Arts Access 2022

A Year in Review

Artist George Hoehn and Performing Arts Coordinator Heather Williams on stage at the Robert Schonhorn Arts Center.

Every day at Arts Access is full of exciting achievements and creative freedom. This year was filled with new opportunities to share our artists’ work with the world. Join us for a review of some of this year’s most memorable moments.


Virtual Exhibitions

Programming for the visual arts kicked off with a bang this year with three exciting virtual exhibitions!

Virtual gallery with exhibited paintings during Arts Access "Winter Blues" 2022 exhibit.

Winter Blues

There’s no better cure for the winter blues than art! In January and February, we highlighted works by Arts Access artists that were anchored by one commonality: a blue color palette. During the coldest and darkest days of the year, these works inspired us to overcome the winter blues and instead welcome the beauty, calm, and comfort of the winter season. Read more about “Winter Blues.”

Virtual gallery with "Celebrating the Women of Arts Access" exhibited paintings.

Celebrating the Women of Arts Access

In March, we honored Women’s History Month with a special tribute to the women of Arts Access. The exhibit reflected the 2022 Women’s History Month theme designated by the National Women’s History Alliance: “Women Providing Healing, Promoting Hope.” Read more about “Celebrating the Women of Arts Access.”

Virtual gallery with Arts Access "Spring Fever" exhibited paintings.

Spring Fever

In April and May, when the snow began to melt and the flowers started to blossom, we launched “Spring Fever,” featuring an uplifting collection of paintings to welcome spring. To celebrate the arrival of spring, this exhibit showcased works with bright color palettes coupled with figures of springtime such as flowers, butterflies, and sunny days. Read more about “Spring Fever.”

Plays By People 2022

Arts Access once again participated in Plays by People, an annual event that is part of The Stages Festival, a state-wide spring festival of free and low-cost theatre events including performances, classes, workshops, and play readings held by the New Jersey Theatre Alliance.

This year’s event was held virtually, via Zoom, and showcased works in progress by four Arts Access playwrights: Mike CornelyLuis RodriguezChris Saglimbene, and Paul Santo. The playwrights were an integral part of the staging process, directing the actors on how to best present their written work.

Read more about Plays By People.

Artists participating in virtual Plays by People question and answer session in 2022.

Exhibit at the Somerset County Cultural & Heritage Gallery

We were excited to return to in-person programming for our first exhibition of 2022 at the Somerset County Administration Building! Coinciding with Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, paintings by Arts Access artists were exhibited from March 1 through April 21.

Read more about the exhibit.

Choreographer Andy Lash with Dance Facilitator Alyssa Thostesen on stage at Robert Schonhorn Arts Center, during Dance Day filming.

International Dance Day

On Friday, April 29, Arts Access and Matheny celebrated International Dance Day with a special virtual performance of dances choreographed by Andy LashMelvin Rhett, and Chris Saglimbene.

Watch the performances.

Exhibit at the Atrium Gallery in Morristown

Arts Access was thrilled to be a part of the “REEMERGENCE AND RENEWAL” exhibit presented by Morris Arts at the Atrium Gallery in Morristown from May 13 through September 2. The exhibit also marked our first in-person reception after a long hiatus, and we were so excited to see some Arts Access artists in attendance!

Read more about the exhibit.
Read more about the reception.

Artist Anthony Zaccaria with an exhibited painting at Atrium Gallery artists' reception.
New Jersey Collaborative ARTS Exhibit 2022 virtual gallery with exhibited paintings.

12th Annual Rutgers NJMS Collaborative ARTS Exhibit

Collaboration in the arts is always an exciting endeavor, and we are so proud to have been part of the Collaborative ARTS Exhibit at Rutgers NJMS for 12 years now! Once again, the artists from Arts Access and JSDD’s WAE Center brought their incredible talents together for another truly inspiring exhibition. After two years of a virtual exhibit, were were thrilled to offer this year’s exhibit as a hybrid event, combining the success of the last couple year’s virtual exhibition and reception with a return of an in-person installation at Rutger’s Medical School.

Read more about the Collaborative ARTS Exhibit.
Read more about the virtual reception.

Exhibit at The Farmstead Arts Center

In November, we partnered with The Farmstead Arts Center in Basking Ridge, NJ, to present “Expressions: A Survey of Work by the Arts Access Program,” in its historic gallery space. The exhibit featured 40 acrylic and digital paintings by 25 Arts Access artists, and an in-person opening reception was held on Sunday, November 13. The event attracted local art lovers and artists Anthony Zaccaria and Isabell Villacis were present to share about their work.

Read more about the exhibit.
Read more about the opening reception.

Artists Anthony Zaccaria and Isabell Villasis with exhibited paintings at Farmstead Arts artists' reception.
Guests viewing exhibited paintings at Kathryn Markel opening reception.

Exhibit at Kathryn Markel Fine Arts in NYC

2022 came to a close with an exciting exhibition in the big apple! Contemporary gallery Kathryn Markel Fine Arts hosted “Art Without Limits,” an exhibition of 19 paintings by 17 Arts Access artists from December 9 through 23. An opening reception was held in the gallery on Saturday, December 10, and it was a lovely afternoon with art lovers, artists, and their families. The exhibit was a celebratory way to end the year and a wonderful opportunity to showcase our artists’ work to the NYC art world!

Read more about the exhibit.
Read more about the opening reception.

Paintings by Arts Access artists displayed at Peapack Gladstone Bank in Teaneck, New Jersey.
Installation at Peapack-Gladstone Bank in Teaneck, NJ
Arts Access exhibited paintings at Somerset Business Partnership.
Installation in the Somerset County Business Partnership conference room


New Artist Merchandise

This year, we introduced six new items to the Arts Access merchandise collection! In the summer, we debuted a limited edition coaster set to commemorate Matheny’s 75th anniversary, featuring the artwork of  Josh Handler, Ellen KaneTammy Heppner, and Cheryl Chapin, a group of veteran Arts Access artists who have been involved with the program for almost 30 years.

In the fall, we launched five more items: A ceramic mug with artwork by Qing Tao Yu, a versatile head wrap with artwork by Lloyd Decker, a hard cover notebook with artwork by Bari Kim Goldrosen, and a beautiful necklace and bracelet set featuring complementary artwork by Amy Myers and Jasmine Oliver, which can be purchased separately or as a set.

These new merchandise items not only widened the selection of merchandise items in our Art Shop, but also provided more vocational opportunities to our artists.

Visit our art shop to browse the new merchandise.

Arts Access merchandise based on artwork by program artists.
Thanksgiving Weekend, 2022 Artists Sunday invitation to shop art.

Third Annual Artists Sunday

This fall, Arts Access joined artists and organizations across the country for the third annual Artists Sunday, a nationwide event the Sunday after Thanksgiving, encouraging consumers to shop with artists and craftspeople.

Read more about Artists Sunday.


Art in the Park

On Saturday, September 18, we returned for Peapack-Gladstone’s 22nd annual Art in the Park event. We loved meeting new faces, reconnecting with old friends, and selling Arts Access merchandise along the way!

Installation with Disability Rights New Jersey

On Wednesday, October 12, we traveled to the beautiful Boat House at Mercer Lake to display paintings by Arts Access artists at an event hosted by Disability Rights New Jersey. We loved partnering with this local organization to share our artists’ work with the world.

DisABILITY Services Expo

We participated in this year’s DisABILITY Services Expo in Bridgewater on Saturday, October 22, to spread the word about Arts Access to the residents of Somerset County.


Arts Access featured on The Large Glass

On Tuesday, May 24, Arts Access Director Eileen Murray and Outreach Coordinator Heather Williams were interviewed on The Large Glass, a weekly virtual livestream highlighting new artists, art related themes, and live artists from their studios.

Learn more and watch the livestream.

Grants to support the Arts

Arts Access is proud to have received a grant this year from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.


Artist Thomas Christian at work during a virtual facilitation session.

Virtual Facilitation

Since its development during the spring of 2020, our virtual facilitation program has continued to grow and flourish! More and more artists are returning to Arts Access via their computers and we have welcomed some entirely new artists to our program thanks to the accessibility and flexibility that virtual facilitation offers.

View highlights from virtual facilitation sessions

Returning to the Studio

While virtual facilitation has continued to remain a vital part of our program, we were thrilled to welcome some of our artists back to the Arts Center in person this year.

Artist Jessica Evans in the studio at the Robert Schonhorn Arts Center.

We’d like to say a very special thank you to all of our supporters for helping us continue to create great opportunities like the ones listed here for our artists. Thanks for a memorable and unique year!

To stay up to date on all the latest news and projects from Arts Access, be sure to join our email list and follow us on social media.

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