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Fall 2019 Raku-Fest


Visual Arts Center of New Jersey presents Raku-Fest
Saturday, November 2, 9 AM–5 PM
Sunday, November 3, 9 AM–4 PM

Join us for raku-fest! This public event showcases the art of raku, a ceramic firing process in which red-hot ceramic pieces come out of a special kiln and go directly into a container of combustible materials. The heat of the ceramic causes the material to ignite and the resulting smoke creates one-of-a-kind results in the ceramic glaze. It’s amazing to watch! For the more adventurous, there will be opportunities to participate. Beginners will be able to purchase pre-made pieces to glaze and have fired the day of the event, and Art Center students will be able to fire their own work made with raku clay. Raku-fest is open to the public and will be led by Art Center instructors Peter Syak and Lisette Bedoya.

Option One: Watching
Want to see for yourself? Everyone is welcome to watch the action as multiple raku firings take place throughout the day. Watching, and learning is FREE!

Option Two: Glazing
Excited to try it, but a total beginner? No problem! Purchase a pre-made piece, apply glaze just like you would paint, and our artists will fire your work. It takes about 2 hours from glazing a piece to having a completed product ready to bring home. No reservations required.

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

Option Three: Student Special
Have your own ceramic work already made that you want to raku fire? Instructors will fire them during the event for $20 each. No reservations required. Note: to ensure proper firing, pieces must be made with raku clay purchased from the Art Center.

Gem Sale – Tuesday, October 22, 7 PM

Dikra Gem is coming to the Art Center on Tuesday, October 22, 7 PM

Looking for the perfect stone to complete your piece? Students and faculty alike are welcome to come and see Dikra’s wide selection of faceted and cabochon stones, beads and pearls.

Artist Talk & Last Look at Spring Exhibitions


Susan Leopold, Attic, 2016, Mixed media lightbox, 17 x 15 x 10 inches. Courtesy of the artist and Elizabeth Harris Gallery, NY

Art Center to Hold Artist Talk and Last Look at Spring Exhibitions

On Sunday, June 9, from 3-5 PM, the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey will host a last-look reception and informal artist talk to mark the closing of the winter/spring exhibition, Interior Monologues. Featured artists Erin Diebboll and Anne Muntges will be in attendance to discuss their work, their processes, and answer questions from the audience.

Interior Monologues is a multi-media show incorporating painting, sculpture, drawing, collage, video, and site-specific installation. “All of the artists in this exhibition are exploring the real, imagined, or implied narratives connected to interior spaces, and how they suggest hidden histories or embedded memories and emotions,” said Sarah Walko, the Art Center’s director of education & community engagement. “These themes are both intimate and expansive, allowing the work on display to resonate with nearly everyone who has visited the exhibition. I’m so pleased the exhibiting artists will assemble to discuss this work one last time before the show closes.”

The artist talk is free and open to the public. All winter/spring exhibitions will be on display through June 16. Following their completion, the Art Center’s Main Gallery and Mitzi and Warren Eisenberg Gallery will close for renovations and will reopen in fall 2019.


Movie Night at the Art Center: 306 Hollywood

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.” The final film in the series will be presented at the Art Center on Saturday, May 4.

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. 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 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.

Artist Talk: Simon Dinnerstein & John Yau in Conversation

On Sunday, May 19, from 3–5 PM, Simon Dinnerstein will visit the Art Center for a conversation with art critic and poet John Yau.

Simon Dinnerstein is an American figurative artist, best known for his masterwork, The Fulbright Triptych. In addition to 33 one-man exhibitions, Dinnerstein has been the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship to German and a Rome Prize for study in Italy at the American Academy in Rome.

John Yau is a poet and art critic, whose books of criticism include In the Realm of Appearances: The Art of Andy Warhol (Ecco, 1993), A Thing Among Things: The Art of Jasper Johns (D.A.P., 1997), and The Passionate Spectator: Essays on Art and Poetry (University of Michigan Press, 2006). He was a distinguished visiting critic at the Pratt Institute Graduate School of Art, Maryland Institute College of Art, and School of Visual Arts in the late 1980s. He is a professor of critical studies in the visual arts department at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. He resides in New York City.

This artist talk is free and open to the public. Tickets can be reserved here. Dinnerstein’s current exhibition, Revisiting the Fulbright Triptych, will be on display at the Art Center through June 16.