Bringing art and people together
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History & Mission

History & Background

The Visual Arts Center of New Jersey is the state’s largest institution dedicated exclusively to viewing, making and learning about contemporary art. Comprising a renowned studio art school and a thriving exhibition and programming schedule that engages the community in visual learning, interpretive programs, and hands-on art-making experiences, the Art Center welcomes over 60,000 visitors annually.

Founded in 1933 as a community-based institution offering open access to quality arts instruction, the Art Center is now recognized for its exemplary programs. In 2010 the Art Center received a $45,000 award from the National Endowment for the Arts for the exhibition Cut, Weld, Build: Process in Works by Chakaia Booker, the very first NEA award in its 77-year history. The Art Center also received accolades from the New Jersey State Council of the Arts for the fourth year in a row: Designation as a Major Impact Organization and a Citation of Excellence. Furthermore, the Art Center added its first professional curator to its staff. In 2009 the Art Center was honored with a Discover Jersey Arts People Choice Award for best place to take an adult art class. The Art Center is accredited by the American Association of Museums.

Visual Arts Center of New Jersey Timeline

Mission & Promise
Bringing Art and People Together

At the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, we believe in the power of art to inspire, amaze, and enrich. That’s why we’re so passionate about bringing art and people together: visual arts in all of its many forms and people of all ages, races, and genders; from those who already love art to those who might not know what they’re missing.

Everything we do is designed to fulfill this mission. Our studio school, professional development, exhibitions, and outreach programs offer something for everyone. We’ve redesigned our building to feel more welcoming on the outside and more integrated and open on the inside. Most important, our staff, faculty, and volunteers bring imagination and passion to their jobs and to the communities they serve.

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Visual Arts Center of New Jersey
68 Elm Street, Summit, NJ 07901
908.273.9121 fax:908.273.1457

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