Thursday, April 30, 2020

West Orange Arts Council Showcases Advanced Placement Studio Art Students in First Virtual Art Exhibit

The West Orange High School Virtual Exhibit at

Through an exciting partnership with the Visual and Performing Arts Program at West Orange High School (WOHS), the West Orange Arts Center’s (WOAC) latest show features rising stars of our arts community.

The exhibit includes the work of the Advanced Placement (AP) Studio Art Juniors and Seniors. Senior artists include: Brandon Andrade, Olivia Callender, Ruth Donagher, Tricia Garchitorena, Christina Gilio-Malabre, Cassidy Joyce, Jason Latchman, and Jack Mault.

Access the exhibit HERE.

To participate in AP Studio Art, students are required to complete a one-semester foundation course in studio art before proceeding to advanced studies like advanced drawing, design, painting, graphics and sculpture. After completing demanding advanced courses, juniors and seniors may enroll and can produce portfolios for college admission and earn up to six advanced placement college credits.

The community is invited to visit the virtual exhibit, which includes images of the work along with artist's statements and take the opportunity to provide feedback to the students.

The show was installed on March 8 by the students and shortly after the West Orange Arts Center closed, adjusting its programming until further notice due to the coronavirus pandemic. On a swift pivot, WOAC Vice-Chair Carol Black-Lemon and Advanced Placement Studio Art teacher Heather Young worked to assemble the virtual exhibit experience. 

"Even though we are closed to the public, we wanted to continue our mission to aspire and support the arts in our community, and what better way to do that then by acknowledging these talented young artists," said Black-Lemon.  Young concurs "Although the students did not get their big reception, in light of the situation, this is a very exciting alternative." This is the fourth year the show is being coordinated by WOAC Board Members Lisa Suss and Frank Niccoletti. 

WOAC is currently developing additional virtual opportunities to stay connected and keep the arts alive. Most recently the WOAC partnered with the West Orange Environmental Commission and Open Space Commission and coordinated by Councilwoman Susan McCartney to "Celebrate Earth Day, the Social Distancing Way" with an Art In Nature Community Photography Campaign. The work is on view on Facebook. The striking images came from far (Italy) and near (West Orange and surrounding community).

Access the Earth Day exhibit HERE.

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.  For more information, visit