NEWTON, NJ  - "Journeys" is the theme of the current art exhibit at the Sussex County Arts and Heritage Council.

The Council hangs several group exhibits each year.

Mary Jo Mathias, executive director of the council, said the art committee chooses the theme for each exhibit. “We didn’t want to be too specific,” she said. “There are so many interpretations”

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Some of the artists participating in the show attended the opening reception on Saturday, Nov. 10.

Nicki McManus of Wantage is a member of the Sparta Camera Club. She started her photography career taking pictures of horse shows for advertising and breed-specific magazines. She found herself spending to much time away from home, however, so she is changing her focus to events closer to home where she has two horses, whom she describes as her “yard dogs.”

Her photographs in the exhibit include two with antique cars taking “journeys.”

Another photographer in the show is Mark Miller of Mt. Arlington. He works in the Sussex and Morris county areas, doing fine art, portrait and commercial photography. He believes these shows help him to get the word out about his business.

Miller enjoys combining commercial and artistic photography. He described a job for Morgan Technical Ceramics of Wood-Ridge. The corporation wanted photographs of its factory for the walls of its new office building and gave Miller plenty of leeway to create unique and artistic images. “A lot of times corporate stuff is not as artistic,” he said. “The photographer doesn’t have as much freedom.”

Margaretta Lear-Svedman produced landscape watercolors for the exhibit. She lives in Vernon, and has a studio in her home. She has been a member of the Council for several years on and off since she moved into the county. Recently retired from teaching at Pingrey School, she said she will now have more time now to practice her art. She also takes commissions for painting projects and does framing..

A newcomer to the Arts and Heritage Council is Lynn Krumholz of Lynn Marie Design in Sparta.  She has pastels in the show and also produces monoprints.

“This is my first show and it has been a lot of fun,” she said.

Her inspiration for “Journeys” were photographs her niece posted online of a trip to India.

“The photos created a vision and I translated it into pastels,” she said. “It’s my interpretation of her trip.”

She noted it was “a mad scramble” to get ready for the show, getting her art framed, and printing up business cards. She will be in a craft show in Ridgewood at the Unitarian Society next weekend.

“I was in the corporate world for more than 20 years,” she said. “I’m lucky I can pursue a passion. I’m starting to emerge as an artist. It feels like the right direction.”

Other artists in the show are expected to be at the gallery on Saturday, Nov. 17.