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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.

Freewheeling: Color in the Digital Age

The Visual Arts Center of New Jersey will offer a Teacher’s symposium on Thursday, May 10, and Friday, May 11, from 9 AM–3 PM. Teacher’s symposia offer unique professional development opportunities for art educators to come together and learn new creative skills to bring back to their classroom. This event, Freewheeling: Color in the Digital Age, will be led by contemporary artist Maureen McQuillan and includes a presentation by the artist, hands-on artmaking workshop, and gallery exercises that explore ways to view and interpret contemporary art. Attendees will receive five professional development hours upon completion, as well as lesson plans to take home to use in their classrooms.

“Since the dawn of the computer age, color has increasingly become the result of disembodied digital production,” said Ms. McQuillan. “Rather than sunlight reflecting off of an object, we see color disconnected from the world—synthetic, pre-programmed light emanating from a screen. As a result, the color wheel, based on 19th-century (and earlier) conceptions of color does not have the same relevance for artists. Even studying the different wavelengths and frequencies of color does not take into account how we all perceive color differently. In this workshop, we will discuss how our own relationships to color have changed since the dawn of the digital age, and how artists can create their own system of color investigation—one that recognizes and embraces its own failures and limitations.”

Please note: Teachers who require their schools to be invoiced for this program should contact Sarah Walko at 908.273.9121, ext. 213 or at swalko@artcenternj.org directly to register.

 

Color & Consciousness: A Conversation with Bevil Conway

Neuroscientist Bevil Conway will use the Art Center’s current color-themed exhibitions as a backdrop to facilitate an engaging discussion on the science of visual perception on Saturday, April 21, from 3–5 PM. Mr. Conway specializes on this topic in his scientific study and often explores the limitations of the visual system in his own artwork. Much of Mr. Conway’s research is guided by the underlying thought that visual art can be used to reveal insights about how visual information is processed. His interest in the dovetailing of science and art has spawned interdisciplinary study and the creation of a course entitled Vision and Art: Physics, Physiology, Perception, and Practice, which he has taught at Wellesley College in Massachusetts.

Mr. Conway has focused his research on the neural machinery behind color because he thinks it’s a powerful system and one that has value for designers and artists,” said Sarah Walko, Director of Programs at the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey. “This topic is one that all of the artists in the current exhibition Radiant Energy are exploring. Mr. Conway thinks insights into color processing may ultimately shed light on fundamental questions about human cognition. Because he understands the science behind how the brain processes color, t will be fascinating to hear him speak on that within the context of this exhibition.”

This event is free to the public and open to all ages.