Thirty regional artists support art programs for artists with disabilities

Armisey Smith’s ‘Layered Lady’ in shingles and acrylic.

ORANGE, NJ — Arts Unbound has announced the lineup for its fifth annual Friends of Arts Unbound art exhibit and benefit sale. Several new artists are joining familiar favorites to raise funds for the nonprofit gallery and art studio for people with disabilities and seniors. More than 30 artists will be supporting Arts Unbound programs through an exhibit and sale of their own work.

Armisey Smith, well-known in Newark for her public murals and curatorial projects, will be exhibiting in this benefit show for the first time with a wall sculpture in the style of her piece, “Layered Lady,” constructed of mixed materials including shingles painted with acrylic paint.

“I’ve been using repurposed shingles to create a series of wall sculptures that include ‘Layered Lady.’ I was thinking about the material as a metaphor revealing and concealing the complexities of being a woman of color,” Smith said in a press release.

Other new artists featured in the exhibit this year include Orange residents Sylvia Taylor, April Tracey and Kathleen Heron; West Orange residents Jennie Traill Schaeffer and Amelia Panico; South Orange residents Lisa Pressman South and Sherry Beth Sacks; Maplewood residents Catherine Delett and Peggy Excell; Westfield resident Gail Fishberg; Jersey City resident Donna Greenberg; and Toronto, Canada, resident Evan Ginsberg.

Returning favorites showing their continued support for Arts Unbound include South Orange residents Rick Hauser and Dorothy Ganek; Maplewood resident Kathy Cantwell; West Orange residents Sarah Canfield, Joan Goldsmith and Adam Gustavson; Florham Park resident Susan Faiola; Orange residents Terry Boddie, Robert Ramos, Ronald Freeman and Mike Malbrough; and Newark resident Toni Thomas. Montclair is represented by Gayle Mahoney and Yvette Lucas. Mahoney and Lucas are both members of the Board of Directors of Studio Montclair, as is Sarah Canfield. Louis Toledo of Millburn, Humberto Ramos of Greenville, S.C., and Jane R. Dell, a painter in New York City, round out the group.

The exhibit opens with a reception for the public on Saturday, April 1, from 5 to 8 p.m. All are welcome to attend, enjoy refreshments and meet the artists. The Dora Stern Gallery at Arts Unbound is located in the Valley Arts District at 544 Freeman St., Orange.

Arts Unbound is dedicated to the artistic achievement of people living with disabilities and the continued artistic enrichment of seniors. It provides visual arts education and professional development to help emerging artists compete in the retail market. Last year, it exhibited the work of 95 artists, many self-taught or “outsider” artists. By promoting the work of artists with disabilities and seniors, they focus on their art-making rather than any impairments, and by doing so challenge the stigma associated with disability and aging.

The Dora Stern Gallery at Arts Unbound is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturdays from noon to 5 p.m. More information is available at www.artsunbound.org or by calling 973-675-2787.

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