2020 New Jersey Arts Annual

Dissonance – Art | Craft | Design | Performance | New Media

The term dissonance describes the tension that arises from the arrangement of discordant elements, which can enrich our appreciation of harmony through added color and complexity. While dissonance is most fundamentally understood as a musical quality, the tension and restlessness it implies can be expressed visually, verbally, or performatively. Parallels to musical dissonance in other creative practices may be seen in the treatment of color, the choice of materials, the construction of texture, the juxtaposition of words, the choreography of movement, or the topic of reference.

Inspired by this concept, the exhibition Dissonance—Art | Craft | Design | Performance | New Media: The 2020 New Jersey Arts Annual features 59 works by 35 artists that encompass qualities of “discord, tension, instability, and conflict,” thought to “aptly fit the moment in which we find ourselves (during the COVID-19 crisis), as individuals, as institutions, as a nation, as a culture.” The tensions of diversity, geography, and history indicate that our collective future—of our world, our nation, our state and its citizens—remain tantalizingly malleable. The work chosen for this exhibition demonstrate how creative thinking grows from uncertainty, challenges the status quo, and aspires toward artistic revelation.

The exhibition is organized into six general categories: Performance, Abstraction, Figural Realism, Points of View, Object-Based, and Photography. Through the wide breadth of materials, styles, and subject matter explored by the selected artists, an “organized cacophony” of distinct artistic excellence emerges in the 2020 New Jersey Arts Annual. Curated by Lowery Stokes Sims, Independent Curator and Art Historian, and Dr. Cleveland Johnson, Executive Director of the Morris Museum, Dissonance—Art | Craft | Design | Performance | New Media presents a multi-disciplinary selection of new works that highlight the creativity of the visual and performing arts of New Jersey today.

Participating Artists

  • Adriane Colburn, Jersey City, NJ
  • Amanda Austin, Ocean Grove, NJ
  • Amy Benfer, Millville, NJ
  • Chung-Fan Chang, Sewell, NJ
  • Cleo Mack, Warren, NJ
  • Donna Conklin King, Roseland, NJ
  • Eitan Barokas, Fair Lawn, NJ
  • Emanuele Cacciatore, Weehawken, NJ
  • Erin Kuhn, East Hanover, NJ
  • Irmari Nacht, Englewood, NJ
  • Isaac Stackell, Montclair, NJ
  • Jane Biron, Chester, NJ
  • Jean-Paul Picard, Hoboken, NJ
  • Jim Goss, Hoboken, NJ
  • Joanna Madloch, Montclair, NJ
  • Joanna “Asia” Popinska, Pennington, NJ
  • Jonathan Collins, Chester, NJ
  • Judy Lipman Shechter, Jersey City,
  • Judy Wukitsch, Hoboken, NJ
  • Kimberly Witham, Glen Gardner, NJ
  • Liz Menzie, Bloomfield, NJ
  • Marina Carreira, Union, NJ
  • Mark Ludak, Lambertville, NJ
  • Matthew Feuer, Princeton, NJ
  • Maya Just Maya, Matawan, NJ
  • Megan Klim, Jersey City, NJ
  • Michael Endy, Westfield, NJ
  • Mike Richison, Ocean, NJ
  • Olga Alexander, Glen Ridge, NJ
  • Pat Brentano, Westfield, NJ
  • Peter Delman, Jersey City, NJ
  • Sarah Canfield, West Orange, NJ
  • Skeffington Thomas, Monroeville, NJ
  • Tracy DiTolla, Wyckoff, NJ
  • Tsai Hsi Hung, Woodridge, NJ


The New Jersey Arts Annual is a unique series of exhibitions highlighting artistic practice in the state. The series is cosponsored by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts in partnership with major museums throughout the state.

Viewing the Selected Works

While the Morris Museum was closed to the public during the COVID-19 crisis, the works were made available for viewing through this specially created online catalog.


About The New Jersey State Council on the Arts

The New Jersey State Council on the Arts is a division of the New Jersey Department of State. It receives funding in direct appropriations from the State of New Jersey through a dedicated Hotel/Motel Occupancy fee and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. The mission of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts is to improve the quality of life in this state, its people and communities by helping the arts flourish. For more information, please visit https://nj.gov/state/njsca/index.html

Image Top: Graphic designed by Sonya Maizell.


May 18 2020 - Mar 14 2021
See Virtual Catalog