Thursday, December 1, 2011

Artists Celebrate The Great Swamp And The Great Swamp Watershed Association

Twenty-five well-established artists—many local—find inspiration in New Jersey’s Great Swamp

Protecting our Waters and our Land, a new exhibition of fine art coming to Studio 7 Fine Art Gallery and the Bernardsville Public Library this December and January, features artists’ visions of the Great Swamp, one of New Jersey’s last wildernesses.

Located less than a stone’s throw from some of the state’s most densely populated urban and suburban centers, the Great Swamp’s large, undeveloped tracts of forest and wetlands provide a safe haven for a wide variety of plants and animals that have been pushed out of other areas by human activity.

The intrinsic natural beauty of the Great Swamp and the ten towns ittouches have inspired 25 well-established artists—many of them local—to create a multitude of stunning works in oil, pastels, watercolors, photography, and other media.

Two environmentally concerned art aficionados, Kathleen Palmer of Bernardsville and Ben Wolkowitz of Madison, have collected these pieces together into a single exhibit celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Great Swamp Watershed Association and honoring the organization’s ongoing commitment to the protection of the Great Swamp’s environmentally sensitive waters and land.  Palmer is also the owner of Studio 7 Fine Art Gallery, while Wolkowitz serves as the current President of the Great Swamp Watershed Association.

"The Great Swamp Watershed Association has played a crucial role in protecting our natural resources,” Ms. Palmer said recently, “This exhibit honors their efforts and serves as a thank you from the many artists who have loved to photograph and paint this pristine area of our great state."

Protecting our Waters and our Land includes pieces by renowned New Jersey artists Gerry Heydt (Plainfield, NJ) and Mark de Mos (Morristown, NJ).

Known for her atmospheric, boldly brushed landscape landscape and still life paintings, Ms. Heydt is intimately familiar with the natural world and the work of environmental groups like GSWA.  In 2010 she created a similar exhibit of artwork honoring the legacy of The Land Conservancy of New Jersey. “Still Waters,” one of Ms. Heydt’s pieces that will be on display in Bernardsville, transforms a typical scene of one of the Great Swamp’s many wetland areas into an image of true environmental majesty.

Mr. de Mos endeavors to produce art that is alive and creates a drama conveying a feeling or a slice of life.  His professional painting career stretches back more than three decades and, as one of the founders of the Pastel Society of New Jersey in 2005, he is working to secure a vital future for pastel painting within the state.  Mr. de Mos’s piece “Fallen Giants” is an oil painting in golden hues that reflects on the nature and importance of trees within the Great Swamp.  Given the landscape damage cause by recent hurricanes and snowstorms, this piece will strike a relevant and timely chord with all those who see it.

Protecting Our Waters And Our Land opens to the public on Thursday, December 1, 2011, and will remain on display through Saturday, January 28, 2012.  Half of the exhibition will be housed at Studio 7 Fine Art Gallery located at 5 Morristown Road in Bernardsville.  The other half of the exhibition will be housed across the street at the Bernardsville Public Library located at 1 Anderson Hill Road in Bernardsville.  Please check the hours of operation for each venue in order to determine the best time to visit.

A reception celebrating the opening of the exhibit will be held as part of the monthly BernARTSville Art Walk series on Friday, December 2, 2011.  All are welcome to stop by Studio 7 Fine Art Gallery between 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m., and the Bernardsville Library between 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., for this special viewing.  Participating artists, as well as representatives from the Great Swamp Watershed Association will be in attendance.  Refreshments will be served.

Works displayed in the exhibition will be available for sale at a variety of price points. Notecards depicting selected works from the exhibit will be available for sale from Studio 7 Fine Art Gallery and the Great Swamp Watershed Association ( A percentage of proceeds from all sales will go to support environmental education, advocacy, and stewardship programs within the Great Swamp watershed region.

Participating artists include Stephanie Amato, Albert L. Bross Jr., Charlie Churchill, Mark de Mos, Susan Donnell, Tim Gaydos, Gerry Heydt, Lee W. Hughes, Ari Kaufman, Carol Livingston, James McGinley, Doug Merritt, Dannielle Mick, Neil Nappe, Nancy Ori, Anthony Panzera, Robert W. Pillsbury, Linda Quinn, John Reilly, Charles Robinson, Elliott Ruga, Deborah Seymour, Alana Van Rensselaer, and Ray Yaros.


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