Arts & Entertainment

"Welcome Neighbor" - Traveling Art Exhibit Stops Off in Somerville

Philippine Parol and Origami by Joy Ann Cabanos, Westfield/Union County Credits: Courtesy Somerset County Freeholders
Celtic Interlace by Patrick Gallagher, Wharton/Morris County Credits: Courtesy Somerset County Freeholders

SOMERVILLE, NJ – The Somerset County Cultural & Heritage Commission is hosting an art exhibition that highlights 17 different indigenous-art traditions by New Jersey artists at the Somerset County Adminstration Building, 20 Grove St. through Jan. 26.

Text panels accompanying the artworks provide information on the origins, influences and general cultural context of each tradition.  

“The artistic talents and expertise of these artists are fine examples of the many across the state that have enriched our lives and communities by sharing their cultural heritage through their fascinating traditional art forms,” said Freeholder Brian D. Levine, commission liaison.

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“Welcome Neighbor: Sharing Cultural Art Traditions II,” featuring both two- and three-dimensional art, will be on display through in the Somerset County Administration building’s Cultural & Heritage Gallery on both the first and third floors.

Hours are Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m., except Jan. 16.  Free parking is available in the attached Bernie Field Parking Deck off East High Street. For directions visit

The exhibition features the following indigenous-art forms, plus some contemporary interpretations by invited artists from several New Jersey counties, and one from out of state, as follows:

Scherenschnitte / Traditional German Paper-cutting by Debbie Gwazda, Pennington/Mercer County, and Gil Thompson, Bernardsville/ Somerset County; 

Chinese Brush and Landscape Painting by Jocelyn Wong, North Plainfield/Somerset County; 

Hand Felt-making by Gail Fishberg, Westfield/Union County; 

Celtic Interlace by Patrick Gallagher, Wharton/Morris County;

Ukrainian Pysanky by Stephanie Hryckowian, Woolrich Township/Gloucester County;

Japanese Raku by Ann Tsubota, Pittstown/Hunterdon County;

Native Lenape Arts by Denise “Bright Dove” Dunkley, formerly Cumberland County (now Odessa, DE);

Philippine Parol and Origami by Joy Ann Cabanos, Westfield/Union County;

Italian Reverse Glass Painting by Phyllis Fittipaldi, Warren Township/Somerset County;

Sanganeri  (Block Printing) and Batik by Shanti Jain, Plainsboro/Mercer County;

Photographs by Shanti Jain of Asian Indian Mehndi (Henna), picturing intricately created traditional designs by Henna artist Pallavi Patel, Lawerenceville /Mercer County; 

Asian Indian Kolam by Jayashree Anantapadmanabhan, Plainsboro/Mercer County; and

Bobbin Lace by Helga Spector, Franklin Township/Somerset County, and Beata Ten Hoven, Lebanon/Hunterdon County.

The exhibition will move to the Bernardsville Public Library (908-766-0118) for the month of February and then to the Hillsborough Public Library (908-369-2200) for the month of March.  Some of the featured artists will offer hands-on workshops for the public by pre-registration at both the Bernardsville and Hillsborough libraries.

Call in advance to the libraries for exact installation and removal dates, as well as public workshop offerings and registration, as inclement winter weather could affect the schedule.

Promotion for this art exhibition is made possible by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts (NJSCA)/Dept. of State, through the State/ County Partnership Local Arts Program Grant administered in Somerset County by the Somerset County Cultural & Heritage Commission.

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