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Artist Talk: Kevin Blythe Sampson in Conversation with Renée Stout

Artists Kevin Blythe Sampson and Renée Stout will have a conversation about their artwork, the themes represented therein, and their processes, on Thursday, October 25, from 6–8 PM, at Rutgers University’s Box Gallery in Newark.

Sampson is recognized for tackling difficult issues through socially-engaged artwork. His sculptures draw spiritual energy from the community at large and reflect an intimate understanding of the contemporary African-American experience. Renée Stout is an American sculptor and contemporary artist known for assemblage artworks dealing with her personal history and African-American heritage. Born in Kansas, raised in Pittsburgh, and now living in Washington, D.C., she is strongly connected through her art to New Orleans and has strong ties to these regions of the US. Her art reflects these connections with a thematic interest in African diasporic culture throughout the country.

Sampson’s work is currently on display at the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, under the exhibition title Kevin Blythe Sampson: Black and Blue, which will be on view through January 27, 2019. The work presented incorporates mixed-media sculptures, drawings, a site-specific mural, and a recent series of porcelain sculptures responding to the Black Lives and Blue Lives Matter movements. Stout has also previously exhibited work at the Art Center as part of the group exhibition, “Oh, what a world! What a world!” Sampson’s work is also on display in the exhibition Olde Soul at the Box Gallery through February 23, 2019. This show presents a selection of rarely-seen drawings alongside early mixed-media sculptures and ephemera from Sampson’s studio.

Kevin Blythe Sampson in Conversation with Renée Stout is presented in partnership with Paul Robeson Galleries, Rutgers University. The talk will take place on Thursday, October 25, from 6–8 PM, at the Main Gallery, at Paul Robeson Galleries, in Express Newark.

Parking is available on-site at the Whole Foods parking garage within the Hahne’s building offers 2-hour parking/ $9 (address: 609 Broad Street; entrance: @ 25 New Street).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fall 2018 Raku-Fest

RAKU-FEST IS BACK!
Saturday and Sunday, September 8 & 9, 9 AM–5 PM

Let our instructors—raku expert Peter Syak and Lisette Bedoya—guide you through the whole raku glazing and firing process. Beginners welcome! There are two options for those interested.

Option One: Paint a Piece

Total beginner? Don’t have any pieces made? No problem! Buy pre-made pieces to paint and fire right before your very eyes. It takes 2 hours from glazing to amazing (you may leave and return later to pick up your work)

  • Medium Pot: $40
  • Small Pot: $25
  • Small Plate: $20
  • Jewelry Piece: $10

Option Two: Students’ Special 

Have your own work you want to raku fire? Student pieces may be fired at $20 each. Note: pieces must be made with raku clay purchased from the Art Center.

Call us today at 908.273.9121 for more information

Art Center Returns to the Summit Farmers Market on August 19

The Visual Arts Center of New Jersey partnered with local artists at the Summit Farmers Market on July 22, 2018, to create and discuss art with the community.

The Visual Arts Center of New Jersey and local artists will return to the Farmers Market in Summit after a successful outing that captivated attendees in July. During that outing, visitors to the Art Center’s tent were asked to participate in a shared vision board and were given instruction on how to create mandala drawings. On Sunday, August 19, from 8 AM–1 PM, artists Nan Ring and Asha Ganpat will further engage the community in discussions about artistic process while creating and displaying original artwork. Ganpat will work on large cardboard sculptures of a life-sized outhouse and an old tube-television. Ring will invite visitors to write stories of compassion onto squares of silkscreened vintage flour sacks, which will then be added to her compassion quilt. “Compassion is what I think the world needs more of now,” said Ring, explaining her work. “The quilt is made from flour sacks because they literally once held sustenance, and as they become a quilt of our compassion stories, they will again hold sustenance, but this time metaphorically.”

Both Art Center presentations at the Summit Farmers Market have been organized by Sarah Walko, Director of Education & Community Engagement. “The farmers market is a great place to meet and interact with our neighbors,” said Walko. “In July, artists engaged the public with communal expression and we hope to be able to do that again with our upcoming visit. Art brings people together and bridges the community.”

Artist Bios:
Nan Ring has been the recipient of numerous grants and awards for her artwork, including a Vermont Studio Center Fellowship, a Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation’s Creative Fellowship, and a New York Foundation for the Arts Artists’ Fellowship Award in Drawing. Her paintings and drawings have been exhibited at the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, where she was awarded an honorable mention in painting at the Art Center’s 25th Silver Anniversary Juried Exhibition. Additionally, her work has been displayed at Drawing Rooms in Jersey City; 73 See Gallery in Montclair; The Drawing Center and Gallery Henoch in New York City; and Hudson River Museum in Yonkers.

Asha Ganpat is a New York City-area artist, originally from Trinidad and Tobago in the West Indies. Ganpat has shown at institutions such as the Brooklyn Museum of Art; Queens Museum; Exit Art and the Nathan Cummings Foundation in Manhattan; Noyes Museum of Art of Stockton University, in Galloway Township, NJ; and Jersey City Museum. Her work was cited as one of the “10 Best Interactive Summer Art Installations” in New York City by Complex Magazine in 2012. She has participated in the Emerge program at Aljira, a Center for Contemporary Art, which focused on strategic career management for
emerging artists; ChaNorth, ChaShaMa’s upstate artist residency located in the Hudson Valley; and the Alice Yard residency program in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. She is a professor of sculpture at Montclair State University and co-founder of Red Saw Gallery in Newark.

The Summit Farmers Market takes place every Sunday through November 18, from 8 AM–1 PM. The market is held at Park & Shop Lot #2, at the corner of DeForest Avenue and Maple Street in Summit.

Art Center at the Summit Farmers Market July 22

The Art Center’s table at the Summit Farmers Market during the summer of 2017.

Visual Arts Center of New Jersey Brings Art to the Summit Farmers Market

Artists Heejung Kim and Yvette Molina will join the Art Center at the Summit Farmers Market on Sunday, July 22, from 8 AM–1 PM. While at the market, both artists will create art that involves audience participation while discussing their process and giving insight into their work.

During the demonstration, Kim will show visitors how to create mandala drawings, providing instruction on creating the basic structure before letting them loose to personalize their work however they see fit. Molina will expose visitors to her process for creating artwork: by concentrating on her desires for herself and the world. Her community art project asks participants to consider what they want most in their world, focus that intention into a word, write it down, and share it to a combined vision board. The hope is that this project will allow participants to pursue their desire with more clarity and see themselves in a new light, not just as individuals with hopes and dreams, but as a community of dreamers.

“The artists embedded at the Summit Farmers Market will interact with the community, using input and stories from the public to inform their work,” said Sarah Walko, Director of Education & Community Engagement. Walko and other contemporary artists believe that bringing people in the community together by having a participatory role in the creative process is vital in the context of our times.

The themes of Heejung Kim’s artwork stem from Buddhism, dream images, and the artist’s personal experiences. Her work has appeared in numerous national exhibitions, and reviews of her artwork have appeared in ARTnews, The New York Times, and The Star-Ledger. Kim obtained an M.A. in Art Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her M.F.A. from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. She currently teaches at the Raritan Valley Community College in Branchburg, NJ.

Yvette Molina’s art examines the human drive towards discovery, meaning-making, and connection through the dual lens of science and mysticism. Drawing from influences spanning evolutionary biology, sacred symbols, and current events, her work questions how we define, sort, and value life. More recently, themes of displacement, belonging, and justice have informed her work. Molina’s practice includes painting, collage, photography, sculpture, costume-making, and performance. She is currently creating a new pantheon of gods and superheroes to address the challenges of our modern times. Molina has exhibited across the US and internationally in galleries from Los Angeles and New York to Reykjavik, and at venues such as the American Embassy in Montevideo, Uruguay; the Contemporary Museum, Honolulu, Hawai’i; and the Legion of Honor and de Young Museums of California as an AIR awardee.

The Summit Farmers Market takes place every Sunday through November 18, from 8 AM–1 PM. The market is held at Park & Shop Lot #2, at the corner of DeForest Avenue and Maple Street in Summit.

Morgan O’Hara: Handwriting the Constitution

On Inauguration Day in January 2017, Morgan O’Hara sat in the Rose Main Reading Room at the New York Public Library and began to copy the United States Constitution by hand. Soon, others joined her, and by the end of her session, six or seven people had participated. She has held sessions every month since, with new people contributing each time. “Hand copying a document can produce an intimate connection to the text and its meaning,” said O’Hara. “The hand writer may discover things about this document that they never knew, a passage that challenges or moves them. They may even leave with a deeper connection to the founders and the country, or even a sense of encouragement. It is important for us to become more intensely aware of our rights as citizens so that, should history begin to impinge upon these rights, we will recognize what is happening in time to act.”

O’Hara views this project as a social art practice and hopes it will become a movement of sorts, with sessions throughout the country. The Summit Free Public Library, in partnership with the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, will host one such session. The event will take place on June 28, 2018, from 4–7 PM. All are invited to participate.

For more information on the Summit Free Public Library at summitlibrary.org. To set up a handwriting session, visit handwritingtheconstitution.com or email handwritingtheconstitution@gmail.com. The Summit Free Public Library is located at 75 Maple Street, Summit, NJ, 07901.