BERNARDSVILLE, NJ - An exhibit of 15 years worth of paintings and drawings created by artist Serena Bocchino, a Basking Ridge resident who has garnered an international reputation, is now on display at Gallery W in Bernardsville. The show opened with a public reception in November, and will continue through Jan. 9.

Bocchino's work has been exhibited all over the world, including a number of displays of her "Fever" series throughout New Jersey in recent years.

Bocchino and and the gallery also hosted a holiday party and book signing on Dec. 12 at Gallery W at 35 Mill St. in Bernardsville. "Serena Bocchino, The Artist," explores Bocchino's inspiration and also reproduces the artist's work in the book.

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Gallery W owners Christine Sutherland and Michele Mendez had invited the public to ring in the new year with a champagne toast at the book signing.

Bocchino was to discuss her 30 years in the New York art scene, her process of working, her affinity for jazz music, and its direct link to her work.

Worldwide exhibitions, local presence

Bocchino also coordinates an art show at the Somerset Hills YMCA each year to inspire and provide a forum for young artists, and to honor her late mother, artist Lucia Bocchino.

Along with her involvement with the larger world of art, Bocchino has been enmeshed in the local arts scommunity. She has contributed her work to in shows at the Farmstead Arts in Basking Ridge, and has been an active member and exhibitor at the Center For Contemporary Arts (CCA) in Bedminster.

It was through her involvement with the CCA that she has become friends with the owners of Gallery W, Sutherland and Mendez.

For the current show, Gallery W is collaborating with John Cacciola, owner of a gallery in Manhattan.

"I love contemporary art and I have followed Serena for a long time," Cacciola said at the reception in November. "She's truly gifted and talented, and it's a pleasure to be associated with her."

Bocchino's work varies from large to small canvases, and a wide scope of her themes, including drawings, is on display in Bernardsville.

"Music suffuses the large sunlit studio where Serena Bocchino works," her book states. "A lifelong influence upon her canvases, strains of classical and jazz music are as necessary as light and color for the paintings, drawings, and sculptures she creates.