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Mural Celebrating Drew Professor Unveiled

Rodney Gilbert founded organization to bring arts to Newark residents.

October 2018 – A former Drew University professor inspired the first crosswalk mural in Newark.

Created by local residents, “Ancestral Steps” celebrates Rodney Gilbert, who taught theatre at Drew from the late 1990s until his death last year. Gilbert also founded Yendor Arts, which helps Newark residents access and participate in the arts. In appreciation, Newark re-named a street after him (Rodney Gilbert Way) and commissioned the mural—a joint project of Newark Murals, Yendor and the Lincoln Park Coast Cultural District.

Malcolm Rolling designed the mural—which was dedicated at the annual Newark Arts Festival—and Jasmeen DeJesus, Jay Golding and Elijah Minton helped make it. All four are associated with Yendor, which, by the way, is Rodney spelled backward. Here’s a closer look.