Artist of the Month exhibition: Susan Antin

Throughout August, Gallery on Main's "Artist of the Month" series of exhibitions features Susan Antin: Experiments in Acrylic — a series of paintings utilizing unusual paint processes and non-traditional tools.

Meet Susan and see her work at a free opening reception at Gallery on Main on Saturday, August 5, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Refreshments will be served. Admission is free.

Susan uses a variety of media, but primarily acrylic paint, colored pencil and ink. Her images often represent playful, childlike ideas in a surreal, abstract style. She received a B.A. in Fine Art from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and an M.B.A. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. While continuing to develop her artwork, She established a career in corporate training and marketing.

She has been represented in many exhibitions, including the Lyceum Hall Center for the Arts in Burlington, NJ, The Westmoreland Nationals, Westmoreland College, Pennsylvania; Montgomery Center for the Arts, Montgomery, NJ, Johnson & Johnson Corporate Gallery, Skillman, NJ and Williams Gallery, Princeton. She teaches art classes for The Arts Council of Princeton and in Downtown Somerville.

Susan is an Executive Board Member of Somerville's Arts on Division, and is a member of the Arts Council of Princeton, NJ; Farmstead Arts Center, Basking Ridge, NJ and The Printmaking Center of NJ, Branchburg. She spends much of her time coordinating art events and promoting artists for the local community.

Find of the Week: Mr. Quarterback Football Passer

Vintage backard game by Coleco!

In its original box, dated 1977, this automatic passing machine for one or more players is in excellent condition. Machine works great -- nothing cracked or broken.  It appears that there were screws to hold the yellow "hand" that's attached to aluminum arm; screws are missing and need to be replaced before using. A very easy fix.

The original football and spikes to anchor it into the ground are missing. Visit our Etsy shop to see more photos. Everything you see in those pictures are what's included including original instructions!

Put on your suede Pumas or Adidas sneakers (or Sears, JC Penney, or K-Mart Special knockoffs) and striped tube socks, and ride your 3-speed or 10-speed bike to Gallery on Main* -- you could be playing Mr. Quarterback in no time! Bonus points if you arrive in a 1970s Camaro or Firebird -- don't forget, Fridays are Cruise Night in Somerville!

*Sneaker, tube socks, bicycle and car not included. ;)

Artist of the Month: Terry Comparetta Wagner

Throughout July, Gallery on Main's "Artist of the Month" series of exhibitions showcases photos by Dunellen, New Jersey-based photographer Terry Comparetta Wagner.

Meet Terry and see her work at a free opening reception at Gallery on Main on Saturday, July 1, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Refreshments will be served. Admission is free.

Says the self-described "Jersey girl," "There is beauty everywhere. That beauty may be the result of Mother Nature, the careful design of a graceful machine, the rapture of a parent's face watching their child, or the simple carving of an old gravestone. My inspiration comes in many forms." 

Find of the Week: "Pop Goes the Weasel" jack-in-the-box toys

In celebration of National Pop Goes the Weasel Day, today's find of the week is not one but two retro jack-in-the-box toys that play "Pop Goes the Weasel." If you had one of these as a child, chances are you either loved it or hated it. And you can hear the music playing in your head at this moment...either faster or slower depending on the speed by which you turned the hand crank, in anticipation (or dread) of the clown popping out of the box.

Find this and other fun blasts from the past at Gallery on Main, and in our Etsy shop!

Artist of the Month: Bret Salvatore

Throughout June, Gallery on Main's "Artist of the Month" series of exhibitions showcases New Jersey artist/illustrator Bret Salvatore.

Meet Bret at a free opening reception at Gallery on Main on Sunday June 4, from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. It will be an opportunity to see some of his original work that has never before been on display. Refreshments will be served. Admission is free.

Based in Stockholm (Sussex County), New Jersey, Bret Salvatore has a passion for Surrealism, narrative art and spirituality. Primarily working in pencil and oils, Bret approaches his art as a daily meditative practice to achieve a sense of greater self-awareness and global consciousness. Bret started drawing at a very young age, and found peace through the process of creating works of art that expressed his unique view of the world. This process continues to mature into expressing universal concepts and beyond. Bret's work speaks on philosophy and metaphysics, culture, theology, Native American legend and heritage, human joy and suffering, music, nature and environmental responsibility, inspiration and intuition. In addition to painting and illustrating, he is the guitarist and visual artist for the progressive rock trio Primal Thesis.

See photos of a mixed-media, collaborative sculpture being created on Division Street

In celebration of community, Memorial Day and the 77th Tour of Somerville Cycling Classic bike race, an interactive outdoor sculpture was installed on Division Street, in the hub of downtown Somerville, on Saturday, May 27. New Jersey artist and arts educator Bob Richardson conceived and designed the sculpture, and created its components with the participation of students from Immaculata High School in Somerville, Somerville High School, Middle Earth (a nonprofit agency providing services to teens and adolescents in Somerset County), and Richardson's own students from Arts High School in Newark. The project is sponsored by Arts on Division.

Among the elements of the sculpture are bicycle parts, paintings by the students, and small wire bicycle sculptures created by the students, which are "framed" by bicycle tires. The sculpture's wooden base is topped by a large, spinning wheel from which the little bicycle sculptures hang, as does the word "Somerville" spelled out in letters made of bicycle chains, made by local mechanic Mike Kassick. The base, painted white, served as a blank canvas and permanent markers were provided, engaging visitors of all ages to add their own contribution.

Be sure to check out the sculpture in person! It's right across the street from Gallery on Main. For more on 2017 Memorial Day festivities in Somerville, click here.

In town: Memorial Day weekend schedule of events!

Friday, May 26

Friday Night Cruise Night returns to town! This Friday features live music, classic and custom cars, and — in celebration of the Tour of Somerville bike race, "tricked-out" classic and custom bicycles! Head to Division Street for:

5:00–9:00 pm — A display of customized bicycles.
If you've got a unique bike you want to show off, come on out! No registration or admission fee required, just show up and let's see what you've got! We recommend that you get to Somerville by 4:00 or 5:00 pm to ensure yourself a good spot on Division Street. If you're planning on attending and want to post a picture of your bike on our Facebook page, please do!

6:00–7:00 pm — Performance by Immaculata High School Jazz Band

7:00–9:00 pm — Performance by Terrance Haupt, acoustic classic rock guitar
 

Saturday, May 27

9:00–11:00 am —  A collaborative sculpture conceived by artist Bob Richardson will be assembled on Division Street, with the assistance of contributing high-school art students from Somerville and Newark. After the sculpture has been assembled, other students and community members are invited to use a black or red permanent "Sharpie" marker to add their own contribution to the sculpture on the themes of community, Memorial Day, and/or the Tour of Somerville bike races. Markers will be made available, or bring your own. Read more at www.galleryonmainst.com/news.

Live music!

12:00 noon–2:20 pm — City Hicks

3:00–4:00 pm — The Above Ground Blues Band
 

Monday, May 29: Memorial Day

The 77th Tour of Somerville bike race — the oldest major bicycle race in America —  plus live music and other performances! First race starts at 10:30 a.m., rain or shine, at Davenport Street & Main Street.

Main Street Schedule:

9:00 am—   Memorial Day Parade

9:45 am — Family Fun Ride sponsored by Somerville Recreation

10:20 — National Anthem

10:30 — Races start and continue through the afternoon. View the full race schedule.

Division Street Schedule:

Sponsored by Arts on Division

12:30 pm — Musical performance by Peter Prasa

1:00 pm — Somerville Martial Arts Team

1: 15 pm — Somerset Valley YMCA Gymnastics Team

1:45 pm — Elite Dance Academy of Somerville

2:00 pm — Musical performance by Andy Prase

3:00 pm Musical performance by the Bryan Hansen Band

Watch a collaborative public art project being installed in Somerville's hub on May 27

Artist's sketch of the sculpture, by Bob Richardson.

In celebration of community, Memorial Day and the 77th Tour of Somerville Cycling Classic bike races, Arts on Division presents the live construction of an interactive outdoor sculpture on Division Street in the hub of downtown Somerville on Saturday, May 27. (Across the street from Gallery on Main.) New Jersey artist and arts educator Bob Richardson has conceived and designed the sculpture, and has been creating its components with the participation of students from Immaculata High School in Somerville, Somerville High School, Middle Earth (a nonprofit agency providing services to teens and adolescents in Somerset County), and Richardson's own students from Arts High School in Newark, where he's been a teacher for 19 years. The public is invited to watch Richardson and the participating students assembling the sculpture on-site, which will take place from 9:00 a.m. until about 11:00 a.m.

Students from Immaculata, Arts High and Somerville High School will contribute eight original paintings to the assemblage. They, along with students from Middle Earth, are also making little wire sculptures of bicycles that will become part of the larger piece.

After the sculpture has been assembled, other students and community members are invited to use a black or red permanent "Sharpie" marker to add their own contribution to the sculpture on the themes of "community, Memorial Day, and/or the Tour of Somerville." Markers will be made available, or bring your own.

The outdoor sculpture will remain on view on Division Street.

About Bob Richardson:

Known for his assemblage sculptures made of found objects and reclaimed materials, Bob Richardson's work has been exhibited in galleries and museums throughout New Jersey and New York, including the Montclair Art Museum, Monmouth Museum and the Newark Museum, among others. His outdoor sculptures have also been on display at New York City's Central Park (in conjunction with Earth Day), and in various New Jersey towns such as Madison, Newark and Mountain Lakes. In addition to his work as a professional artist, Richardson has been a teacher at Arts High School in Newark — the nation's oldest public high school for the arts — for 19 years. Recently, he collaborated with his students on a site-specific outdoor installation at Newark's Branch Brook Park called Cherry Blossoms in Winter, which was featured in a short film by DreamPlay Media.

Prior to his tenure as an art teacher, Richardson worked in the exhibition department of the Museum of Natural History in New York City for three years. He also spent nine years with MJM Studios, an architectural sculpture service, working on landmark preservation in New York City and other projects. A graduate of Pratt Institute in New York as a sculpture major, he lives in Madison, NJ.

Artist of the Month Exhibition: Darlene Foster

From May 1 through 31, Gallery on Main's "Artist of the Month" series of exhibitions showcases Plainfield, New Jersey-based artist Darlene Foster's work in photography montage — the technique of producing a new composite whole from fragments of photographs.

Meet the artist at a free opening reception at Gallery on Main on Friday, May 5 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Each individual piece has a story to tell, and you will have the opportunity to ask her in person for her take on each of her pieces. Refreshments will be served. Join us for what's sure to be another memorable evening!

Initially using photography as a reference source for drawing and painting, Darlene Foster soon began experimenting with different techniques within the photographic medium itself. The love of photo montage from her darkroom days drew her into digital, when she was introduced to the computer as an art tool. Her affinity for old buildings and abandoned properties along with crows, ravens and blackbirds is apparent in the majority of her work. Gathering elements from her own images as well as characters from vintage photos she acquires at flea markets and antique shops, she blends them together forming new and often storytelling compositions.  Darlene's work has been described as mysterious, moody, wistful, surreal and sometimes dark but always thought-provoking.

Says Darlene, "I've always been a collector at heart, so my photography naturally evolved from concentrating on a single composition in the camera as the end product, to capturing images of anything that intrigues me for later use in a montage. Antique and vintage objects that have had previous lives are elements I collect that eventually find their way into my work. It's difficult to predict what will be a starting point for a new piece: A landscape with an unusual tree, a mysterious abandoned building, or the haunting eyes peering from a vintage portrait. Once I have a starting point, I bring components together piece by piece digitally in Photoshop until I'm satisfied with the composition. From there, I experiment with multiple filters, tones, colors and textures until the final image is as close as possible to the original idea in my mind's eye."

Say Michelle Mundt, co-owner of Gallery on Main, "Darlene's work is a natural fit for our space because it represents art, photography and antiques at the same time. We were immediately drawn to Darlene's work because we share a love of not only art, but also images and objects that resonate with echoes of the past and help tell a compelling story."

Co-owner Shaun Daley continued, "Our visitors will recognize her work, because we've displayed individual pieces of hers since we first opened, and her work has been a top seller. This is a great opportunity to see more, and perhaps add one to your collection."

Born in Atlanta, Georgia, Darlene Foster studied drawing and painting at The Sarah Brown School of Art before moving to Plainfield, New Jersey in 1977. An interest in photography led to a 17-year employment as the retouch artist for a prominent studio, and provided on the job training when digital came along in the 1990s. In addition to producing her own artwork, she is currently self-employed, providing photographic painting, retouching and restoration to photographers and the general public.

Darlene regularly exhibits at various galleries and venues throughout the New Jersey area, including River Queen Artisans Gallery in Lambertville, Hamilton Street Gallery in Bound Brook and Gallery on Main in Somerville. Her work is held in private collections throughout the United States.

Find of the Week: Vintage metal picnic basket, ca. 1950s

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Picnic time is here again! Tote your personal feast in this hip metal picnic tote/cooler from the 1950s, an estate sale find. This great collectible has a stylish brown and tan basketweave pattern. It has an unhinged lid and brown metal handles. Very retro or country living style, and nice for storage in between picnics. It measures about 14 x 10 x 6 inches (length x depth x height).

Sunday, April 23 is not only Antiques Appraisal Day at Gallery on Main, it's also National Picnic Day! What's your favorite picnic location in Somerville? Share your advice in the Comments area below.

You can purchase this piece either in person at Gallery on Main, or through our Etsy shop.

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