The Traveling Teen Art Show Returns

Come out and support our teen artists. This new exhibit <link to page>is the annual Union County Teen Arts Festival Touring exhibit. Acrylics, Oils, collages, a wonderful collection by aspiring artists.

This is an annual event and the students look forward to creating works that could have a chance to be hung in a gallery. It’s a way for those teens who are interested in art to have a shot at exhibiting their works in real galleries across Union county.

After you’ve seen the show, take some time to leave your comments on this blog. I will make sure the students receive them.

Union County’s youngest artists display their creativity

Our current exhibit features artworks produced by students attending Hannah Caldwell, NJ. Their works take over the gallery, it becomes more like an installation than an exhibit! Walk into the gallery and every inch of space is covered by the colorful paintings, drawings, and collages of these students. From the quality and quantity of the artworks, you are very aware of Leslie Jenkins’ love of teaching art to children. In this day when school budgets are so ready to cut the arts to save a penny, it’s nice to see these children given the opportunity to be actively engaged in the visual arts at these schools.

Focus on the Positive In Your Life

Jim Bowser, Jr. states, “Our journey through life is filled with many opportunities, challenges and obstacles. Although the road may be difficult at times, remain true to your dreams and passions – most important of all maintain your inner strength and compass. The poem ‘If’ by British Nobel Laureate, Rudyard Kipling, written in 1895, has served me well!”

If you can keep your head when all about you

When all are losing theirs and blaming it on you,

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,

Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,

And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream-and not make dreams your master;

If you can think-and not make thoughts your aim;

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

And treat those two impostors just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken

Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,

And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings

And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings

And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To serve your turn long after they are gone,

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

Or walk with Kings-nor lose the common touch,

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,

If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it

And which is more, you’ll be a Man, my son.

Metamorphosis, Journey to the Universe

we are one with the universe

we are one with the universe

In discussing his work, David believes that colors should resonate in the mind. The concepts of time, space and the origin of the elements should provide an intellectual framework for the viewer upon which profound and difficult ideas can be explored. These ideas touch on philosophy, spirituality, and the nature of time, space and consciousness. He feels that a painting is like a song and he wants his colors to sing together because colors do not work in isolation but in harmony.

the cosmos within

the cosmos within

Of his Metamorphosis series, which is on view in the exhibit, he says, “The series reflects on the sacred divine connection between God and mankind. It is an acknowledging through my art that I am living out my spiritual purpose and progression towards my destiny God ordained for me when he created me. Every painting I create, from beginning to end, is a plan of God and for His glorification. When I paint the universe inside the man or woman, I am showing that mankind is the microcosm of the Macrocosm. My paintings are designed to illustrate that God created us and the Cosmos to express his purpose in material reality. I hope to continually evolve through my calling as an artist to illustrate man’s higher consciousness and his connection to the Unverse.”

doradus nebula

doradus nebula

Visions of the Cosmic Take Form

In this exhibit we see David’s visions of the Cosmic take form. His colors merge and undulate like huge galaxies. This renowned African American artist believes that “The sign of a genuine work of art is that it can stir our unconscious feelings and past emotional experiences, while inspiring self-awareness and cultural integrity.” David is recognized as a major contributor to the art of the 21st century because of his brilliant manner in which he visualizes his objects and scenes.



He regards works done by legendary collagist, Romare Bearden, and European masters Pablo Picasso, Braque, and Henry Matisse in helping to inspire the unique style used in his paintings. Richard Watson–curator of African American Museum of Art states: “David Lawrence approaches the realm of cosmic influences as a point of departure for his creative platform. References to the ancient civilization of Kemet, the mysteries of the pyramids and the forces of nature are the threads by which he constructs his visions of creation and humanity”.

The Cosmos Is Within

The Cosmos Is Within

Stop by the gallery on Jan 12 5-8pm to meet the artist and experience his works.

A Memory Frozen In Time

It’s 14 years later and Ground Zero has morphed into a transportation hub and shopping center. I couldn’t help feeling sad as I walked through the underground “malls” that now cover a large part of this sacred ground. Curiosity, not holiday shopping, motivated me to take a trip down to what is now known as the Oculus.

Yes, there were malls underneath the site of the Twin Towers. But people remember the towers and the plaza, not the stores. It is little known that over the last 14 years since 9/11 numerous artists across diverse media have used the Twin Towers, 9/11, and Ground Zero as subject matter for their creative expression. Charles Smith, in our current exhibit, has 3 stunning paintings entitled, “The 9/11 World Trade Center Series”, which he created in 2006, to commemorate the tragic events of that day.


These paintings use abstract shapes to depict the moments of impact as each airplane, like a white-hot triangular knife, slices into each tower causing huge explosions. Surrounding the towers and within Ground Zero, billowing, suffocating clouds of black smoke and ashes rise to the sky darkening it. The colors Charles uses are black, gray, red, and yellow to reflect the horrifying and unimaginable devastation above the ground and below.


Charles says, “The design of this piece, and those in the series, use geometric shapes to represent the streamlined skyscrapers and architectural structures in NYC made of steel, glass, and other materials. Metallic colors highlight the glimmer and glory of those buildings reflecting the sun’s bright rays on that beautifully clear autumn day in September. The Twin Towers are tall rectangular bars of gold, anchored in the deep underground subways and passageways used by thousands of commuters daily. The Hudson River flows nearby as another source of comers and transportation. The paintings are framed in the patriotic colors of the American flag.”


Like Charles, I too have used these tragic events as subject matter for 2 series “After the Dust Has Settled” a collection of poems superimposed upon 9/11 imagery, and “A Journey Through Remembrance” where I collaged NJ 9/11 memorials with images of the Twin Towers. You can view these series on my website at and

There is also a place in cyberspace where one can view hundreds of other works by artists using 9/11, Ground Zero and the continuing development of the site as their themes. The 9/11 Memorial Web site  is as diverse as art can be and well worth a visit to view these individual interpretations of this painful subject.


On Being An Artist

Here is what Charles states about being an artist:

“I believe all artistic creation begins with inspiration on the conscious or subconscious or supernatural or spiritual level, and takes concrete shape and form through focused thought and action. This way of ‘seeing’ with the mind, consciously and unconsciously, is the beginning of the artist’s unique voice that yearns to be expressed outwardly. From this intangible but real world the visual artist uses line, color, shape, form, texture, symbol, sound, light and dark, words, and other elements of his own artistic vocabulary, usually guided by certain principles of design, to give order and meaning to what is revealed, imagined, felt, observed, and experienced. But, the artist must be true to the voice that distinguishes him or her from others.


For me, the lives of ordinary people, historical events, social and cultural issues, and Biblical themes are important sources of creation. Is there a message in my work? Yes. Life has purpose and meaning given by the Creator, God, I believe, so my art expresses different aspects of that intention. The observer must critically look, think, and discover obvious and hidden truths in my work.”


Meet Charles on November 3, 2016 5-8pm