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Teachers’ Symposium: Objects of Presence with Artist Lisa Sanders

Objects of Presence with Contemporary Artist Lisa Sanders

All of our teachers’ symposium events offer unique professional development opportunities for art educators to come together and learn new creative skills to bring back to their classroom. The programs include:

  • Presentation by the leading contemporary artist
  • Hands-on artmaking workshop with the artist
  • Gallery exercises exploring ways to view and interpret contemporary art
  • Six professional development hours upon completion of the symposium
  • Lesson plans as a take home 

Registration fees are $75 and include a light breakfast and all materials. Click here to register for our Friday, January 18 symposium with contemporary artist Lisa Sanders.  

Lisa Sanders received her MFA from The New York Studio School, NY in 2011. Her work has been exhibited in Hudson, Dumbo, New Rochelle, Governors Island in NY State,  Newark, Montclair, Rahway and Morristown in NJ, Galesburg IL, New Orleans LA, Phoenix AR, and Spartanburg SC.  She has received the following awards: from The New Jersey State Council on the Arts, 2014 Artists Fellowship, sculpture,  The New York Studio School, Sculptor in Residence, and a Fellowship Residency, The Vermont Studio Center.  She has participated in several other Residencies in the US. 

Lisa curated an exhibition “3 x 3d”of the work of 3 sculptor graduates of the Studio School, an outdoor sculpture show of 38 works by 31 sculptors titled “Art in Nature” with Karen Wilkin at Greenwood Gardens in Short Hills NJ, and an exhibition “Reflections” of the work of 5 female artists at the Montclair Public Library.  She is a member of Studio Montclair.

Lisa has her studio in Newark, NJ. 

PLEASE NOTE: If your school needs to be invoiced in order to pay for this program, please contact us to register. Call 908-273-9121 ext 213 or at, and speak with Sarah Walko.

Getting Graphic: Novels, Memoirs & Comics – December 1

The Visual Arts Center of New Jersey presents “Getting Graphic: Novels, Memoirs & Comics,” for its second year on December 1st, 2018. The event will feature graphic novelists, graphic memoirists and comic book artists showcasing and discussing their work, offering workshops and book signings, and selling merchandise.

“Graphic novels, memoirs, and comics are popular for any age group. It’s a genre ripe for unique storytelling, showcasing different styles of drawings, exploration, and experimentation,” said Sarah Walko, Director of Programs at the Visual Arts Center. “This annual event exposes the audience to as many of these works as we can fit in the building and gives people an opportunity to meet the artists themselves.”

The event will take place at the Art Center on Saturday, December 1 from 12–7 PM and is free for all ages. Tables will be set up throughout the building for the entirety of the event featuring books and merchandise by graphic novelists, memoirists, and comic book artists and food and drinks will be available for purchase from local food trucks. Artist talks will take place in the main gallery throughout the day. Additionally, two comic book workshops will be held during the event, one for children ages 6-9, from 12:30–2 PM for $35 and one for children ages 9-12, 2:30–4 PM for $50.

Artists appearing at Getting Graphic include:

coLAB Arts
Julia Alekseyeva G.R. Lear
Doug Baron Courtney Menard
Brian Buniak Michael Parla
Gabrielle Bell Lauren Purje
Lena Chanhok Paul Swartz
Sean Dillon Colleen Tighe
Darrell Goza Lauren Weinstein
Liana Kangas Glenn Whitmore
Kirsten Kramer Heather Willems


Gabrielle Bell Lauren Weinstein
Julia Alekseyeva Colleen Tighe

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

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.