Visual Arts Center of New Jersey to Host Community Opening Day in Support of Fall Exhibitions

Summit, NJ (September 20, 2021)—The Visual Arts Center of New Jersey (VACNJ) will hold a community opening day event to mark the opening of its two fall exhibitions, The First Water is the Body, and Athena LaTocha: After the Falls. The event, which will take place during Indigenous People’s weekend, on Saturday, October 9, from 1–6 PM, will include tours of the exhibitions; samples of Indigenous food provided by Buffalo Jump NYC; and performances throughout the day by the Silver Cloud Singers & Dancers, an intertribal Native American singing and dance troupe that weaves together traditional and contemporary Native song and dance. The event will begin at 1 PM with a blessing and land acknowledgment recognizing that the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey is situated in Lenapehoking, the ancestral land of the Lenape people, and honoring all Indigenous communities, past, present, and future.

In addition to the day’s events, the Art Center will be holding a series of programs throughout the course of the exhibitions’ stay at the Art Center, including curator-led tours; a community workshop series led by art educator in residence, Dennis RedMoon Darkeem; a film screening, artist talks and additional programs. To help with the vision, scope, and content of this programing, VACNJ formed an advisory committee that included Diane Fraher (Osage/Cherokee), filmmaker and founder and director of AMERINDA Inc.; David Bunn Martine (Shinnecock/Montauk/Chiricahua Apache), director and curator, Shinnecock Nation Cultural Center and Museum, Shinnecock Reservation; and Dennis RedMoon Darkeem (Yamasee Creek-Seminole Native American), artist and art educator. More information can be found about these programs and about the opening day by visiting artcenternj,org.

All community programs associated with the exhibition The First Water Is The Body are generously funded by the New Jersey Council for the Humanities.