Score a “hole in one” at Great Conversations – Dine with a PGA President

With the golf season almost in full “swing”, you’re going to want to sit with Derek Sprague, former and now Honorary PGA of America President – who’s way above “par” (it’s a good thing)! Under Derek’s leadership he has grown the game through player development and youth. Currently, he’s Managing Director at the Liberty National Golf Club.


Derek Sprague

Derek Sprague

Derek Sprague. PGA of America – Honorary President; Liberty National Golf Club – Managing Director
Under Derek’s leadership as former and now Honorary President (and his co-chairing of the Ryder Cup Task Force), the PGA of America has grown the game through player development and youth.  In addition to his prior PGA leadership roles (VP and Secretary), Derek spent 27 years as the General Manager and Director of Golf at Malone (N.Y.) Golf Club, his hometown course, where he was involved with all aspects of the facility’s operations. In 2016, he was named Managing Director of Liberty National and is now a member of the NJ PGA Section. Since 1998, Derek has held leadership roles at both the national and section levels. After turning professional in 1989, Derek was elected to PGA membership in 1993 and has won numerous awards, including the 2005 and 2008 Northeastern NY PGA Golf Professional of the Year and Section President’s Plaque award, among others. He served on his hometown’s Board of Education and competed on the golf team while earning his Bachelor’s at James Madison University where he was inducted into the university’s Hall of Fame for the School of Hospitality, Sport and Recreation Management. He and his wife, Jennifer, have two college age children.

Thursday, April 27, 2017  from 6pm to 9:30pm
The Madison Hotel, Morristown, NJ (directions)
Seats are $250 each

Buy your tickets now!

The Cole Porter-Morris Arts Connection

A Cole Porter Companion coverA little known fact: our own Dr. Lynn L. Siebert is a scholar of Cole Porter’s music who pioneered the first musicological examination of Porter’s music and wrote the analytical chapter on Porter’s 1948 masterpiece, Kiss Me, Kate,  for the recently published A Cole Porter Companion (Univ. of Illinois Press, 2016).

On March 15, 2017, Dr. Susan Forscher Weiss (Professor of Musicology at the Peabody Conservatory and John Hopkins University), joined by her fellow co-editor Dr. Matthew Shaftel (Dean of Westminster College of the Arts at Rider University), and Cole Porter scholar Dr. Lynn Laitman Siebert (Director of Arts Participation and Communication at Morris Arts) shared background on the book project and their insights into the 11 Porter songs  beautifully performed by sopranos Melissa Wimbish and Sarah Berger, with pianist Choo Choo Hu (all Peabody Conservatory graduates).

The magnificent Evergreen House Library and Museum was once the private home of the Garretts, who were close friends of the Porters.  With its own concert hall on the upper floor, Evergreen House was an especially fitting setting for a Cole Porter program.  The standing room only audience was highly enthusiastic and engaged, even joining in an impromptu sing-along (Porter’s Don’t Fence Me In) at the end of the program! Q & A extended into the following reception and book signing in the elegant rooms on the main level below.  

Here are some photos:

Some reviews of the book:

“A Cole Porter Companion is simply an indispensable, unadulterated joy of a book–required reading for anyone who loves music, lyrics, the theater, and of course the inimitable Cole Porter–from the non-music-reading fan to the most sophisticated and scholarly musicologist. A landmark volume, bridging the gap between academe and the general listener with a bubbly élan worthy of the master himself.” –Maury Yeston

“Is there a need for a book like this, a compendium of essays by scholars and experts in musicology, music history and sundry ancillary specialties? The answer is an emphatic yes… To return to Irving Berlin, ‘ya don’t need any larning’ to appreciate this most sophisticated and well educated of American songwriters, but the huge amount of detail and analysis packed into this book enhances that appreciation.”–The Washington Times

Here is the description of the event from Evergree/Johns Hopkins:

House Beautiful Lectures: A Cole Porter Companion
by Evergreen Museum & Library

… A Cole Porter Companion (University of Illinois Press, 2016) sets the stage for a recreation of Evergreen evenings long ago with the great Mr. Porter, his wife (and Alice Warder Garrett confidante) Linda, and their friends gathered about a piano. Hosted by the book’s co-editor, Dr. Susan Forscher Weiss, this evening entails little-known stories about the master tunesmith’s life and art, interspersed with performances of timeless Cole Porter songs.


 Cole Porter entertaining - from Evergreen House publicity

 Cole Porter (at piano) entertaining



Common Ground opened March 8, 2017 in Gallery at 14 Maple

On March 8, 2017 nearly 100 people attended the opening reception for the Gallery at 14 Maple’s seventeenth exhibit, entitled COMMON GROUND – along with the presentation of the Ehlers and Coladarci Scholarships. It was a fascinating and inspiring evening.

Here are some photos from the Opening:

For this show, the Exhibition Committee of Morris Arts and the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, with guest curator, Jeanne Brasile, selected works by six outstanding New Jersey artists, including Alaine Becker (South Orange); Dominant Dansby (Jersey City); Dahlia Elsayed (Palisades Park); Heejung Kim (Bogota); Mel Leipzig (Trenton) and Alex Piccirillo (Nutley). As Curator Brasile states, “There are many sayings in many cultures that note the importance of the collective.  Unfortunately, in difficult times such as now, we tend to focus on the things that divide us…This group exhibition, Common Ground endeavors to express the interconnectedness of the human experience through a variety of artistic impressions.” 

Click HERE to see the exhibit catalogue.

Featured image: Mel Leipzig’s June Wilson


Using graphite on paper, Alaine Becker suggests flesh and bone with her intriguing organic forms that investigate the body and its internal structures while Dominant Dansby bridges nature and artifice with his found materials assemblages that evoke compartments of the brain and the way we store and retrieve information. With whimsy and sly humor, Dahlia Elsayed draws on pop culture, using thought clouds to capture random sensations we all have had throughout any given day. Taking a more spiritual approach, Heejung Kim’s works reference the meditative aspects of mandalas and, with great delicacy, reveal the very neurons that power our thoughts and feelings.  By contrast, Mel Leipzig’s works focus on the human experience, portraying friends and family and the places they inhabit, utilizing the external landscapes to illuminate the internal qualities of each individual portrait. By contrast, Alex Piccirillo’s portraits exclude a “setting” and focus entirely on the individuals portrayed, capturing the mood and emotion of private moments, of stillness and solitude.

 The exhibit runs through August 24, 2017. The Gallery at 14 Maple is free and open to the public from 10am-4pm Monday-Friday and by  appointment.

Morris Arts gratefully acknowledges sponsorship for this exhibit by 




Atrium Gallery opened its special Winter Invitational Exhibit on January 26, 2017

On January 26, 2017 , more than 285 highly enthusiastic individuals joined Morris Arts at the free opening reception of the special Winter Invitational Exhibit at the Atrium Art Gallery, located on Floors 2-5 of the Morris County Administration and Records Building on 10 Court Street in Morristown. There, they met the 34 gifted artists and viewed 143 artworks that span styles from the contemporary abstract to plein air realism, created in a variety of media including oils, cut paper, 3-D works, photography, mixed media and acrylic. 

To see the Exhibition Catalogue, click HERE.

Here are some photos from the reception:

The fifth floor captures the languid beauty of Venice in the rich, luminous oils by prize-winning and widely exhibited artist, Todd L.W. Doney (Gillette). In the fourth floor Atrium area, contemporary abstract artist Andrea Epstein (Berkeley Heights) excites the imagination with her bold colors, textures and intricate lines very much in the abstract expressionist tradition.  In the fourth floor Hallway and Elevator Lobby, Adel Gorgy’s (Baldwin, NY) series of abstract photographic works, “Meditation in Five Dimensions,” presents meditative “mandalas for the 21st century.”  His conceptual, visual, spatial construct allows the viewer to see his images as either two-dimensional or three-dimensional abstractions and challenges our perception of visual reality. Also in the fourth floor Hallway and Elevator Lobby, Marsha Solomon (Baldwin, NY) follows the tradition of classic New York Abstract Expressionism, but through her unique artistic voice.  Her works, likened to those of Robert Motherwell and Helene Frankenthaler, combine the creative force of strong gestural painting surrounding soothing contemplative passages of soft paint.  In the third floor Atrium area, acrylics, oils, and collages by award-winning Pat Brentano  (Westfield) transform the space into a paradise of greenery, heightening awareness of nature’s layers of light and the infinite gradations of color in forested landscapes.  In the 3rd floor Hallway area, New York artist Elizabeth Gregory Gruen’s “Cut Work” series is an evolving exploration of emotion initiated though free hand scalpel cut multilayered organic imagery – and yielding three dimensional geometric forms of great intricacy and spatial depth. Experiential, contemporary realist artist Charles Newman (Haddon Towne) paints en plein air (outdoors), harnessing light to evoke moods and emotions. Whether a forest scene, an industrial landscape or a domestic interior, Newman’s works are suffused with atmosphere, warmth and a sense of the moment. The second floor features an exhibit within an exhibit, curated by New Jersey photographer and Coalition trustee Dwight Hiscano, and juried by Emmy award-winning filmmaker Eliott Ruga (Senior Policy Analyst and Campaign Coordinator for the Highlands Coalition), Kristy Brucale Jach (director of Speakeasy Art Gallery in Boonton), and Anita Fickenburger (Senior Art Consultant for ArtPlus, corporate art consultants in Livingston, NJ), and judged by Alexandra Willis (Curator for the Morris Museum). The exhibit offers multiple artists an opportunity to reach a wide audience while showcasing the natural and cultural resources of the spectacular Highlands region.

Most works are available for sale, with details and pricing provided in the free catalogues found in the elevator lobby areas on floors 2-5. The Atrium Art Gallery is free and open to the public during business hours, 8:30am-4:30pm on Monday-Friday. The exhibit remains in place until March 16, 2017.

First Night Morris County celebrated 25th Anniversary – bigger and better than ever!


December 31, 2016 marked the 25th Anniversary of New Jersey’s biggest and brightest First Night, a New Year’s Eve family-friendly, alcohol-free celebration of the arts – with over  200 artists, 92  events in 27 venues – representing dance, theatre, music, world cultures, visual arts and children’s events.  For the last quarter century, Morris Arts has served as First Night Morris’ artistic programmer, securing topflight talents who attract thousands of people from throughout the state and beyond.  More than half of the program features new artists (or artists returning after several years), many of whom have performed at top venues (the White House, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Ringling Brothers, Madison Square Garden), won international recognition, performed on national radio/TV, in major films and/or collaborated with superstars of performing arts. On that night, people experienced everything from Broadway stars to a comedy dog circus!

Check out the FIRST NIGHT MORRIS PROGRAM HERE and visit for more information.

To see VIDEOS of multiple performances taken by staff of, click HERE

And to see comprehensive coverage of First Night, with photos, history and additional information, by, click HERE.

For coverage by the Daily Record, click HERE

For coverage by the Jersey Hills Media group, click HERE

For additional media coverage, click HERE   

Here are some  PHOTOS from the event

  1. Photos by Jeff Sovelove for

2. Photos by staff from the Daily Record: 

3. Photos by Dr. Lynn L. Siebert of Morris Arts:


4. Photos provided by Stephen Christopher, “Mr Hypno”:

Clockwise from top Left: Brian LaBlanc and his multi artist tribute band; Ukelele rock group, Cousin Earth; Blues harmonica virtuoso/vocalist Rob Paparozzi; Frances Catherine Ihling sings Alison Krauss and other modern country hits; The Feinberg Brothers bluegrass band; Maggie Worsdale sings Patsy Cline.

On the Rock/Pop front, Brian LaBlanc’s multi-artist tribute band (which opened for Grammy winners such as Blind Boys of Alabama), featured dazzlingly authentic performances of Billy Joel, Neil Diamond, Johnny Cash, John Lennon, and more!  Making big sounds with tiny instruments, the ukulele rock band Cousin Earth not only offered Rock, but also Fusion, Ragtime, Funk, Bluegrass, Hip-Hop and even Electronica.

For Blues/Bluegrass and Modern Country, First Night is the place. Audiences grooved with the “real deal” in Blues, R&B (and funk) as Yankee Stadium organist Ed Alstrom’s Quartet which featured Rob Paparozzi, the Grammy-nominated vocalist/harmonica virtuoso from the original Blues Brothers Band and Blood Sweat & Tears bands. Another solid pro, jazz singer Maggie Worsdale paid homage to the earthy, innovative Nashville sound of legendary Patsy Cline and, for those who preferred traditional Nashville-style bluegrass, there were the tight, soulful harmonies and serious fiddle/guitar and mandolin chops of the Feinberg Brothers – with champion banjo master Terry McGill. If the modern country/folk sound of Alison Krauss and James Taylor were your taste, audiences enjoyed the haunting, clear, pure voice of rising talent, Frances Catherine Ihling.

Clockwise from top Left: Jazz bassist/vocalist Nicki Parrott performing with jazz guitar greats Frank Vignola and Vinny Raniolo;  Modern troubadour Lara Herscovitch; Mauricio de Souza, Bossa Brasil bandleader;Folk singer/humorist Mike Agranoff;  “The Bishop of Jazz,” pianist Rio Clemente. 

Jazz heaven came to First Night with the amazing Frank Vignola Trio. One of the top jazz guitarists in the world, Vignola and talented Vinny Raniolo join forces this year with a fellow Les Paul colleague, the irresistible Aussie vocalist/bassist, Nicki Parrott (who has performed with Paul McCartney and Tommy Emmanuel, among others). Mauricio de Souza’s band, Bossa Brasil®, added a touch of smooth, Brazilian-tinted jazz and, First Night would never have been complete without our own sizzling jazz pianist, Rio Clemente (the “Bishop of Jazz”) whose inventive and sparkling improvisations astonished and inspired all. 

For the soaring, heart-stopping songs of Broadway, A Night of Broadway Stars brought the Great White Way to First Night, featuring actual Broadway stars singing unforgettable songs from Broadway productions such as Phantom, Wicked, The Color Purple, Fiddler on the Roof, and Cats.  Who could resist?

If Folk Music is your bag, audiences enjoyed the “pure musical poetry” of troubadour Lara Herscovitch who’s appeared on the Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor, and checked  out the witty and sly humor of the Folk Project’s own Mike Agranoff. For more Electic   musical tastes, there were kazoos and washboards with the Philadelphia Jug Band and drumming with Carol Peña in the Gefyra Participatory Drum Circle.


Clockwise from top Left: Harmonium Choral Society; Dennis Kobray as Bach/Meet the Musicians; Solid Brass Lite; Shuang Guo Wroe,  conductor of  the NJ Festival Orchestra; Peter Saleh’s Marimba & Percussion Ensemble; and Laryssa Krupa with Nova Chamber Ensemble.

If you preferred Classical Music, First Night offered the artistry of the NJ Festival Orchestra, the piano virtuosity of Laryssa Krupa (with her trio), the grand brass of Solid Brass Lite and the polish and inventive programming of Harmonium Choral Society. One could also delight in Peter Saleh’s distinctive Marimba & Percussion Ensemble or travel back in time and meet Bach himself with Dennis Kobray’s Meet the Musicians.

Clockwise from top Left:  Random Test Reggae; Eco Del Sur; Afrika Meets India; Nai Ni Chen Dance Company; Taikoza; Kleztraphobix; .

First Night also offered a generous sampling of World Cultures such as the renowned Nai Ni Chen Dance Company, blending traditional and contemporary Chinese dance or Taikoza’s thundering, powerful drumming, folk dance and delicate shakuhachi flute music from Japan. With its pre-colonial instruments, colorful costumes, music and dance, Mexico Beyond Mariachi explored the long cultural history of Mexico while Eco Del Sur performed ancient and contemporary music from multiple Latin American regions on indigenous instruments.  Audiences danced along with the infectious Latin salsa, merengue and tangos of Daniel Herrera’s DREAMS dancers and savored the rich musical blend, performed on tabla, bansuri, mbira and kora by the global fusion ensemble, Afrika Meets India. A hot group with a cool name, the Kleztraphobix blended the traditional and contemporary with its mix of klezmer, Macedonian music and jazz and people channeled their inner Bob Marley with the lilting, joyous Caribbean sound of that great shore band, Random Test Reggae.


Clockwise from top Left: Comedian Keith Alberstadt; Comedienne Erin Jackson; Shakespeare Theatre of NJ’s comic actors Connor Carew and Patrick Toon; Mr. Fish who will demonstrate his knife throwing and bullwhip skills; and  Mr. Hypno (comedy hypnotist, Stephen Christopher).

Love Theater/Comedy?  Audiences laughed their way into the New Year with exceptional Comedians Keith Alberstadt (featured on late night shows with David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon Seth Meyers and appearances on SNL), and Erin Jackson (seen on Last Comic Standing, Ellen DeGeneres, Comedy Central and Standup in Stilettos). Not to be outdone, the Bard also provided laughter as Connor Carew and Patrick Toon of the Shakespeare Theatre of NJ presented the Abbott & Costello classic skit, “Who’s on First?” – but in Elizabethan English: Who Doth Inhabit the Primary Position?!


L-R:  Johnny Peers & the Muttville Comix; Storyteller Julie Pasqual; Flea Circus Ringmaster  George Esparza.

Participants laughed along with Mr. Hypno’s humor and hypnotism (which can make people lose the number 6 or have an urge to ballet dance!).  Ringling Brothers grad Johnny Peers and the Muttville Comix (and 18 “rescue” dogs) combined the circus with slapstick humor. Picture a Bassett Hound on a skateboard! You could also dish the political dirt on first ladies with Maggie Worsdale’s First Ladies According to Martha Washington and join the enchantment cast by Storyteller extraordinaire, Julie Pasqual.  And street performer and flim-flam man, George Esparza  presented his suitcase Flea Circus & Wahoo Medicine Show.

Clockwise from top Left: Alborada Spanish Dance Theater; Latin dance with D.R.E.A.M.S. Dancer; NJ Tap Ensemble Soloists  Jeffry Foote and Maurice Chestnut; Nai Ni Chen Dance Company; Aztec dances performed by Mexico Beyond Mariachi.

When it comes to Dance, First Nighters savored  the fancy footwork and dazzling routines of NJ Tap Ensemble soloists Maurice Chestnut (who danced with Savion Glover) and Morristown’s own Jeffry Foote or sampled the swirling costumes and fiery flamenco dancers of the Alborada Spanish Dance Theatre.  Love salsa, tango and merengue? Audiences gave Latin dance a try with Daniel Herrera’s DREAMS dancers, and enjoyed dances from Aztec times to the present day with Mexico Beyond Mariachi. The award-winning Nai Ni Chen Dance Company highlighted ancient and contemporary Chinese Dance in all its power, elegance and grace. Its eight dancers performed everything from athletic, martial arts inspired dances to the graceful Ribbon Dance (and taught kids how to do the Ribbon Dance – to the delight of all).

Clockwise from top Left: Illusionist Benjamin Lipman; Facepainting by Gina Velazquez at Children’s Fun Festival; Rizzo of Rizzo’s Reptile Discover, with frog friend; Creative Caravan’s Tiny Book Workshop; Keith Leaf, light up juggler; Art 4 Kids with Christine Wagner .

For Children’s Programs: Kids of all ages loved Illusionist Benjamin Lipman’s Comedy Cascade with its magic and humor as well as Rizzo’s Reptile Discovery which shared the excitement and wonder of live reptiles (under the watchful eye of a seasoned animal handler). Perennial favorite and skilled circus performer, Mr. Fish  amazed audiences with his knife throwing and bullwhip skills!


L-R: Hula hooping with Whirled Revolution; Fun with LEGOs; Clowns “Glitter” and “Juggles,)  at the Children’s Fun Festival.

The Early Session for younger children (4:45-6:45pm) included hula hooping with Whirled Revolution, art making  activities with artist Christine Wagner’s Art 4 Kids and  the always popular Fun with LEGOs®. New to this year’s early session is the highly acclaimed Nai Ni Chen Dance Company, whose dazzling costumes and inventive choreography showcase traditional and contemporary Chinese dance – and the Creative Caravan’s Tiny Book Workshop where participants created their own unique tiny books. Additionally, both early and regular sessions featured the Children’s Fun Festival, with a lively mix of magic, juggling, balloons, facepainting, kazoos and even an organ grinder!


 Clockwise from top Left: Artworks at the ATRIUM GALLERY: Doug DePice’s oil, Rembrandt; Raymond Sigicinano’s oil, Mare, Sean Carney’s carved wood portrayal of the Lambertville Train Station; at ART UPSTAIRS, Medy Bozkurtian’s The Rolling Hills of Tuscany; At the STARLIGHT GALLERY, Nina Nemeth’s collage, All Things Illuminated; at the ATRIUM GALLERY,  Nicholas Gammarello’s oil, Eric Clapton with Black Beauty.

Three Visual Arts exhibits (displaying over 300 artworks) and two sets of fireworks topped off that magical evening known as First Night® Morris County. To check out the full lineup of artists, visit:



Atrium Gallery – last few weeks to see Fall/Winter Invitational Exhibit

Don’t miss the chance to see the exciting and special Fall/Winter 2016-17 Invitational Exhibit at the Atrium Art Gallery before it closes on January 5, 2016. The Gallery is located on Floors 2-5 of the Morris County Administration and Records Building on 10 Court Street in Morristown  and open to the public Monday-Friday, 8:30am-4:30 and will be open on New Year’s Eve, from 7pm until midnight as part of the 25th anniversary First Night Morris County.

Visitors can enjoy seeing  the  273 artworks by 7 outstanding New Jersey/New York artists (Sean Carney, Doug DePice, Nicholas Gamarello, Cheryl Safren, Raymond Sicignano,  Gail Winbury and Etty Yaniv) and which span styles from the contemporary abstract to precise realism, created in a variety of media including oils, acrylic, pen and ink, charcoal, carved wood and mixed media on copper.

Click  HERE  to see the catalogue of this special exhibit.

L-R top row: Gail Winbury’s oil, Rites of  Spring; Doug DePice’s oil, Portrait of Rembrandt; Nicholas Gamarello’s acrylic on canvas, American Wolfpack;  L-R middle row:  Sean Carney’s wood stain and dremel on wood, State Theater; Raymond Sicignano’s oil, Denny’s Ice Cream; Etty Yaniv’s mixed media on paper, What Makes a Good Twit;  Bottom row: Cheryl Safren’s oil on copper, Habitation 5: Rainforest.Ta

A good friend of artist Nicholas Gamarello, Executive Chef David Martone,  added some special delicacies to the evening’s refreshments, including filet mignon with balsamic glaze and shrimp cocktail. A variety of delicious items – including fudge with homegrown lavender and German Springerle cookies, vegetables, chocolates and other delights – also graced the refreshment table.

Here are some photos from the evening’s festivities:



The fifth floor features the dramatic, brilliantly colored abstract oils by prize-winning and widely exhibited artist, Gail Winbury (Westfield). In the fourth floor Atrium area, prolific artist (and veteran teacher) Doug DePice (Secaucus), astonishes with a sampling from his vast output – with its extraordinary variety, energy, and skill. And, in the fourth floor Hallway and Elevator Lobby, internationally acclaimed Israeli born-artist Etty Yaniv (Brooklyn) shares her fluid, intriguing, almost surreal yet precise drawings and watercolors of contemporary life. With clients like Steven Spielberg, Mel Blanc, comedian David Brenner and as the subject of a feature article in the NY Times, artist Nicholas Gamarello paints on canvas and, distinctively, on leather bomber jackets, guitar cases and other unconventional media to capture the spirit of WWII fighter pilots, of heroism in and out of war, Native American themes, military history, vintage 1940s-style  pinups, classic rock stars, equestrian competitions, and other, contemporary themes. Gamarello’s works grace the third floor Atrium while the intricate depictions of landmarks, NJ streetscapes and iconic scenes, all strikingly crafted in wood (using only dremel and water based stains) by artist Sean Carney (Robbinsville), fascinate and delight the eye in the 3rd floor Hallway and Elevator Lobby. The second floor Atrium area features the stunning multimedia works by Cheryl Safren (Valley Stream, NY) which explore the intersection of science and art, utilizing paint and multimedia on copper and on canvas.  And, in the 2nd floor Hallway area, military engineer and fine artist Raymond Sicignano (Englewood) combines his talents and training in his vibrantly colored, highly detailed and precise canvases which convey his fascination with unique and rapidly vanishing streetscapes of modern urban life.



Most works are available for sale, with details and pricing provided in the free catalogues found in the elevator lobby areas on floors 2-5. The Atrium Art Gallery is free and open to the public during business hours, 8:30am-4:30pm on Monday-Friday and will be open from 7pm-midnight at First Night Morris County on New Year’s Eve. The exhibit remains in place until January 5, 2017.

Featured image: Raymond Sicignano’s oil, Mare








Morris Arts’/Dodge Foundation’s Gallery at 14 Maple opens new exhibit, IN FLUX

On September 21, 2016 nearly 135 people attended the opening reception for the Gallery at 14 Maple’s sixteenth exhibit, entitled IN FLUX.  For this occasion, the Exhibition Committee of Morris Arts and the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, with guest curator, Virginia Fabbri Butera, PhD, selected works by eleven outstanding artists. The exhibit reflects the complexities and ever- shifting nature of our contemporary world, captured by the works by these very distinctive, diverse artists.

Click  HERE to see the Catalogue for this show.


Clockwise from top left: Sunil Garg’s light sculpture, Blissful Delusion; Photographer Joe Freeman’s striking Keechelus 2016; Michael Wolf’s sculpture, 1/7 Heaven; Nupur Nishith’s Dheeya, the Girl Child; Danielle Masters’ Untitled 2016;  Bascove’s Southwest Reservoir Bridge.

A trained physical chemist, Sunil Garg’s sculptures literally  glow with light, color and organic energy while the exquisite precision of Joe Freeman’s stark black and white photos of clearcut landscapes testify eloquently against the destruction of precious natural resources. Bascove’s works pay homage to Art Deco and demonstrate her masterful collage techniques while Ed Fausty’s keen fisheye lens spotlights the beauties of often hidden, miniature natural worlds.  Asha Ganpat’s works blend mystery, depicting ephemeral smoke with her unique black and gold palette, and humor, with her Art Vending Machine (whose capsules contain an original work of art, available for $1).  By contrast, Danielle Masters’ art embodies millennial sensibilities, with energetic geometric shapes and bold, dramatic colors. Nupur Nishith provides a contemporary reinterpretation of traditional Indian artistic themes, whose intricate details, specific cultural references and striking colors intrigue the eye and mind. Ray Ogar’s vision is disturbing and nihilistic – featuring the “redacted” faces of zombie-like modern workers whose individuality and warmth has been brutally excised. A softer side of technology is seen in Pamela Shipley’s works, data-derived yet humanistic, with delicate colors and softly delineated forms. K.C. Tidemand’s architectural, structural works reveal a world of extreme precision and order and Michael Wolf’s small sculptures explore multiple media (alabaster, gold leaf, metal and wood) and evoke a sense of home, history and open doors to the universe.

Here are some photos from the Opening Reception:

Morris Arts gratefully acknowledges sponsorship for this exhibit by


with partnership from
36 Annual MCM logo.indd


and additional support from







The exhibit is open to the public Monday-Friday from 10am to 4pm and by appointment, and will remain on display until February 16, 2017Visit or call (973) 285-5115 for additional information, including the exhibit catalogue which contains details and sale prices for all works. The Gallery at 14 Maple is a barrier-free facility. Individuals needing special accommodation should contact Kadie Dempsey at (973) 285-5115, x 17 or

November 17 Marks the Unveiling of Morris Arts’ Gateway Totem: A Community’s Heritage Carved in Stone

Nearly 200 people attended the official unveiling of Morris Arts’ Gateway Totem Project: November 17, 2016  at the Grow It Green’s Early Street Community Garden, 17 Early Street, Morristown, NJ. It was a deeply meaningful and moving event since the Gateway Totem represents a strong, positive symbol of a unified community celebrating diversity despite the divisiveness of modern times.

Here are some photos from the event:


Additional photos and coverage by Kevin Coughlin, Editor of are found HERE.

It IS “carved in stone.” With the goal of honoring past, present and future immigrant communities and promoting cross-cultural understanding and acceptance, the Gateway Totem Project will feature two ten foot tall pillars of Indiana limestone, with 16 panels of iconic symbols evoking the multiple immigrant communities who have called the Speedwell area home over generations (Italian, Irish, Jewish, African-American, South and Central American, etc.). The panel designs are the result of multiple “community engagement” sessions designed “to ensure that the cultures of residents are properly represented in their public space,” according to master stone carver Gabrielle Hiltl-Cohen. “The important thing is that they have a voice,” she added, saying that she wants the park to be a place where residents can “connect to their cultural identity.”

The sculpture will be installed at the entry to Grow It Green’s Early Street Community Garden, connecting the garden entry with Morristown High School and with existing low income senior housing, new high-end condominiums and local ethnic businesses.  It not only celebrates local cultures but also bridges historically disenfranchised communities with the permanence of carved stone.  Renowned master stone carver, Gabrielle Hiltl-Cohen, was chosen to create this work. The project is managed by Kadie Dempsey, Director of Creative Placemaking at Morristown-based Morris Arts.

Supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) for the project titled “Our Heritage is Our Future,” the Gateway Totem Project is also supported by Mill Creek Residential Trust LLC (as one of the first of Morristown’s “Percent for Art” projects) and by the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation. Artist studio space has been generously donated by Drew University.

Morris Arts was among only 18 “Local Arts Agencies” nationwide receiving this NEA grant. “Morris Arts is thrilled to be in such select company,” Morris Arts Executive Director Tom Werder said in a statement. “This grant constitutes national recognition for our public art initiatives to build community through the arts. We are extremely grateful to have NEA support for this project.” Abby Gallo, executive director of Grow It Green, described the Gateway project as “a wonderful way to incorporate beautiful art into the garden and honor Morristown’s history.”


Here are some additional images of recently carved panels that have been fully or partially completed by Hiltl-Cohen:



Local Arts Grant Workshop on June 9 – Register Today

2016 Grant Writing Workshop
Is your Morris County arts non-profit organization interested in receiving a grant from Morris Arts?
Is your Morris County non-profit organization seeking funding for an arts project?

Then this workshop is for you! We invite Morris County nonprofit arts organizations and Morris County non-profits with arts programming that wish to apply for Local Arts Grants from Morris Arts to join us for our upcoming, free Local Arts Grant Writing Workshops for the funding year 2017.

Save the date!
Thursday, June 9, 2016
14 Maple Avenue, 3rd floor (Dodge Training Room)
Morristown, New Jersey

Morris Arts will be hosting two identical sessions:
9:30 – 11:00 am morning session
6:00 – 7:30 pm evening session

Click here to register for the morning session.
Click here to register for the evening session.

Morris Arts offers Local Arts Grant funding to Morris County non-profit organizations that provide the Morris County community with arts events that are artistically excellent, provide public benefit, and are accessible to the public. Organizations already receiving funding from NJSCA are not eligible for a Local Arts Grant. The Local Arts Grants, administered in Morris County by Morris Arts, provides funding to local arts organizations from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. The program offers grants for general operating support and for special projects to qualifying Morris County arts organizations, as well as non-profit organizations that provide arts programming. Applications are reviewed by an independent panel and funding awarded on a yearly basis.


January 1, 2017 –  December 31, 2017

For more information contact Kadie Dempsey, Director of Arts in Community, by email at

Morris Arts’ 33rd Giralda Music & Arts Festival on June 26th


Giralda 2016 Logo Graphic


The weather was perfect, the crowd was large and enthusiastic, the music spectacular and the day filled with fun for all at  Morris Arts’ 33rd  annual Giralda Music & Arts Festival, Sunday, June 26, 2016, at Giralda Farms, in Madison.  People savored an outstanding performance by the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, sampled the art exhibit and sale, tested the hula hoops, created artworks (with artist Dan Fenelon at the Montclair Museum’s art truck), wrote poetry and relaxed on that gorgeous rolling lawn of the former Dodge estate. The glorious 1950s vintage ice cream truck, with its radiant turquoise and chrome trim and wide whitewall tires, was well stocked with delicious ice cream (what better treat on a hot summer day?!) and prizewinning picnickers demonstrated their inventiveness, with picnics featuring cuisines and decorations ranging from the Middle East to Disney themes! The fabulous 50/50 raffle yielded a record of more than $2,200 for one lucky individual – and the comparable amount for Morris Arts’ Coladarci scholarship, given annually to an artistically talented graduating high school senior.  Children ran, danced and parents smiled…it was a wonderful and special day for all.

Here are some photos from this year’s event:

Once again conducted by the talented Gemma New, this year’s program included Strauss’ Also sprach Zarathustra; Tchaikovsky’s  Waltz of the Flowers  from The Nutcracker; Mascagni’s Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana; the Allegro from Mozart’s Eine kleine Nachtmusik;  the 2nd movement of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7;  Rossini’s Barber of Seville Overture; Offenbach’s Can-Can from Orpheus in the Underworld; Bernstein’s (arr. Mason)  – Selections from West Side Story; Holcombe’s Hooray for Hollywood; Holcombe’s Tribute to Walt Disney; The March from Williams’ Raiders of the Lost Ark; Holcombe’s Ghostbusters; Arlen’s Over the Rainbow; Williams’ E.T.; Williams’ Harry’s Wondrous World; Williams’ Star Wars  and Lowden’s Armed Forces Salute.

Again, Morris Arts  thanks our sponsors:
Corporate Arts Partner: affiliated with The Star- Ledger

Partner Sponsor: Crum and Forster

Luminary Sponsor: Mariner Wealth Advisors-Madison

Giralda Property Sponsors:
Open Spaces Management Association, GRC Management Corp., Lincoln Equities LLC, Giralda Farms RE LLC, Linque Management Company, Inc., American Realty Capital, RXR Realty LLC, 3 Giralda Farms SPE LLC, REX 1 Giralda Farms SPE LLC, Madison Giralda Property Owner LLC, Normandy Real Estate Partners

Community Sponsors:
Frank & Lydia Bergen Foundation, MetLife Foundation, Kings Food Markets, Gary’s Wine & Marketplace, County of Morris, Township of Chatham and Morris County Park Commission

All proceeds benefitted the many programs and services provided to artists, arts organizations, schools and the community by Morris Arts.