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Oral History: KATHERYN BETHEA
Artist: Matthew Cole
Title: Katheryn Buller Bethea’s Newark, 2015, glass, canvas, adhesive, 2”x 6.25”x 7.25”

Oral History: KATHERYN BETHEA
Artist: Matthew Cole
Title: Katheryn Buller Bethea’s Newark, 2015, glass, canvas, adhesive, 2”x 6.25”x 7.25”

This work reflects Katheryn Buller Bethea’s experience as a five-year-old coming to Newark from Cleveland, OH. It is compiled from photos of present Newark I took wandering around winter mornings, revisiting her old stomping grounds in the 1930’s—Spruce Street, West Kinney, her first home on Barclay, and Prince St., where the pushcarts would’ve been. Bethea recalled, “You used to go back to the first [pushcart] and get whatever [the family] wanted: greens, meats or whatever it was; and of course, we children tagged along and the people who owned the stores would give us an apple or a jelly apple or something, and we thought that was a great adventure.” This book is a modern look at those Newark memories through ghostly sandblasted images. One memory was of her first home with her mother, a basement apartment whose only source of light was a single window. Bethea, seven or eight at the time, called it “the dungeon,” a place where she saw only the ankles of those who passed by.

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