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New Jersey Center For Visual Arts

68 Elm Street
Summit, New Jersey

Phone: 908-273-9121 --

Statement of Purpose:

Founded as the Summit Art Association by a dedicated group of artists in 1933, New Jersey Center for Visual Arts has evolved into a major regional Art Center with both a professionally recognized studio program and a critically acclaimed exhibition program.

The Center, a non-profit organization located in Summit, New Jersey, offers a variety of fine art education programs. New Jersey Center for Visual Arts mission is to make studio classes, exhibitions, educational outreach and professional development programs accessible to all New Jersey residents and regional audiences to encourage understanding and excellence in the creation and presentation of contemporary visual art.

Known as the Summit Art Center from 1953 until December 1986, New Jersey Center for Visual Arts has grown steadily through the years to become a major art school and exhibition showplace. The Center provides an increasing variety of vital community art education programs designed to encourage the appreciation, enjoyment and practice of art. Our area of service extends to all regions of New Jersey with a concentration of members from Union, Essex, Somerset and Morris counties. An extensive and continually expanding curriculum of art classes is conducted in NJCVA's large studios. Classes are offered in all major areas of the visual arts and art history and are geared to all ages and degrees of expertise, beginners and professionals alike. Contributions from public and private agencies help defray NJCVA's costs and make it possible for classes to be offered at moderate prices. A comprehensive program of gallery exhibitions provides exposure for distinguished examples of contemporary and other twentieth century art. The exhibitions mounted in the Fred L. Palmer and Members' Galleries are open seven days a week, and they are free and open to the public. Docented tours are also available for school and community groups.

These primary program concentrations are amplified by a full schedule of lectures, seminars, workshops and art demonstrations.
NJCVA and the Fred L. Palmer Galleries and Members' Gallery are handicap accessible.
The New Jersey Center for Visual Arts is accredited by the American Association of Museums and is funded in part by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State.

Highlights & Collections:

The Art School
An extensive curriculum of art classes is conducted in specifically designed studios and smaller work rooms seven days a week, with students drawn from nearly 200 communities. Four terms of classes, offered annually in all major areas of the fine arts and crafts, are developed for all ages and degrees of expertise: children, beginners and professionals alike. Workshops, seminars, demonstrations and lectures are offered throughout the year to address more specific topics. A regular schedule of open studios is provided to enable students to utilize the facility and its equipment outside class hours. This studio program affords the following opportunities for the participating students:
(a) Encourages lifelong learning among people of all ages and backgrounds at all levels of capability.
(b) Mastery and interest serves as an appropriate place to confirm and to validate historically accepted ideas
(c) A forum for presenting and testing contemporary alternative ideas
(d) Addressing controversy offers the opportunity for experimental, emotional and intellectual learning that is self-directed
(e) Serves as training ground for current and future professionals

Exhibits & Special Events:

As an environment of informal, self-directed learning, exhibitions in the Palmer Gallery stimulate visitors and students to create their own encounters with objects and ideas.
The gallery programs provide visitors with the following:
(a) A meeting ground where enriching experiences are offered both through human interaction and interaction with objects and ideas.
(b) Contexts in which to trace the continuity of human experience and the natural world and to critically examine change.
(c) Potential to present a variety of cultural & intellectual perspectives.
 (d) A place for reflection and contemplation, as well as an avenue of exploration and discovery.

Special Events:
Lectures, exhibition preview receptions, special children's activities, trips, the Collectors Edge art auction and party, Arts Person of the Year Awards Ceremony, the Outdoor Art Show and "Images" Gala are fun events for members. In addition, the Center has earned a leadership reputation in New Jersey arts education through its sponsorship of an annual teacher’s symposium, which provides enrichment and hands-on professional development training to secondary school art teachers.


Gallery hours:

Admission & Directions:


Key Personnel:

Eric Pryor, President
Sharon L. Currey, Director of Education
Ernie Palatucci, Director of Operations
Betsy Smith, Director of Development
Rupert Adams, Building Superintendent
Robert Campbell, Custodian
Christine Cusano, Customer Relations Coordinator
Jennifer Doninger, Studio Night Manager
Joanne Hennessy, Bookkeeping Consultant
Carol Jones, Exhibitions Coordinator
Kelly Long, Outreach Coordinator
Teresa Mendez, Weekend Manager
Jackie Park, PR/Marketing Coordinator
Jennifer Polk, Development Coordinator
Barbara Smith, Registrar/Membership Admin.

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