Category: Programming

You are here:
Home Programming

The Art Center and The Film Society of Summit Partner for Film Series

This spring, in collaboration with The Film Society of Summit, the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey will present a series of documentary screenings of films focused on the contemporary art world. “It’s important for the Art Center to partner with other community organizations,” explained Sarah Walko, Director of Education and Community Programs. “Events like these offer different avenues into the conversation on contemporary art. Films, specifically, show the details of artists’ lives, artistic processes, and stories surrounding the work in a format that is informative and entertaining. Further, pairing the film series with the Art Center’s winter/spring exhibitions creates a complementary experience for people who are interested in art.”

As part of the spring 2019 documentary series, the following films will be presented:

Kusama Infinity, directed by Heather Lenz, will be screened on Friday, March 1, at 8 PM at MONDO in Summit (426 Springfield Avenue). The subject of the film, Yayoi Kusama, has been a working artist for more than six decades and has gained worldwide recognition as a result of creating her Infinity Mirror rooms, which have exhibited to record numbers of visitors across the globe. The film features the artist and art experts discussing her life and work, beginning with her modest beginnings in Japan through becoming an internationally renowned artist. Art historian Midori Yamamura, who is featured in the film, will lead a post-screening discussion.

Exhibition on Screen: Young Picasso, directed by Phil Grabsky, will be screened on Friday, April 5, at 8 PM at MONDO. This film looks at two key periods in Picasso’s early career—the so-called Blue Period and Rose Period—taking us all the way to 1907 and the creation of Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, a painting that both shocked and irrevocably changed the art world. Working closely with Spain’s Museu Picasso and Museo Picasso Málaga, as well as France’s Musée national Picasso-Paris, the film explores Picasso’s rise to the top of the art world.

306 Hollywood, directed by Jonathan and Elan Bogarin, will be screened on Saturday, May 4, at 7 PM at the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey (68 Elm Street, Summit). This film follows the sibling filmmakers’ archaeological excavation of their late-grandmother Annette Ontell ‘s Hillside, NJ, home; a process which transformed the dusty fragments of an unassuming life into an epic metaphor for the nature of memory, time, and history. The Bogarins bring the viewer along on a journey to find what life remains in the objects we leave behind. Ultimately a profound reflection on how we examine and deal with the past, the film can also be viewed as a quirky instruction manual on how to live in the present. The screening will be preceded by a wine and cheese reception, as well as a curator-led tour of the Art Center’s current exhibitions. Following the screening, a Q&A session will be held with one of the filmmakers.

Tickets for Kusama Infinity and Exhibition on Screen: Young Picasso are $12 in advance and $14 at the door. Tickets for both films can be purchased in advance as a package for $20. To reserve advance tickets, please email

Tickets for 306 Hollywood and the related activities occurring before and after the screening are $25 in advance, $30 at the door. Advance tickets can be purchased here.

Fall Exhibitions Last Look and Artist Talk

On Sunday,  January 27, the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey will hold a “last look” reception and informal artist talk for the closing of our three fall exhibitions Kevin Blythe Sampson: Black and Blue, Messages from the Interior, and Stair-gazing: Theda Sandiford. Sampson, Sandiford, and Fred Scruton will be in attendance and each will discuss their work, their process, and answer questions from the audience. Join us from 3–5 PM.

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