Mayor Ras J. Baraka, East Ward Council Member Augusto Amador, Office of Arts, Cultural Development, and Tourism Director Gwen Moten, Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Luis Santos da Costa, and other dignitaries recently unveiled a mural created by internationally-renowned artist Alexandre Farto (also known as Vhils) at the Sharpe James/Kenneth A. Gibson Recreation and Aquatic Center on Rome Street.
The mural is one of five that resulted from an agreement between Mayor Baraka and the Portuguese government that will create five murals, one in each ward. This project launches the International Artists Exchange Program, initiated by the Mayor’s Office of Arts, Cultural Development, and Tourism. The Newark Community Economic Development Corporation, Department of Economic and Housing Development, Council Member Amador, and Portuguese Consul-General Dr. Pedro Oliveira also joined in this effort.
The project will also promote employment and arts education by hiring minority contractors in the plastering work and promoted new graphic artist skills development.
After unveiling the mural, Prime Minister Costa launched the “Taste Portugal – Portuguese Restaurants Network” program in the United States at the Mediterranean Manor. He then walked through the Ironbound, joining soccer fans at the Sports Club Portuguȇs to watch the Portuguese National soccer team face Spain in the opening round of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. After the game, he walked to Peter Francisco Park to lay a wreath at the Portuguese-American Veterans Monument.