Arts & Entertainment

ACEO Partners with SOPAC for 5th Annual Playin' Around South Orange Project

ACEO Members Marsha Wilkerson, Gwendolyn "Arri" Jackson & Irene Pomianowski at Playin' Around South Orange. Their creation "Eye-Full" Piano is on display at the Sloan Street Gazebo thur September 27.

EAST ORANGE, NJ - The Arts Council of East Orange (ACEO) recently partnered with the South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) on the 5th Annual Playin’ Around South Orange Project, which included the painting of pianos whose keys will be open for free “tickling” in four downtown South Orange locations between Aug. 30 and Sept. 27.

Under the creative direction of longtime East Orange resident Gwendolyn “Arri” Jackson, former president of ACEO, the “Eye-Full” piano was born and brought to life in part with the assistance of fellow ACEO members Irene Pomianowski (co-concept creator), Marsha Wilkerson, and ACEO President Helena Branch, all retired volunteers and long-time residents of East Orange.

Pomianowski, a visual artist and photographer who last year was one of the featured artists of Pink Dragon Artist Syndicate's "East Orange is the Newest Black" exhibition at historic Manufacturer's Village, lovingly described the collaborative project like “art camp.” Over the past month, the project brought together a “motley crew” of volunteers to assist Jackson, a retired Newark Public Schools art teacher, in executing her vision to re-purpose the pianos and give them a second creative life in the South Orange community.

Sign Up for E-News

“This has been a dream of mine for some time now and I cannot explain how overwhelmed I am by all of the support I’ve received throughout this process,” said Jackson. “These are the types of creative placemaking projects that ACEO wants to help bring to East Orange. Our city is primed and ready to bring all of the underground creativity of our residents to the forefront of making East Orange a true destination city.”  

Jackson and Pomianowski were actually inspired to create the “Eye-Full” concept after Pomianowski’s mused upon a recent calamity that left her with a black eye. The piano, which is prominently on display in the Sloan Street gazebo in front of South Orange’s Train Station, features various eyes and songs about eyes. It is the hope of the two artists that the musicians would be inspired to play the popular songs such as "Bette Davis Eyes," "Brown-Eyed Girl" and "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You."

Kick-off festivities for the pianos were held from noon to 1 p.m. on Sat., Aug. 26. 

Programmed by the South Orange Village Center Alliance, Wednesday night Jam sessions at the Sloan Street Gazebo will make the area around the South Orange Transit Station come alive with music weekly from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Aug.30 to Sept.27.

Other artists include Bill Billec (“South Orange Submarine” at Spiotta Park), Elizabeth, Alexa and Allie Sibio (“Peacock” Baby Grand at Village Service Center on South Orange Avenue), and Sandy Koturba assisted by JESPY House clients (“Zentangle” at Irvington & West Fairview Avenues). Lawrence Ciarallo painted the piano located at the Bishop Dougherty University Center on the Seton Hall University campus.

Pianos are donated by various individuals from throughout the community. Director of SOPAC Community Engagement, Linda Beard, keeps her eyes and ears open for possible donations all year long, sometimes asking people to “hold on to” their instruments for several months for lack of storage space until the summer comes around again. Her goal for the program is “to interrupt the day-to-day routine and allow people the opportunity to interact with different genres of art in a unique way.” She says with obvious enthusiasm, “It’s about bringing what we do inside the [SOPAC] building outside to the community.” 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Spring is (Almost) Here

Get ready for farmers markets and outdoor events, spring is bound to come at some point! To help you get ready Sadie's has lots of new spring products including this great Market Tote by Feed- the purchase of this cute everyday bag will donate 50 school meals. While stopping in for this tote check out some of the other great spring items just in. Don't forget the charity of the month is ...

Feeling Lucky

Shop of the morning to you! It’s that time of year when everyone’s color is green! Stop by Sadie's to get your St. Patty’s shirt before the big day. While your here and feeling lucky check out our latest Spring styles for Men and Women. You may make your friends green with envy.

Horoscope: Have a birthday between 3/13 and 3/24? If you stumble into a ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 13

On this episode of AtlantiCast, new clinical studies in the fields of cardiology and immunotherapy, national and statewide recognitions for Atlantic Health System medical centers and the inaugural AtlantiCast Collab Challenge!


South Orange Police Blotter - Adult Arrests for Shoplifting and DWI Reported

March 16, 2018

South Orange Police Blotter as of March 16

Adult Arrest/Shoplifting - William Minitee, a 45 year old Irvington resident was arrested on Thursday, March 8, at approximately 12:40 p.m. for shoplifting. Security officers at the Stop & Shop on Valley Street observed Minitee conceal several items on his person and then flee the store without paying for the items. Officers stopped a subject ...

Maplewood Police Blotter - Home Burglary, Burglary at DeHart Community Center Reported

March 4 - Burglary; At approximately 1:20 a.m., officers observed a male removing several items from inside DeHart Community Center. The male was identified as 22 year old Joe Carr of Irvington. He was arrested and charged with burglary.

March 6 - Burglary; At approximately 11:30 a.m., officers responded to a home on Broadview Avenue on a report of a ...

Maplewood to Hold Spring Egg Hunt on Sunday, March 25

March 19, 2018

MAPLEWOOD, NJ - Hop on down to Maplewood's Spring Egg Hunt! Maplewood will hold its 34th annual hunt on Sunday, March 25, from noon to 2 p.m. in Memorial Park.

An email from the Maplewood Recreation Department states to "please arrive promptly at noon with a basket or bag to make sure you don’t miss anything."

At last year's event, hundreds of kids ...

Most South Orange Maplewood Schools Plan to Participate in National School Walkout on Wednesday, March 14

SOUTH ORANGE AND MAPLEWOOD, NJ - On Wednesday, March 14, the Women’s March Youth EMPOWER is organizing a National School Walkout. According to the national march website, the walkout is for 17 minutes at 10 a.m. "to protest Congress’ inaction to do more than tweet thoughts and prayers in response to the gun violence plaguing our schools and neighborhoods... and to demand Congress ...

Upcoming Events

Tue, March 20, 7:00 PM

Bow Tie South Orange Cinemas, South Orange

18th Annual New Jersey Jewish Film Festival

Arts & Entertainment Religions And Spirituality

Wed, March 21, 12:00 PM

Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel, South Orange

The Purposes and Rhythms of Jewish Living

Education Religions And Spirituality


Wed, March 21, 6:00 PM

Barnabas Health Ambulatory Care Center, Conference Room A/B, First Floor, Livingston

Colon Cancer Screening Education Program at Saint ...

Health & Wellness

Wed, March 21, 7:00 PM

Boccone South, South Orange

A Taste of Italy

Food & Drink

Hundreds Cheer on Marchers and Bands at 67th West Orange St. Patrick’s Day Parade

March 19, 2018

WEST ORANGE, NJ – Even a week’s delay caused by a massive snowstorm couldn’t dampen the spirits of the large crowd of spectators who cheered on the marchers and bands who participated in West Orange’s 67th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Sunday.

Wending their way up Main Street were more than 25 bands, including marching bands from northern New Jersey high ...

Members of Brick City Brims Charged for Alleged Roles in Drug Trafficking Organization

NEWARK, NJ – Six members of the Brick City Brims set of the Bloods street gang were arrested last week for their alleged roles in a major drug trafficking organization that dealt heroin in and around Newark.

Tyrone Brown, 34, Lamarr Burwell, 22, and Miles McCloud, 37, all of Newark, and Martin Pettiford, 23, of Irvington, are each charged with one count of conspiracy to ...

Commemoration of Jay Kielwasser, Union Animal Control Officer

March 17, 2018

UNION, NJ – A commemoration of the late Jay Kielwasser's work as Union’s Animal Control Officer took place at Wednesday evening’s Board of Health meeting.

Board President Jackie Carter said Kielwasser, who passed away in April, was the first Animal Control officer appointed by the Board of Health. 

“You really don’t know how someone ...

Springfield Residents Cope as Power Slowly Returns

SPRINGFIELD, NJ - As of Saturday afternoon at 5 p.m. Springfield is showing outage of 2,677 or 25 percent, which is down from over 40 percent in the last two hours. It is also down from 68 percent at the peak. Union County at this point is over 20 percent of JCP&L’s statewide outages. Trucks are visible on Township streets with a caravan spotted on ...

Summer Camp at Lightbridge Academy in Millburn

March 19, 2018

If you are looking for a fun-filled summer for your little ones, look no further!

Lightbridge Academy in Millburn is providing a summer camp program with tons of exciting guests, water play activities, and so much more!

Call us at 973-218-1800 to learn about what we have to offer.


Weekly Specials at Ashley Marketplace - March 16 to March 22

Shop Ashley Marketplace & Cafe for your everyday needs!

This week's specials are:

Litofish Sardines $5.99ea (Ashley Fish Market)
Total Fage Yogurt 4/$5
Aviv Passover Matzos 2/$7
Ground Beef $3.99lb (Meat)
Roasted Vegetables $7.99lb (Prep Food)
President Brie $6.99lb (Cheese)
Iceberg Lettuce $1.99
Serrano Ham $14.99lb (Deli)
Turkey Hill Ice Cream ...

SOMA Film Festival Starts Friday Night, March 16

The 3rd annual SOMA Film Festival is finishing up the final touches before they kickoff this weekend's event at The Woodland, Bow Tie Cinemas in South Orange, and Maplewood Theater.  

With 16 screening programs there is something for everyone. The popular Kids Program is back for two engagements with both sold out as is the Opening Night Party and Screening. 

Tickets are still ...