Award-winning artist and Rowan College of South Jersey–Cumberland (RCSJ) adjunct art professor, Lavett Ballard, is curating an exhibit titled, “Stories My Grandmother Told Me.” This exhibit, which is free to the public, will be held at the College’s Arts & Innovation Center (AIC) located at 321 N. High Street in Millville and runs from September 25 to November 10. A special artist reception, also free and open to the public, will take place on October 20 from 6 to 9 p.m.
This powerful art display will include the artwork of international, national, and local artists. The intention of “Stories My Grandmother Told Me” is to “visually narrate [the] culture, communities, beauty, and history” of people of African descent.
Ballard is a world-renowned mixed media visual artist, art historian, curator, and author. Her artwork has been used in film, television, and multiple literary publications. Ballard’s work has also graced the cover of Time twice—once in 2020 for the esteemed periodical’s 100 Women of the Year Project and in 2023 as an accompanying “visual narrative” to author Isabel Wilkerson’s piece for the magazine, titled “Division & Destiny: How to Build a Truly Equal American Democracy.”
Ballard, who has accrued a copious number of accomplishments throughout her career, including a 2023 New Jersey State Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship award, gives RCSJ–Cumberland students a real-life example that the possibility of reaching astronomical heights in the art world is not a far-fetched idea.
“I think it is amazing and greatly beneficial to the institution and students to have a successful artist as a teacher,” said Jackie Sandro-Greenwell, director of Fine Arts and Clay College, RCSJ–Cumberland. “They have the opportunity to benefit from her in-depth knowledge, her contacts in the art world, and her extensive experience.”
Work from another acclaimed artist, Sara Bunn, is also included in the exhibit. Bunn’s textiles and costuming work was once featured on the long-running CBS Sunday Morning show.
The AIC is open Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday noon to 5 p.m., and is closed on Sunday.
For more information about Rowan College of South Jersey’s Arts & Innovation Center, visit RCSJ.edu/ArtsInnovation.