Notes from the Creative Edge - Mar 2018

Each month, our Executive Director, Jeremy Moss, writes a note to you, our supporters, sharing stories about his view from the creative edge here at ValleyArts. If you have thoughts to share with him, drop him a message at Meanwhile, enjoy this month's...
notes from the creative edge
Friends of ValleyArts,

artfullbean one ear celebrationAs I sit here pondering the artfullbean cafe's first anniversary celebrations, I began to reflect on ValleyArts, the organization, and the fact it will be celebrating its tenth year in 2018.
In ten years, a lot has happened, each of the previous executive directors brought something unique to the organization, and now it is my turn. In recent months ValleyArts has shifted its focus from being an arts organization to being a creative community organization. We have combined our tagline and mission statement into these three words: "Community Through Creativity".
Steve Jones acoustic guitarWhile art brings together people from different walks of life, creativity has the ability to bring together even greater numbers of people from all walks of life. The epiphany happened when I was attending a careers day at the Orange High School. Speaking to students in an art class, it became apparent that many students did not see their future having anything to do with art. With interest waning, I asked the student closest to People meeting in cafeme, “what are you thinking of as a career?” “A police detective”, he replied. I answered him, “ah, the art of detection”. I went around the whole class asking the same question: to the girl who wanted to be a nurse, “the art of healing”, to the boy who wanted to be an architect, “the art of building.” You get the picture.
After the last student answered, I addressed the class with these words: “You can be creative in whichever career you choose, therefore you will be creatives”. That was the moment when "Community Through Creativity" was born.
At ten years old, ValleyArts feels like an organization approaching adulthood. We have the Community Gallery, a beautiful space hosting all kinds of events and art shows. We rent studio spaces to creative entrepreneurs, have an internet radio station called ValleyD Radio, and have our amazing boutique cafe, the artfullbean. The ‘bean is home to delicious coffees and teas, all sourced from small independent and creative companies, delicious baked goods from a creative local bakery, and bespoke gifts from our creative member artists in our boutique. Our spaces have become a meeting place for creatives to talk, propose and plan the next exciting thing in the Valley Arts District!
Join us at the many events we produce, partner and collaborate with, and add more creativity to your daily life.
Creatively Yours,
Jeremy Moss

ValleyArts Emerging Artist Show Features Orange High School Students

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As we spring into the month of March, new and promising artists are blooming in our community!

This week, our opening reception for our emerging artists show, New Seen: LOOK, will feature 15 art students from Orange High School. These young artists will be given the opportunity to experience a professional gallery exhibit, from mounting their works, to pricing art, and hopefully even selling their pieces! The show will be professionally hung and promoted throughout the surrounding community. These talented students will share their individual perspectives with friends and newcomers alike. We hope that you will be able to join us in both supporting and celebrating these young, rising artists!

The exhibit will be on display from March 8th through April 6th, with an opening reception on March 8th, from 5:00pm to 7:00pm at Valley Arts. We hope to see you there!

About New Seen
New Seen looks to highlight the works of local emerging artists, annually in the Community Gallery located at Valley Arts, 400 S. Jefferson Street, Orange, NJ.

ValleyArts brings Poetry & Tequila to the Oranges on “Roberto” Burns Night

ValleyArts brings Poetry & Tequila to the Oranges on “Roberto” Burns Night: 
Raising proceeds to Support the Arts

Orange, NJ - January 16, 2018- Every year the poetry of Robert Burns is celebrated, bringing together lovers of the craft to commemorate the life and influential work of the poetic legend. This year, on Friday, January 26th, ValleyArts, in partnership with Atticus Review and Garden State Kitchen, are graciously hosting, “Roberto Burns Night,” an evening filled with poetry, tequila tasting, and delicious apps-with a Latin twist! This special night has come together not only to pay tribute to Robert Burns, but in an effort to garner support for existing arts education and community outreach programs. Some of the programs that will benefit from your support include, Cirque Oranj, circus arts summer program nurturing performance and creativity in the education of local children, as well as Artfull: New Seen, a show of a local emerging artists in the Community Gallery.

“Inspired by an event at the Edinburgh Festival; ‘A Play, A Pint, A Pie’, ValleyArts wanted to celebrate Robbie Burns night with a twist. Our board chair, Scott Schultz, has a love of good tequila, and that became the starting point for ‘Roberto Burns’,” explained Jeremy Moss, Deputy Director of Valley Arts.  “We then layered the event with Mexican fusion appetizers, a live music performance, and of course poets - five of them! As a fundraiser for ValleyArts, we invite you to be part of this special evening.”

It is through the support and attendance of events like “Roberto Burns Night”, that ValleyArts is able to further their mission of supporting and collaborating with the local community, in an effort to inspire creativity and vitality through the arts, help build up and serve creative entrepreneurs, and encourage everyone to participate in the arts, culture, and creativity as a part of everyday life. To propel their mission, ValleyArts partners, serves, and supports artists, creative organizations, and the neighborhood through educational programming, community space, local events and partnerships.

Join ValleyArts on Friday, January 26th, for what is sure to be an indulging night for a good cause, in which all members of the surrounding community are invited to attend-whether you are a supporter of the arts, poetry lover, or tequila enthusiast! Tickets are on sale now at:

About Atticus Review
Atticus Review is a weekly online journal that publishes fiction, flash, poems, creative nonfiction, video, music, book reviews, cartoons, animation, and whatever else we find worthy of eyes.

About Garden State Kitchen
Garden State Kitchen offers services for culinary startups, the centerpiece feature being a shared and fully-licensed commercial kitchen space available for hourly rental in Orange, New Jersey. Kris Ohleth is the founder and CEO.


This event is being sponsored by Pollock Properties Group.

Valley Arts District Organizations Plan Holiday Shopping Day

If you haven't been to the Valley Arts District yet, Saturday, December 2 is the perfect day to visit! Several of the arts organizations in the Valley have banded together to plan a Holiday Shopping Day, with special events and sales. 

West Orange Arts Center has their annual Small Works Show, and also a Holiday Boutique with one-of-a-kind gift items created by local artists. This boutique is in addition to the Gift Shop which is open year round in the Arts Center.

Yema Gallery also has their Seasonal Art Show & Sale kicking off this same day, with local artists providing beautiful art and gifts.

ValleyArts continues their Artfull Series with the second annual Artfull Holiday Boutique. This extension of the artfullbean café boutique is filled with unique art, gifts, and products from local artists, makers, and entrepreneurs. Shoppers can receive a free small coffee with purchase all day. 

From 2-5pm, ValleyArts artfullbean café hosts Viva Vinyl - a vinyl listening party - and happy hour with complimentary wine and beer. A perfect way to wind up a day of shopping for unique, beautiful, and thoughtful gifts for everyone on your list - from family and friends to teachers and hostesses.

West Orange Arts Center: 
Open Sat. and Sun. 12-5 p.m.
551 Valley Road, West Orange

Yema Gallery:
Open Sat. 1-5pm
540B Freeman St., Orange

ValleyArts and artfullbean café:
Open Sat. 9am-5pm; Sun. 10am-4pm; Tue-Fri 8am-5pm
400 S. Jefferson St, Orange

A Letter From Our Chairman

Dear ValleyArts Friend,

We are writing you today with mixed emotions. Candace Lee has decided to step down from her role as Executive Director at the end of 2017. Since returning to ValleyArts in October 2015, Candace’s leadership and dedication to our mission has contributed immeasurably to the growth and vision of ValleyArts.

Although saddened by Candace’s departure as Executive Director, we are pleased to announce she will remain part of ValleyArts as Director of Development. We look forward to her continued guidance as an important part of our organization.

In light of Candace’s departure, the Board of Trustees is now positioned to hire a new Executive Director who will allow us to remain focused on our mission of building community through creativity, while increasing our fundraising and visibility. To this end, the Board of Trustees has asked Jeremy Moss to serve in this role, effective January 1, 2018.

Jeremy has worked as our Deputy Director since October 2016 subsequent to serving as our Director of Marketing. Prior to that, Jeremy worked as a consultant and volunteer with ValleyArts since 2010, and he is familiar with our programs, funders, and needs.  As an artist, resident of the Valley Arts District, and active participant in the local arts scene and community, Jeremy is well-suited for this position, and has been working closely with Candace for the past year to ensure a seamless transition for our organization's continued growth and success.

ValleyArts plans to continue the good work it has been doing for the past 12 years in the Valley Arts District, from programs for the community and youth to providing opportunities for artists and local entrepreneurs.  If you have questions about ValleyArts, I would be happy to answer them. In the meantime, please congratulate Candace on all that she has achieved, and wish Jeremy every success in taking us forward.


Scott Schultz
ValleyArts Board of Trustees

A Thank You and the Year in Review

This has been a banner year for ValleyArts, all owed to the generosity and participation of everyone who contributed to our mission and programs during 2017. 

Thank you for your support throughout the year - without all of you, this wouldn't be possible. We look forward to working together for another successful year inspiring creativity and vitality through the arts, serving creative entrepreneurs, and encouraging everyone to participate in the arts, culture, and creativity as a part of everyday life.

ValleyArts 2017 Annual Ask.jpg

Your continued support will help us continue our work and programs focused on community through creativity in the coming year.

Right now is the perfect time to join, renew, or send a donation. ValleyArts is a tax exempt organization under Internal Revenue Code 501 (C) 3. Your contribution is tax deductible. Just go to our website or send your donations to ValleyArts, 400 South Jefferson #10, Orange, NJ 07050. Credit cards accepted by phone or on site.

Wishing you a peaceful and joyful holiday season full of friends, family, and art!

Candace Lee
Executive Director, ValleyArts

ValleyArts Annual New Seen Exhibit Features Local Emerging Artists

Every August, ValleyArts hosts a show for emerging artists, called Artfull New Seen. The goal is to give young artists the experience and exposure of a solo or small group show in a gallery environment.

This year, ValleyArts invited three young local artists, Stephen Wiggins, Ken Lowe, and Jonathon Butler to exhibit in the Community Gallery. Wiggins is a barista in the artfullbean café, which is part of ValleyArts.

The show, called Handcrafted, is works of ink and pencil on paper, much of it in a comic book or animation style. Each artist selected five drawings from their recent works to hang in the exhibit. Poet Lorenzo Lloyd, who is also a barista at the artfullbean, contributed three poems which are mounted and hung as part of the show.

This show is curated each year by Jeremy Moss, Deputy Director of ValleyArts. In discussing how he selected this year’s participants, Moss says, “I would always see Stephen drawing during downtime at work, often with his friend, Ken, who would come in to the café to draw and have a coffee. Their good rapport and mutual support was inspiring. When they introduced another good friend, Jonathon, I saw the makings of an interesting exhibit in how their work complements each other.”

The opening reception was well attended with a great show of support for these talented artists. Several pieces from each artist sold during the event.

Last year’s New Seen featured artist Skye Volmar, resident of Orange and student at the Rhode Island School of Design.

This exhibit is on display through August 31. The Community Gallery is open Tuesday through Friday, 8am-5pm; Saturday and Sunday 10-2.