MAPLEWOOD, NJ – Astah’s Fine Art Gallery on Springfield Avenue celebrated its 15th anniversary this week with a reception and special art show. 

Owner and President Sheila Turner-Cartlidge credits the gallery’s longevity to its loyal clientele.  She noted that many of her clients have moved from the area to other states and countries, but continue to contact her when they are looking for art for their homes.

“You have to find someone you trust, and that is approachable and will be a resource for you,” said Cartlidge. “That is what we strive to be.”

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Astah’s specializes in art featuring people of color, with the work of African-American artists on display as well as some from Brazil, the Caribbean and beyond.

The current show is featuring the intricate art-quilts of Phyllis Stephens, an artist based in Atlanta who first had her work shown at Astah’s about seven years ago. Stephens flew up for the reception and was happy to help the gallery celebrate its anniversary.

“I am a fifth-generation quilt maker,” Stephens said. “My mother and grandmother have told me that my style is similar to that of my great-great grandmother.”

She has been creating art quilts for 34 years and incorporates fabrics from all over the world. From a distance, her pieces look like paintings, but upon closer examination, one can see the fabrics and stitching, and the amount of effort and skill that have gone into their creation.

Astah’s Fine Art Galler is located at 1897 Springfield Ave., Maplewood; (973) 761-5012;