On Wednesday, June 1, from 6:00-8:00 p.m. the Newark Public Library will host local author and historian Guy Sterling in conversation with notable Newarkers Nell Painter and Willie Cole as part of its continuing series Newark Lifetimes: Recollections and Reflections.

Nell Painter

Nell Painter, a leading American historian and author, is a Professor Emerita at Princeton University. She holds a doctorate in history from Harvard University as well as degrees in fine arts from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University and the Rhode Island School of Design. Her works, which have been exhibited throughout the area, are created in a variety of media and incorporate and manipulate historic images to convey new meanings. Currently, Painter lives and works in Newark and has a studio in the Ironbound.

Willie Cole

Willie Cole began his arts education at the age of 10, when he began attending drawing classes at the Newark Museum. He graduated from Arts High School and then went on to study at Boston University’s School of Fine Arts, and the School of Visual Arts and the Art Students League, both in New York. Inspired by an exhibit about primitivism in the 20th century held at the Museum of Modern Art, Cole is best known for his use of everyday objects to form powerful art pieces. A sculptor and painter, Cole has won numerous awards and honors including the David C. Driskell Prize and Aljira’s Timehri Award for Leadership in the Arts. His work has been shown nationally and internationally, in such esteemed institutions as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art.

Nell Painter and Willie Cole in Conversation with Guy Sterling 2 Guy Sterling is a former Star Ledger reporter and the author of  the Famous, the Familiar, and the Forgotten: 350 Notable Newarkers. The program will be held in Centennial Hall on the second floor of the Main Library at 5 Washington Street in Newark. 

Also, on view before and after the program, on the Library’s Third Floor Gallery, is the exhibit Newark at 350: Settlement, Growth, Renewal, which takes viewers on a journey through Newark’s rich history from its founding by the Puritans in 1666 to the present day, and chronicles events that have not only shaped the city and the state, but the nation as well. Curated by librarian Thomas Ankner, the exhibit cases are filled with unique images from the Library’s Charles F. Cummings New Jersey Information Center and the Special Collections Division. A dual arrangement of the cases provides both chronological and thematic approaches to the city’s people, places, architecture, politics, institutions and education.

The program and exhibit are free and open to the public. For more information and to RSVP, please call 973-733-7793 or email

The exhibit, which is supported by the New Jersey Historical Commission, runs through December 31, 2016, and is on view during regular Library hours.