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art629 Gallery presents "Passion Projects" featuring 9 local artists

originally published: 06/10/2024

art629 Gallery presents "Passion Projects" featuring 9 local artists

"White Bengal Tiger" by Dean Adams - oil on linen; 6" x 8"

(ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- Asbury Underground Art and Music Crawl and art629 Gallery present: "Passion Projects", a locals art exhibit featuring work by nine local artists, curated by Britany James. Artists included are Dean Adams, Eleanor James, Mallory Massara, Meagg E. Moon, Michelle Renee Bernard, Nicole Atkins, Tim Lucas, and Zachary Manning. Brittany will also be showing a few pieces from her passion project, the "Untamed" collection. The exhibit runs from June 15 through August 5, 2024. There will be an Opening Reception on June 22 from 7:00pm-9:00pm.

Somewhere between obsession and creativity lies passion. Artists create because they need to share an idea or a felling, and art is their language. Each of the artists chosen for this exhibit has created their art as a way of expressing something important to them through painting or drawing, and will be showing work that is part of a special collection that they are passionate about.

What drives these artists to create the things they make? Come to the opening and ask them yourself! Most of the artists will be in attendance on Saturday June 22 from 7-9 pm. The art will also be on display for the Asbury Underground Art and Music Crawl on June 15th where one of the visual artists, Nicole Atkins, will have a musical performance as well. For more information about Asbury Underground, CLICK HERE

art629 Gallery presents "Passion Projects" featuring 9 local artists


Brittany JamesAs a Jersey Shore native, Brittany began painting at Riverview Art School in Island Heights. She graduated from Montclair State University with a BFA degree concentrated in oil painting in 2009. Her paintings are of surreal images, depicting the relationships between women, nature, and society which are often inspired by dreams, poetry, and words.

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In addition to painting, Brittany teaches art classes for children and teens at Inspired Minds Fine Art School in Lincroft. She also teaches painting and life drawing classes for adults at art629 Gallery in Asbury Park and curates local art exhibitions there. Brittany has painted live on stage at multiple New Jersey theaters during musical performances. She has been a muralist and featured artist for the Asbury Underground Art & Music Crawl, the Asbury Park City Mural Project, and the Sea Hear Now Festival, and has shown her work in several galleries in the New York tri- state area.

​Brittany’s “Passion Project” Statement: Brittany’s latest body of work was inspired by Glennon Doyle’s book “Untamed”, a memoir that seeks to liberate women from the societal expectations that bind them. She uses the cheetah to serve as a reminder of the inherent wildness within us. These paintings are saying: Unlearn you social conditioning, or in the words of Glennon Doyle, "Be a goddamn cheetah”.  The two cheetahs together represent the ultimate goal of being both “held and free”, in other words, being your truest self and still feeling accepted, safe, and loved.

Meagg E. Moon -  Meagan Greenberg- Impellizzeri AKA Meagg E. Moon is both a teacher and an artist currently based in Asbury Park. She is a college professor, and full time-artist who owns Over The Moon Art Studios in Asbury Park. . She holds a BFA and has shown work in galleries across the country and never tires of making art! She is trained in a variety of media and is always learning, growing, and experimenting with new materials.

Meagan’s “Passion Project” Statement”: Meagan’s latest mixed media works explore ethereal and moody sound through delicate line work and graceful fluid form. She regularly uses music (and the synesthetic experience generated by it) as a starting point to create a subjective constraint. She aims to transform sound bite, song, and its immersive cognitive experience into visual imagery.

Dean Adams - Dean's paintings combine a controlled randomness with exacting elements of realism to create a unique take on representational art. He currently lives in New Jersey and his work has been exhibited in NY, NJ, Miami and LA galleries.

Dean’s “Passion Project” Statement: The big cats represent the beauty of nature, along with its merciless, raw elements. We are all a part of the same nature, with the same capacity for beauty and destruction. We follow the same natural laws, with our strength and intelligence needing restraint and control to direct our lives.

art629 Gallery presents "Passion Projects" featuring 9 local artists

"The Jawbreaker King of Planet Gumball" by Michelle Renee Bernard - Mixed media: acrylic paint and collage on wood; 13” x 13”

Michelle Renee Bernard - Michelle uses grungy, untamed layers and vintage-inspired graphics combined with a sticky sweet color palette to create carnivalesque works that’ll have you waxing nostalgic. Her playful approach combined with a sharp wit infuse just the right amount of surprise and delight. Her style evolved from childhood memories of the sights, sounds, smells and exhilarating experiences of boardwalk amusements and local fairs, and was strengthened by a career in graphic design. Michelle lives in a 100-year-old house in the quaint Victorian seashore town of Ocean Grove, NJ where she makes art in her home studio.

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Michelle’s “Passion Project” Statement: The boardwalk amusements, rides, games and delightful architecture of Asbury Park captured my heart at a very young age. Those childhood memories (and the buildings that housed them) might be gone or fading away, but the iconic imagery and the fun associated with them are seared into my soul forever. I help them live on in my art so you too can remember the joy.

art629 Gallery presents "Passion Projects" featuring 9 local artists

"Kodiak In Dream" by Nicole Atkins

Nicole Atkins - For two decades, Nicole Atkins has created her own brand of spectral American rock & roll. She's an old-school torch singer for the modern world, funneling her award-winning songwriting chops and genre-spanning influences — including psychedelic rock, Muscle Shoals soul, the pop grandeur of Roy Orbison, and the dark drama of Nick Cave — into six albums that have earned a global audience.

Regularly featured on year-end "best of" lists by Rolling Stone, NPR, and The New York Times, Atkins has collaborated with artists from across the musical spectrum, including David Byrne, Chris Isaak, Spoon, Elvis Costello, Tommy Stinson, and the Old 97's. The title track of her major-label debut album won The ASCAP Foundation Sammy Cahn Award, and her songs have appeared in prime-time TV shows like Dexter, national ad campaigns for American Express, and on the Billboard charts, with tracks like "Domino" becoming Top 40 AAA hits. A road warrior who has performed everywhere from Carnegie Hall to Late Night With David Letterman, Atkins is also a professional illustrator and painter whose work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal and No Depression.

Nicole’s “Passion Project” Statement: These one of a kind prints are of paintings inspired by Lucid Dreaming.

Mallory Massara - Mallory is a graduate of Mason Gross School of the Arts, with concentrations in Painting, Filmand Video. In this show we see an example from her collection of “dot” paintings, taking inspiration from nature, music, and the world around her.

Mallory’s “Passion Project” Statement: “I don’t know what it is about dots that I love so much. There’s an order to them, I guess,  a repetitive nature in creating them that I find comforting and therapeutic. If you think about it, everything in nature is made up of dots; from the sun and the moon to the cells and atoms that make up every living thing. There is a playfulness in dots, a joy. And that’s what I would like my artwork to bring, joy.

Zachary ManningZachary is an artist and product designer who resides in Asbury Park. Since January 1, 2018 he has picked a color at the end of each day that best represents how he is feeling after self-reflection. The result has been a continuous visual documentation of his own life since then. He has explored the concept further by conducting academic research into the emotional association of colors. Last year he created a “Life in Color” mural in Asbury Park where each color in the design was submitted by a member of the community via a survey. He continues to explore how this concept can evolve and be displayed visually.

​Zachary’s “Passion Project” Statement: As part of the Life in Color series one color is chosen for each day, on that day. The color stripes are organized sequentially from left to right. There are ninety colors in total in this piece. The stripes that are neater represent days that are closer in memory. As time passes our memory becomes hazy and so the stripes opposite are blurred and bleed into one another.

art629 Gallery presents "Passion Projects" featuring 9 local artists

"When The War Is Over" by Eleanor James - acrylic and ink on canvas; 36" x 36" 

Eleanor JamesEleanor is a painter, illustrator and nature lover born in Birmingham, England in 1982. She emigrated to the United States at the age of three with her parents, brother and one trunk with their life’s belongings. The combination of art and nature have always been a focus of her life as a gardener in her teenage years, to a landscape architect by trade as an adult. Eleanor is a self-taught artist and has always brought elements of nature, emotion, and design together in her surreal artwork.

Eleanor’s work focuses on the use of acrylic paints, watercolors, inks, and spray paints. The diversity of mediums allows her to adapt her work to her mental state. The compositions tie together this love for nature with the challenges of life. The balance of the hard and the soft, the light and the dark. The use of geometry and hard lines mixed against soft rolling landscapes and backgrounds mimics how her mind sees the world. In presenting her art, she hopes to invite you into her thought process and see how she tries to balance the pain and beauty of this lifetime. Her work has been shown in exhibitions throughout New Jersey and NYC.

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Eleanor’s “Passion Project” Statement: The six pieces selected for the "Passion Project” are from my newest collection of works called “Rob and Mary”. My grandmother Margery Mary Frida Chinn passed away last year at the age of 97 in Birmingham, UK. She and I were always very close despite the distance between us, and I would visit her once or twice a year for the last 38 years of my life.  When my nana Mary was a young girl, her older brother Rob was sent to World War II in Normandy, France at the age of 18 and lost his life no more than 6 months later. This loss was something that you could always notice in the eyes of my nana, she wore the pain as a part of her soul. She would talk about him often and always had a poppy pinned in her car visor to commemorate Rob in her every day life, like he was traveling along with her.

Only six months after my nana Mary passed away last year, her brother Rob’s remains were finally found in Normandy, 77 years after his passing. I believe that their souls finally reunited and that, perhaps, she had to find him in the afterlife.  The “Rob and Mary” Collection is one that is very close to my heart and tells a very important part of my family’s history.

Tim Lucas - Tim Lucas a self taught artist and native to the Jersey shore. He spent many years running the Dr.Sketchy Asbury Park Drink and Draw events. He has brought a unique vision to all his personal work creating in a variety of paint and ink mediums as well as photography, body paint and murals.  His work has been displayed and sold in a number of shows and galleries across New Jersey and Philadelphia.

Tim’s Passion Project Statement: Tim is passionate about painting and creating fairies, mermaids, and whatever magic there is in this world.

art629 is located at 629 Cookman Avenue in Asbury Park, New Jersey.  art629 is where creativity meets inspiration. It is a gallery dedicated to the exhibition of fine contemporary art and their objective is to give all artists a voice. They believe in the power of art to connect people and ideas, and they strive to bring new perspectives to the region. At art629, they provide a space for artists to create and explore their passion through painting classes, life drawing, and private art lessons. 



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