plaza. Helen Paxton took these great photos of the plants (and bumblebees) this week.

The signage on our first garden, the smaller of the two, describes the project.

Our larger bird garden includes a sign with photos and descriptions of a few of the many bird species (over 100!) that have been spotted on campus.

Close up of a bumblebee on an echinacea plant - if you click on the photo for the larger version, you'll see some amazing detail on the wings. I love this photo (and no, I'm not just saying that because the photographer happens to be my boss!)

Friday, July 10, 2009

Staff Appreciation Day

It takes a lot more than just students and professors to keep the university running, whether it's organizing student life activities, keeping the plaza landscaped, keeping the campus safe, maintaining budgets and records, cleaning your classrooms and offices, running the computer labs, delivering mail, writing grants and everything in between.

Every year the HR department puts together a staff appreciation event for all of these people and Chancellor Steven Diner hands out awards to some of the hardest working folks on campus. To the left, Henry Lionel Anderson holds up his award... can you believe he hasn't called out sick in 30 years?

In the top right photo below, the HR department smiles for the camera... they look relieved that all the planning is over, don't they? Director Elena Serra was so happy she can be seen dancing in the top left photo :)

Aside from the music, bingo, and chance to mingle with people you don't often see on a daily basis, one of the draws is that you get ice cream and food served to you by the bigshots on campus (as you can see from the bottom right photo above). It's a nice break from sitting in front of my computer all day!

You can view all photos from the event on the Rutgers Newark HR website

Friday, June 26, 2009

Staff vs. Students

My office is right next to the athletic field, and yesterday as I was leaving work the annual staff vs. students softball game was just starting. I couldn't stay for very long, but below are some photos I snapped before I had to leave.

While I was there the students were pummeling the staff (sorry guys!) But there was still plenty of time for the staff to catch up after I'd left.

Unfortunately for the staff, I heard afterwards that even though they put up a good fight and managed to close the gap, in the end they still lost (I was told it was only by 1 point though!)

Congrats to the student team! At least everyone got to enjoy the bright sunshine for a few hours! It was a welcome break from this dreary rain we've been having all June.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Hello Rutgers...

Students, staff, faculty, alumni: are you doing something fabulous with your summer? Or staying local but taking great pictures or awesome video? I want to hear from you!

Send me your photos and videos & I'll post the best ones here.

Btw, I just want to point everyone to a new addition to this blog - you can now easily send any post to your Facebook, Twitter, Digg or numerous other social media sites. Just click on the "Share" button at the bottom of any post and choose where you want it to go... easy peasy.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

6th Annual Essex County Walk to End Hunger

On May 1, various Rutgers-Newark student groups, offices and individuals walked from Washington Park to City Hall in Newark to help fight hunger in the city.

The groups included fraternities and sororities, the Chancellor's Office, Alumni Relations, Housing & Residence Life, Athletics, Paul Robeson Campus Center, and Student Health Services.

Rev. Deacon Diane Riley of the Apostles' House sent these photos.

Gerald Massenberg said, "We participated in the walk as part of the university wide initiative to combat hunger, Rutgers Against Hunger (RAH). We partnered with the Apostles' House which is a food pantry and shelter for those in need here in Newark. We've been collecting and donating food to the Apostles' House this year and we were encouraged to participate in the walk because of our relationship with them."

The walk was sponsored by the Emergency Food & Nutrition Network of Catholic Charities and Meeting Emergency Needs with Charity (MEND)

Friday, May 29, 2009

More Happy Graduates...

I've been getting a steady stream of photos since graduation - it's getting hard keeping up with y'all! At left, Rosemary Kuria sent this photo (of herself?) from the Graduate School/SPAA graduation.

Below, a Social Work grad, Mitchell LaDean, sends in these two photos - look at that huge grin...

Robert Marasco sent in this group below of more MPA graduates. Clockwise from top left: Renotha & Kevin, Veronica & Phil, Joyce Lanier, Robert Marasco, and Melissa & Joyce.

Congratulations to all of you! Now my only question is: where are the Nursing, Criminal Justice, and Law graduates? I haven't heard from any of you yet...

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Business School Grads

Germaine Benemile sent me this great group of photos from the Business School graduation last week, where he was among the largest Rutgers Business School graduating class yet! It was sunny and warm, a great day for the walk to NJPAC, where the actual ceremony was held. Newark Mayor Cory Booker spoke at the ceremony this year (seen below, top left). Afterwards, I caught him tweeting about how proud he was of Rutgers-Newark (yes, our mayor is on Twitter!)

Thanks Germaine, for these photos! And thanks to the others who've sent me photos in the past few days. I'll be posting more! For more from the Business School graduation, check out our photo gallery.