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West Windsor Arts presents Ode to New Jersey Art Show

originally published: 08/16/2023

West Windsor Arts presents Ode to New Jersey Art Show

René Kammeyer Seeland - Barnegat Lighthouse, watercolor

(PRINCETON JUNCTION, NJ) -- The Ode to New Jersey Art Show at West Windsor Arts celebrates the unique connections that artists have to the dynamic and ever changing state of New Jersey. The exhibition will run from August 29th to October 28th, with a free opening reception on Friday, September 8th from 7:00pm-8:30pm at West Windsor Arts.

As artists returned from distant summer vacations, West Windsor Arts invited them to participate in Ode to New Jersey to remind them of the exceptional qualities that make this state home. Artists were encouraged to explore the history, heritage, symbols and memories of New Jersey in their creations. From Jersey tomatoes to neon diners, serene sunrises to bustling night scenes, and crowded boardwalks to isolated barns, artists delivered on conveying the uniqueness and diversity of the Garden State.

Artists featured in this show include: Gary Becker, Scott Brustein, Ann Marie Fitzsimmons, Irene Freeman, Barry Hantman, Robert Hazzon, Joelle Hofbauer, David LaMorte, Eleni Litt, Dave Magyar, Beth Malonoski, Marge Miccio, William Plank, Kate Pollack, Tracy Pollock, Bruce Rigby, Donna Ruane Rogers, Yvonne Rondinone, John S. Rounds, René Kammeyer Seeland, Jennifer Tungol, Karen J Waller, and Laura Warne.

West Windsor Arts presents Ode to New Jersey Art Show

Marge Miccio - Wonderbar (Asbury Park), oil on board

Artist Marge Miccio describes her inspiration for her night time oil painting, Wonderbar (Asbury Park), saying, “The Wonderbar has been a favorite destination for decades, through all of Asbury Park's ups and downs. At one time it would be empty and echoing with an eccentric customer or two, it is gratifying to see it jumping these days!” The painting utilizes layers of color on black prepared board to convey the vivid neons and subtle shadows that give nights mystery and allure.

In her watercolor Barnegat Lighthouse (shown at the top of this article), René Kammeyer Seeland highlights memories from a special  New Jersey vacation spot that has been a family favorite for decades. She states, “This is Barnegat Lighthouse at Barnegat Light, NJ. The wonderful memories my family created while vacationing there in the summer will always shine like a beacon throughout the rest of my life. I still can see my Dad casting out a line to fish next to the lighthouse back in the 1970’s.”

Donna Ruane Rogers explores a different aspect of New Jersey in Fishing Shack, a pastel depiction of a lone hut on a serene river. Rogers’ intention for the piece was “to convey the feeling of peace and calm in the early summer evening in an isolated and natural location.” This celebration of the various landscapes this state has to offer focuses on the pristine Maurice River, where you can see bald eagles and nesting ospreys, as well as remnants of the past like Burcham Farm.

West Windsor Arts presents Ode to New Jersey Art Show

Donna Ruane Rogers - Fishing Shack, pastel

The jurors who curated this exhibition are Mark Sceurman and Mark Moran, the creators of Weird NJ. As described on, the publication is “a travel guide and magazine to places you won’t find on state funded maps or located on any tourist attraction pamphlets”. Since 1989, Sceurman and Moran have published nine issues and countless news articles that detail lesser known Garden State oddities. It is safe to say that their overarching goal of recording “what people think or remember as being weird or odd in their town” is being fulfilled. What began with the coupling of Sceurman’s WNJ newsletter with Moran’s photos and stories has evolved into the treasury of local unwritten history and modern folklore that it is today.

The West Windsor Arts mission is to cultivate the artist within us all, while inspiring a creative community that is engaged, inclusive, and equitable.

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