Visual Arts Center of New Jersey Elects New Board Members

Summit, NJ (November 17, 2023)—The Visual Arts Center of New Jersey (VACNJ) recently elected two new members to its board of Trustees at the Art Center’s most recent annual meeting, held on November 13, 2023. Anamaria LLanos and Philemona Williamson will begin serving immediately and their terms will run through November 2026. “Welcoming newly elected trustees to the Art Center’s board is always exciting,” said Melanie Cohn, VACNJ’s Executive Director. “I am confident that the unique talents of Anamaria and Philemona will significantly contribute to the Art Center, and their joint enthusiasm for the arts and our institution will undoubtedly make them outstanding new assets.”

Anamaria LLanos

Anamaria LLanos has been an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher for the past 27 years in New Jersey. After earning her bachelor’s degree in theater, Anamaria went back to school and received 32 post-baccalaureate credits to become an accredited ESL teacher. In 2010, she received her first master’s degree from the University of Salamanca, Spain, and she finished her second master’s degree in arts, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) in 2022. She is also a college professor, having worked for Union County College, Kean University, and Fairleigh Dickinson University, teaching all levels of ESL. She is the Chairperson of the ESL Department for the Halsey Academy in the Elizabeth School District, as well as a WIDA/ACCESS test administrator to new entrants at the high school welcome center. She also runs an attendance task force and an after-school tutoring mentoring program for freshman students.

Philemona Williamson is a nationally renowned contemporary artist who has, since the 1990s, had many solo shows and has been represented in significant group exhibitions alongside such contemporaries as Whitfield Lovell, Kerry James Marshall, and Kara Walker. Her work is in the collections of the Sheldon Museum of Art in Lincoln, Nebraska; the Mint Museum in Charlotte, North Carolina; Hampton University Museum in Hampton, Virginia; Mott-Warsh Art Collection, Flint, Michigan; Reader’s Digest Art Collection; and AT&T, among others. Her Seasons (2007), a set of stained-glass windows, is on permanent public display at the Livonia Avenue (BMT Canarsie Line) subway station in New York City. Philemona has worked at Parsons School of Design, The Getty Institute for Education in the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Bard College, Rhode Island School of Design, and Metropolitan Museum of Art. She was awarded a Joan Mitchell Foundation grant in 2020. Other awards include a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Painting (1987-1988), Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant (1990), New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship (2009), and New Jersey State Council on the Arts Fellowship (2022).