LIVINGSTON, NJ — The Visual Arts Center of New Jersey has opened registration for nearly 200 classes and workshops that will be offered for kids, teens and adults, including more than 25 new courses. An early registration discount is being offered until August 2 for a variety of arts and humanities-based programs that are intended to inspire and educate. 

“These programs provide visitors access to scholars, writers, directors, artists and creators,” the Visual Arts Center explained. “Through them we create opportunities not only for the art maker, but for the art lover as well."

Featured classes for adults include a beginner “Art of Charcoal Drawing” and “The Ever Changing Landscape.” Teens ages 13 and older can choose from classes such as “The Fine Art of Clay Sculpture” and “Do it Yourself (DIY) Fashion Projects. Kids classes include “Drawing and Painting” and “Creative Ceramics.”

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The opening reception at the Art Center will take place on Sept. 20, celebrating the opening of three fall exhibitions: "Adhere," "Casey Ruble: Everything That Rises," and "Shape of Play: Sculpture" by Don Porcaro at the Art Center. Artists will be in attendance and light refreshments will be served free for all ages.

The following is a completed schedule of what’s to come:

September 30Speaking for Themselves: Slave Narratives as History and Literature

Explore the themes and strategies employed by slave narrative writers and their literary descendants at 7 p.m. 

October 7Talking Pictures Film Series: “To Kill a Mockingbird”

The Visual Arts Center of New Jersey will screen “To Kill a Mockingbird,” Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize-winning autobiographical novel that was translated to film in 1962. Set in a small Alabama town in the 1930s, the story focuses on the scrupulously honest, highly respected lawyer, Atticus Finch (Gregory Peck). The film won Academy Awards for Best Actor (Gregory Peck), Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Art Direction. The screening will begin at 7 p.m. with a $5 fee for non-members.

October 14Talking Pictures Film Series: The Help

The Visual Arts Center of New Jersey will screen “The Help” at 7 p.m. on Oct. 14. Set in Mississippi during the 1960s, this film follows southern society girl and aspiring writer, Skeeter (Emma Stone), as she interviews the black women who have spent their lives taking care of prominent southern families. The film won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress (Octavia Spencer).

October 15Book Signing and Reading

Join the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey for a reading and book signing with Jam! On the Vine author Lashonda Barnett. This event is free for members and $5 for non-members.

October 18Artist Talk with Casey Ruble and Don Porcaro

Meet exhibiting artists Casey Ruble and Don Porcaro as they discuss the meaning and process behind their art.

October 21Talking Pictures Film Series: “Do the Right Thing”

The Visual Arts Center of New Jersey will screen “Do the Right Thing.” Producer, writer, director, and actor, Spike Lee, combines humor, drama and music in his signature style to again expose the absurdity of racism. The film moves its cast of characters through a minefield of sensations over the course of the hottest day of the year, on one block in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant. This blood-boiling, 24-hour period will change the lives of its residents forever.

November 8Oral History Workshop

Learn oral history interviewing skills, practice deep listening and explore race, ethnicity, and intersecting identities through personal and community history.

For more than 80 years, the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey has been exclusively dedicated to viewing, making and learning about contemporary art. Recognized as a leading non-profit arts organization, the Art Center’s renowned studio school, acclaimed exhibitions, and educational outreach initiatives serve thousands of youth, families, seniors and people with special needs every year.

“As part of our mission of bringing art and people together, we believe in the inclusivity of all groups and through Community Engagement Programs we make art available to under-served, economically disadvantaged and marginalized audiences,” the art center said. “It is our goal to provide transformative learning experiences for our audience so that they leave the Art Center with a greater sense of self and the world around them.”

For those interested in trying their hand at a new medium or art form, several new workshops will be ongoing throughout the season and offered seven days a week. There are five ways to register for classes and workshops: online at www.artcenternj.org; by phone (908) 273-9121 or fax (908) 273-1457; in person at the Art Center or by mail to 68 Elm Street, Summit 07901.

In conjunction with Fall Exhibitions, a series of related programming will run through the fall. For more information visit www.artcenternj.org/programs.