Visual Arts Center of NJ: “Olas Caribeñas/Caribbean Waves”

[Many thanks to Peter Jordens for bringing this item to our attention.] New Jersey Stage recently announced that the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey will open the new exhibition, “Olas Caribeñas/Caribbean Waves,” on January 23, 2023. The Visual Arts Center of New Jersey is located at 68 Elm Street, Summit, New Jersey. See full article and artists’ bios at New Jersey Stage.

 The Visual Arts Center of New Jersey (VACNJ) will open Olas Caribeñas/Caribbean Waves an interdisciplinary initiative that explores the visual art and folklife traditions of the Caribbean diaspora in New Jersey on January 23, 2023. The displayed work will be on view through June 4, 2023.

In the Main Gallery, Jairo Alfonso: Objectscapes, surveys the work of Jairo Alfonso, a Cuban-born artist who has been living and working in New Jersey since 2014. In the past 10 years, he has produced three substantial bodies of work that are similarly concerned with the meaning of everyday objects. Like an archeologist of the present, Alfonso meticulously documents consumer goods, communication devices, and other ubiquitous products in large-scale drawings and paintings, installations, and videos. He reveals material culture’s propensity to hold personal as well as collective significance and sheds light on who we are, where we are from, and where we belong.

Concurrently, in the Mitzi and Warren Eisenberg Gallery, folklife traditions—including dance performances, traditional music, and multimedia storytelling—will be highlighted in public programs and through video, audio recordings, and documentary photographs. Los Herederos, a media arts non-profit organization, will showcase The Sonicycle, a mobile audio-visual unit that engages communities in sharing stories, music, and cultural traditions. This interactive digital caravan is fully outfitted with a DJ turntable, speakers, audio players, a projector, and recording equipment. Los Herederos will use The Sonicyle to record stories from artists, performers, and community members in a public event at the Art Center on Saturday, February 11, from 1:00pm–4:00pm. They will then produce a short audio documentary reel composed of oral histories, local soundscapes, and musical performances collected by folklorist Naomi Sturm-Wijesinghe and Los Herederos. Also on view will be aspects of the folklife research including an installation of documentary photographs printed on textiles.

The Art Center’s Stair-gazing gallery will showcase Jack & Jill by figurative painter Kevin Darmanie. Born in Trinidad & Tobago, Darmanie utilizes photographs of himself and his friends to create his portraiture, referencing elements of his own life and shared experiences to inform clean narrative works which explore complex relationships between image, object, gaze, and landscape. In Darmanie’s recent work, the cellphone’s function as a contemporary mechanism for interpersonal communication looms prominent, informing the composition of the artworks and acting as the de facto device to capture the depicted images. [. . .]

[Shown above: Jairo Alfonso, “362 (Lada),” 2012, watercolor pencil on paper, 79 x 159 inches.]

For full article, see

“Olas Caribeñas/Caribbean Waves”
Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, 68 Elm Street, Summit, NJ 07901

Also see and our previous post

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