New Jersey Artist Joe Waks Mixed-Media Paintings On Display SOPAC This Spring

New Jersey Artist Joe Waks Mixed-Media Paintings On Display SOPAC This SpringThe South Orange Performing Arts Center's Herb and Milly Iris Gallery will host a new exhibit from New Jersey artist Joe Waks featuring mixed-media paintings featuring imagery from a by-gone era that sends the mind spinning into thought-provoking commentary about today's world. Waks' " Kwalité Paintings" show, on display March 5-April 27 contains 17 artistic renderings of juxtaposed images that become social commentary. There will be an opening reception on Thursday, March 8, 6-9 p.m. Waks describes himself as a painter/bon vivant/provocateur who creates works that titillate, inspire and/or annoy both serfs and royalty alike, and his wit and irreverence shine through in his paintings.

Waks' mixed media paintings serve as an observation on the interconnected world we inhabit. His work reflects our universal consumerist ethos by presenting us with a "re-contextualized" ideal of the icons and emblems, common amongst disparate civilizations that share planet earth.

This narrative, along with lively execution, are what Gallery Curator Jeremy Moss knew would resonate with audiences at the Herb & Milly Iris Gallery at SOPAC. Moss noted, "I enjoy the fact that art patrons will be thoughtfully provoked by the subject matter of these mixed-media paintings."

Joe Waks is a largely self-taught painter, photographer and printmaker who resides in beautiful Bayonne, New Jersey. He is also an attorney who has worked at the highest levels of local, state and federal government in his beloved Garden State. Waks' mixed media creations underscore his passion for politics and popular culture.

Waks is an audacious commentator on these kooky times. Observant as a seasoned reporter who never leaves home without his "Little Pad of Ideas," he doesn't let a headline or artifact exemplifying America's past grandeur and current status as a nation driving off a cliff at 80 mph, or slice of pizza get by him. Though Waks can be accused of being absent-minded -- he's been known to leave his personal effects on the roof of his car as he speeds off -- he is constantly unearthing the teeny-tiny things that go unnoticed in everyday life.

Joe Waks was a 2008 New Jersey Print and Paper Fellow at the Brodsky Center for Innovative Editions at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. He has had numerous solo and group shows at galleries in New Jersey and New York, including two highly successful solo exhibitions in 2010. His works are in private collections in New York City, Los Angeles and many others in the United States and Canada. Waks is also in the permanent collection of the Jersey City Museum, and Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide, part of one of the largest public relations agencies, recently acquired several of his paintings for its renowned collection.

The Herb & Milly Iris Gallery brings contemporary art to the community, providing artists opportunities to reach new audiences. The Gallery is designed for moviegoers, theater enthusiasts, art lovers, and all citizens of South Orange alike to have an opportunity to further enrich their cultural lives. The Gallery is the impetus of former SOPAC Board of Governor's member Milly Iris who had an extensive art collection, was an art teacher, and the former owner/director of South Orange's Whichcraft Gallery. Along with her husband Herb, Milly was a longtime supporter of SOPAC.


Since 2006, SOPAC has been serving as a premier performing arts center in the region. SOPAC offers innovative artistic and cultural experiences for diverse audiences in an intimate, inviting environment. The premier arts center hosts a variety of live performances, community events and education programs for all ages. To further expand its offerings, SOPAC has a partnership with the Juilliard School of Music to present Juilliard @ SOPAC - a series featuring upcoming musicians from the acclaimed conservatory. SOPAC is home for Seton Hall University Arts Council's performances, including Classical Concert Series, Jazz 'N the Hall performances and Seton Hall University Theatre productions. SOPAC also presents performances by its theater company in-residence, American Theater Group. For more information, visit

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