Press Releases

Drawings by Mel Holston on Exhibit at Pearl Street Gallery


The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is pleased to present an exhibit of drawings by Plainfield resident Mel Holston, located in the gallery space at the Union County Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs at 633 Pearl Street in Elizabeth.

A selection of Mr. Holston’s work titled, “Motherland: Life in Black and White,” will be on display at the gallery until August 10. Gallery hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays.

“We are delighted to have Mel Holston’s drawings on display. He reflects and amplifies the diversity of artistic expression in our community, which makes Union County such an exciting and enriching place to live and visit,” said Freeholder Chairman Sergio Granados. “This exhibit showcases Mr. Holston’s skills as a master of pen-and-ink figurative drawing and design.”

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Mr. Holston has lived in Plainfield since 1993, and is well known in local arts and culture circles. He is a former and long-time member of Plainfield’s Cultural and Heritage Commission.

A lifelong resident of New Jersey, Mr. Holston studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City and Jersey City State College. He taught art in the Jersey City School System from 1978 to 1995 and was named Jersey City Teacher of the Year in 1990.

He works in a wide variety of media and is widely recognized for his finely detailed pen-and-ink drawings on African themes and traditions.

Mr. Holstein won First Place in the 2018 Union County Senior Citizen Art Exhibit in the category of Acrylic Painting by a Professional. He has also exhibited extensively and has won many distinguished awards throughout his long career as an artist.

His museum and gallery shows include: Logoa Duncan Gallery, New York and Paris; Jersey City Museum & Science Center; Drake House Museum, Plainfield; Newark Museum; Rutgers University, Newark; Chicago Museum of Science & Industry; Renaissance Gallery, South Orange; Brockman Gallery, Los Angeles; the Association of Caribbean-American Artists, Brooklyn; and in Havana, Cuba.

The Pearl Street Gallery accommodates works that may be hung on a wall. Union County artists interested in exhibiting in the gallery are welcome to apply.

For more information about the Pearl Street Gallery and other programs involving the arts, culture and historic preservation in Union County, call the Union County Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs at 908-558-2550 (NJ Relay users can dial 711), email or visit online at

For all Union County programs and services visit, call the Public Info Line, 877-424-1234, email or use the online Contact Form.

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