Say So! Dance a fence mural by Antoinette Ellis-Williams. Members of the Newark Artist Collaboration (founded by Audible) created and displayed more that a dozen pieces of art inside and around Audible, in Newark, N.J., Wednesday, June, 8, 2022Ed Murray | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
“The cool additional part is the headphones light up at night… they constructed a light box and installed it so when you drive past it at night it will glow orange-yellow,” said Lundy. “It has LEDs that stay on day and night,” Lundy added.
Say So! Dance is an abstract fence mural on Lackawanna Avenue that moves in the breeze and the colors change as the sun moves through the day.
“Say So is a colloquium used with the black community diaspora and it is an acknowledgment that I see you,” said artist Antoinette Ellis-Williams. “Not only be seen but heard and nod saying I understand that you have been through some things,” added Ellis-Williams.
The mural has eight panels representing the four seasons of life, spring/birth, summer/self-discovery, fall/commitment, and winter/legacy.
“The digital installation has eight individual dancers. I use dance as the motif to be able to talk about these connected conversations,” said Ellis-Williams.
“I’m actually using pastels and soft colors to say a very powerful thing. I’m reclaiming those colors in a way that the fem community has also put forward that lavender and pink and those things that have been culturally assigned as feminine, or less than what status says regarding gender and sexuality,” said Ellis-Williams.
Antoinette Ellis-Williams stands in front of her fence mural Say So! Dance. Members of the Newark Artist Collaboration (founded by Audible) created and displayed more that a dozen pieces of art inside and around Audible, in Newark, N.J., Wednesday, June, 8, 2022Ed Murray | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
Ellis-Williams, who started doing art earnestly about eight years ago, said the inspiration for this piece came when she “literally was doodling in July with my finger on my phone.” Using an app, she played around with creating circles that moved, which became part of the mural.
I literally was doodling in July with my finger on my phone and I found an app and I created circles, by early August I looked and these (doodles) could be something and with my finger, I kind of moved them around and I said that’s very cute. I think they are dancers and I started to play some more,” added Ellis-Williams
Of the almost 200 doodles created, eight of them are part of this mural.
Being an immigrant that has lived here for 24 years, Ellis-Williams said she felt it was time to get involved and share her artwork. The panels, she said, all connect to each other and connect back to ancestors.
“The Iroquois has a philosophy of the seventh generation, that what we do today will last for seven generations for our daughter, your granddaughter, and so forth,” said Ellis-Williams.
“The last two panels are about what are we leaving behind, what message do you want to be known for? What do we want to give our children?” added Ellis-Williams.
Read more about the Antoinette Fellow artists and the Newark Artist Collaboration (Founded by Audible)