Contemporary African Spirituality: Connections to New Jersey

On Display: February 8 – April 7
Opening Reception:Thursday, February 8 from 6 to 8:30PM

Contemporary African Spirituality in Art explores cultural practices that have been mixed, juxtaposed, and collided with ideas, themes, materials, and techniques, both African and Modern, by African and African diaspora artists in New Jersey and surrounding areas. Curated by Atim Annette Oton, it examines the transformation of spirituality from the lens of visual artists.

The exhibit is co-sponsored by The Walsh Gallery at Seton Hall University.

If you are interested in making a purchase, please contact Linda Beard at (973) 382-1035 or lindab@sopacnow.org.

To preview the exhibition, click HERE.

 

About Guest Curator Atim Annette Oton

Atim Annette Oton is a Nigerian-born, American and British-educated designer turned curator.  She founded and is curator of the Harlem-based Calabar Gallery, which showcases contemporary African Artists and African Diaspora artists globally.

She has been the African Art Curator for Amref Health Africa ArtBall for the past 4 years, which honored artists Wangechi Munu, El Anatsui, Toyin Ojih Odutola, and Zanele Muholi. Oton has also served as curator for the Jersey City Theater Center and as Curator for Community Engagement at the Bronx: Africa exhibition at Longwood Gallery.

As a Huffington Post Black Voices Blogger, Oton created the series, The Pulse of Africa, where she wrote about global Africans working in Africa and across the diaspora and presented an inside view on Africa’s progress, issues on arts and culture, technology and opportunities.

Oton served as the Associate Chair of Product Design at the Parsons School of Design in New York City and founded Blacklines Magainze, a quarterly publication celebrating Black designers.

She studied architecture at the City College of New York and at the Architectural Association Graduate School in London, England.

 

Check out our tentative schedule of upcoming exhibitions in The Herb + Milly Iris Gallery, located on the second and third floors of SOPAC.

FALL 2023

FULL CIRCLE

SEPTEMBER 14 – NOVEMBER 19

Opening Reception: September 14 at 5PM

FULL CIRCLE, by Ben Niles, is a mesmerizing exhibition that captures the convergence of graphic design and painting. Showcasing a remarkable fusion of acrylic, ink, and graphite, skillfully intertwined with the techinique of screen printing, this is celebration of creativity and the interconnectedness of diverse art forms.  FULL CIRCLE serves as a poignant tribute to Niles’ family’s artistic legacy, as well as his own personal artistic journey. This spellbinding merger of graphic design and painting represents the culmination of his education and experiences, bringing together the skills and inspirations he acquired throughout his career. This exhibition is a testament to the power of artistic exploration and the profound impact it can have on both the artist and the viewer.

 

WINTER 2023

ARTFUL LIVING: The Painters of Maker + Muse

NOVEMBER 30 – JANUARY 21

Opening Reception: November 30 at 6PM

ARTFUL LIVING: The Painters of Maker + Muse seamlessly blends the world of visual art with the realms of home and everyday living.  this unique showcase is expertly curated by Brian Dittmar, an award-winning interior designer and the visionary behind Maker + Muse, a lifestyle boutique in Maplewood. Dittmar’s discerning eye for aesthetics and passion for art have resulted in an unparalleled fusion of creativity and functionality.

Visitors can explore Lisa Pressman‘s latest series, which incorporates a variety of mediums and grounds and is then dug into with razor blades and clay tools to create an evocative form and pattern. They can marvel at Aida Jones‘ layered abstract paintings that mix bold, bright, modern colors with smooth and rough textured shapes. Or find intrigue in the energetic works by Aimee Mower-Lally, featuring geometric shapes and dynamic colors. Dorothy Ganek‘s complex compositions of recognizable objects with sweeping abstract movement are also on display, as well as Betsy Meyer-Donadio‘s mixed-media collages, which feature multiple layers of vintage paper, fabric, acrylic paint, and plaster.

 

SPRINT 2024

Contemporary African Spirituality: Connections to New Jersey

FEBRUARY 8 – APRIL 7

Opening Reception: February 8 at 6PM

Contemporary African Spirituality explores cultural practices that have been mixed, juxtaposed, and collided with ideas, themes, materials, and techniques, both African and Modern, by African and African diaspora artists in New Jersey and surrounding areas. Curated by Atim Annette Oton, this exhibition examines the transformation of spirituality from the lens of visual artists.

The exhibit is co-sponsored by The Walsh Gallery at Seton Hall University.