(SUMMIT, NJ) -- For the next two weeks, the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey (VACNJ) will temporarily transform its gallery space into a laboratory for social practice. The short-term residency program, taking place during the weeks of August 6 and August 13, will feature four artists involved in the contemporary art movement known as socially engaged art. Work created with this philosophy in mind focuses on collaboration between the artist and individuals, communities, and institutions and can take many forms.
For example, New Jersey artist Ruth Borgenicht has created work in the past that plays with the concept of communal dining by offering unconventional eating vessels that encourage cooperation between diners. Borgenicht will be involved in the Art Center’s program, as will Diana Heise (from Missouri and Vermont), Dana Hemes (from New York), and Jeffrey Meris (from the Bahamas).
“We’re very excited about this entirely new endeavor for the Art Center,” says Mary Birmingham, curator at the Visual Arts Center. “The artists will use their time here to collectively discover and harness the wealth of available resources at the VACNJ and its surrounding community. We are calling this exercise a ‘laboratory’ because it is experimental, with no predetermined outcomes. The artists will develop various projects and will interact with the kids and teens attending our Summer Wonder Camp, their families, and the surrounding community of Summit.”
In addition to working at the Art Center, the artists will attend the Summit Farmers Market on Sunday, August 13th , where they will explore ideas about community and sustainability, utilizing local produce and products. During the two-week residency period the artists will also be available to speak with members of the public about their individual practices, and will participate in a free “Garden Party” event on August 18, from 1-3pm where the artists will interact with both the public and campers attending the Art Center’s Summer Wonder Camp. The Visual Arts Center of New Jersey is located at 68 Elm Street in Summit, New Jersey. Adult and children’s group tours are available throughout the year.
Gallery Hours: Monday to Wednesday and Friday: 10AM to 5PM; Thursday 10AM to 8PM; and Saturday & Sunday 11 AM to 4 PM. Visit www.artcenternj.org for more information.
Ssupport for the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey is provided by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the Walter V. and Judith L. Shipley Family Foundation, the Wilf Family Foundations, and Art Center members and donors. About the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey For more than 80 years, the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey has been exclusively dedicated to viewing, making, and learning about contemporary art. Recognized as a leading non-profit arts organization, the Art Center’s renowned studio school, acclaimed exhibitions, and educational outreach initiatives serve thousands of youth, families, seniors, and people with special needs every year.