Home Cherry Hill News Juried Art Blooms Exhibition celebrates opening night

Juried Art Blooms Exhibition celebrates opening night

Works will be displayed at Croft Farm Arts Center throughout May

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Cherry Hill township’s Art Blooms Juried Art Exhibition, and while there were 187 pieces submitted, there are 66 on display at the Croft Farm Arts Center now through next Thursday.

The gallery had its opening last Thursday, May 4. Artists were invited to submit a maximum of 10 pieces, and while there is no theme for the show, they were encouraged to submit two-dimensional pieces. The show is open to all and features a variety of works done in watercolor, pastels, oils and ink, among others.

The was initially started by the Cherry Hill Arts Board, whose mission has always been to bring art programming to the township.

“The first time they did it, they received the pieces on Friday, hung them Saturday and on Monday, the pieces were picked up and taken home,” recalled Megan Brown, Cherry Hill’s recreation director. 

“We’ve grown the show considerably over time to where now (it) is up for three weeks,” she added, “and we try to coordinate other activities while the show is up. And then we have times when people can come and view the show and don’t participate in an activity.”

Brown noted that at the show’s beginning, 50 entries was a lot. The exhibit was juried by Amy Wigman Bodofsky, whose art has won awards, and Leeannwyn Stoner, a New Jersey resident who is an artist and an art instructor.

This year, the top three exhibit winners were Cherry Hill resident Dorothy Dematteis in first place, with Lullaby in Birdland, an acrylic on canvas; Jessica Celani, also a township resident whose Elder Woman, a pencil and charcoal portrait on paper, came in second; and Marlton resident Jeffrey Feeny, whose acrylic abstract Golden Halo came in third.

Dematteis has been submitting to the show for the past four or five years. Of three pieces she submitted this year, only one was accepted, but it was her first-place winner.

“I always enjoy exhibiting at the show,” Dematteis said. “I like to show people my work and hear their comments. It doesn’t matter whether they buy or not.” 

This year marked the first exhibit for Celani and Feeny. The former, now 20 years old, submitted her portrait of an older woman in her sophomore year of high school.

“Before sophomore year, I just decided to try drawing portraits, because it was one of my interests and I never thought I could do it,” Celani remembered. “Obviously my first project was not the best, but it looked fairly good, so I kept doing it and practicing and I really enjoy doing fine details and adding in all the details, like every little pore.”

Feeny’s piece is an abstract painting, and his process is a bit different from Celani’s.

“My abstract paintings always start out as a frantic mess,” he acknowledged, “full of textures and layers. I enjoy sanding and scraping away layers to reveal the hidden work underneath.” 

Exhibit hours are as follows: 

  • Tuesday, May 9, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Wednesday, May 10, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Thursday, May 11, 4 to 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, May 13, 1 to 4 p.m., during Migratory Bird Day
  • Tuesday, May 16, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Wednesday, May 17, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Thursday, May 18, 4 to 7 p.m.

This article was updated on May 10, 2023.

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