Essex County Art Exhibit Gives Teens a Voice During COVID-19 Pandemic

WEST ORANGE, NJ – The West Orange Arts Council has partnered with the Visual and Performing Arts Program at West Orange High School (WOHS) to feature rising stars in the community.

Work by Miguel Intal

The 2021 Virtual WOHS Student Exhibit showcases the work of 17 Advanced Placement Studio Art seniors: Clark Bunao, Adriana Garcia, Miguel Intal, Chris King, Tracy Kwok, Finnley Lewis, Alina Oser, Cristal Perez, Olivia Pinto, Jordan Roberts, Kyle Selim, Ella Silivanch, Julia Spellman, Mikayla Tilton, Elian Torres, Ilayda Vural and Dylan Wimberly.

The artists work in several techniques including traditional acrylic, graphite, and watercolor to Tombow markers and digital charcoal.

Work by Dylan Wimberly

“The students look forward to sharing the work they’ve created over the course of this unusual year of virtual learning,” says Heather Young, AP Studio art teacher. “As over 80% plan to or are in the process of applying to higher learning with an art focus, this group show is a great way to enhance their online portfolios.”

The WOHS Arts Program offers a variety of visual and aesthetic art courses. Students are required to complete a one-semester foundation course in studio art before proceeding to advanced studies like advanced drawing, design, painting, graphics and sculpture. After that, juniors and seniors may enroll in Advanced Placement Studio Art, producing portfolios for college admission and earning up to six advanced placement college credits.

This student exhibit has significant meaning for both organizations as it marks the one-year anniversary of the pandemic lockdown. “Last March, we no sooner installed the show at the WOAC gallery, when the governor placed New Jersey in lockdown,” Lisa Suss, WOAC board member and co-curator recalls.

“While our doors were closed, we were working behind the scenes to stay connected and keep the arts alive,” states WOAC chair Patricia Mitrano. “The WOAC offered several virtual shows and two hybrid (virtual and in-person at the gallery) this past year with more in store for 2021.”

The virtual exhibit will be available on the West Orange Arts Council website at Additional events including a virtual reception are being planned at the time of this writing. Follow the West Orange Arts Council on social media and check the website regularly.

For more information about the West Orange Arts Council and West Orange Arts Center, visit or email

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