From abstract to ‘hyper-real’
Resident art show to be held April 17
by E. Assata Wright
Reporter staff writer
Mar 31, 2013 | 7167 views | 1 1 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
“Gaea Longs for Ouronos,” one of the “hyper-real” photography-based paintings by Jesse Michael Newman.
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In two weeks, for one night only, the Secaucus Municipal Center – that functional place where people file police reports and challenge parking tickets – will be transformed into an art gallery.

On Wednesday, April 17, from 7 to 9 p.m., art works from some of the town’s most talented artists will be exhibited in the halls of justice and law. The evening, billed as the Secaucus Resident Art Show, will feature original artwork from more than 30 Secaucus-based artists working in the mediums of photography, sculpture, glass blowing, water color, and oil and acrylic paint.

The juried art show will include new work from local favorites Charlie Churchill, Doug DePice, Melissa Dargan, and Michael Cohen, in addition to some newer faces, including Jesse Michael Newman, Rachel Wilkins, and Edwin Montalvo.

This is the fourth community art show that the town has sponsored in recent years.

“It’s going to be pretty exciting this year,” said Mayor Michael Gonnelli. “We’re going back to the gallery-type show where there will be hor’derves and two bars set up. Classic Party Rentals is going to transform the entire Town Hall into a gallery. They’re going to be hanging lights. We’re going to use some of the outside areas. We have more artists than we’ve had in any previous show. We’ll be utilizing all four floors of the Town Hall, including both the council chambers…It’s going to be beautiful.”

Featured artists

A new addition to the Secaucus Resident Art Show this time around will be the inclusion of live poetry readings from local students who will read their own original poetry in Council Chambers II, located on the second floor of the Municipal Center.

Live music will be showcased on the first floor throughout the evening.

The show will also include work from a number of full-time professional artists.

Self-described “hyper-real” artist Jesse Michael Newman will have some of his surreal, photography-based pieces hung in the Secaucus Resident Art Show. Newman’s work has been previously been exhibited in the 2012 International Art Expo in New York City and Art Basel Week in Miami. Newman has also created pieces for telecommunications giant Samsung, which were displayed in Times Square and his work was included in the movie “Armageddon,” which won the Academy Award for best special effects.

For those whose artistic preferences are more abstract, the work of Secaucus artist Rachel Wilkins might fit the bill. Wilkins, who has said that she was influenced art legend Jackson Pollock, is among those painters who use art knives, tools, and kitchen utensils to apply paint to their canvasses. And in the case of Wilkins – whose work has been exhibited in galleries in Chelsea and Tribeca – those canvasses are stretched out on the floor, rather than hung on an easel. Her work has also been featured on the cable TV shows “Downtown Girl” and “Royal Pains.”

Glass-blower Craig Ellison, who studied his craft at Brooklyn’s Urban Glass and the Corning Museum of Glass in New York, will also have some of his work included in the show.

“My hope is that this show eventually leads to some kind of collaboration,” said Lee Pena community outreach coordinator for the Secaucus Public Library, who is coordinating the show. “I would love to see all of these artists get together to create some kind of public art display for the town. If a project like that could come out of this art show, I’d be really happy to see that happen.”

E-mail E. Assata Wright at

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April 01, 2013
Why is this show juried?