The Noyes Arts Garage of Stockton College opened in Atlantic City on Monday (Nov. 25), with 18 spaces including a gallery, artists’ studios and retail spaces showcasing regional artists and photographers, locally handmade fine crafts, the African American Heritage Museum of Southern New Jersey and the work of Fair Trade artisans from around the world.
The $1.6 million Arts Garage is managed by Stockton’s Noyes Museum of Art, which operates a museum store and a 1,200-square-foot satellite art gallery at the site, on the first floor of The Wave parking garage at Mississippi and Fairmount avenues.
The African American Heritage Museum of Southern New Jersey is the largest tenant, with 2,000 square feet of unique artifacts, including graphics, drawings paintings, advertisements, books, music, films and manuscripts, all depicting African Americans in a historical context.
The Noyes Arts Garage of Stockton College totals 16,000 square feet leased by The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. The college has partnered with the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) and other groups to help bring to fruition the resort’s Arts and Cultural District, a key part of the Atlantic City Tourism Master Plan.
“Stockton is pleased to play a leadership role in Atlantic City’s continued resurgence,” said President Herman Saatkamp. “The Noyes Arts Garage of Stockton College will join our Carnegie Center and Dante Hall Theatre in providing lively cultural events for residents and visitors alike.”
John Palmieri, executive director of the CRDA, which built The Wave at a cost of $30 million, said, “CRDA’s partnership with Noyes/Stockton has created a uniquely creative attraction and yet another reason to visit Atlantic City.”
“The opening of the Arts Garage on the heels of the Atlantic City Ballet in residence at Boardwalk Hall, the Bay-Atlantic Symphony in residence at Dante Hall and the continuation of fine performing arts at Dante Hall, provides an anchor to feed the growth of the Arts within the Tourism District and attract new visitation and potential residents to Atlantic City,” Palmieri said.
The Noyes Arts Garage of Stockton College’s mission is to promote education, provide resources for emerging artists, and enrich the community, explained Michael Cagno, executive director of The Noyes. “Because of the Arts Garage, the African American Heritage Museum has its rightful place,” he said, adding that “Stockton College has set the bar for community development.”
The Noyes Arts Garage houses artist studios, galleries, shops, a planned café and a flexible classroom studio, and will host special events throughout the year. The Atlantic Café is expected to open in the near future in the facility, which is also the new home of the Atlantic City Arts Center.
Individual artists work in their studio/shop spaces, each focusing on a different medium including painting, pastels, photography, illustration, found object sculpture, basketry and more.
Visitors are invited to watch the artists at work, ask questions about their creative process, and purchase original artwork, Cagno said. For more information, visit: artsgarageac.com
Among the local exhibits, artists and entrepreneurs are:
The African American Heritage Museum of Southern New Jersey
The African American Heritage Museum of Southern New Jersey (AAHMSNJ), founded by Ralph Hunter Sr., brings to life the African American experience of the 20th Century as it documents the struggle of one group of Americans to carve their own place in the wider cultural landscape.
Through narrative, photos, video and artifacts, museum visitors can experience a lifetime of heritage through another person’s eyes and have a chance to purchase unique artifacts, Hunter explained.
“My passion is for the arts and for African American history,” said Hunter. “It’s not just African American history – it’s American history.”
“The African American Heritage Museum’s exhibits in Stockton’s Noyes Arts Garage illustrate our area’s strength through diversity, as we join with the community to build a vibrant new Arts District,” President Saatkamp said.
The Art of Kuzma
Steve Kuzma of Ventnor, NJ is a fulltime artist, illustrator and educator with over 30 years of professional experience.
This year, Kuzma’s work received an A. Gottlieb award, a Jackson Pollock-Lee Krasner Foundation award grant, as well as the New York Foundation for the Arts award. Some of his major clients include ABC, CBS, the New York Times, Time Magazine, the Olympics, World Cup Soccer, and he furnished complete artwork/designs for five Atlanticare buildings in New Jersey.
Kuzma has exhibited across the United States, showing illustrations that have been published internationally. Kuzma creates embellished giclee prints and originals, using watercolor, water-mixable oil and pastel.
Kuzma also has studios in Ventnor and Hammonton, NJ. For more information, visit: stevekuzma.zenfolio.com
Fair Trade store ECO4U
Owner and store manager Ashraf M. Elsayed and his wife, assistant manager Kathryn Elsayed of Atlantic City have created one of the area’s first Fair Trade stores, Eco4u Boutique.
ECO4U Fair Trade is an 800-square-foot specialized retail store offering access to direct products created by artisans paid fairly for their work throughout the world. ECO4U items are hand crafted, organic or recycled materials made into practical and attractive artistic products. Their mission is to introduce and make available to all people the social good of fair trade.
The store plans to carry items such as jewelry, pottery, woven items, leather items, recycled, household, decorative and gift items. All products are made by artisans in developing nations.
For more information, email: email@example.com; phone: 609-431-0086; or visit online at: http://www.eco4ustore.com/
Sculptor Ron Ross Cohen
Ron Ross Cohen, of Egg Harbor City, NJ, describes himself as a sculptor who “has been instrumental in advancing leather to be accepted as a medium for fine arts.”
Ross’ work also includes free-standing, recognizable figures, nonrepresentational textural wall pieces, mixed media pieces and and assemblages of found objects.
He produced the Boardwalk Icon Series commissioned in 2006 by the City of Atlantic City to create photo opportunities for visitors and residents. His 10-foot-high guitar at Tennessee Avenue and the Boardwalk commemorated Nashville’s country music scene, while his 8-foot stars on California Avenue represented Hollywood.
For more information, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit: http://www.ronrosscohenart.com/
Atlantic City Comics and Graphic Arts Studio
Joe Del Beato, of Ventnor, an artist for Marvel and DC Comics in New York, will offer original artwork and classes at Atlantic City Comics and Graphic Arts Studio, in partnership with Bill Cheatham of Mullica Township.
“We will feature graphic novels by Marvel and DC Comics,” said Cheatham.
Del Beato has worked on DC Action Comics featuring Superman; DC Comics M.A.S.K., an animated TV show and action figure line for Hasbro and a comic book for DC. He also produces Atari Force, a science fiction action adventure comic book, and Who’s Who of DC Universe – a dossier of their characters.
Under Marvel, Del Beato produces GI Joe, with comic book and action figures from Hasbro; and Sectaurs, an animated TV show and action figure line.
Del Beato said he wants to reach an older audience by giving one-on-one lessons.
“I’m the only person in the area that teaches this type of work – how to draw for major comics book companies. Anybody could have a chance of getting in the field of comic book illustration.” Del Beato explained.
The store will offer original art illustrations for sale, Del Beato said. “You can actually buy an original, one-of-a-kind page from the original comic book - the original it’s shot from,” he said, adding that he will also take commissions from customers
The store will also offer with apparel with original artwork and logos, Cheatham said.
For more information, email: email@example.com
Sea Shore Photography
Photographer Greg Alber has been doing artistic beach photography since 1985.
The firm has been in Atlantic City for over 25 years taking photos for casinos, families, events, entertainers as well as nature photos of the region.
Alber does beach weddings, exteriors and interiors for web sites, web design work and fine art photography.
For more information, contact Sea Shore Photo at (609)-334-2800; email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit: SeaShorePhoto.com— News release from The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey
Photo above: Michael Cagno, executive director of the Noyes Museum of Art of Stockton College, Don Guardian, Atlantic City's mayor-elect, James Kehoe, chairman of the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, Stockton President Herman Saatkamp, John Palmieri, executive director of the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, Chris Brown, assemblyman, Ralph Hunter, founder of the African American Heritage Museum of Southern New Jersey, and Alex Marino, assistant to the provost for Atlantic City instructional sites and freeholder, cut a ribbon Nov. 25 to officially open the Noyes Arts Garage of Stockton College in Atlantic City.