Art contest recognizes Union County employees

UNION COUNTY, NJ — Union County employees were recognized for their artistic efforts at the 15th annual Exhibit and Contest for County of Union Employees and their Families. It took place at the Elizabethtown Gas Company, located at Liberty Hall Center in Union. The three judges included Marguerite Brennan, Lawrence Cappiello and Frank Falotico.

Marguerite Brennan specializes in ceramics, and her passion includes designs of both functional and sculptural work. Brennan’s trademark is her ability to capture animal imagery. Her functional work is built by hand and not on the wheel. She has a studio at her home in Summit, where also offers lessons to young students of the craft.

Lawrence Cappiello, founder of the Arts Guild in Rahway, has served as executive director of the organization for more than 10 years. He is a graduate of Kean University, and he’s also trained at several other locations in New Jersey and New York. He’s been an artist most of his life, and his earliest creations were completed at the young age of three.

Frank Falotico has exhibited works at various shows in New Jersey. He is a graduate of Monmouth University as well as duCret School of Art.

Union County Freeholders will recognize local artists at the event and present awards at the reception. The reception began May 4 at 5:30 p.m. The exhibit is presented in partnership with National Arts Program, and the exhibit will remain open until May 24 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The reception is free of charge.

First place for best of show went to a portrait by Michael Endy of Westfield. First place for youth ages 12 and under went to Diego Otero of Scotch Plains for a painting an emotional landscape. Finally, Ryan Frees of Clark took first place for the amateur category with a painting of an eye-catching, vibrant tree.

“This show offers a chance for our Union County employees, retired employees, County programs volunteers, and family members to shine,” said Freeholder Bette Jane Kowalski, liaison to the Union County Cultural and Heritage Programs Advisory Board in a recent press release. “The artwork that they do in their spare time is outstanding, and we are proud to display it in the beautiful atrium space of the Liberty Hall Center. We are grateful to Elizabethtown Gas for generously hosting the program and awards reception and to the National Arts Program Foundation for funding the prize awards.”

“The Freeholders share the goal of the National Arts Program Foundation to reach as many people as possible of all ages, offering them a chance to show their creations,” said Freeholder Chairman Bruce H. Bergen in a recent press release. “We invite you to view this exhibit of exceptional artwork at the Liberty Hall Center.”

National Arts Program has been in existence for the past 31 years. They offer 86 annual programs in 38 states. The program was created by art collector, publisher, business executive and journalist Leonard E.B. Andrews.

“The program was created with the intention of encouraging and developing artistic expression,” said Andrews in a recent press release.

The program provides people with an opportunity to present their work, despite artistic ability, at a free and public exhibition. It is sponsored by the National Arts Program Foundation located in Pennsylvania. Additional support for the event was provided by New Jersey State Council on the Arts Department of the State, a partner agency of the National Endowment of the Arts.