Artwork by Martina Hanna
The fifth annual Windows of Understanding social justice public art initiative kicked off on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, pairing over 24 artists–including several Mason Gross students and alumni–with local nonprofit organizations to create original works of art addressing themes of climate change, economic justice, public health, and protest and policy. Works will be on view in storefronts and public spaces through February 28 in Metuchen, South Plainfield, Highland Park, and New Brunswick. Visual displays will be complemented with virtual and hybrid programming including panel discussions, educational workshops, community conversations, and wellness sessions.
Mason Gross students and alumni involved in the project include the following:
- Sarah Attalla and Usra Attalla (alumni), and Dr. Raza Zia, Kier’s Kidz at former Verizon store on George Street, New Brunswick
- Helene Brenenson (alum), Healthier Middlesex at Heldrich Hotel, New Brunswick
- Martina Hanna (alum), Rutgers Student Food Pantry at The Yard @College Ave, New Brunswick
- Salma Hussein Qutub (student), The Black Community Watchline at the Morris Parking Deck, New Brunswick
- Samantha Knierim (alum), Elijah’s Promise at Harvest Moon, New Brunswick
- Ria Monga (student), The League of Women Voters at Berkshire Hathaway windows in Metuchen
The New Brunswick Community Arts Council, Mason Gross School of the Arts, Highland Park Arts Commission, Metuchen Arts Council, and the South Plainfield Cultural Arts Commission partnered on the initiative, which unites New Jersey artists, organizations, and businesses to promote awareness and engagement around social justice issues impacting local communities.
Check out a behind-the-scenes look at this year’s Windows of Understanding: