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

Black Lives Matter: For Justice, For Equality, For Liberty!

A Hybrid Art Experience – Online and at the West Orange Arts Center

Featured in NJ.com 

The West Orange Arts Council is honored to present to the community the art for social change virtual online exhibit and an in-person gallery show “Black Lives Matter: For Justice, For Equality, For Liberty!” curated by Maria Estrela and Carol T. Jenkins, both women of color from Essex County.

Edison High School Dance Ensemble
responding to the artwork and poetry of the Black Lives Matter Exhibit,
choreographed by WOAC member Vicki Jenkins with Original Score by Jay T.

The Black Lives Matter virtual online exhibit will debut on June 5, 2021 on the West Orange Arts Council website (www.woarts.org) and will be open for in-person timed-entry visits at the West Orange Arts Center, 551 Valley Road in West Orange, New Jersey through July 31, 2021. A reception will be held on Saturday, June 19, 2021 from 4pm – 7pm.

Participating Artists: Josephine Barreiro, Sarah Bass Aspe, Yuri Bisono, Carol Black-Lemon, Wendy Born, Syreeta Brooks, Marina Carreira, Patricia Croft, Antoinette Ellis-Williams, Maria Estrela ,Mary Fordham, Dino Gravato, Karen Goldberg, Patricia Hutchinson, Carol T. Jenkins, Lizette Louis, Cathleen McCoy Bristol, Queen Mother Imakhu, Barbara Motley, Frank Niccoletti, Amelia Panico, Davynte “Red” Pannell, Sundra Parker, John Piccoli, Dayana Poulard, Ron Powell, Martryce Roach, Gale Sasson, Ameerah Shabazz, Ella Silivanch, Timothy Simmons, Elaine Tassy, Sheila R. Thompson, Denise Toney and Kelly D. Villalba.

This show has special meaning for curator Estrela, who was drawn to the West Orange Arts Council’s welcoming environment “I purposely utilize my skills to help BIPOC artists, who are underrepresented in the arts scene. I feel it’s important to raise awareness of the issues faced in their own communities including racism, discrimination, inequality and injustice.” Jenkins speaks of opportunity “This is my first curated show and I am proud to join Maria in this endeavor that is recognized by artists of all colors that ‘Black Lives Matter.'”

The WOAC’s new Literary Arts Group, led by Joyce Harley and Liana Torrice, will be working with our partners, the West Orange African Heritage Organization and the West Orange Public Library, to offer associated presentations and readings from the exhibit artists and from additional writers from Montclair, Newark and surrounding communities. In collaboration with Pleasant Valley Productions and the Oskar Schindler Performing Arts Center (OSPAC) in West Orange, the WOAC is co-sponsoring a mural project in conjunction with “This is Our Story” performances in June.

The community is invited to support these projects. Currently we welcomed a donation from  Tylexa Enterprises, LLC, of South Orange will be providing commemorative masks to participating artists and supporters. Live music at the exhibit reception on June 19, 2021, Juneteenth, the very first time celebrated as a NJ State Holiday, will be coordinated by Gregory Burrus, local live music ambassador, event developer and community partner.

The Black Lives Matter exhibit will be open for in-person visits, and timed-entry appointments mandatory. Hours posted on www.facebook.com/woac.org .  Attendees are required to social distance and wear face coverings at all times. An online gallery is on view at www.woarts.org.   

This program is made possible in part 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 and the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund.

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