As malls across New Jersey continue to be closed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, local businesses, organizations and nonprofits potentially located in malls have had to adjust accordingly.
The Voorhees Arts Council and Gallery, located in the Voorhees Town Center, has decided to host an exclusively digital exhibit on its website as a way for artists to express themselves during social distancing as serve the community as well.
“We wanted to give artists an opportunity to express themselves during this period of disruption from the coronavirus,” said Marianne Leone, co-chair of the Voorhees Arts Center. “Meanwhile for the community, it’s a wonderful opportunity to try to distract themselves from the news for a bit; those were our two real motivations for starting this exhibit.”
Throughout April, the Voorhees Arts Council hosts five separate art contests by which artists can submit work for the selected theme of a particular week and compete in a 25-person contest to be one of three weekly winners.
The first week’s exhibit was dedicated to the theme of flowers; other weekly themes are pets, children at play, mother Earth and the sun and the moon, the last for the final week’s contest.
Leone says the themes were generated with the thought of what both the artists might most like to capture and what the community might most like to see.
“A lot of people of course have pets and have children, and then mother Earth is in honor of Earth week,” Leone explained “We felt these themes were some of the most prominent ones we see and hear about. We’ve also had submissions for some other themes so we may decide to extend it and introduce more themes after that.”
The voting will be done until Sunday on the council’s Facebook page. Winners will be announced that Monday, with the third-place winner receiving free submission into the gallery’s Arts on the Boulevard exhibit and the second-place winner a $25 Amazon gift card. The first-place winner will receive a $50 Amazon gift card.
At the end of the five weeks, Leone hopes the 15 winners will participate in a Meet the Artists Reception at an undetermined time in the future.