The Visual Arts Center of New Jersey Hires Kristen Evangelista as New Exhibitions Director

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originally published: 05/24/2022

(SUMMIT, NJ) — The Visual Arts Center of New Jersey (VACNJ) announced the hiring of Kristen Evangelista as the new Director of Exhibitions, effective June 1, 2022. Evangelista will join VACNJ after serving as Director of Galleries at William Paterson University for nearly a decade. “I am thrilled to welcome Kristen as the new Exhibitions Director,” said Melanie Cohn, Executive Director of VACNJ. “Kristen’s knowledge of art and depth of experience as a curator goes hand in hand with her community orientation and love of working with contemporary artists. These qualities make her the perfect choice to lead the Art Center’s museum program.”

Evangelista has spent nearly two decades as an arts curator and administrator at nonprofit arts organizations, museums, and institutions of higher learning in New Jersey and the San Francisco Bay Area. Evangelista served as Director of Galleries at William Paterson University from 2011-2021, where she developed an exhibition program dedicated to showcasing historically under-recognized artists and art movements. She has curated major programs exploring diverse cultural perspectives, interdisciplinary approaches, social justice and sustainability. She has regularly collaborated with artists in the creative process, encouraging experimental and innovative approaches to artistic creation. She has received 20 grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, New Jersey Council for the Humanities, and New Jersey State Council on the Arts, among others.

Prior to her time at William Paterson University, Evangelista held exhibitions at the San José Museum of Art, Southern Exposure (San Francisco) and the San José Institute of Contemporary Art. As associate curator at the San José Museum of Art, she has curated 20 individual and thematic exhibitions. At Southern Exposure, she has helped emerging artists create risk-taking new works, including immersive environments and large-scale installations.

Evangelista holds a Bachelor of Arts in Art History and Women’s Studies from Wesleyan University and a Master of Arts from the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College. She served on the board of the New Jersey Association of Museums from 2018 to 2021.


For more than 85 years, the New Jersey Visual Arts Center was exclusively dedicated to viewing, creating and learning about contemporary art. Recognized as a leading nonprofit arts organization, the Art Center’s acclaimed Studio School, acclaimed exhibitions, and educational outreach initiatives serve thousands of youth, families, seniors, and people with special needs each year. specials.

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The New Jersey Visual Arts Center is located at 68 Elm Street in Summit, New Jersey. Gallery hours: Monday through Thursday, 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; and Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Please call 908.273.9121 to confirm vacation hours.

Significant support for the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey is provided by the Wilf Family Foundation; Peter R. & Cynthia K. Kellogg Foundation; New Jersey State Council on the Arts; The domain of Pamela Hauptfleisch; and the Art Center community of supporters.

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