Senior citizens showcase their art

Camden County College hosts exhibit of artists from 27 counties

The Senior Citizens Juried Art Contest and Exhibit announced winners at the display’s opening reception at Camden County College on Aug. 23.

It is the 57th time the contest and exhibit have been hosted by Camden County and its Cultural and Heritage Commission, and this year’s version has the highest number of contestants on record, with 101 submissions from seniors in their 60s to 90s.

- Advertisement -

The exhibit – which runs through Wednesday, Sept. 20 – has 11 different art forms, work from both professionals and nonprofessionals and artists from 27 communities in the county.

“We are absolutely delighted with the quantity, the broad representation, from the communities in the county and especially with the qualities of the work,” said Dave Bruno, associate dean of educational programming and external relations at the college and executive director of the commission.

“Clearly Camden County is home to many talented seniors.”

Mediums included acrylic painting, craft, digital art, mixed media, oil painting, pastel, print, photography, sculpture, watercolor and works on paper.

“What you love, what inspires you and the talents you possess do not disappear (as you age),” said County Commissioner Melinda Kane, comparing the teen juried arts contest with the senior competition.

“When you are a teenager, you cannot imagine that in the blink of an eye, 50, 60 or 70 years will pass and you are participating in a senior arts festival,” she observed “We are all still the same: We know that deep down, we are that young person who fell in love with the arts. 

“While our eyesight may not be the same and our hands and fingers have aged, we have all lived a long life seeing beauty and our desire to express ourselves artistically does not disappear.”

First-place winners were recognized during the opening reception, in both the professional and non-professional categories, alongside honorable mentions and best in show, a new category. 

First-place winners in the nonprofessional category include:

  • Non-professional Mixed Media and Second Place Best in Show: T. Michael Leathem, Cherry Hill non-professional
  • Non-professional Sculpture: Barbara Pfeiffer, Camden
  • Non-professional Photography and First Place Best in Show: James Mitchell,  Pennsauken
  • Non-Professional Craft: Marlane Uhr, Voorhees
  • Non-Professional Pastel: Margaret Sochanchak, Waterford Works
  • Non-professional Watercolor and Best in Show Honorable Mention: William Lane, Haddonfield
  • Non-Professional Acrylic Painting: Carolyn Tyndall, Cherry Hill
  • Non-Professional DIgital Art: Joseph Trucksess, Haddon Heights
  • Non-Professional Oil Painting: Pam Dougherty, Cherry Hill
  • Non-Professional Works on Paper: Barbara Caponegro, West Berlin
  • Professional Works on Paper and First Place Best in Show: Gerald Purnell, Lindenwold
  • Professional Digital Art: Nancy Schmidt, Sicklerville
  • Professional Watercolor, Second Place Best in Show: Peter Ehlinger, Haddonfield
  • Professional Oil Painting: Daniel Horne, Cherry Hill
  • Professional Acrylic Painting and Best in Show Honorable Mention: Dorothy DeMatteis, Cherry Hill
  • Professional Craft First Place: Robin Brownfield, Collingswood
  • Professional Sculpture: Conni Spiegle, Haddonfield
  • Professional Photography: Robert Redding, Haddonfield
  • Professional Pastel: Doreen Korejko, Atco

The art on display in the exhibit features a wide variety of themes and subjects, such as pictures of pets and wild animals, people, landscapes and mixed media. For Pennsauken resident James Mitchell – who won first place in non-professional photography and best in show for non-professionals for his photo of an egret – the exhibit is his first.

“The reason I do this is because I want to take a better picture next time,” he explained. “It’s the challenge of getting the right picture at the right time.”

Mitchell regularly photographs wildlife so he can bring awareness to the environment and its fragility. Different mediums allow for different skill sets, and while his work required waiting for the right moment, Margaret Sochanchak of Waterford Works won first place for a soft pastel drawing of her dog Roxy’s smiling face, titled Euphoria.

“I wanted to get my work out there,” she noted, “and it was nice to have it seen and to see what comments would be made on it.”

First-place winners can compete at the state level in the New Jersey Senior Citizens Art Show from Saturday, Sept. 30, through Thursday, Oct. 26.

The senior citizens exhibit will be on display at the Camden County College’s William G. Rohrer Center on Route 70 east in Cherry Hill Monday through Thursday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. from now through Sept. 20.

- Advertisment -


08071 Pitman | Summer/Fall 2023

Keeping a place for generations

Mount Laurel Calendar