LIVINGSTON, NJ — The Arts Council of Livingston (ACL) and Essex County Riker Hill Art Park are presenting “Renewal,” the premier art show coinciding with the unveiling of ACL’s new location and space, the ACL Art Gallery, until April 15.  

The show, which is located at 2110 Town Center Way with the main entrance on Carillon Circle, opened on March 5 and features two-dimensional work (paintings) as well as includes drawings, jewelry, sculpture, one-of-a-kind clothing and more.

“When you design art, the title given (Renewal) adds to the meaning of the art,” said Hugh Mahon, one of the gallery’s curators and “hanger of the art.” “We (ACL Art Gallery) have been in existence in this complex (Livingston Town Center) for 6 years. This space marks the best space for art display that we’ve had available to us. We want to have a continued association we have shared with the Riker Hill.

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According to Mahon, the show features 40 people who produced high-quality, professional art.

“It’s important, for small galleries are increasingly important because of cuts in the NEA (National Endowments for the Arts), and for the mutual benefit,” he said. “We never were afforded this much space.”

Founded in 1990, the ACL was formed to celebrate and promote the arts in the Livingston area. Riker Hill Art Park is one of the council’s 11-member organizations. Mahon recognizes on whose shoulders he stands.

“Three people have continued their support since the conception of the Arts Council of Livingston,” said Mahon. “Irene Feigen, Gallery director, Vivian Olshen, one of the present co-presidents of the Arts Council, and Bob Patton, present treasurer and resident ‘voice of reason.’ Both Feigen and Olshen have work in the show, and Patton is an accomplished photographer he has taken an administrative role in ACL Art Gallery efforts.”

For Mahon, the success of the ACL Art Gallery’s first official show hinges on a few things.

“One, artists now know that we have a venue available to them,” he said. “Two, if you read this article, tell a friend.”

Mahon also explained how the art non-aficionado might approach the show and gallery itself.

“You don’t have to buy art; look at it as friendly,” said Mahon, who also likens the entering the gallery to “how you feel when you enter Saint Patrick’s Cathedral.” “ACL Art Gallery is like a small country church, but the message delivered is the same, and is not diminished by the size of the gallery.”

The next ACL Art Gallery exhibit, entitled “Harmony,” will further highlight the goal of the Arts Council: "to help support the Arts of the Livingston Area.”

ACL’s biggest fundraiser, "Celebration of the Arts," honoring brothers Jan and George Press, who have presented their patrons with exquisite jewelry and portrait, event and fine art photography in Livingston for decades, as well as their support for the arts that reaches back for a generation, will be held on April 27 at Cedar Hill Country Club.

A silent art auction will be held and music will be provided by the Livingston High School Jazz band.