UNION, NJ – A Union resident was among Union County employees and their family members who have their artwork on display in the Freeholders Gallery in Elizabeth.

Melissa Simoes of Union won Best in Show, Intermediate.  The artwork is on display through July 9 at 10 Elizabethtown Plaza.  The gallery is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. weekdays.

The new exhibit presents 16 pieces from among the 149 creations judged at the recent 18th annual National Arts Program Exhibit and Contest for Union County Employees and Their Families. Current employees, retirees, and their family members were all eligible to submit works.

Sign Up for E-News

“Union County employees come from all walks of life, and their artwork reflects the rich pool of creativity, skill, and imagination throughout the Union County community and the surrounding area,” said Freeholder Chair Bette Jane Kowalski. “"We thank the National Arts Program Foundation and Liberty Hall Center in Union Township for giving our local artists the chance to share their own particular -- and often very enlightening --view of the world.”

The exhibit and contest is made possible through the National Arts Program Foundation, which provided prize money and support to display the work of artists of all ages, including a reception at Liberty Hall Center in honor of all the artists.

The award-winning artists in the 18th annual National Arts Program Exhibit and Contest for Union County Employees and Their Families are:

Aberdeen: Korrin Spogantz (Third Place, Youth 12 & Under).  Bayville: Julia Paparella (Second Place, Teen 13-18).  Berkeley Heights: Molly Altman (Second Place, Youth 12 & Under).  Chatham: Carolyn Rehm (Third Place, Intermediate).  Clark: Ryan Frees (Third Place, Amateur); Daniel Wilkinson (Honorable Mention, Professional); Charles, Kenneth and Samuel Wilkinson (Honorable Mention, Youth 12 and Under). Cranford: Jeff Young (Honorable Mention, Intermediate).  Elizabeth: Christopher Paparella (Second Place, Intermediate); Shane Rhodes (First Place, Youth 12 & Under); Cristina Velez (Honorable Mention, Teen 13-18); Michelle Velez (Second Place, Amateur).  Fanwood Margaret Southwell (Honorable Mention, Professional). Garwood: Linda Brazaitis (Honorable Mention, Professional); Sergei Kent (Honorable Mention, Amateur); Kelly Sullivan (First Place, Amateur). Jersey City: Hadieh Afshani (Honorable Mention, Professional); Grigory Gurevich (Second Place, Professional). Kenilworth: Maria Anderson (Honorable Mention, Intermediate); Tiffany Broskoskie (Honorable Mention, Teen 13-18); Richie Casale (Honorable Mention, Amateur).  Leonardo: Eryn Knapp (Honorable Mention, Teen 13-18).  Monroe: Richa Wadhawan (Third Place, Teen 13-18) and Rishabh Wadhawan (Honorable Mention, Teen 13-18). Old Bridge: Allana McQueen (Honorable Mention, Teen 13-18). Rocky Mount: Ivelisse Inglefield (Art Education Award, Teen, 13-18).  Roselle: Anthony Waldmann (Honorable Mention, Teen 13-18); Judith White (First Place, Professional).  Roselle Park: George Kurz (Honorable Mention, Amateur). Scotch Plains: Charles Rubin (Honorable Mention, Intermediate); Manali Shah (Honorable Mention, Teen 13-18); Niyati Shah (First Place, Teen 13-18); Eileen Willoughby (First Place, Intermediate). South Orange: Donna Drew (Honorable Mention, Professional). Springfield: Kat Block (Honorable Mention, Professional); Michelle Harpster (Third Place, Professional). Summit: Sam Awad (Honorable Mention, Professional). Union: Melissa Simoes (Best In Show, Intermediate) Westfield: John Beil (Honorable Mention, Intermediate).

Additional support for this event was provided by a grant from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.