The first annual Community Art Show, featuring Bernards Township artists, attracted contributions from 40 local artists that will be on display at the Somerset County Environmental Education Center in Basking Ridge through Feb. 26.
A public reception to kick off the show — which officially opened on Saturday at the EEC at 190 Lord Stirling Road — took place on Sunday afternoon at the EEC.
During the reception, the 2012 Mayor's Arts Awards Recipients also were announced by Bernards Township Mayor Mary Pavlini. The non-juried show — that the township hopes to make an annual event each February — is not related to the mayor's arts awards, begun in 2011, but the township parks and recreation department decided to announce the awards at the show's reception, said Jennifer Gander, director the township parks and recreation department.
The exhibit of artwork by Bernards Township residents will remain at the EEC through Feb. 26, the township said. The EEC is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., although it will be closed on Feb. 13 and 20, according to the township website.
Each artist submitted between one to three pieces, Gander said.
"We have a lot of talented people," said Caren Frost Olmsted, chair of the cultural arts subcommittee of the township's recreation, parks and pathways advisory committee. She said she expects next year's show will be even larger.
The recipients of the Mayor's Arts Awards — requiring nomination for consideration — were judged by the township's cultural arts project team, Gander said. The award honors those demonstrating leadership and dedication to the fine and performing arts in Bernards Township.
This year's individual award went to Kristina Lloyd, for her volunteer work as gallery coordinator and organizing shows at the township's Farmstead Arts center.
The student award went to Ridge High School junior Mark DePasquale, who was nominated by local artist Serena Bocchino and Peter Aprahamian, 2011 chief of the Liberty Corner Fire Co. DePasquale directed "Heroes in the Smoke," a documentry about the fire company while he was a sophomore.
DePasquale had produced that film along with other then-sophomores Chris DeLorenzo, served as director of photography; Alexander Molander and Colin Boulter, who composed and performed the music; and Chris Szeluga, in charge of camera operation and audio recording. He said he also directed a short psychological thriller that won Ridge High School a $5,000 award last year in a contest sponsored by MSG Varsity television.
The mayor's award for an organization went to Ridge Light Opera of New Jersey, which just this past week presented several productions of "Lovin' Cole," a Cole Porter revue. The next production, which also will be staged at St. Mark's Episcopal Church in downtown Basking Ridge, will be a semi-staged concert of music from "My Fair Lady," at 8 p.m. on May 11 to 12, said Bill Courson, executive producer and one fo the founders of Ridge Light Opera, based in Basking Ridge.