Thursday, February 6, 2020

Black History Month at the West Orange Arts Center "Sharing Our Stories" opens on Feb. 8!

Sharing Our Stories: Celebrating Black Family Heritage and Pride
curated by Carol Black-Lemon

WHEN: February 8, 2020 through February 29, 2020. An Opening Reception will take place on Saturday, February 15, 2020 from 4 to 8pm (Snow date 2/22/20).
West Orange Arts Center, 551 Valley Road, West Orange

This unique exhibit concept, which includes photographs, memorabilia and artifacts, has been designed to pay homage to the African American cultural experience through the family stories of our ancestors. In preparation, Black-Lemon and team have offered a series of collage workshops at the West Orange Arts Center to help artists and non-artists assemble their items into collage boards for the exhibit.  The work will also be accompanied with an artist statement, story or poem that provides insight into each piece.

"We invited folks to bring anything they wanted to display, and have been overwhelmed by the diversity of the materials," said Black-Lemon of the collage workshops. "The stories I have learned from the participants have made this project a much more powerful and enriching experience than I even envisioned. I look forward to seeing these personal story collages fill the West Orange Arts Center during Black History Month." (Left: Carol Black-Lemon)

Storytelling, poetry and spoken word activities are still being finalized. Sharing Our Stories is free and open to the public. Those interested in attending are encouraged to check the West Orange Arts Council website ( and Facebook page for gallery hours and updates.  For more information, email or, or

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.

The West Orange Arts Council was established in 1998 to cultivate, inspire and support the arts in West Orange. Area artists and community leaders remain at 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.  "Welcome to the West Orange Arts Center!" is this year’s exciting year-long celebration of the arts, representing various artists, workshops, exhibits, and activities to enhance the lives of the residents of West Orange and neighboring communities.