HomeVoorhees NewsVoorhees Arts Center and Gallery Grand Opening set for June 29

Voorhees Arts Center and Gallery Grand Opening set for June 29

Made possible by the Voorhees Arts Council, the Town Center will now house an established art gallery.

Judy Grace Okun is one of nearly 30 artists from around South Jersey who will be featured in the premiere of the official Voorhees Arts Center and Gallery in the Town Center. Okun specializes in original alcohol ink designs.

Despite conversations of condemnation, the Voorhees Town Center will soon see permanent pops of color and culture.

The stretch of unoccupied stores behind the food court will be enlivened by the Voorhees Arts Center and Gallery — the most recent effort of the Voorhees Arts Council under the Sustainable Voorhees initiative.

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On June 29 from 7 to 9 p.m., the space will host its grand opening with ribbon-cuttings by Mayor Michael Mignogna and vocal performances by Miss Camden County Sophia Vicari.

The arts council, which was established last fall with assistance from township administrator Larry Spellman and council co-chair Natalie Sutherland, centers upon three programs, including the Arts on the Boulevard Exhibit, monthly programs and other special events.

Seeking a home for such artistic platforms, Marianne Leone, co-chair of Voorhees Arts Council and executive director of the new center and gallery, met with Town Center mall management, as well as the township, in negotiating rent to occupy the vacant space over the next year.

Aside from satisfying artistic needs in Voorhees, the gallery will also align with the township’s mission to repurpose the Town Center as a destination-oriented property.

“Upon launching those programs, I very quickly felt, given the absence of an art community in Voorhees, that we needed a face and a space,” she said.

That space was previously home to Country Scents Candles on the first floor of the mall. Upon perusing an ideal place for the gallery, Leone realized the mahogany shelves that once held candles lent themselves to display art.

From mosaics to photography and stained glass to water colors, the room can hold up to 27 displays, as 23 artists have already started filling the shelves with their work.

“I think (the variety) is reflection of what our community is,” Leone said. “So, I didn’t really have to seek out (variety), that happened very organically.”

The chief feature of the gallery is its scope of craftsmanship. A common creative theme in the gallery is upcycling, as several waste items have been given a second life as art.

Most of the artists were recruited through connections made by artist collectives across South Jersey, including exhibits in Marlton, Haddonfield and Hammonton.

On a monthly basis, all participating artists have the right of first refusal, allowing them to rent again or leave. If available spaces become open, prospective artists will be considered.

Aside from serving as an art gallery and store for one-of-a-kind gifts, the space will also encompass Voorhees Arts Council’s various special events and monthly features, including the weekly Tween Art Camp, which kicks off June 27, and general monthly art programs that kick off June 20 with rock painting. The summer exhibit of the Arts of the Boulevard display will also open by the June 29 grand opening.

Also, networking with businesses in the immediate area, Leone says the gallery plans to partner with the Adventureland Store of comics for certain programs, as well as partner with the food court pizzaria for potential birthday parties. Also, in September, the gallery hopes to team up with Boscov’s for a back-to-school fashion show featuring the center’s artwork.

All of these visions boil down to one thing — artistic exposure.

“I knew from Arts on the Boulevard program that there were already interested artists who, like myself, have a lot of their work tucked in a closet or in a storage area in our homes, not being seen by people,” Leone said. “I wanted to give them opportunities.”


Tuesday to Friday — 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

(Depending upon artist coverage) –

Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Sundays 11 a.m. to 2 p.n.

Friday 6 to 9 p.m.


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