The Herb + Milly Iris Gallery
The Herb + Milly Iris Gallery at SOPAC showcases a wide range of artists bringing contemporary art to a broader audience. The Gallery was the initiative of beloved SOPAC Board Member, Milly Iris, a South Orange resident and arts advocate, and inspired by her love of art and young people. Both Milly and her husband, Herb, were longtime supporters of SOPAC, avid collectors and devoted arts advocates. The family legacy continues through the generous support of Herb and Milly’s daughters, Roreé and Kerry and The Iris Family Foundation.
With the support of the Gallery’s Art Advisory Committee, art exhibitions are selected according to the vision of the Curator, Jeremy Moss. Exhibition themes, artist selection, even placement of artwork is meant to lead visitors through the Gallery exhibition while telling a story, instigating questions and provoking conversations.
In addition to professional exhibits of art, the Gallery also hosts two annual exhibitions; the first, INSPIRED MINDS, celebrates young artists in the region, and the second, INSPIRING MINDS, highlights the other side of art education, the educator as an artist.
INSPIRED MINDS is part of SOPAC’s Art Education mission to provide arts and cultural experiences and enhance local school districts’ efforts to strengthen the impact of arts and arts education. The program provides the opportunity for Essex County high school students to undergo a full professional artist’s experience; from application and adjudication through gallery exhibition, and possible sale of their art.
INSPIRING MINDS, presented in tandem to the student exhibition, is an opportunity for Art Educators to share their individual talents beyond their teaching credentials. Every teacher spends hours demonstrating art techniques, cultivating and displaying the artwork of budding student artists, but this show focuses on current art educators who continue to cherish their own inspirational journey and creative development. For these unique and talented artists, the exhibition stresses the importance of continuing to create art and not just teach it.
The Gallery is located on the second and third floors of SOPAC. It hosts 4-5 art exhibits a year. Gallery hours are Monday-Saturday, Noon-6PM and two hours prior to SOPAC performances. The Gallery is closed on Sundays.
Please sign-up for the weekly SOPAC E-News to receive announcements about gallery exhibitions and receptions.
Tricia Laughlin Bloom
Jeremy Moss brings an abundance of riches to the curatorial position. His extensive experience, relationships and passion for the arts make him the ideal match for the Herb + Milly Iris Gallery. With a resume that reflects his eclectic approach to art, Moss began his career as a photographer eventually working as a fashion photography and later, expanding into journalism where he shot for Business Week, The New York Times and many others. He began to be more active in painting and fine art, winning prizes at juried exhibitions which lead to opportunities to expand his experience by becoming an expert art jurist himself.
Jeremy oversees the strategic direction of the Herb + Milly Iris Gallery, as well as brings new exhibits to the South Orange landmark that reflect the mission of the Gallery – to champion emerging artists and to bring contemporary art to a broader audience. His first show, Inside Looking Out by Dorothy Anderson Wasserman, was presented in Winter 2017.
Moss, who resides in Orange, New Jersey, works in numerous media and genres of the visual arts, including photography, metal, glazes, ink, printing and painting. His experience as an artist has given him opportunities to help organize and curate festivals like the Maplewood Art Walk and the Hat City Street Festival. He has also chaired the Valley Arts Visual Arts Committee, co-founded Open Orange, one of the region’s largest juried art shows, founded Slice of Orange, another local art show and curated the Firehouse and Orbital Galleries. Having held multiple positions with Valley Arts, beginning as a member of the Board of Directors, then the Director of Marketing and Curation and completing his involvement as Executive Director, Moss has continues to broadened his horizons and serve the artistic community.
“The opportunity to advance the reputation of the Herb + Milly Iris Gallery as a center of artistic excellence is an exciting prospect,” noted Moss when assuming the curator’s position. “My vision is to bring diverse, thought provoking and exciting exhibits to this hidden gem of a gallery.”