ELIZABETH – An exhibit of photographs by Tom Maciejewski of Berkeley Heights has opened in the gallery space at the Union County Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs, located at 633 Pearl St. in Elizabeth. A selection of his work titled “Stuff to Hang on Walls” is on display at the Pearl Street Gallery until Dec. 30. Gallery hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays.
Maciejewski is a prolific self-taught photographer. The first year he got a DSLR camera, he shot 150,000 photographs. He would take 100 photos a day on his way to and from work in New York City. Tom concentrates on people and city scenes, some photographed in black and white and some in brilliant color. His interest in seeing everything around him expanded while traveling to Peru, the Amazon jungle and India.
After graduating from Union County College, he went to Hawaii and surfed, learned about computers and earned a degree in International Business from Hawaii Loa College in Honolulu. Tom later studied chemistry at the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark. Working for a small chemical company, he honed his computer skills and became a computer programmer for many NYC start-ups during the “Dot Com” boom in the 1990s. After the boom busted, he went to work for financial institutions.
In 2001, Maciejewski was working for Lehman Brothers in the World Trade Center. On the morning of Sept. 11, he missed his train because he had stayed up late the night before watching the Giants on T.V. He didn’t get into Manhattan until after the first plane hit. He would have been at his desk on the 38th floor if it had not been for that game. Maciejewski’s comment to a friend, “Monday Night Football saved my life,” was overheard by a reporter and printed in the New York Daily News. Tom did not have his camera with him that day.
Union County artists interested in exhibiting in the gallery space are welcome to apply. For more information about the Pearl Street Gallery, contact the Union County Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs, 633 Pearl St., Elizabeth, at 908-558-2550. NJ Relay users can dial 711. E-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org.