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VACNJ Celebrates Success of Pop! Goes The Gala


VACNJ Celebrates Success of Pop! Goes The Gala

On Saturday, April 6, the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey held its largest fundraising event of the year at Canoe Brook Country Club in Summit. Pop! Goes the Gala was on trend with a pop-art theme and raised more than $220,000 to support the Art Center's innovative programs, including community outreach and scholarships for at-risk youths and under-served families. The evening featured live music, signature cocktails, fantastic food, and a robust silent auction. The live auction included original artwork and unique experiences and was led for the second year by celebrity auctioneer, CK Swett. Additionally, during the evening, the Art Center recognized three people for their contributions to the arts on both a local and national level. Ann and Mel Schaffer were recognized for their long history of arts philanthropy and artist Zoë Buckman was presented with VACNJ's Art Changemaker Award for her work's thematic explorations of feminism, mortality, and equality.

"This year's Pop! Goes the Gala was a night to remember," said event Co-Chair Rebecca Ryan. "This year the Art Center took the event off-site, and it allowed for more guests to help us celebrate art and support the Art Center's numerous programs. The artwork and experiences available for silent and live auction were incredible and added to the colorful ambiance and energy in the room. We are so grateful to everyone who attended and helped make the evening a success. I can't wait for next year!" The event was additionally co-chaired by Karen Caplan, and gala host committee members included: Melissa Baker, Patricia A. Bell, Kate Buchanan, Lori Bush, Anne Grissinger, Nikki McKay, Esther McNulty, Alison O'Neill, Larissa Reick, and Theresa Scallon.

Gold sponsors for the evening included: Lori & Andrew Bush; Lisa Butler & Bob Kelly; Cartier; Kelly Deere & Lee Shavel; Anne & RJ Grissinger; Amy Knight; Alison & David O'Neill; and The Wilf Family Foundations. Silver Sponsors included: Katherine & John Buchanan, Risk Strategies Co.; Betse & Frank Gump; Briana King & Christopher Joralemon; Lindabury, McCormick, Estabrook & Cooper, P.C.; Murray Hill Tennis + Fitness and MH Lab; Kayla & Richard Pechter; Larissa & Timothy Reick; Ann & Mel Schaffer; Deborah & Fred Schwarzmann; David Srere, Siegel + Gale; and Summit House Restaurant + Bar. Bronze Sponsors included Sally & Tom Abbott; Patty & A. Jude Avelino; Karen & Mark Caplan; Millie & Jack Cooper; Siobhan Creem; Mary Esquivel & Michael Sciarra; Estelle Fournier, Partner in Art; Terri & Mark Friedman; Lorraine & Peter Kelly; Point View Wealth Management, Inc.; Susan & Doug Present; Amy & Mitchell Radin; Rebecca & Declan Ryan; Joanie Schwarz & Don Rosenthal; Jill & Josh Tarnow; and Susan & Stephen Yarad. Community sponsors included: Otterstedt Insurance Agency and Sahola Flower Fashion Boutique.

About the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey

For 85 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.

The Visual Arts Center of New Jersey is located at 68 Elm Street in Summit, NJ. Adult and children's group tours are available throughout the year. Gallery Hours: Monday-Wednesday and Friday, 10 AM-5 PM; Thursday, 10 AM-8 PM; and Saturday & Sunday, 11 AM-4 PM. Please call 908.273.9121 to confirm holiday hours. Visit for more information.

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