Young artists to display work at Herb & Milly Iris Gallery

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SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — The South Orange Performing Arts Center presents the best and brightest in its rotating series of visual art exhibitions in the Herb & Milly Iris Gallery at SOPAC. On view from May 9 through Aug. 15 is “Inspired Minds: Young Artist Exhibition,” which features drawings, paintings and photography by gifted young artists from Essex County. Selected works were juried by a panel of distinguished artists, photographers and curators. The exhibition sale proceeds support the Herb & Milly Iris Gallery and SOPAC.

“Inspired Minds” is a celebration of young artists. Every high school in Essex County was invited to participate with the intention of fostering young artists and encouraging their creative work. The program provides an opportunity for the students to enjoy a comprehensive professional artist exhibition experience, from submission and selection through presenting in a professional gallery with the prospect of selling their art to the public. Framing is donated by Chris Bobbins, owner of the South Orange Frame Shop, and installation is coordinated by SOPAC curator Micha Hamilton.

An opening reception with light fare and beverages will be Wednesday, May 11, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. where family, friends and teachers can enjoy the exhibition and celebrate these talented students. The reception is open to the public.

“Providing opportunities for emerging artists was the passion of the Gallery’s namesake, Milly Iris. Coupling those opportunities with education is at the core of SOPAC’s mission,” Linda Beard, director of community engagement at SOPAC, said in a press release. “It is vitally important that we recognize arts education as valuable and that we nourish young artists and their achievements. We are delighted to offer our participating artists the chance to present their work in a professional exhibition.”

Participating in the show are:

  • Columbia High School’s Alexis Caruso, Ella Thibodeau, Emily Katherine Glynn, Grace Hut, Juliana Branda, Keza Rurange, Maddye Belov-Boxer, Maya Ferrandiz and Nico Achee;
  • Livingston High School’s Sorasicha “Sora” Nithikasem;
  • Millburn High School’s Abby Ow, Anne Kramer, Caroline Shim, Catherine O’Neill, Daniel Sullivan, Darice Lee, Deanne Ferro, Erica Einhorn, Hannah Boland, Jennifer Guo, Jiaqi Wu, Kathleen Gao, Noyonika Nath, Qizhang Wu, Sindu Shanmugadas, Victoria Appel and Wendy Li;
  • Nutley High School’s Abby Gonzalez, Amy Rivera, Anthony Alonso, Anthony DeBlasio, Blair Watson, Breanna McGeown, Cassidy Reidy, Chad Morrison, Christine Kelly, John “Jack” Van Schoick, Jordan Maldonado, Kaitlyn Hugo and Max Tucholski;
  • Seton Hall Preparatory School’s Yuheng Chen; and
  • University High School’s Awatif Hisseine.