Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Call & Re-Call, An Exhibit of Artist Made Books

Yema Gallery is please to present our 2nd book arts exhibition entitled Call and Re-Call. This exhibition features the unique perspectives of visual artists that are enticed by the possibilities of creating within the framework of a book and working with the theme of call and response. Exhibiting artists include Shirley Parker Benjamin, Eleta Caldwell, Lebra Turman-Chase, Lauren Dubeau, Mansa Mussa, JC Lenochan, Ibou Ndoye, Shonda Nicholas, Nell Painter, Lynn Presley, Toni Thomas, Gwen Verner-Jarju and Sheltry Ward. The opening reception will be held Saturday, May 4 from 7– 10 PM and will include performances by poet Esther Morales and artist and poet Shonda Nicholas.

Curator’s Statement

This exhibition brings together the work of 14 artists who have responded to the challenge of making a book that individually expresses the theme of call and recall. A creative expression is sometimes not complete in its first attempt. There is a continual process of contemplation and action that guides the artist towards the point of completion. The process adds complexity and depth to the work and it is not unlike the process from which the show’s title was derived. The tradition of call and response is rooted in African cultural traditions, but can also be found in many cultures outside of the African continent. Often when something is stated there awaits a response that can add richness to what has been said. This is evident in musical forms such as jazz, gospel, blues, and hip-hop. It is a collaborative process. To some extent this show, which is made up of artists from different backgrounds demonstrates the universality of creative expression. Although the artists in this show work individually the exchange is in the collective display of their images within the context of the theme in a book form. Their individual cumulative creative actions and re-actions displayed will undoubtedly evoke an apposite action/re-action from the viewer.

Terry Boddie

Terry Boddie is a multi-media visual artist and photographer. His work is included in many public and private collections. He is the recipient of several awards and grants including a residency with the Center for Book Arts, NYC, and grants from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and The George and Helen Segal Foundation. Yema Gallery is located at 540B Freeman St., (between Scotland Rd and Jefferson St.) in Orange, NJ 07050. Gallery Hours are Thursday - Friday 4-6PM, Saturday from 1-5PM & by appt. For information call: 973-699-3269.

This exhibition is free and open to the public.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Up Next at the Firehouse Gallery


Choco (Eduardo Roco Salazar)

Retazos del Sol
Traces of the Sun 
May 9 -June 23, 2013
Artist Reception Thursday, May 9, 6-9pm
Artist Talk, Saturday, May 11, 3pm
ValleyArts Firehouse Gallery
580 Forest Street Orange NJ 07050

Orange NJ --World-renowned Afro-Cuban artist, Eduardo Roca (Choco), is coming to the Valley Arts District in New Jersey for the opening of his upcoming art exhibition, Retazos del Sol (Traces of the Sun).  Choco, who lives and works in Havana, is one of Cuba's most important artists and is internationally recognized for his collagraphs, ceramics, and oils. Co-produced by Latin Art Space and ValleyArts Firehouse Gallery, the exhibition will showcase a fabulous mixed-media installation, Yemayá, Goddess of the Sea, first shown at the 2012 Havana Biennial, as well as other three-dimensional works and his coveted collagraphs.  The opening reception on May 9 will be hosted by the Firehouse Gallery in the Valley Arts District.
Curated by Astrid Martinez-Jones of Latin Art Space, Retazos del Sol is a series of works representative of contemporary Cuban life and culture. Many of Choco's works reflect the magical world of Afro-Cuban religions, as well as the ethnic mix of people, and the racial and economic challenges of daily Cuban life. Choco's art is boldly colorful and his technique gives the images a 3-dimensional and stunning textured feel, as if they were in motion. This movement is sustained in Choco's interpretation of the figures themselves, as they twist, reach, sway, swim, and gaze. The sharp contrast of colors - at times from the earth, at others from the sea - responds to his particular symbolism and to a very personal lyricism, which establishes an emotional connection with the viewer. He displays a passion for diversity and admiration for societies with a rich mixture of ethnic, racial and cultural backgrounds, such as those found in Cuba, the United States, and Brazil. 

As is evident in Choco's work, and particularly in his collagraphs, his various artistic techniques provide an opportunity for a tremendous scope of innovation and experiment.  Collagraphy is a printmaking technique which Choco incorporates in many of his artworks.  In a collagraph, the original image is composed from a variety of materials placed on a plate, then inked and pressed. These materials, often discarded remnants, are recycled by Choco and turned into pulsating images that beckon to be touched.
Choco was born in Santiago de Cuba in 1949 and is a graduate of the Escuela Nacional de Arte (National Art School) in Havana. There have been two crucial moments in Choco´s career. The first, when he was recognized as one of the leading figures of the rural movement in painting which was significant in shaping the '70s generation of Cuban artists. The second was his exploration of collagraphy in the '80s and early '90s, an achievement that has awarded him the distinction, master of collagraphy. 

Choco was one of the first Cuban artists invited to the United States to exhibit his work in 1980, after the 1959 Cuban revolution.  He has had numerous solo and group shows in Cuba, Angola, Sweden, the United States, Mexico, Spain, Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Tokyo, receiving many accolades and awards. A most important honor for him was winning the Great Prize in the Triennial of Kochi, Japan. Choco's works can be found in many private and public collections, including:  Museo de Bellas Artes, Havana; African Museum of Art, Chicago; Miró Foundation, Spain; Ludwig Foundation, Germany; Kochi Museum, Japan; El Museo de la Estampa, Mexico; and Casa Lamm, Mexico, amongst others.

In his Taller del Sol (Workshop of the Sun) in Old Havana, art collectors, museum curators, and gallery owners come from all over the world to experience the magic of his artwork.  Choco's visit to the New York Metropolitan Area will afford viewers a rare opportunity to experience his work first hand, and to engage in informative conversations with the artist.  

About the ValleyArts Firehouse Gallery

ValleyArts Firehouse Gallery is curated and managed by Valley Arts Inc., Richard T. Bryant executive director, Gayle Mahoney, arts advisor. The Firehouse Gallery was opened last December and now offers a regular series of exhibitions that are free and open to the public.  The Gallery is housed in an historic Orange Firehouse that was recently renovated by HANDS, Inc. The Firehouse contains six artist live/work spaces. Adjacent to the Firehouse Gallery is a large private common space that the Gallery and Firehouse residents program.

The ValleyArts Firehouse Gallery is located at 580 Forest Street, Orange NJ 07050. For more information please visit http://www.valleyartsnj.com  

More about ValleyArts Inc. and the Valley Arts District

Located on the border of Orange and West Orange around the Highland Avenue Train Station, the Valley Arts District is a fifteen-square block area dedicated to the arts and creativity. As an arts service and activist organization, the highest priorities of ValleyArts Inc. are to inspire the neighborhood to recognize the arts as essential to community health and vitality; help build up and serve individual artists, arts organizations, and creative entrepreneurs; and encourage everyone to participate in arts, culture, and creativity as part of everyday life. To propel this mission, ValleyArts Inc. seeks to attract, serve, and support artists and creative organizations to work and live in the Valley Arts District.  

"A strong creative spirit continues to build here," said Richard T. Bryant, executive director of ValleyArts Inc. "This is a real grassroots effort that involves artists, neighbors, teens, government, community leaders, educators, funders, and many more that see creativity and innovation as an engine of vibrancy and sustainable growth." 

ValleyArts Inc. is closely allied with HANDS, Inc., a nonprofit organization that combines strategic real estate investment and community organizing to revitalize communities. Development of the Valley Arts District has been a cornerstone project of HANDS, Inc. for more than a decade. 

ValleyArts Inc. is a nonprofit organization funded in part by JPMorgan Chase Foundation, Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Kresge Foundation, PSE&G, Essex County Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs, Wells Fargo Regional Foundation, Orange Orphan Society, Andy Warhol Foundation, Community Foundation of New Jersey, and others. The membership roster includes visual and performing artists, creative entrepreneurs, area businesses, audiences, art buyers, and community members.

For more information about the exhibition, press photos, or to arrange an interview with the artist please contact Astrid Martinez-Jones at: latinartspace@gmail.com or 973-715-0427.

For more information about the ValleyArts Firehouse Gallery and the Valley Arts District, please contact Richard T. Bryant at: richard@fohservices or 973-886-5118

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

This April in the Valley

MappingTime Mural
ValleyArts Firehouse Gallery
580 Forest Street, Orange NJ 

Mapping Time: A Collaborative Installation by 
Lisa Pressman and Krista Svalbonas 
Now through April 28

Main Wall
"Perfect for the space... shapes and colors of the paintings flow directly into the structure of the gallery itself. "
                 -- Dan Bischoff, Star Ledger  
This site-specific installation transforms the walls of the Firehouse Gallery into a visual dialogue of architecture, language, and temporality. Featured are two-dimensional mixed media work and integrated wall drawings.
Firehouse Gallery Hours: 

Saturdays 10am-4pm, Sundays 12:30-4pm; or by appointment. 
ValleyArts Drop-in Hours: Thursdays 2:30-4:30pm. Stop in at the Firehouse Gallery for a cup of coffee, cookies, and conversation with your colleagues and leaders of the Valley Arts District.
Firehouse photo above by Eric Richards.
Art book swap

ValleyArts Artists' Salon | Art book swap!
Monday, April 8 | 6-8pm | Free | Everyone welcome!
Hat City Kitchen, 459 Valley Street, Orange   
Dust off those old art books you never use and come trade with other artists! This is a great way to de-clutter, but also to find some inspiration, learn a new technique, or brush up on art history. Unclaimed books will be donated to neighborhood arts organizations.
ValleyArts Artists Salon meets the 2nd Tuesday of every month at HCK.
Free admission plus drink specials and half-price appetizers.

Moon for the Misbegotten 
Luna Stage 
Moon for the Misbegotten

Betrayal. Deception. Lies. A love story.
By Eugene O'Neill
Directed by Nancy Robillard
April 6 - May 5
555 Valley Road, West Orange
Josie Hogan is a strong woman, the rock that holds together her family farm. When the fate of the farm is at risk, Josie and her father scheme to trap their landlord into assuring their future on the property. This is a classic story by one of our greatest American playwrights.   


Based on the diaries and letters of Etty Hillesum
Adapted for the stage and performed by Susan Stein
Directed by Austin Pendleton
Two performances only! | Sunday, April 7 at 3pm & 7pm
Tickets: $25 
Each performance will be followed by a talkback with the creator of the work and a special guest.
Etty is one woman's struggle to sustain humanity in the face of genocide. Etty Hillesum writes the life she is living - her loves, her work, her wry sense of humor, her deep sensuality and the moment in history. She offers a new form of resistance, as she faces the truth of her circumstances and refuses to lose what she loves in life. 

Moonlight Jazz Series 
Sunday, April 21 | 7:30pm
The Don Braden Quartet in R&B Goes Jazz
Featuring Jazz arrangements of songs by Stevie Wonder; Earth, Wind and Fire; Roberta Flack and others, plus original compositions 
Don Braden, saxophone, flute, alto flute 
Cecil Brooks III on drums 
Brandon McCune, piano 
Joris Teepe, bass 

Music at Hat City Kitchen
Hat City Kitchen Presents  
459 Valley Street, Orange
Live music is a standard at this Valley Arts District landmark featuring American cuisine with a New Orleans influence. Enjoy an eclectic mix of artists playing original music across genres - rock, blues, funk, R&B, soul, &jazz.

For band and event listings, visit  www.hatcitykitchen.com
Catfish Friday Womens Art Collective
Catfish Friday Women's Art Collective Meeting and Potluck Dinner
Saturday, April 13 I 6:30pm | Please bring food to share
540B Freeman St., Orange
Join this supportive, creative gathering for women artists for inspiration, collaboration and lively conversations about art and life.
Info: toni@artsetcnow.org
Creative Orange Participants

Thanks to all who participated in 
Creative Orange: Call to Collaboration 

This two-day, Open Space collaboration addressed the question, "Making Orange Pop: How can we engage all sectors of the community, embrace change and culture, nurture creativity, and drive innovation?"

It's not too late to be part of Creative Orange! Groups are forming now to advance what we envisioned!
A central source for information about these projects, events, programs and initiatives is being developed right now. Learn more at: facebook.com/creativenjorange  Please be sure to hit "LIKE" so updates will be included in your Facebook feed.

For an executive summary of activities and transcripts of various sessions, visit: valleyartsnj.com/creative-orange/

Richard Bryant
Executive Director, ValleyArts
Co-Chair, Creative Orange 

Visit our website!     www.valleyartsnj.com

Reach us by email at:    info@valleyartsnj.com

Arts Unbound Gallery
Arts Unbound
Spring Showcase
Saturday, April 13 12-4pm
For more information call973-675-2787

Shared Artist Studio Co-ops Open Planning Meeting

Thurs., May 17, 5pm
ValleyArts Firehouse Gallery 
The arrival of the Kresge Foundation's recent grant to HANDS and ValleyArts is propelling this initiative forward. Join us for this open meeting to help imagine and plan four shared artist studio co-ops dedicated to the disciplines of painting, printmaking, jewelry/metalcrafting, and digital media. These are expected to open this year, with newly constructed and equipped spaces for 40 artists. For more information visit:valleyartsnj.com/for-artists/livework-options/

Reservations not required, but if you can, please let us know by email if you plan to attend: 

ORNG Ink | Ironworks Community Artspace
406 Tompkins St. Orange
Imagery X|Press
Now on view!
A photography exhibition by Briana Heart, Naeema Campbell and Marco Dorce
Save the Date!
Thursday, May 9, 6pm
Exhibition opening and reception at the ValleyArts Firehouse Gallery

Legendary Cuban artist: 
Choco Red
Retazos del Sol
Traces of the Sun
May 9 through June 23

Call for Artists 
Original artwork in all media will be considered for solo and group shows in 2013 including the Orbiting Gallery Series and quarterly installations at Hat City Kitchen, Luna Stage and other spaces, TBA. Rolling deadline. No cost to apply. Click here to download an entry form

Green Chevy Heidi Sussman
Another Green Chevy 
Heidi Sussman
Now on view:
Art at Hat City Kitchen
Featuring original artwork in a variety of media by ValleyArts and other local artists. 

Join ValleyArts!
Whether you are an artist, audience member, collector, community builder, or someone who wants a more creative lifestyle, ValleyArts' newly enhanced 
membership programhas a variety of benefits!  
Mural by Dan Fenelon 
The Valley Arts District is filled with creative spaces for artists, teens, and adults. The 15-square block neighborhood hosts a growing number of exciting events in the performing and visual arts for people of all ages. And the VAD offers plenty of good restaurants, from some of the region's most famous Italian landmarks to the vibrant southern-themed Hat City Kitchen. 

ValleyArts Connect 
A blog-o-zine featuring interviews, stories & news on all things ValleyArts
ValleyArts is a nonprofit arts service and activist organization funded in part by JPMorgan Chase, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, New Jersey State Council on the Arts, Wells Fargo Regional Foundation, The Kresge Foundation and others.