Arts & Entertainment

'Monet Perfect' Day for Library's Plein Air Event at Kingsland Manor

Plein Air Chairs Deborah Dotoli and Kathleen Kenney Credits: Pennie Landry / TAPinto Nutley
“We are all artists in some way.” Raul Flores

NUTLEY, NJ - It was a ‘Monet perfect’ day for seventeen regional artists who came to paint Kingsland Park.

Blue skies and cherry blossoms were nature’s backdrop for the first annual Plein Air Paint-Out on Saturday, April 29th.

The event was the brainchild of three members of the ‘Friends of the Nutley Public Library’: Deborah Dotoli, Kathryn Karpousis and Kathleen Mankowich.

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All three are long-time Nutley residents and Mankowich grew up with artist Carol Fortunato, whose painting “"Two Saplings, Kingsland Park" was featured in TAPinto Nutley's article annoucing the event. 

“It was time to do something different.

These three young women came up with the idea and ran with it.”

Barbara Hirsch, President, Friends of the Nutley Public Library

Running with it included planning and successfully executing the event which will be an annual event.

Kathleen Mankowich told TAPinto Nutley, “Instead of having a Chair, Co-chair, we worked as a team. Our goal with this event was to showcase the beauty of Nutley’s Kingsland Park while honoring the heritage of the artists of the past while featuring artists of today.”

Attendees from Nutley and surrounding towns received a program designed by Mary Connolly, who created the logo for the Friends of the Nutley Public Library. The program included a biography of each of the seventeen regional ‘Plein Air’ artists who took up residence in Kingsland Park for the day. [See list of artists at end of article]

Event logistics were championed by Deborah Dotoli and included securing Nutley Wine Shop and Nutley Shop Rite catering as the two sponsors of the Art Exhibition/wine and cheese reception.

Kathryn Karpousis took the lead on securing the artists while Mankowich marketed the Plein Air event and fundraiser.

Plein Air means “in the open air,” a French term that became linked with painting after the invention of the tube container when artists could work outdoors using the natural light of the sun. According to Courtney Jordan, Artist Daily: Plein air painting is about leaving the four walls of a studio. The practice goes back for centuries and was made into an art form by the French Impressionists.

[Note: Visitors to the Nutley Library have the opportunity to learn about Arthur Hoeber, an artist who in his later years lived on The Enclosure:  Nutley’s artists’ and writers’ colony that was active in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Hoeber’s luminist paintings are characterized by effects of light in landscapes.  The Early Moon, hangs in the library above his memorial bookcase and is described as a picture “of infinite beauty suggesting as it does the perfect repose of the hour”.]

Mayor Dr. Joseph Scarpelli attended the fundraiser and was introduced by Hirsch as ‘someone who has lived in Nutley his entire life and through his daily efforts maintains the unique aspects of our community. “

The Mayor said: “The thing I like most about our park system is that it creates a greenway in town that stretches from one end of town all the way to the other. Today, I had a chance to walk through the park and observe some of the artists and it was really lovely.  Artists are very important in Nutley. At one point, we had more artists living in Nutley than any other town in the state. Montclair would probably argue with that. (laughter). That tradition of artists on Enclosure continues today with Gary Erbe. Buy your fundraiser tickets today to win one of his paintings. “

Hirsch also thanked Dottie Greengrove, Leon and Terry Kish of the Kingsland Manor Foundation for their support of the event. 

Celebrated artist Gary T. Erbe generously donated four signed lithographs for the fundraiser raffle. NJ native, Erbe’s work can be found in many public and private collections throughout the world. Gary Erbe and his wife Zeny moved to Nutley in 2009, and are champions of The Nutley Historical Society. He maintains his studio at 62 Enclosure, Nutley. http://www.garyerbe.com/main.htm 

Nutley resident John Karpousis, provided an earthy, bluesy, harmonic background as the event’s solo guitarist. Karpousis plays with the band ‘Blues Republic’, made up of a group of classmates from Rutgers University. He is an attorney and is married to event organizer Kathryn Karpousis, who attended Yantacaw Elementary with his college roommate.

Many of the attendees said they were thankful for the opportunity to speak with and view the paintings of so many regional artists while supporting the library.

35-year Nutley resident and park walker Rick Mayer said: “This is a lovely event and I endorse the Mayor's idea to have a Kingsland Park-centric festival. Kingsland Park’s gazebo is under-used while the library is my portal to any book or DVD I desire.”

Lisa and Nancy Quatrocchi, a delightful mother/daughter artist team from Clifton NJ, said they were happy to donate their time and talent to benefit the Nutley library.

Artist Ed Horvath said: “It was nice to be back in Nutley for the day and evening. Excellent food, great music, friendly people in a beautiful setting. Horvath worked in the Art Department on the Hoffman LaRoche campus from 1990-2000.

Raul Flores, who came to America from Ecuador in his teens, provided a perfect summary of the ‘picture perfect’ day: “My first finished painting today is about how the power of nature transcends all knowledge.”

“We are all artists in some way.” Raul Flores

The Artists:

Sue Barrasi: www.suebarrasi

Rosanne Cerbo: www.rosannecerbofineart

Connie Dierks: www.conniedierksfineart.com

Raul Flores: www.raulflores.carbonmade.com

Carol Fortunato: www.fortunatostudio.com

Jose Galioto: immkr@aol.com

Elissa Gore:  www.elissagore.net

Ed Horvath: www.edhorvath.com

Pat Proniewski: www.patproniewski.com

Lisa and Nancy Quatrocchi: www.lqnqfineart.com

Jane Ramsey.com: www.janeramsey.com

Pratima Rao: www.pratimarao.com

Marilyn Rose: www.marilynroseart.com

Susan Sapanara: www.sspanara.com

Yelena Snovsky: www.yelenasnovsky.com

Concetta Volpe: www.concettafineart.com

Participating artists shared 25% of the proceeds from painting sales, benefitting Friends of the NPL.

Related Links:

Art lecture and book launch by Nutley's own: Gary Erbe, nationally known trompe l'oeil artist Dec. 4, 2016 http://www.nutleyhistoricalsociety.org/2016-Gary-Erbe-Book-Launch.html

Mary Connolly – Designer of all things ‘clean and classic’ www.mconnollydesign.com

Event Videos on the Eyes on Nutley Channel:

Photo of the Day: https://www.tapinto.net/towns/nutley/articles/photo-of-day-plein-air-at-kingsland-park

TAPintoNutley.net is an online newspaper serving the Township of Nutley. TAPintoNutley.net is accredited by the New Jersey Press Association, and is the only locally owned news organization serving the community.

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