CLARK, NJ - In celebration of the 150th anniversary of Clark, the Clark Public Library will host a special art show and reception on Sunday, Feb. 8 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. The show, entitled “Images of Clark,” will feature the work of local artist Cynthia A. Dawley. The paintings are from the private collection of Clark resident Henry Varriano. 

Varriano commissioned Dawley to create the paintings several years ago.

“I got the idea for the paintings when I was in Designer’s Gallery.  I saw her (Dawley’s) various paintings of Cranford and other areas and that gave me the idea to do a series of Clark,” said Varriano. He was drawn to Dawley’s style, which he said is reminiscent of the Impressionists.

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The paintings are of several notable Clark locations: the reservoir, the Homestead Farm at Oak Ridge, Jackson’s Pond, the waterfall at Jackson’s Pond and Schieferstein’s Farm.  Varriano displays these paintings in his home, rotating them as the seasons or whim dictate. 

Paintings of the Robinson Plantation, the Arthur L. Johnson High School and the Clark Library were also commissioned and hang in their respective buildings.

Ultimately, Varriano said, the collection will be donated to the Library for permanent display. 

Varriano, a retired Elizabeth school teacher, serves as an elected member of the Clark Board of Education. He has lived in Clark since he was nine years old, is an Arthur L. Johnson High School graduate and a member of the ALJ Alumni Association.  Keeping busy in his retirement, Varriano is also actively involved with Clark UNICO, the Clark Historical Society, the Gran Centurions and the Friends of the Library.

Dawley will attend the reception and speak about her art.  The daughter of famed artist Joseph Dawley, Cynthia is renowned in her own right.  Her works have been exhibited in galleries across the United States and have been displayed with such companies as Cartier Jewelers, Colavita and on an HBO television series. 

The reception will take place after regular library hours and refreshments will be served. 

Also on display during the event will be a painting, entitled “Sunset in Clark,” by Rahway artist Lloyd Garrison.

The paintings will be on display after Feb. 8 and through Feb. 15 during regular library hours. The Clark Public Library is located at 303 Westfield Avenue. 

Designer's Gallery, a fine art gallery and custom framing shop located at 1071 Raritan Road in Clark, is donating the easels that will be used to display the artwork.