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

Photo of the art reception of “Juneteenth Joy: Unchained Exhibit

WOAC Celebrating “Juneteenth Joy: Unchained’” with an Artist’s Reception & Film Screening

The West Orange Arts Council had its opening reception for the Juneteenth celebration. It was a great showing of art that lift one’s spirits and help people to experience the exhibit “Juneteenth Joy: Unchained”. This was a captivating art exhibit celebrating freedom, resilience, and creativity. Curated with passion by gallerist Rey Arvelo, this exhibit showcases the remarkable works of twenty-five West Orange Arts Council  artists, including Judyann Affronti, Kim Alexander-Cook, Michelle Alexander, and many more. Each piece tells a unique story, blending diverse artistic expressions into a harmonious tribute to Juneteenth. The exhibit is open to the public from June 8, 2024, through July 6, 2024, at the West Orange Arts Center, with viewing hours on Saturdays from Noon to 4 pm or by appointment.

Photo of the art reception of “Juneteenth Joy: Unchained Exhibit


The art reception was a unique opportunity to meet the artists and explore their works in an intimate setting. As part of the First Annual West Orange Juneteenth Film Festival, the gallery screened the poignant short film “Niko Newark”, depicting a young boy’s perspective on his father’s diner in Newark during the tumultuous summer of 1967. A discussion with producer Nick Dessipris has followed, offering deeper insights into the film’s themes and historical context.

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 woarts.org, Facebook or EMAIL US HERE.

The West Orange Juneteenth Committee has curated three amazing days of film screenings, panel discussions and talkbacks with directors, producers, and actors.  Experience electrifying performances, riveting films, engaging youth programming, informative workshops, insightful academic discussions, and vendors.

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 and the New Jersey Arts and Culture Renewal Fund.

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