‘Slice of Life’ art show is hosted in Cranford

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 was “A Slice of Life,” and the artists used their own interpretations to create 8-by-8-inch works of art.

“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 Cranford Life at the opening 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.

“I’m very passionate about it. The hardest part about it is being with people who just don’t understand it.”

The artists used a variety of media to create their art. One local artist reused items from her home for 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 Cranford Life. “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 and each work was for sale at the same price point: $150.

“It’s nice that all the works are uniform,” Paul Federico of Scotch Plains told Cranford Life. “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 Cranford Life. “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 Framer frames a lot of my work.”

Sarah Bass Aspe, of Clark, used different materials to create her work.
“I used fiber, burlap and tape in my work,” Aspe said. “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 is expected to attract even more artists than event organizers said.

“We had 65 artists this year and I imagine it will grow next year,” Lalor told Cranford Life at the event. “The artists had eight weeks to send in their work. There were no rules besides it had to be an 8-by-8 piece on a matte board. We custom-framed all the work in silver, gold or black frames.”