Arts & Entertainment

Clark Public Library Hosts "Images of Clark" Art Exhibition and Reception

From left, Henry Varriano, artist Cynthia Dawley, Union County Freeholders Bette Jane Kowalski and Bruce Bergen, Clark Public Library Director Dawn Jenkin Credits: Susan Roselli Bonnell
Henry Varriano commissioned the artwork.  Credits: Susan Roselli Bonnell
Artist Cynthia Dawley spoke of her artwork and answered questions from those in attendance.   Credits: Susan Roselli Bonnell
Clark Councilwoman Angel Albanese is the council's liaison to the Clark Public Library and is an active member of the Friends of the Clark Public Library. Credits: Susan Roselli Bonnell
Dawley's artwork will be on display in the library through Sunday, Feb. 15.   Credits: Susan Roselli Bonnell
Henry Varriano is an active member of the Arthur L. Johnson High School Alumni Association and currently serves as an elected member of the Clark Board of Education.  Varriano (center) is joined by ALJ Alumni Association President Art Lundgren and Association member Pat St. Clair.  Credits: Susan Roselli Bonnell
Dawley chats with guests about her artwork.  Credits: Susan Roselli Bonnell
Bill and Randi Kraynak, owners of Designer's Gallery in Clark, were instrumental in bringing Varriano and Dawley together.  Credits: Susan Roselli Bonnell
One of the pieces on display in the exhibit. Credits: Susan Roselli Bonnell
There are 9 of Dawley's paintings on exhibit through Sunday, Feb. 15. Credits: Susan Roselli Bonnell

CLARK, NJ – The Clark Public Library welcomed local artist Cynthia Dawley on Sunday night for an art show and reception featuring a series of paintings entitled “Images of Clark.”  The oil paintings are from the private collection of Clark resident Henry Varriano. 

“The library is the cultural center of the community,” said Library Director Dawn Jenkin in her introductory remarks. “The people of Clark love art, they love to see it, they love to create it.”

The pieces on display depict notable Clark locations: the reservoir, Homestead Farm at Oak Ridge, Jackson’s Pond, the waterfall at Jackson’s Pond, Schieferstein’s Farm, the Dr. William Robinson Plantation, the Arthur L. Johnson High School and the Clark Library.

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Dawley mingled with guests, answered questions and discussed the artwork.  She said that she and Varriano spent a great deal of time visiting the various places that were the subject of the Clark pieces.  After visiting each site, Dawley determined the time of year and the best lighting for each location.  For example, she said, she chose to depict the Robinson Plantation in the wintertime because she liked the red of the house against the white background of the snow.

Varriano spoke to the assembled guests about his admiration of Dawley’s style and motivation for commissioning the artwork. He first encountered Dawley’s artwork at Designers Gallery, a fine art and custom frame shop in Clark. 

Bill and Randi Kraynak, owners of Designer’s Gallery, were at the library event.  Bill Kraynak spoke of the importance of memorializing images of the town as a means of historic preservation. The gallery, located in the Clarkton Shopping Center, is one of just two galleries in New Jersey that display and sell Dawley’s work. 

Union County Freeholders Bette Jane Kowalski and Bruce Bergen were in attendance.  Both are Cranford natives and have known Dawley, who is also from Cranford, for many years.

Clark Councilwoman Angel Albanese spoke of Varriano’s involvement and commitment to the people of Clark. “He is giving so much back to the community, it says a lot about the type of person he is,” she said.

The artwork will be on display in the library through Sunday, Feb. 15 during regular library hours.

See also: "Images of Clark" Art Show and Reception to Celebrate Clark's 150th Anniversary

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