Tuesday, April 5, 2022

"Celebrating Black Women Through Art & Poetry" Opens at Overlook Medical Center

In honor of Black History, Women’s History and National Poetry Months, Morris Arts and Overlook Medical Center proudly present a collaborative program featuring works developed with the guidance of Overlook’s poet-in-residence, Thomas Dooley, and visual artists Rosalind Nzinga Vaughn-Nichol and Martryce Roach.

Celebrating Black Women Through Art & Poetry

WHEN: Opening April 6. The Opening Program will take place at Bouras Auditorium in Overlook Medical Center, 99 Beauvoir Avenue, Summit, NJ on Wednesday, April 6, 2022, from noon to 1:00pm (with Art and Poetry Gallery Preview opening at 11:30am). The exhibit will remain on display through May 2, 2022.
WHERE: Overlook Medical Center, 99 Beauvoir Avenue, Summit

The initiative showcases Overlook and Atlantic Health System’s commitment to diversity, inclusion and humanism in medicine by highlighting aspirational artists from among the hospital’s patients, clinicians and community who reflect its empowering and respectful culture.

“We are incredibly honored to collaborate with Morris Arts to bring this exhibit to Overlook,” said Stephanie Schwartz, president of Overlook Medical Center and senior vice president, Atlantic Health System. “For those who travel through our hallways, this collection of literary and visual works will convey Overlook’s strong connection to the diverse communities we serve.”

“Programs like these can be powerful reminders of the importance of representation as we work to build healthier communities,” said Ophelia Byers, chief nursing officer of Overlook Medical Center and associate chief nurse executive, Atlantic Health System.

The poetry and writing pieces on display were developed as part of weekly expressive writing workshops led by Overlook’s poet-in-residence, Thomas Dooley, offered virtually at the Thomas Glasser Caregivers Center and on-site at the Carol G. Simon Cancer Center at Overlook. Patients, their family and loved ones, and Overlook clinicians were invited to express their thoughts and feelings about their health care journeys and experiences.

For the visual pieces of the exhibit, curator Dr. Lynn Siebert, director of galleries at Morris Arts, offered this background on her choice of artists for this special exhibit:

“I deliberately chose works by Rosalind Nzinga Vaughn-Nichol and Martryce Roach, two very distinctive and accomplished Black women artists, to highlight the diversity of expression among Black women. A veritable “rock star” on the Black art scene, Rosalind offers lyrical, poetic and delicate works featuring handmade papers, antique textiles, and even embedded biblical texts. Her highly personal pieces touch viewers at their core and demonstrate a deep spiritual foundation that reflects her many years working as a hospice chaplain.” (Right: Greendress by Vaughn-Nichol)

“Fascinating contrasts come with Martryce’s dynamic, forceful and contemporary pastels which showcase her youthful energy, distinctive perspectives and an underlying aspirational quality which befits her other career as a practicing social worker,” Siebert continued. “These two artists are uniquely matched to the purpose of this exhibit – blending their professional experiences in bringing comfort and healing with their exceptional artistic skills. Morris Arts is thrilled to partner with Overlook in Celebrating Black Women Through Art & Poetry, highlighting the healing power of the arts and giving voice to wise and creative voices of Black women artists.” (Left: The Tea by Roach)

The art and poetry program celebrates the creativity and wisdom of contemporary Black women and will include an actor/host reading a poem to set the tone for the event and calling into the room the need for Black women’s voices.

Opening remarks by Ophelia Byers, DNP, APRN, Chief Nursing Officer of Overlook Medical Center who will share her aspirational vision of this combined program. Thomas Dooley, Overlook’s poet-in-residence, will introduce the program and Morris Arts representatives: Tom Werder, Executive Director, and Dr. Lynn L. Siebert, Director of Galleries and Curator of the exhibit. They will speak of their vision for this exhibit and introduce artists Rosalind Nzinga Vaughn-Nichol and Martryce Roach who will then share their artistic visions and inspirations. Mr. Dooley will elaborate on how Overlook’s team members were encouraged to recommend and/or bring a poem to be read by an actor who will also share her connection to performing poetry. Some team members may also read their poems which will be represented in a poetry exhibit in the adjacent gallery area. Stephanie Schwartz, President of Overlook Medical Center and Senior Vice President of Atlantic Health System, will offer the closing remarks followed by a final poetry reading. 

About Morris Arts
Morris Arts is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1973 dedicated to building community through the arts. Using the arts to inspire, connect and engage, Morris Arts serves as a resource for Morris County with a special focus on arts programming in the community and in the schools, arts advocacy, and support of the Morris Area community of artists and arts organizations.

About Atlantic Health System
Atlantic Health System is at the forefront of medicine, setting standards for quality health care in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and the New York metropolitan area. Powered by a workforce of more than 18,000 team members and 4,800 affiliated physicians dedicated to building healthier communities, Atlantic Health System serves more than half of the state of New Jersey including 12 counties and 5.5 million people. The not-for-profit system offers more than 400 sites of care, including its seven hospitals: Morristown Medical Center in Morristown, NJ, Overlook Medical Center in Summit, NJ, Newton Medical Center in Newton, NJ, Chilton Medical Center in Pompton Plains, NJ, Hackettstown Medical Center in Hackettstown, NJ, Goryeb Children’s Hospital in Morristown, NJ, Atlantic Rehabilitation Institute in Madison, NJ and through its partnership with CentraState Healthcare System in Freehold, NJ.

Atlantic Medical Group, comprised of 1,000 physicians and advanced practice providers, represents one of the largest multi-specialty practices in New Jersey and joins Atlantic Accountable Care Organization and Optimus Healthcare Partners as part of Atlantic Alliance, a Clinically Integrated Network of more than 2,500 health care providers throughout northern and central NJ.

Atlantic Health System provides care for the full continuum of health care needs through 23 urgent care centers, Atlantic Visiting Nurse and Atlantic Anywhere Virtual Visits. Facilitating the connection between these services, on both land and air, is the transportation fleet of Atlantic Mobile Health.

Atlantic Health System leads the Healthcare Transformation Consortium, a partnership of six regional hospitals and health systems dedicated to improving access and affordability and is a founding member of the PIER Consortium – Partners in Innovation, Education, and Research – a streamlined clinical trial system that will expand access to groundbreaking research across five health systems in the region.

Atlantic Health System has a medical school affiliation with Thomas Jefferson University and is home to the regional campus of the Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Morristown and Overlook Medical Centers and is the official health care partner of the New York Jets.

Building Community Through the Arts for 49 years