Erasecism: the Bridge to Community

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© Courtesy of Montclair Art Museum
Erasecism: the Bridge to Community
Curated by: Sheryl Renee Dobson

3 South Mountain Avenue
Montclair, NJ 07042
February 6th, 2014 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

United States
Wednesday – Sunday, Noon – 5 p.m.


 “Pop-Up” Art Exhibit Celebrating Diversity at Montclair Art Museum February 6, 2014

January 20, 2014, Montclair. A community networking event and “pop-up” art exhibit, called “Erasecism: the Bridge to Community” will take place on Thursday, February 6th to acknowledge and celebrate how diversity enhances the economic and civic well-being of the community. It will take place in the Whitehead Conference Room of the Montclair Art Museum on Thursday, February 6, 2014, from 5 – 7 pm. The event, sponsored by the North Essex Chamber of Commerce, is the product of a collaborative effort between the Visual Arts Ministry of Christ Church (Montclair & Rockaway Campuses) and the North Essex Chamber of Commerce.

This art exhibit reflects the dichotomy between the uniqueness of individuals and the commonality that brings us together. Its objective is to facilitate discussions about erasing the “isms” that keep us apart, such as classism, sexism and racism while celebrating all that connects us.

As a “Pop-Up” art exhibit, “Erasecism: the Bridge to Community,” is a one day only, independently curated art show. This exclusive art exhibit features the work of many prominent artists, including: Marcus A. Jansen, Nava Atlas, Gabriel Pacheco, Lisa Fromartz, Barbara Peterson, and Nicky Enright. These artists were chosen because of their distinction in the art world, and their ability to address issues, through their art, that have kept people apart. Their art enables us to see the world differently and in the process, empowers us to learn something new about ourselves.

“It is an honor to know and to exhibit the work of these amazing artists,” shared Sheryl Renee Dobson, an accomplished artist in her own right, the independent curator of this exhibit, and a member of the Christ Church Visual Arts Ministry. “Their passionate dedication to their respective media and their years of experience are reflected in their art.”

The artistic atmosphere of this event will be enhanced by the musical accompaniment of Charisa, the Violin Diva, an accomplished, independent soul/jazz violinist.

“We invite everyone to join us in celebrating diversity and exploring the art with the artists, as well as learning more about the work of the Chamber,” stated Jo Ann Short, President of the North Essex Chamber. “Diversity and inclusion practices at the Chamber foster a high-performing business environment where businesses and people are engaged, valued and encouraged to collaborate, generate ideas and contribute at the highest level,” Ms. Short continued. “We are passionate about our cause and know that our ability to achieve it begins with reflecting and partnering with all people, businesses and communities.”

The Chamber would like to thank our sponsors Cranes Mill, Creative Mind, Lakeland Bank and MinuteMan Press Newark, who have made it possible for this event to be at no charge to the community. “Erasecism: the Bridge to Community,” is one of a series of events in the Chambers’ Get Connected Diversity Initiative. For more information about the program, please visit our website,

Refreshments will be served. To RSVP and for more information about this event, please contact the Chamber at or 973-226-5500.


About The North Essex Chamber of Commerce

The North Essex Chamber of Commerce ( is a New Jersey chamber that exists to ensure that businesses grow and prosper in the community, while supporting the community in return. We help businesses thrive by providing them with valuable resources, training, networking opportunities and timely information to support their business. NECC is the official Chamber for nine northern Essex County towns: Caldwell, Cedar Grove, Essex Fells, Fairfield, Montclair, North Caldwell, Roseland, Verona & West Caldwell. Its members include large, medium and small businesses throughout the greater Essex County area. The Chamber continually seeks new ways to sharpen members’ competitive edge in the marketplace and afford them opportunities to invest in the future economic development of the communities it serves.

About Christ Church

Led by Dr. David Ireland, Christ Church is home to several thousand families, representing approximately 40 different nationalities. The Church offers weekend worship services as well as a full complement of small-group activities, discipleship classes, and support groups. As a community church with a global sensitivity, the Church provides outreach to needy people around the corner and around the world. The Visual Arts Ministry is comprised of accomplished Church-member artists who use their artistic gifts to connect people to people and people to God. The Ministry collaborated with the North Essex Chamber of Commerce to create “Erasecism: the Bridge to Community.”

About the Featured Artists

Marcus Jansen

Marcus A. Jansen, born in Manhattan and raised in Moenchengladbach, Germany, is a United States combat veteran who transformed his life from soldier to an internationally recognized pioneer of urban expressionistic landscape paintings. His most recent project, "The Art Album," shows his work alongside some of the world’s most recognized contemporary artists including: Shepard Fairey, Takashi Murakami, Jonathan Meese, Daniel Richter, and Chuck Close.

Nava Atlas

Nava Atlas, a visual artist whose work deals with themes of gender and social justice, has been shown nationally in museums and universities. Specializing in limited edition artist’s books, learn more at Nava Atlas Art ( Nava has also written many well-known vegetarian and vegan cookbooks; her site, VegKitchen ( is a leading resource for all things vegan. She lives in New Paltz, NY.

Gabriel Pacheco

Gabriel Pacheco, born and raised in New York City, earned a BFA from Purchase College at the State University of New York and an MA from Teachers College, Columbia University. His sculptures are informed by self-definition, cultural identity, and acknowledgement of community while paying homage to the history of the African and Caribbean Diasporas. His sculpture, God’s Journey Within, is simply carved to highlight a humble person in the face of their higher power.

Lisa Fromartz

With work in MoMA, the Brooklyn Museum, public and private collections, Lisa Fromartz does painting, sculpture, prints, and commissions. Her art has been featured in exhibitions in the US, Europe, and Asia. SAMBRA is from Fromartz’s AMAZU series. The word AMAZU comes from the

Ibo of Nigeria and means “no one knows everything.” This collage based series merges her interests - from cosmology to politics to mass culture. Fromartz lives and works in NYC.

Barbara Peterson

Barbara Peterson is a formally trained artist who earned her B.F.A. from NY’s prestigious Pratt Institute. Preferring to paint in a realistic yet symbolic style, Peterson alters dimension in her paintings so that still life and landscape meet. Barbara often uses fruit to depict human emotions and experiences in her paintings. Barbara and her husband John live in Morris County, NJ.

Nicky Enright

Nicky Enright is an artist, educator, and DJ whose multimedia work explores the construction of nationhood and identity, the theory and practice of borders, the intersection of image and sound, and the way language functions. He has received various awards including an apexart residency to Bangkok, Thailand, and he has a BFA from The Cooper Union and MFA from Hunter College. He has recently exhibited in NYC25 at the Westwood Gallery, and MAPnificent! at BRAC, both in NYC, and at the Select Fair during Art Basel in Miami, FL. Born in Guayaquil, Ecuador, he lives and works in the Bronx, NY.

Curatorial Statement 

I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free



Strength lies in differences, not in similarities

Steven R. Covey



Erasecism: the Bridge to Community


We join this exciting art exhibit in the midst of an ongoing ancient conversation about how we solder the gaps formed by the “isms” that divide our human family.   The “isms” include: sexism, classism, racism, egoism, and so on.  Ironically, the “isms” appear to originate from a narrow view of the world and a marginalization of others’ divine gifts of individuality and exquisite uniqueness.  

The participating artists in this exhibit collectively explore the juxtaposition of our diversity in the context of our connectedness.  It is within the realm of our common humanity that we can find a redemptive strength that harnesses the power of our differences.  As we embark on this visual journey, we are encouraged to shed our heavy armor, disable our weary defenses, and open our mind’s eye to imagine the possibilities.  

Each work of art personifies the artists’ vision and mastery of their respective media.  These honed skills enable the artists to free the angels in their figurative masses of intellectual marble.  As we reflect on all of the works in this exhibit, let us identify the tools, veritable symbolic glasses, which the artists have generously provided to enable us to have a new transformational perspective about ourselves and our world. 

Internationally noted as a pioneer in socio-political urban expressionistic paintings, Marcus Jansen’s haunting and textural apocalyptic landscapes implore us to use fearless critical thought when assessing the world around us.  The unusual pairings in his compositions entice us to consider a reformation of our “samo” paradigms.  Within his brilliantly gritty works, we can find a peaceful freedom that empowers us to think outside of the box. 

Nava Atlas’ creative and unique combination of the fields of visual arts and book publishing parallels the way in which she challenges us to integrate and holistically examine our views about gender roles and cultural expectations.  Similarly, when we focus on her relationship with food, we find, at its heart, an uncompromising integration of a holistic world view married with a firm belief that we can lead healthier, clearer, and kinder lives by eating plant based foods. 

Gabriel Pacheco’s stunning sculptures reference a powerful, yet undervalued, call of global rhythmical Afro-Caribbean drumbeats that lovingly responds to the cry of displaced lives, lost tongues, and forgotten cadences, and speaks to humanity’s resilience in the face of oppression.  Pacheco’s masterful carvings and skilled combinations of organic materials, like wood, with urban tinged metal and rubber, defy us to ever question whether we were created. 

Born of found objects, commercial materials, and printed images, Lisa Fromartz’ collages adeptly draw the viewer into a world in which she fearlessly recombines unexpected visual partners and in so doing, reframes and reinterprets cultural codes.  Her creations highlight our complexity and our connectedness in visually phenomenal ways.  Her bold creation of new words forces us to reexamine the inherent limitations of our known languages in expressing the positive reality of unimaginable possibilities. 

Nicky Enright, fluent in English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese, is a multimedia artist who deconstructs the way we look at language, race, and borders.  In defying our rigid racial categories and reformulating our notions of ethnic and national identity, he frees us to re-label ourselves in ways that authentically emphasize our connectedness while deemphasizing the artificial constructs that were designed to divide us. 

Artists serve as the visionaries of our times and their works empower us to uncover the sculptures that lie within us, unveiling our divine purpose, our deliberate distinctiveness, and our undeniable connectedness.  The participating artists have bravely offered us a new lens with which to view the world using a holistic integrative approach that values critical thought, embraces our strengths, celebrates our differences, recognizes our thoughtful creation, and  optimistically awaits a human community that is capable of imagining the possibilities.