Cranford hosts Slice of Life art show

Photo by Jennifer Rubino
Artist Betty Derasmo of Cranford stands by her piece, ‘Nightly Blue,’ at the art show in Cranford.

CRANFORD, NJ — The Artist Framer in Cranford hosted the opening for its annual art show which featured the works of 65 artists from New Jersey on Friday, March 10. This year’s theme for the show, which will run until the end of the month, was “A Slice of Life,” and each artist used their interpretation to create an eight-inches-by-eight inches piece of art.

All artists were interviewed during the March 10 opening.

“There’s nothing more peaceful than an animal spreading fruit and vegetables on a peace-sign shaped piece of toast,” Kerrie Wandlass of Cranford told LocalSource about her work, “Spread Piece.” She used her vegan lifestyle as inspiration for her work.

“I haven’t been vegan all my life but it’s the best thing I ever did,” she said at the event. “I’m very passionate about it. The hardest part about it is being with people who don’t understand it.”

The artists used a variety of mediums to create their art. One local artist reused items from her home to create her piece.

“I used my son’s jeans, a button and a T-shirt to create a view out my back window at night,” Betty Derasmo of Cranford told LocalSource. “I don’t usually work in these materials but it was fun and outside-the-box. I chose to create this in memory of my dog who used to sit in the yard during the day and night. We’d wait for him to come in the house.”

The venue was full of artists, neighbors, friends and families. Each work was on sale for $150.

“It’s nice that all the works are uniform,” Paul Federico of Scotch Plains told LocalSource. “Since they’re all the same price, each piece can be judged by the work itself without the price getting in the way.”

One piece that sold was Debbie Kleiber’s “Slice of Life,” a cross stitch of assorted cheeses, fruits and vegetables.

“I bought the cross stitch because it was so unique,” Anne Occi of Cranford told LocalSource. “You never see that anymore.” Occi also painted “Cherry Pie” for her piece in the show. “It might be too literal,” she said. “Stephanie Lalor at The Artist’s Framer frames a lot of my work.”

Another artist used different materials to create her work as well.
“I used fiber, burlap and tape in my work,” Sarah Bass Aspe of Clark. “I usually paint trees and nature. I wanted to keep it simple in the small format.”
Next year’s art show will feature a different theme and expects to attract even more artists than this year, said event organizers.

“We had 65 artists this year and I imagine it will grow next year,” Lalor told LocalSource at the event. “The artists had eight weeks to send in their work. There were no rules besides it had to be an eight by eight piece on a matt board. We custom framed all the work in silver, gold or black frames.”