School Performance Series Talks Education Seton Hall Juilliard


Inspired Minds


Providing opportunities for emerging artists was a passion of The Herb & Milly Iris Gallery’s namesake, Milly Iris. Coupling those opportunities with education is at the core of SOPAC’s mission. It is vitally important to recognize arts education as valuable and that we nourish young artists and their achievements. 

INSPIRED MINDS is a celebration of young artists in the region. Essex County high schools are invited to participate in the program with the intention of fostering their students and encouraging their creative work. INSPIRED MINDS provides an opportunity for young artists to have a comprehensive professional experience. Students develop their work, make their submission through a formal application process and, if selected, present their work in a professional gallery with the opportunity to sell their art. The public exhibition typically runs from May through August. A free opening reception hosted in the gallery is an opportunity for all to celebrate the achievements of the selected young artists. 

The program is managed by Linda Beard, SOPAC Director of Community Engagement & Education. Selected works are juried by a panel of distinguished artists, photographers and curators.

A special thanks to the visual arts faculty and staff of the participating Essex County high schools for their hard work and dedication to arts education.

The artwork on display is for sale, unless otherwise noted. If you are interested in making a purchase, please contact Linda Beard at (973) 382-1035 or

INSPIRED MINDS: Young Artist Exhibition 
A Juried Exhibit of Art by Essex County High School Students 


INSPIRED MINDS: Young Artist Exhibition is a celebration of young artists in the region. The exhibition provides an opportunity for high school arts students to have a comprehensive professional exhibition experience from submission, selection, exhibition and sale of their art. Submissions are juried by a panel of distinguished artists, photographers and curators. 

This year’s INSPIRED MINDS exhibition includes artwork submitted from the following Essex County high schools: Columbia High School, East Orange Campus High School, Lacordaire Academy, Livingston High School, Millburn High School, Newark Preparatory Academy, Nutley High School and Arts High School.

Click here to view a photo gallery of this exhibition. 

Cover art by Leonel Soares Neto, Katie Darvin, Brina Baia and Jessica Li.

Sponsored by Patricia A. Bell and the Iris Family.
Framing is generously donated by the South Orange Frame Shop.

Past Exhibitions:

2016 INSPIRED MINDS: Young Artist Exhibition 
Click here to view a photo gallery of this exhibition. 
Featured cover art by Emily Katherine Glynn.

Gallery Inspired Minds

2015 INSPIRED MINDS: Columbia High School Young Artist Exhibition 
Click here to view a photo gallery of this exhibition.
Featured cover art by Austin Romanaux.