Friday, April 15, 2016

SOPAC’s Herb & Milly Iris Gallery Presents Inspired Minds: Art of Essex County High School Students

For Immediate Release

SOPAC’s Herb & Milly Iris Gallery Presents Inspired Minds
Exhibit Showcases Art of Essex County High School Students May 9-Aug. 15

WHAT: INSPIRED MINDS: YOUNG ARTIST EXHIBITION – Art Exhibition featuring students from Essex County.

WHERE: South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC), The Herb & Milly Iris Gallery, 1 SOPAC Way, South Orange, NJ.

WHEN: On Display May 9 - August 15, 2016;
Opening Reception Wednesday, May 11, 2016 at 6 – 7:30 p.m.

HOURS: Monday-Saturday, noon-6 p.m.
and two hours prior to performances.

HOW: FREE. To learn more, visit www.SOPACnow.org or call (973) 275-1114.

Photo Credits:
DragonFly / 2016 / Max Tucholski / Nutley High School
Octogirl / 2015 / Emily Katherine Glynn / Columbia High School
Hippos Gone Wild / 2015 / Kathleen Gao / Millburn High School

South Orange, NJ (April 14, 2016) --- The South Orange Performing Arts Center presents the best and brightest in its rotating series of visual art exhibitions in the Herb & Milly Iris Gallery at SOPAC. On view from May 9 – August 15, 2016, INSPIRED MINDS: YOUNG ARTIST EXHIBITION features drawings, paintings, and photography by gifted young artists from Essex County. Selected works were juried by a panel of distinguished artists, photographers and curators. The exhibition sale proceeds support the Herb & Milly Iris Gallery and SOPAC.
INSPIRED MINDS is a celebration of young artists. Every high school in Essex County was invited to participate with the intention of fostering young artists and encouraging their creative work. The program provides an opportunity for the students to enjoy a comprehensive professional artist exhibition experience, from submission and selection through presenting in a professional gallery with the prospect of selling their art to the public. Framing is generously donated by Chris Bobbins, owner of the South Orange Frame Shop and installation is coordinated by SOPAC’s curator Micha Hamilton.

An opening reception with light fare and beverages will be held on May 11, 6-7:30 p.m. where family, friends and teachers can enjoy the exhibition and celebrate these talented students. The reception is also open to the public. “Providing opportunities for emerging artists was the passion of the Gallery’s namesake, Milly Iris. Coupling those opportunities with education is at the core of SOPAC’s mission,” noted Linda Beard, Director of Community Engagement. “It is vitally important that we recognize arts education as valuable and that we nourish young artists and their achievements. We are delighted to offer our participating artists the chance to present their work in a professional exhibition.”

Following are the names and high schools of the artists:

Artist Name High School
Alexis Caruso Columbia High School
Ella Thibodeau Columbia High School
Emily Katherine Glynn Columbia High School
Grace Hut Columbia High School
Juliana Branda Columbia High School
Keza Ruranga Columbia High School
Maddye Belov-Boxer Columbia High School
Maya Ferrandiz Columbia High School
Nico Achee Columbia High School

Sorasicha (Sora) Nithikasem Livingston High School

Abby Ow Millburn High School
Anne Kramer Millburn High School
Caroline Shim Millburn High School
Catherine O'Neill Millburn High School
Daniel Sullivan Millburn High School
Darice Lee Millburn High School
Deanne Ferro Millburn High School
Erica Einhorn Millburn High School
Hannah Boland Millburn High School
Jennifer Guo Millburn High School
Jiaqi Wu Millburn High School
Kathleen Gao Millburn High School
Noyonika Nath Millburn High School
Qizhang Wu Millburn High School
Sindu Shanmugadas Millburn High School
Victoria Appel Millburn High School
Wendy Li Millburn High School

Abby Gonzalez Nutley High School
Amy Rivera Nutley High School
Anthony Alonso Nutley High School
Anthony DeBlasio Nutley High School
Blair Watson Nutley High School
Breanna McGeown Nutley High School
Cassidy Reidy Nutley High School
Chad Morrison Nutley High School
Christine Kelly Nutley High School
John "Jack" Van Schoick Nutley High School
Jordan Maldonado Nutley High School
Kaitlyn Hugo Nutley High School
Max Tucholski Nutley High School

Yuheng Chen Seton Hall Prep

Awatif Hisseine University High School

About Micha Hamilton (Curator)
Originally from Los Angeles, California, Micha Hamilton is a published photographer, filmmaker, writer and graphic designer. Since 2009, Mr. Hamilton has been curating events and exhibitions in the greater New York/New Jersey area, drawing on his passion for art and utilizing his extensive production, live entertainment and multi-media events experience.

In 2010, he co-founded the visual arts exhibition and production space GAS Gallery and Studio in Maplewood, NJ. He is Owner and Art Director of MHP+D/Micha Hamilton Photography + Design, a boutique creative company providing clients with visual imagery for commercial, non-commercial and private needs. For more information, visit www.michahamiltonphotography.com.

About the Herb & Milly Iris Gallery at SOPAC
The Herb & Milly Iris Gallery showcases emerging artists and brings contemporary art to a broader audience. The Gallery is designed for moviegoers, theater enthusiasts, art lovers, and all citizens of South Orange alike to have an opportunity to further enrich their cultural lives. The Gallery was the initiative of beloved SOPAC Board Member Milly Iris, a South Orange resident and arts advocate, and born out of her love of art and young people. Mrs. Iris enjoyed an extensive personal art collection, was an art teacher and the former owner/director of South Orange’s Whichcraft Studio and Gallery. Both Milly and her husband, Herb, had been longtime supporters of SOPAC.

Since 2006, SOPAC has been serving as a premier performing arts center in the region. SOPAC offers innovative artistic and cultural experiences for diverse audiences in an intimate, inviting environment. The multidisciplinary arts center hosts a variety of live performances, community events and education programs for all ages. To further expand its offerings, SOPAC has a partnership with the Juilliard School of Music to present Juilliard @ SOPAC – a series featuring upcoming musicians from the acclaimed conservatory. SOPAC is also a home for Seton Hall University Arts Council’s performances, including Classical Concert Series, Jazz ‘n the Hall performances and Seton Hall Theatre productions. SOPAC also presents performances by its theater company in residence, Midtown Direct Rep. For more information, please visit www.SOPACnow.org.

# # #

Dee Billia
Director of External Relations
(973) 382-1031 | dee@SOPACnow.org

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