{LIPS}: a new movement in community-centered arts

Featured in the Luso-American Friday August 15, 2015

A new visual and performing arts collective is set to join the ever-growing Newark arts scene.

 “Living Incubator Performance Space”, known as {LIPS},  founded by Luso-American artist Lilly Ribeiro, is an arts collective “committed to engaging in civic dialogue with members of the community to foster creative collaborations and generate open accessibility to the arts”.

Housed on the main level of Newark’s Gateway Project Spaces,  Ribeiro was invited to join the expansive arts complex by directors of the gallery space, Rebecca Jampol and Jasmine Wahi, who like Ribeiro, share the commitment of improving the quality of life of their communities through arts engagement.

In her mission to launch {LIPS}, Ribeiro invited another Newark native, {LIPS} resident artist, Kelly Ann Pinho to join the collective. Pinho who is a self-taught artist whose work primarily focuses on social issues such as poverty and addiction. Like Pinho, Ribeiro’s art centers on activism, established by her long and comprehensive history of working with grassroots community organizations, survivors of domestic violence, children in foster care, senior adults, and youth in urban areas.

{LIPS} will feature monthly exhibitions and community programming, as well as pop-up spoken word events, readings, film screenings, theatre and music performances. Varied works conceived/produced at {LIPS} will be exhibited at the gallery space as well as in community centers, museums, site-specific locations, and schools. Outreach components include residents of Newark, students, community partners, workplaces, and daily visitors who pass through Gateway Center year round. Artistic programs are based out of Newark, New Jersey and extend to other urban and rural areas.

{LIPS} is scheduled to launch with their first opening in the gallery space, titled “What a façade!” , on Wednesday, September 9th, in conjunction with The Gateway Project's Fall opener, (Em)Power Dynamics : Exploring the Modes of Female Empowerment and Representation in America, curated by Jampol and Wahi.

Along with “What a façade!”, the gallery will feature rotating solo and group exhibitions with an emphasis on showcasing works by members of the local community. Current, lineup of artists scheduled to exhibit at {LIPS} for the 2015/16 year include: Beth Achenbach, Josephine Barreiro, Lauren Hlubny, Mia X, Angela Kariotis Kotsonis, Jeannine Laginhas, Taty Lopez, Hans Lundy, Cathleen Marie Thérèse Parra, Kelly Pinho, Michele Palotta, Lilly Ribeiro, Ana Rodrigues, Marina Carreira, and PaulA Neves. The artistic organization will also participate in the Newark Arts Council's Open Doors Studio Tour scheduled for October 15th through 18th.

{LIPS} gallery functions as multi-disciplinary hub always looking for collaborators. "We work with guest curators to conceive performances, film projects, art and music shows and installations uniquely suited for our space”, affirms Ribeiro.  “We are looking to screen film shorts/ documentaries, exhibit visual and/or performance work at their space and with community partners.” {LIPS} is also available for rehearsals, classes, and auditions at reasonable rates.

Interested persons seeking more information or collaboration opportunities should visit their website, www.lipsnewark.com, or message lilly@lipsnewark.com.

Pinho reinforces the community-centered philosophy of {LIPS}, stating, “We have an open submission policy for community members and artists of Newark. We’re looking for original ideas for works of theatre, music, dance, performance art, puppetry, and circus arts.”