Gray hairs and golden years can sometimes be the perfect recipe to create an artist. Retirees often have the time and fascination to commit to a passion that was lost to their youth.
That passion and talent was never more evident than at the 2011 Essex County Senior Citizens Juried Art Show in Cedar Grove, where Essex County Executive, Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr., awarded top prizes to 34 out of the 124 entrants.
After a warm welcome and thanks, DiVencenzo (who noted, in his speech, that Angelo Casarola’s painting, “The Catch” chronicled last year’s winning Superbowl play,) went on to hand out first place, second place and Honorable Mentions to the contestants.
Kate Hartwyk, Director of Programs and Grants for the Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs, played a major role in organizing the event, for the second year, at the Essex County Hospital Center in Cedar Grove.
“A lot of folks come to art and practice in their medium,
after they’ve retired from another profession. So, they don’t have the
opportunities for recognition that a younger person starting out in the art field has. It’s a great way to recognize the talent that really exists in the senior community and it also brings attention to how seniors in our community are still active and engaged in lots of different areas,” she said.
Jill Jackson of Englewood who won First Place on her first time entering, said, “I’ve seen how talented people can be and the fact that there’s a venue where it can be displayed and appreciated is just the way it should be.”
Lawrence Agron of Livingston, who won second place for his photograph “Lisbon Street Musician,” commended the event’s organizers, as well.
“It gives people a lot of opportunity to express themselves,” he said, although he regrets that more seniors do not take the opportunity to participate.
Hartwyk also mentioned the benefit of having the show at the Essex County Hospital Center.
“And the other nice thing is that now that we’re at the hospital center we’re presenting the art in a new venue. So, visitors who are here as patients or staff members are getting some exposure to arts and culture that they don’t have necessarily on a daily basis.”
The exhibit will be on display until Sept. 15 in the lobby of the Essex County Hospital Center, 204 Grove Ave., in Cedar Grove, where it can be viewed Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4-7 p.m.
After the awards ceremony, Angel Wang of Livingston, explained
how she picked the pieces she entered. She actually took her painting “Geisha Girls” off her wall when she realized she could do better. Wang, who won first place with the painting, said, “That’s the beauty of oil painting. It’s always in progress. It’s never a finished product.”
Artists, and the awards they received, are as follows:
- Laurence Agron won second place in the professional photography category for “Lisbon Street Musician.”
- Elaine Denton won first place in the non-professional pastel category for “Portsmouth, NH – Low Tide.”
- Harriet Hiller won second place in the professional drawing category for “Caring.”
- Malini Parekh won second place in the non-professional photography category for “A Careful Descent!”
- Angela Wang won first place in the non-professional oil category for “Geisha Girls.”
- Sheila Writt received an honorable mention in the non-professional pastel category for “Canal in Venice.”