Photographs by Rich Silivanch (Juneteenth, June 19, 2021)
Working behind the scenes for months the exhibit and reception, curated by Maria Estrela and Carol T. Jenkins, with support from Rey Arvelo, Carol Black-Lemon, Deneise Smith and Patricia Mitrano, was part of West Orange’s town wide commemoration and celebration of Juneteenth and the end of slavery in the United States. Working in partnership with the West Orange Human Relations Commission, NAACP Oranges Maplewood Branch, West Orange Public Library, West Orange Youth Caucus, Bloomfield College and the Office of the West Orange Mayor & Township Administration, the West Orange Arts Center gallery at 551 Valley Road was overflowing with art and music lovers.
Over 40 artists, photographers and poets are participating in this art for social change virtual online exhibit and in-person gallery show. Many of the pieces are for sale and proceeds support the artists and West Orange Arts Council to produce more events like this for the community.
Participating Artists: Sarah Bass Aspe, Josephine Barreiro, Yuri Bisono, Carol Black-Lemon, Wendy Born, Syreeta Brooks, Marina Carreira, Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta Patricia Croft, Antoinette Ellis-Williams, Maria Estrela, Mary Fordham, Karen Goldberg, Dino Gravato, Patricia Hutchinson, Queen Mother Imakhu, Carol T. Jenkins, Lizette Louis, Cathleen McCoy Bristol, 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.
The afternoon included live music by Bill Neenan and the Lynette Sheard Trio (Brandon McCune on piano & Marshall McDonald on saxophone), coordinated by Gregory Burrus Productions. Special thanks to Crandall Chestnut of Tylexa Enterprises, LLC, of South Orange, who donated commemorative BLM masks for all participating artists.
The West Orange Arts Center Gallery is open on weekends through end of July and hours are posted at www.woarts.org.