Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Visual Arts Center of New Jersey Launches Summer Artist in Residence Program

The Visual Arts Center of New Jersey (VACNJ) is pleased to announce the launch of its 

Summer Artist in Residence Program
WHEN: July 7–August 13
68 Elm Street in Summit, NJ. Gallery hours: Monday– Thursday, 10 AM–8 PM; Friday & Saturday, 10 AM–5 PM; and Sunday, 11 AM–4 PM.
Please call 908.273.9121 to confirm holiday hours. Visit for more information.

More than 70 artists applied for the program and three artists were chosen to participate: Krystle Lemonais, Kirk Maynard, and MJ Tyson. 

The Artist in Residence program will take place from July 7–August 13, when the Art Center’s Main Gallery will be transformed into a creative space for the artists to reflect on their artistic practices, experiment with materials and techniques, and explore new ideas and approaches. Additionally, the three artists selected for the program will engage with the surrounding communities through artist talks and technique demonstrations.

“The Artist in Residence Program is critical to VACNJ’s commitment to serving the needs of professional artists, especially those who are underrecognized and overlooked in larger mainstream institutions,” said Kristen Evangelista, Director of Exhibitions. “The Art Center is thrilled that Krystle Lemonais, Kirk Maynard, and MJ Tyson will be engaging in a range of artistic practices at VACNJ, and I can’t wait to see what they create.”

About the Artists

Krystle Lemonias
is an interdisciplinary artist whose work features diverse representations of Black immigrant women. Her most recent work depicts scenes of Black women performing domestic labor constructed out of the baby clothes that belonged to her, her mother, and the children for whom her mother cared. Lemonias received her BFA from New Jersey City University in 2018 and her MFA from the University of South Florida in 2022. She completed a residency at Guttenberg Arts, New Jersey in 2021 and received the 2022 Lynn and John Kearney Fellowship for Equity at Gallery Aferro, Newark. She has exhibited at the Polk Museum of Art at Florida Southern College (2021) and the USF Contemporary Art Museum in Tampa (2022). Her work is in the permanent collection of the University of Texas, Austin.

Kirk Maynard
is a second-generation Guyanese American artist and educator who is originally from Brooklyn, New York. His paintings and drawings detail the political undercurrents of culture and identity in America through portraiture and composition. Often referencing American social history, his work explores the intersection between identity and politics through juxtaposition. Maynard received his BS in Art Education from Andrews University in 2014, and his MFA in drawing and painting from New Jersey City University in 2019. He has given talks at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (2018) and Massachusetts College of Art and Design (2019). His work is in the permanent collections of Miami University, Ohio, and The Eileen S. Kaminsky Family Foundation. Most recently, Maynard completed a fellowship and residency at Virginia Center for the Creative Arts in Amherst, Virginia.

MJ Tyson
is an artist and jeweler who explores the relationship between people and their possessions. Through melding and transforming pre-owned jewelry, Tyson examines jewelry’s cultural significance, its relationship to our physical bodies, and its relevance in our personal lives. Tyson graduated with her BFA in 2008 and her MFA in 2017, both from the Rhode Island School of Design, where she has also taught. Her work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Art and Design, New York, the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington DC, and the National Museum, Stockholm. Tyson completed a residency at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in 2018 and was a 2023 finalist for the New Jersey State Council on the Arts Individual Artist Award.

About the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey

For 90 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 youths, families, seniors, and people with special needs every year.


Major support for the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey is provided by the Wilf Family Foundations; New Jersey State Council on the Arts; The Estate of Pamela Hauptfleisch; the Institute of Museum and Library Services; and the Art Center community of supporters.