Visual Arts Center of New Jersey Announces Positive Space Spring Gala

Summit, NJ (March 5, 2024)—The Visual Arts Center of New Jersey (VACNJ) is pleased to announce Positive Space, its 2024 Annual Spring Gala, to be held at Canoe Brook Country Club in Summit, NJ, on April 27. The evening will be presented by premier sponsors Chubb and Risk Strategies, and will feature music by Art-Strings Ensembles, signature cocktails, delicious food, and robust live and silent auctions, featuring contemporary artwork and unique experiences led by celebrity auctioneer CK Swett. Co-chaired by Susan & Michael Cagnassola and Briana King & Christopher Joralemon, Positive Space will honor Estelle Fournier for her years of service to VACNJ and will recognize Evonne Davis and Emma Wilcox as Changemaker Award recipients.

Gala co-chair, Chris Joralemon remarked, “Fifty years before the Visual Arts Center even existed, Degas observed that, ‘Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.’ This sentiment seems even more important in today’s fractured world, and highlights the vital nature of VACNJ’s mission to foster an inclusive and welcoming community through the shared experience of art. The gala is essential to continuing that mission. Plus, it is THE social event of the season — from the spectacular outfits, to the live auction drama, to the after-party hijinks, it should not be missed!”

Honoree Fournier is the founder of Partner in Art, a boutique art advisory firm. She is an experienced art advisor specializing in contemporary art sourcing, acquisition, and curating for private clients. Changemaker Award recipients Davis and Wilcox are co-founders of Gallery Aferro, who have together developed hundreds of exhibitions, residencies, education programs, public art initiatives, and publications.

“We are thrilled to gather again for our annual gala, a cornerstone event that celebrates our vision of empowering people to see, make, and learn about art,” said Melanie Cohn, Executive Director of VACNJ. “This gala is instrumental in sustaining our mission, allowing us to offer essential programs and experiences to the wider community. We eagerly anticipate an evening of art appreciation, connecting with our supporters, and raising the necessary funding to ensure the longevity of our initiatives.”

Visit for more information on Positive Space and to purchase tickets.

Diamond sponsors for the evening include: Lisa Butler; Susan & Mike Cagnassola; Anne & RJ Grissinger; and Rachel & Jonathan Wilf. Gold sponsors include: Clune Cares Foundation; Briana King & Christopher Joralemon; Isabel Ribeiro & Diego Rotsztain; and Pamela Shipley & Clay Turner. Silver sponsors include: Julie & Greg Adams; Cambridge Wines; Marie & Roy Allen Cohen; Siobhan Creem; Jodi & Jeff Hiller; Amy Knight; Vani Krishnamurthy & Alok Sanghvi; Lindabury, McCormick, Estabrook & Cooper, P.C.; Debi & Fred Schwarzmann; Summit House Restaurant & Bar; and Jess Van Nostrand & Mike Smith. Bronze sponsors include: Sally & Thomas Abbott; Heather & Elliot Braun; Terri & Mark Friedman; Tharanga Goonetilleke & Aditya Bindal; Betse & Frank Gump; Amy & Clint Harris; Suzanne & Dean Henry; Rachel & Gary Kapner; Lorraine & Peter Kelly; Jaime Levine & David Gilman; Anamaria LLanos; Peapack Private Wealth Management; and André Renaudo. Community sponsors include: Partner in Art, LLC and Tea & Oranges.