West Orange Arts Council, West Orange, NJ 07052

West Orange Arts Council - 551 Valley Road, West Orange, NJ

West Orange Arts Council - 551 Valley Road, West Orange, NJ

Artists Assemble in Support of Celebrating Black History Month

Celebrating African-American Elegance artists’ reception on Saturday, February 10, at the West Orange Arts Center, at 551 Valley Road in West Orange, was well attended by the exhibiting artists from West Orange, Orange, Newark and Essex County.  West Orange Mayor Susan McCartney (3rd from left), Councilwoman Tammy Williams (left) artists, and West Orange Arts Council Board Members pause for a quick photo during the festivities. Close to 100 guests enjoyed music by Kassaye Selassie and refreshments from South Valley BBQ in addition to experiencing the impactful exhibit and meeting the artists. Gallery hours are the following Saturdays, Feb. 17 & 24, from noon to 4 p.m. and by appointment.



“Our Black History Month exhibit draws great interest every year. In 2024 we were honored to welcome Girl Scout Troop 20060 out of Gregory Elementary School to the gallery on President’s Day for a private tour as they are working on a badge around Black History Month, centering on art as a method of expression,” states Patricia Mitrano, WOAC Chair. In the Council’s efforts to reach diverse audiences, young and old, she adds “Though Councilwoman Tammy Williams, the Essex Hudson chapter of Jack and Jill of America’s 5th and 6th graders were invited to share their Black heroes in the arts project with guests, spanning a wide array of fields including visual arts, music, literature, fashion, dance and entertainment.”

Partnering with the West Orange Human Relations Commission for a closing reception and networking event engaged more community members who literally embraced the arts through their purchase of several of the work on display.

West Orange Arts Council Board Member, Carol T. Jenkins, is quoted saying, “As an African-American and an artist, Black History Month always brings a special meaning to me and to those of African descent who strive to achieve excellence, especially in the arts.”

Artists:  Judyann Affronte, Luis Alves, Kwaku Debrah, Nettie Forne Thomas, Mary Franklin, Karen Goldberg, Laurie Harden, Kathleen Heron, Carol T. Jenkins, Joanne Leone, Cathleen McCoy Bristol, John Piccoli, Timothy Simmons, Linda Strobert, Antoinette Ellis-Williams, and Tasha Williams.

About West Orange Arts Council:

The West Orange Arts Council’s mission is to cultivate, inspire, and support the arts in West Orange. Area artists and community leaders remain the core of this all-volunteer organization that operates the West Orange Arts Center Gallery and Gift Shop at 551 Valley Road, West Orange, NJ.  For more info visit www.facebook.com/woac.org or EMAIL US HERE ON OUR CONTACT US PAGE.

This program is made possible partly by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, and administered by the Essex County Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs.

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