The Herb & Milly Iris Gallery
The Herb & Milly Iris Gallery at SOPAC showcases emerging artists and brings contemporary art to a broader audience. The Gallery was the initiative of beloved SOPAC Board Member, Milly Iris, and borne out of her love of art and young people. Milly and her husband Herb were avid collectors, devoted arts advocates, and longtime champions of SOPAC. The Iris family continues to generously support the Gallery in memory of Milly and Herb.
In addition to professional exhibits of art, the Gallery also hosts an annual celebration of young artists in the region. INSPIRED MINDS is a program that provides an opportunity for Essex County high school students to undergo a full professional gallery experience; from application through exhibition, and possible sale of their art.
The Gallery is located on the second and third floors of SOPAC. It hosts 3-4 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
Mary Sue Sweeney Price
The Price of Sugar by Jenny Reinhardt
On Display December 10, 2018 – February 22, 2019
Jenny Flexner Reinhardt studied at University of Michigan before completing her MFA Cum Laude at the New York Academy of Art. She is an art educator as well as being a very accomplished artist of the highest order.
Reinhardt is inspired by the bravado of the middle of the night street artist. While not a nocturnal painter herself, she is fascinated by the guerrilla-esque talents of the stencil maker, the spray-painter and the tagger. Her work is part graffiti, part abstraction with figurative form and vintage graphic design thrown in for good measure. It is a heady mixture that guarantees an interesting narrative and will keep you exploring the images for all their hidden elements of literature, history and cultural references that are subconscious elements of life.
In The Price of Sugar, Reinhardt has woven the theme of the bright and seductive appeal of sugar and confectionary, along with its dark side; the addiction, the excess and the disease.
Sugar is both sweet and dangerous.
“As a curator I am always looking for layers and stories in pieces of art, and I love going back to a piece and seeing something new or different each time. Reinhardt’s work does this effortlessly, keeping you engaged time and time again.” ~ Jeremy Moss
Decades of Dance by Pat Hutchinson
September 10 – November 23, 2018
Decades of Dance, from New Jersey artist Patricia Hutchinson is a collection of paintings that capture the grace and beauty of dancers’ bodies in motion. Ms. Hutchinson’s paintings serve as an artist’s observation of the human form suspended in a crystalized moment of action.
Kwalité Paintings by Joe Waks
March 5 – April 27, 2018
Joe Waks’ mixed-media paintings underscore his passion for politics and popular culture. Seen through the lens of past icons and emblems of our society, his paintings become an audacious commentary on our consumerist ethos and modern society. Enter Joe’s world for an upside down view of how our culture embraces the marketing messages that infiltrate our minds at every turn.
FORM by Maeva Fouché
December 11, 2017 – February 16, 2018
A New Jersey native, born in Newark, Maeva Fouché has always embraced her Haitian-American heritage. It is evident in her work as you view the colors and cultural references. She fell in love with all things art at an early age, leading her on her journey into the art world. Fouché graduated from Kean University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design. She has since perfected marrying the design aspect to her influences; geometry, cubism, pop art and music. The effect is a visual stimulation that speaks both emotionally and spiritually.
reflect: NYC by Michael Steinbrick
September 11 – November 24, 2017
Steinbrick’s paintings reflect a spiritual experience, a moment when a higher level of consciousness takes over the logical translation of what your eye is seeing. His images tell a story, both obvious and subversive. They capture the beauty in the randomness of the ever-changing advertisements and street traffic below, while the reflections change that narrative.
Changing Landscapes by Mary Jane Van Zeijts
March 6 – April 30, 2017
As a lover of nature, Mary Jane Van Zeijts is in search of the perfect light. Her pastel images are both luminescent and moody, a juxtaposition she catches in a seemingly effortless manner. Van Zeijts’ drawings, that contain both impressionistic and abstract elements, have a distinct feel of an oil painting. Her use of color transports you to that exact moment in time.
Inside Looking Out by Dorothy Anderson Wasserman
December 15, 2016 – February 23, 2017
The interplay of Wasserman’s inner life and outer reality will take you on a fascinating journey of surrealist visual narratives. Wassermann’s photographs are cut, rearranged and then pieced together in layers of chaos and clarity. She tells a spellbinding story using images from the past, present and an imagined future. Contemporary surrealist collage in its finest form.
POL!TICO: ARTS & The Humanities
September 8 – December 8, 2016
An exhibit that explored the cultural influence of politics and the humanities through the uses of various mediums of visual art. The intersection of art and politics provides an opportunity for exploration of the ideals of truth and transparency vs. censorship and political correctness as the tug-of-war between these ideological pursuits rages on.
POL!T!CO was part of a collaboration showcasing four arts organizations (SOPAC, Arts Unbound, The Baird Center’s Pierro Gallery and Valley Arts Firehouse Gallery) connected by geography, and the desire to create a richer experience for viewers. This four-venue exhibit gives artists a voice in some of the size-able issues that are informing the 2016 November presidential election.
Spirited by Alberte Bernier & Ritch Gaiti
February 8 – April 30, 2016
Spirited was a celebration of the energy, enthusiasm and determination of character, outlook and mood beyond the perceived limitations, and often opposing ideals, of Nature vs. Nurture.
For Haitian-born Alberte Bernier, painting represents a profound source of freedom as well as a desire to convey human emotion and fantasy. Like the human experience which is multi-leveled, what appear to be basic colors in her art are superimposed nuances.
Although born and raised in Brooklyn, Ritch Gaiti became visually attracted to the American west and Native American culture by the warm colors and the spiritual nature of the people and the land. He paints of the people, the land and the spirits and recaptures a feeling of a time and a culture long-gone.
An Artful Life – An Exhibition from
the Private Collection of Herb & Milly Iris
September 1, 2015 – January 15, 2016