Amber Robles-Gordon
Amber Robles-Gordon, “My Rainbow is Enuf,” fabric on chicken wire

Art Grows in Newark: ‘I Found God in Myself’

Back in 1976, Dr. Ntozake Shange’s genre-bending, award-winning choreopoem/play, for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf, debuted Off Broadway before moving to Broadway. Soon hailed as a classic, the 20-part chronicle of the lives of women of color was later published in book form and adapted into a film directed by Tyler Perry).

Tonight from 6 to 9pm, Newark Arts and City Without Walls (cWOW), located at 6 Crawford Street, will present, “i found god in myself: a celebration of Dr. Ntozake Shange’s for colored girls,” curated by Peter “Souleo” Wright in conjunction with this year’s Open Doors Citywide Arts Festival. Administed by cWOW Executive Director, fayemi shakur, the exhibit celebrates the New Jersey–born author’s classic work. Through ten commissioned art pieces, the exhibition pays tribute to the play with each piece honoring an individual poem and underscoring their enduring significance in highlighting issues impacting the lives of women of color such as sexuality, race, sisterhood, violence and self-love depicted in and inspired by Dr. Shange’s work.

Margaret Rose Vendryes, “My spirit is too ancient to understand the separation of soul & gender – Guro Ntozake”, Oil and cold wax on canvas, painted wood Guro mask

“Since its debut performance in 1974 just outside Berkeley, California, at a bar named the Bacchanal, Dr. Shange’s work has captivated, provoked, inspired and transformed audiences all over the world,” Souleo says in his curatorial statement. “To bring the choreopoem’s themes to visual life, artists have each selected a poem and reimagined it as multimedia art through paint, textile, new media, sound, sculpture, and site-specific installation. Collectively each work in the exhibition gives tangible life-form to the words depicting women’s experiences with love, sexuality, racial identity, domestic violence, sisterhood, and ultimately self-love.”

Participating artists include Amber Robles-Gordon, Beau McCall, Dianne Smith, Kathleen Granados, Kimberly Mayhorn, Margaret Rose Vendryes, Melissa Calderón, Michael Paul Britto, Pamela Council, and Uday K. Dhar. “This exhibition underscores the conversation Dr. Shange started, extending the legacy and impact of her work into the visual arts medium,” explains Souleo. “The issues surrounding love, sexuality, gender equality, racial identity, and, ultimately, self-love explored by her work remain relevant today.”

The exhibition will also include archival material that highlights the creation and evolution of the original text from its 1974 California debut to its Broadway run from the Barnard Archives and Special Collections at Barnard College. “It is not only gratifying but joyous to share for colored girls with the Newark community,” says Dr. Shange. “I am so excited to celebrate for colored girls and the works these artists have created.”

Melissa Calderón “Te amo más que”, Morning glory horn, gold leaf and paper


i found god in myself originally debuted in 2014 at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Long Gallery Harlem (formerly The Sol Studio) and La Maison d’Art. It has since traveled to the African-American Museum in Philadelphia, the Houston Museum of African American Culture, and is now presented at City Without Walls. “It is an honor to be able to share Dr. Shange’s work during this year’s Open Doors program,” says cWOW Executive Director, fayemi shakur. “We are grateful for the collaborative efforts of the curator, artists and community stakeholders who helped bring this to fruition.”


The exhibition will be on view at City Without Walls through November 18, 2017. For more info call 973-622-1188 or email

Related Posts


PREMIERE: Ash Shakur Wants You to Know You’re “Never Alone”


Steve McQueen Will Direct a New Tupac Documentary


Tupac Wrecks the West Coast in This New GTA V Mod


Here’s the First Trailer for the Tupac Biopic ‘All Eyez On Me’


The Murders of Biggie and Tupac Are the Focal Point of USA’s New True Crime Series


Latest News

nas-rapture Film


Mass Appeal’s new Netflix series premieres this weekend at SXSW
same Hot Takes

It Was a Type Beat Year

The search for something new in a year of sameness
shea serrano Features

Shea Serrano Quit His Teaching Job, Now He Has Two Best Sellers and Two TV Shows

"It is funny to just walk in and just be a Mexican, because I’m usually the only one there"
mf doom Features

The 10 Best DOOM Songs of 2017, Ranked

Even after 'The Missing Notebook Rhymes' went missing, the masked villain still caused havoc
worst cops Features

The Worst Cops of 2017

The hall of shame
donald trump Features

32 Songs That Dissed Donald Trump in 2017

The "F.D.T." wave
lil peep News

R.I.P. Gus, Long Live Lil Peep

Resisting nostalgia at the speed of the internet
88 rising Features

Sean Miyashiro of 88rising Connected the Cultures

With 1.25 million YouTube subscribers and a gang of talent, 88rising controlled the new East-West flow
eminem Video

Eminem By the Numbers

You may know how many f*cks he gives, but what about the other crucial figures from Slim Shady's career?
tape Features

Why 2017 Was Rap’s Year of the Tape

Seven labels explain why they're still rewinding cassettes back
safdie brothers Features

The Safdie Brothers Got Gritty as 2017’s Filmmakers to Watch

"You might not like the feeling that you're feeling, but you can still be entertained by that feeling."
best albums Features

The 25 Best Albums of 2017

The essential sounds that defined one very strange year
hey arnold Humor

Everything About Christmas is Awful, Except the ‘Hey Arnold!’ Special

The one redeeming thing about this trash holiday
combat-jack Features

Knowledge Darts Vol. 32: Winter Solstice

I never got to say thank you
jeezy Video

Open Space: Jeezy

"You can’t just crush a diamond with a rock. It’s hard, it’s tough. But it’s bright."

Rhythm Roulette: Boi-1da

The wait is over