VACNJ Art Center’s Art & Soul gala is a resounding success

On Saturday, April 30, the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey held its biggest fundraising event of the year at Canoe Brook Country Club in Summit. Art & Soul, VACNJ’s first in-person gala since 2019, raised a record $296,000 to support the Art Center’s powerful arts programming.

“This year’s gala was a celebration of the Art Center’s exhibitions, education and community engagement programs which are truly the heart and soul of everything we do,” said Jillian Decker, CFRE, director of development and development of the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey. Communications. “We are humbled by the incredible support of our community at the art center.”

The evening featured live music, cocktails, fantastic food and a solid contemporary art auction, including a live auction of once-in-a-lifetime artworks and experiences. moreover, by the famous auctioneer CK Swett. The Art Center also recognized its 2022 Gala Laureate and its 5th Annual Changemakers, three individuals who have made critical contributions to the arts locally and nationally. Former Art Center Board Chair and current trustee Lisa Butler was honored for her tireless work at the institution, including significant progress in improving infrastructure and sustainability. This year’s Changemakers were artists Ron Norsworthy and David Anthone – the collaborative team behind DARNstudio – whose work inspires viewers to shift their perspective around powerful social justice issues.

The event was co-chaired by Alison and David O’Neill, Isabel Ribeiro and Diego Rotsztain. Other committee members include Heather Braun, Kate Buchanan, Susan Cagnassola, Terri Friedman, Tharanga Goonetilleke, Anne Grissinger, Suzanne Henry, Renee Stene and Rachel Wilf.

Platinum sponsors of the evening included: Lisa Butler & Bob Kelly; Susan and Mike Cagnassola; Anne & RJ Grissinger; Joseph R. & Marite Robinson; and Rachel and Jonathan Wilf. Gold sponsors included: Kate & John Buchanan, Risk Strategies Company; Lindabury, McCormick, Estabrook & Cooper, PC; Alison & David O’Neill; and Isabel Ribeiro & Diego Rotsztain. Silver sponsors included Marie and Roy Alan Cohen; Siobhan Creem; Betse and Frank Gump; Amy Knight; Elena and Roger Matthews; Kayla & Richard Pechter; and Deborah & Fred Schwarzmann. Bronze sponsors included Sally & Tom Abbott; Heather & Elliott Braun; Terri & Mark Friedman; Tharanga Goonetilleke & Aditya Bindal; Valerie and Michael Grant; Amy & Clint Harris; Susan and Dean Henry; Patti Manzi & Paul Ciraulo; Haruka Mori & William Menard; Peapack Private Wealth Management; Jane and Kevin Quinn; Amy and Mitchell Radin; Ana Robic and Rob Feuerstake; TD Bank; and Susan Yarad. Community sponsors included Brandywine Living at Summit; Cambridge wines; CWI design; Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child; and the Otterstedt agency.

“The gala was a wonderful evening, with our community once again coming together to show their enthusiastic support for the arts and the impact the visual arts can have on transforming lives,” said Anne Grissinger, Board Chair. directors of the Center d’art. “We are so happy with the success of the evening and that we were finally able to come together again in person to celebrate the arts.”

The Art Centre’s annual spring gala is essential to enable its important work of transforming and enriching lives through the shared experience of art. Next year’s gala, which will celebrate VACNJ’s 90th anniversary, will take place at the Canoe Brook Country Club, Summit on Saturday, April 29, 2023.

For more than 85 years, the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey has been dedicated exclusively to observing, creating, and learning about contemporary art. Recognized as a leading nonprofit arts organization, the Art Center’s acclaimed Studio School, acclaimed exhibitions, and educational outreach initiatives serve thousands of youth, families, seniors, and people with special needs each year. specials.

The Visual Arts Center of New Jersey is located at 68 Elm Street in Summit, NJ. Gallery hours: Monday through Thursday, 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission must be reserved in advance. Please call 908.273.9121 to confirm vacation hours. Visit for more information.