The Art of Happiness: Mike Quon

While many conceptual artists make hard-hitting statement pieces, Mike Quon’s paintings are worthy of smiles. Influenced by Matisse, Dufy, Quon’s renowned teachers Ed Ruscha and Richard Diebenkorn, and California’s bright colors, Quon makes ordinary objects and familiar sights come alive in a free-wheeling, fun style. His father, the late Milton Quon, was an animator for Walt Disney, among whose credits were the films Dumbo and Fantasia. With inspiration from his dad, Quon’s art builds on exuberant color palettes— a “Quon-tum” leap to fine art that invokes both admiration and happiness.

Of Chinese heritage and a Southern California native, Mike Quon is a UCLA graduate who started out as a graphic artist. In the 1970s, he moved to New York, where he earned large-project commissions. He’s had exhibitions in Asia, Europe, and throughout the U.S., with museum credits in New York, Paris, and Los Angeles. His work is in the collections of the Library of Congress, U.S. Air Force, New-York Historical Society, and The New York Times.

“For me, art has got to be fun,” says Quon, author of Non-Traditional Design and Corporate Graphics. “Color is my signature.” Because he likes to engage people, Quon, a resident of Fair Haven, opened a studio and gallery in Red Bank, a fun exhibition and gathering place.
“My instincts and experience lead me to the ‘high notes,’” Quon says, “to let my work sing.” People not only sing his praises, but say his art makes them happy—what the world needs now and always.

Roots of Inspiration: Richard A. Botto & Lisa Botto Lee

Richard A. Botto • Niatross • Oil • 36” x 48”


Father and daughter artists have existed for centuries of art history, although daughters weren’t recognized back then. As a result of groups such as the feminist Guerilla Girls, the daughters eventually received credit for their own masterful work. Not the case with Richard A. Botto and Lisa Botto Lee, who fit the description by an unknown author: “Not only a father is an example for a daughter, but a daughter is a great inspiration for a father.” Richard and Lisa are both classically trained and are representational artists who embrace narrative realism. What a great and eternal bond!


Lisa Botto Lee • Last of the Breed • Oil • 30” x 48”

Richard A. Botto • Dynamic Symmetry Oil • 30” x 18”

Richard A. Botto • Dynamic Symmetry II Oil • 23” x 19”











Lisa Botto Lee • Beyond the Window • Oil • 30” x 24”

Lisa Botto Lee • A Wrinkle in Time Graphite • 30” x 22”












Richard A. Botto • Releasing Lindy • Oil • 24” x 36”

Richard A. Botto • Blind Fury • Oil • 24” x 30”









Lisa Botto Lee • Highlander • Oil • 12” x 12”

Lisa Botto Lee • Ewe & Me • Oil • 28” x 22”












Richard A. Botto • No Nay Never • Oil • 24” x 30”

Lisa Botto Lee • Walk Easy • Oil • 60” x 40”











About the Artists

My father and I have never exhibited together,” says Lisa Botto Lee, a New Jersey native now of Weston, FL. “We’re so excited to see our work side by side.” She and her father, Richard A. Botto, of Ridgefield Park, have many accolades. Both do portraits, nature, wildlife, and figurative work. Richard specializes in equine paintings. Says Richard, “It’s been a privilege to paint some of the greatest harness champions,” among them are Moni Maker and Marion Marauder, a Triple Crown winner. A graduate of Pratt Institute, Richard studied at the Art Students League, his work has been exhibited in the National Academy of Design, NY, The Trenton Museum, Bergen Museum of Arts & Sciences, NJ, the Butler Institute of American Art, OH, The Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame and other prestigious venues.

Lisa, a fifth-generation of muralists of Northern Italy, won awards in regional, national, and worldwide competitions and has exhibited in the Versace Mansion, Miami, Salmagundi Club, NY, The National Arts Club and The Art Center Renewal (ARC) and other venues. And speaking of family, Lisa’s mother, Marguerite, is a watercolorist and former art teacher. She and Richard traveled throughout the US, Canada, and Europe to photograph horses. The Botto family continues a mighty line of masters.

—Tova Navarra

“Sugarplums” of the Waterways: Vincent Nardone

Artists have endeavored to capture the depth and beauty of the great outdoors since brush first touched canvas. The work of Vincent Nardone is a personal invitation to his artistic vision of nature through context and color—and to join him on playful trips to the shorelines and waterways he loves.




Sunset Illusion, 2004 Acrylics on board, 24” x 30”


Aqua Beat, 2005
Acrylics on board, 18” x 24”






Inlet Meltdown, 2006 Acrylics on board, 24” x 30” Private Collector






Rhythms on the Manasquan, 2010 Acrylics on board, 25” x 31”

Private Collector




Nature’s Pride, 2011
Pastels, 20” x 30”
Permanent Collection of the Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, OH




Back Bay Whimsy, 2013
Pastels, 20” x 28”
Gold Medal of Honor in Pastels 2017, Audubon Artists Inc.





Storm Brewing on the Barnegat, 2017 Encaustic on metal, 11” x 14”





Shore Energy, 2019
Pastels, 18” x 24”
Gold Medal of Honor in Pastels, Audubon Artists Inc. 2020




About the Artist

All you need is an eye for fun and an ageless spirit to appreciate the work of internationally known artist Vincent Nardone of Brick Township, who describes himself as a Visionary Expressionist. His art reflects the rhythms and patterns of New Jersey back bays and coastlines. Says Nardone, “My creative process is a textural journey synthesized into bits and then abstracted into imagery using pastels, watercolor, mixed media, and acrylic impasto. I like to work on location with my palette knife, brushes, and ideas.” Many of his works seem to dance like sugarplum fairies along the waterways he often describes as “whimsy.” A South Orange native, Nardone recalls, “My mother wanted me to be a priest, but I wanted to be an artist and go out with girls.” He studied at the Newark School of Fine and Industrial Arts, Montclair State University, USC, and did annual post-graduate work in Paris and Florence. He taught in the South Orange-Maplewood school system for 30 years. He also won major awards, including Le Salon, Paris; Prix Rubens Medal; gold medals from the Audubon Artists, and other major awards from Allied Artists of America. All “sugarplums,” too.

Space Invader

The connective tissue between modernism and realism is not always easy to understand. Or  to see. Chantell Van Erbé thrives in that space. Her intense, dreamlike mixed-media creations radiate emotion and truth…and each is a personal invitation to get a little bit lost in her mind.

A Homecoming, 2005
Colored pencil on paper, 24” x 19”

Featherscape, 1996
Colored pencil on panel, 20” x 30

Nature’s Fury, 1998
Colored pencil on paper, 17” x 14”

The Complexity of Emotion, 2000 Colored pencil on panel, 30” x 30”

Wise Vigil, 2004
Mixed media on panel, 18” x 24”

Transcendence, 2007
Mixed media on panel, 18” x 24”

Island: Swim Away…Disappear, 2002 Colored pencil on panel, 30” x 40”

Portals: Departure, 2019 Mixed media on panel, 36” x 24”

Portals: Arrival, 2019
Mixed media on panel, 36” x 24”

Contemporary mixed media artist Chantell Van Erbé of North  Bergen grew up in a family where art was “definitely in the blood.” Born in 1969, she drew freely on the walls of the family’s brownstone as a child in Weehawken. “I was surrounded by culture from birth,” she says, describing museums and art galleries as her “playgrounds” during the 1970s and 1980s. “I had little choice but to submit to a higher creative vision.” Painting is self-expansion, Chantell believes, a beautifully maddening and meditative process: “My technique is best described as process overflowing in transition.” Indeed, it exudes raw energy, fresh vision, bold colors and immediacy of place. Her art is less the reality she sees than the reality  she remembers and, as she responds to subjects in both inner and outer worlds, she discovers new ways to encourage viewers to mindfully enter her work. “Art is a series of evolutions, numerous characterizations and endless connotations,” she says. “What tremendous power in those three letters!” 

Among the honors and accolades Chantell Van Erbé has received during her three-decade career was a recent solo exhibition entitled Transcendence at The Butler Institute Of American Art in Ohio. Her work was also featured earlier this year at the National Arts Club in New York in support of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  

—Tova Navarra

Sharpened Perspective

Seeing the world through an artist’s eyes can be the beginning of a transcendent experience. The work of Ricardo Roig adds a fascinating detour to that journey…along the fine edge of a master’s blade. In simplifying the boundaries of familiar imagery, Roig’s meticulous hand-cut screen prints reveal layers of complexity that seem new with each fresh encounter.

Wildflowers, 12″x12″ Hand-Cut Paper Stencil Screen Print

Times Square, 29″x43.5″, Hand-Cut Paper Stencil Screen Print

Lift your Light, 29.5″x42.5″, Hand-Cut Paper Stencil Screen Print

New York City Dream, 44″x24″, Hand-Cut Paper Stencil Print

Roof Top Bar, JC, 41.5″x21.5″, Collage of Hand Cut-Paper Stencil Screen Prints

Champs Elysees, 24″x30″, Hand-Cut Paper Stencil Screen Print

Out East, 39″x23″, Hand-Cut Paper Stencil Screen Print

Sag Harbor (Boats), 30″x24″, Hand-Cut Paper Stencil Screen Print

Sinatra Park Sunset, 28.5″x20″, Hand-Cut Paper Stencil Screen Print

Rialto, 28″x21.5″, Hand-Cut Paper Stencil Screen Print

Ricardo Roig began his training at the Maryland Institute College of Art and then graduated cum laude from Kean University with a degree in Painting and Printmaking. He works out of two studio spaces, in Westfield and Hoboken, where recently he translated his unique printmaking process into three impressive outdoor stencil murals. Roig also has created murals for the interior walls of the new The Canopy Hilton Hotel in Jersey City and Hoboken’s W Hotel on River Street, where he also runs Roig Collection, a gallery for his work. Another large mural greets workers each day inside the Amazon warehouse in Woodbridge. Roig’s prints have been showcased in numerous galleries in the NY-Metro area, as well as the Hoboken Historical Museum and NYU Stern School of Business, which commissioned his work. “Art is my meditation and expression,” says the 36-year-old Roig. “Drawing with my knife gives permanence to the moment and provides me with a peaceful escape into a world of vivid color and abstracted shapes. In this imaginative mind state, I can explore and channel my own aesthetic.” Roig adds that he feels renewed as he meticulously crafts each layer, knowing that he will be creating something completely new and “offering people something different and inspirational to see and enjoy.” Ricardo Roig can be reached by email through his web site, which includes much more of his personal story and vision:

Go Figure: James Kearns

Sly, smart, eccentric and extravagant are words normally used to describe an accomplished artist. In the case of James Kearns, those words are also applicable to his art. Kearns’s sculptures invite audiences to explore and celebrate the haunting, the absurd and the grotesque that make up the human form.

Everyman plaster, 6′, 1950

Blind Girl, fiberglass, 59″, 1960

Spring, fiberglass, 63″, 1971

Poet, fiberglass, 22″, 1978

Minotaur, bronze, 25″, 1950

Beast, Fiberglass, 17″x31″

Fashion, fiberglass, 47″, 1976

Trixter, fiberglass, 28″ 1987

Oscar Wilde, fiberglass, 29″, 1990

Dancer, fiberglass, 75″, 1966-67

James Kearns, a longtime resident of the Morris County town of Dover, is a graduate of the Art Institute of Chicago. He served as an instructor of drawing, painting and sculpture at The School of Visual Arts in New York for three decades beginning in 1960, and has also taught at such schools as the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Manhattan and Fairleigh Dickinson University. Kearns’s work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, The Whitney, Harvard University, and the Smithsonian National Collection of Fine Arts, among others.

One might expect an artist with that résumé to possess a mighty ego. But Kearns is a true gentleman, blessed with a hefty laugh and not a whiff of pretentiousness. “Onward!” is one of his favorite expressions. Now a nonagenarian, he continues to push onward with his art, which runs the gamut from riveting draftsmanship to the wry, humorous sculptural forms shown in these pages.

—Tova Navarra


Presence & Pleasure

Maureen Chatfield has distinguished herself as one of the state’s most talked about painters. The Hunterdon County resident embraces experiment and change in the creative process, achieving a compelling balance between abstraction and representation in her work. In a 2015 review, Art News described Maureen as a natural colorist, adding that she “fearlessly mines the spectrum, from the gorgeous reds of Matisse to the rich blacks that conjure Franz Kline’s swashbuckling brushwork and Robert Motherwell’s Elegies to the Spanish Republic to the muted, nuanced shades of Richard Diebenkorn.” By applying layer upon layer of color, the story added, she makes paintings of “palpable presence and pleasure.”

Alex 24″x30″ oil on canvas

Bedminster Field 16” x 20”
oil on canvas

Boulder Hill Cabin 8” x 10”
oil on canvas

Flowers in Urn 11” x 14”
oil on canvas

Bedminster 2 16:x20″ oil on canvas

Still Hollow Farm 14” x 18”
oil on canvas

East End 60″x30″ mixed media

Against the Wall 48” x 60” mixed media





Moontide 30″x60″ mixed media

Maureen Chatfield lives and works just outside the Mountainville section of Tewksbury Township. The structure she uses as her studio housed an apple jack still in the 1780s. She teaches painting at the Hunterdon Art Museum and her work is exhibited at the Rosenberg Gallery on East 66th St. in New York and Cacciola Gallery in Bernardsville, as well as galleries in Greenwich, Nantucket, Atlanta, and Vail. To see more of her work, visit

Hold Everything

Poets have been writing odes to mothers for a thousand years. Baby books have been offering advice to moms for a century. Alas, no words convey the true essence of motherhood quite like the intimate moments captured through the lens of celebrated lifestyle photographer Sue Barr. Her work offers an honest and engaging window into what it looks like to be a modern New Jersey mom.

Sue Barr is a winner of annual American Photographic Artists awards for Advertising, Sports & Adventure, Portrait and Lifestyle. Her fashion photography has been featured in EDGE during its first year of publication. You can see more of her work at


True Character

And what a character he is. Kenneth Hari is a unique blend of master artist, sculptor, art historian, man-about-the world, and speeding comet. His work hangs in 350 museums worldwide (including the Vatican’s) and his portrait subjects read like a Who’s Who of cultural icons, including Salvador Dali, Ernest Hemingway, Greta Garbo, Marcel Marceau, Helen Keller, James Earl Jones, Gene Kelly, Aaron Copeland, Lauren Bacall, Pablo Casals, Otto Preminger, Isaac Asimov and W.H. Auden, to whom Hari was like a godson. After a lifetime of travel, he now works out of his home in Hopelawn…where his wife, Xiaoyi Liu, cannot (and would not) quiet his talented hand.



Elie Wiesel, 24” x 30”, drawing

Twins, 20″x24″ drawing

Dustin Hoffman, 24″x30″ drawing

Jacqueline, 20″x24″ drawing

Sitarist Ravi Shankar, 24″x30″ drawing

Future Generations, 11″x14″ drawing

Concealment of Erotic Emotion, 24″x30″

James “Amazing” Randi, 24″x30″ drawing

Self-Portrait, age 14, 8″x10″ oil painting

Cynthia, 30″x40″ oil painting

Cynthia and Christopher, 11″x14″ drawing

Christopher, 11″x14″ drawing

Poet Marianne Moore, 20″x24″ drawing

Architect Buckminster Fuller, 24″x30″

Hari with The Pearl Earring, 24″x30″ oil painting

Editor’s Note: Special thanks to Tova Navarra, author of the indispensable New Jersey Artists Through Time and the upcoming New Jersey Masters: A Legacy of Visual Arts, in which Kenneth Hari is featured. Hari was born in Perth Amboy, the original epicenter of American Art beginning with portraitist John Watson’s immigration from Scotland to the fledgling colony in 1715. Hari’s father was a drummer in a band, so the family moved frequently; in California he was a classmate of Dustin Hoffman’s and in Key West swam in Tennessee Williams’s pool. A graduate of the Newark School of Fine and Industrial Arts, Hari earned a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art and also worked and studied at Yale and NYU.

Bell Labs Bounce

During the 20th Century, if a good idea needed great thinking to be elevated to culture-changing status, the engineers and scientists at Bell Labs in New Jersey were the folks you wanted on the case. The collection of intellectual and creative talent the company assembled in its various Garden State locations was unmatched anyplace at any time, before or since. Their work was documented in decades of press photos… which are now highly prized by collectors around the world.

Physics Mechanic • Whippany • 1952
although the vibration machine seems
perfectly still to the naked eye, the bouncing
ping-pong balls prove otherwise.

Reception Area
Holmdel • 1965

Exterior • Holmdel • 1965
The Bell Labs building in Holmdel was designed by Eero Saarinen and
constructed in 1962. It was recently “re-imagined” as Bell Works by its new
owner. in 2017, the complex was added to
the National Register of Historic Places.

Satellite Dishes • Holmdel • 1960
The dish on the left communicated directly with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California through an Echo I satellite. The odd-looking “horn reflector” dish on the right was due to be mothballed until,
four years later, it detected evidence of the “Big Bang”
for the first time.

Research Library Holmdel • 1967

First Two-Way Radiophone Conversation South Plainfield • 1929
Two Bell Labs engineers recreate the first two-way conversation between an aircraft and the ground at Hadley Field. Prior to this breakthrough, communication was only possible from the ground up. The engineers held an ongoing conversation with guests at a dinner party.

Mountain Avenue Bus • Summit • 1950
Old-time Union County residents will recognize this bus, which carried workers to and from Bell Labs’ Murray Hill headquarters. It followed a route
similar to current-day #986. Bell Labs constructed the building in 1941.

Robert W. Wilson & Arno Penzias Holmdel • 1982
The co-discoverers of the Big Bang are shown in front of the old microwave antenna they used to make their breakthrough in 1964. Wilson (left) and Penzias (right) shared the
Nobel Prize in physics in 1978.

Conference Room Murray Hill • 1967

Cordless Telephone Holmdel • 1967

Bell Labs Engineers Test New Camera Murray Hill • 1972
Bell Labs introduced the first solid-state color television camera in the early 1970s, replacing the large, cumbersome cameras used in the 1960s. The new technology replaced the vacuum tube and electron beam scanning system with three
tiny image sensors.

The press photos depicted in this edition of local talent were collected by Upper Case Editorial Service. They were originally issued for promotional and informational purposes by Bell Laboratories, Bell Telephone Laboratories, uPi Telephoto, STR, Underwood and Under, NEA and iPs.

Isolated Power

Sports Photography by Rob Tringali


Aaron Judge Baltimore, MD • May 2017

Rob Tringali can barely remember a moment when he didn’t experience the sports world through the business end of a camera lens. His father founded SportsChrome, the first sports photography house, and he has been capturing great athletes and major events for magazines, newspapers and web sites ever since. Rob’s work has appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated and ESPN the Magazine, and he is a familiar figure at the World Series, Super Bowl, U.S. Open and Olympics. His ability to isolate moments of power has made him one of the world’s top sports photographers. To see more of his work go to

Aroldis Chapman Bronx, NY • July 2017

Bryce Harper Queens, NY • May 2017

Jay Ratliff Philadelphia, PA November 2009

Serena Williams Queens, NY September 2017

Felipe Harrision, NJ, June 2015

Mark Burik New York, NY June 2016

Dustin Johnson Doral, FL • March 2011

Sara Hughes New York, NY June 2016

Rob Orlando, Stamford, CT, April 2011


Home is Where the Art is

The painting tradition in New Jersey is alive and well. A magnet for American Impressionists in the late 19th and early 20th Century, the state was fertile territory for artist colonies and renowned painters such as Thomas Eakins, Edward Boulton, and Robert Henri. Winslow Homer painted well-heeled vacationers at the Jersey Shore. Ashcan School master Everett Shinn was among a large group of painters born and raised in New Jersey. With the art market booming, their works are, sadly, out of reach unless you are a major corporation (or an oligarch)—however, as the following pages demonstrate, the talent pool of active artists working here is still deep and impressive. 

Penelope Deyhle, Adra Fish, 30″x48″, oil on canvas

Lisa Ficarelli-Halpern, Portrait With Castle and Carriage, 34″x38″, oil on canvas

Lisa Ficarelli-Halper, King, after Van Eyck, 36″x32″, oil on canvas

Wynn Gay, Memories of Paris 2, 36″x48″ oil, wax encaustic

Lucy Kallan, The Reach, 38″x50″

David French, Garden Variety Angel, 60″x60″, oil on herringbone twill linen

Luba Caruso, Perfect Day 36″x48″, oil on canvas

Sue Sweeney, Springtime Abstraction, 30″x48″, oil on board

Jill Kerwick, If They All Land, 14″x14″, oil on canvas

Hunter McKee, Bowl, 12″x12″, oil on board

Editor’s Note: Kathy Donnelly authored EDGE’s very first “Local Talent” feature a few years back: Buying Art Means Buying Smart…So What’s the Deal with Your Neighborhood Gallery? She is a collector and dealer, and owns Beauregard Gallery (

Wake Up Call

Rumson Country Club, Rumson, NJ

Seven Presidents Oceanfront, Long Branch, NJ

Seven Presidents Oceanfront, Long Branch, NJ

Seven Presidents Oceanfront, Long Branch, NJ

Shrewbury River Bridge, Rumson/Sea Bright, NJ

Officers Row on Fort Hancock, Sandy Hook, NJ

Officers Row on Fort Hancock, Sandy Hook, NJ

Sea Bright Public Beach, Sea Bright, NJ

I’m a landscape and nature photographer focusing on the Two Rivers area of Monmouth County, New Jersey, USA. Born and raised in Fair Haven, I was surrounded by the outdoors. From living in beautiful Monmouth County, to childhood family camping trips to majestic Maine, I developed an appreciation for nature at an early age. I feel very fortunate to have grown up here on the peninsula.
I started a landscape company at the age of 15 while attending Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School. After earning my Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism at Rutgers University, I decided to expand my landscaping business.
Working outdoors has given me plenty of subject material for my photography hobby. I find myself focusing on both land and seascapes. Early morning sunrises are my favorite. I also try to incorporate the moon or a planet which adds to the challenge. I don’t think I’ll ever get bored striving for the “perfect shot.”
Phone: 732-741-3778


New Jersey’s Arboreal Splender

Photography by Dwight Hiscano

Black River, Morris County

Redbud, Reeves-Reed Arboretum

Cedar Swamp, Pinelands

Twilight, Great Swamp

Black River/October, Morris County

White Oak in Snow

Photography by Nancy Hiscano

Internationally published and highly collected, Dwight Hiscano has been creating photographs of the American landscape for over thirty years. His prints are held in notable collections both in the U.S. and abroad, and have been presented to governors, members of Congress, and community leaders in recognition for their service. His work has been featured in numerous group and solo exhibits including the Nature’s Best exhibit at the Smithsonian, the National Geographic-sponsored International Mountain Summit in Italy, the Capitol Rotunda, and an exhibit at the Richard M. Ross Art Museum, alongside works by Winslow Homer, Thomas Hart Benton and John Marin.

Dwight’s images have appeared in The New York Times, Outdoor Photographer, Nature’s Best, Nature Conservancy Magazine and Photographic Magazine, and he was a finalist in the International Black and White Spider Awards. His photographs have been featured prominently in books, posters, calendars, websites, and annual reports in the U.S., Europe and Asia. He often leads photography workshops, lectures and gallery talks, and was the keynote speaker at the Garden Club of America’s Annual Horticultural Conference.

Dwight recently opened Dwight Hiscano Gallery in Morristown, offering his large, limited-edition prints for private collections as well as large scale installations in corporate and medical facilities throughout the Northeast.

For more information please visit, contact the gallery at 908-577-2275, or email

State of the Arts

Movement. Energy. Color. To the trained eye, New Jersey offers an endless bounty of subject matter. Throughout 2017, EDGE will celebrate artistic excellence in its new Local Talent section. We begin the year with the work of Thomas Wacaster, an illustrator by trade whose body of work includes oils and pastels. A graduate of Newark’s School of Fine and Industrial Arts, Tom studied under legendary illustrator Irv Doktor in Greenwich Village. His paintings have been displayed at numerous exhibits and galleries in New Jersey. More than 40 of his paintings, commissioned by the Ford Foundation, have graced the walls of the McGraw-Hill building in New York City.

Erie Lackawanna, Oil on Canvase, 36″x24″

In an impromptu ceremony atop the parking garage, Tom presents a painting of the Trinitas campus to Medical Center CEO Gary S. horan, FACHE.

5:10 to Elizabeth, Oil on Canvas, 12″x9″

Hunterdon Balloons, Oil on Canvas, 20″x10″

Late Summer in Menlo Park, Oil on Canvas, 24″x18″

Uncle Bob, Oil on Canvas, 16″x20″

Parkway Cosmos, Oil on Canvas, 16″x12″

Jersey Breakers, Seaside, Oil on Canvas, 24″x18″

Editor’s Note: Tom Wacaster is a resident of Clark. His work took first place in the 2016 Union County Senior Citizens Art Exhibit and second place in the state-wide seniors competition.



Mid Century…Modern

Art historian Tova Navarra has been producing, teaching and writing about art since the 1960s. Her own work—in oils, acrylics, pastels and a wide array of media, including photography—has been featured in major shows throughout the tri-state area. Navarra’s evolving style reflects her academic and artistic curiosity, with echoes of the past, present, and future.

Portrait of Ivy
sepia watercolor on wood, 1975

The Asbury Park Carousel
photograph, 1979

All you have to do is step into the light
photograph, 1984

photograph, 1984

Daughter in a Sunhat
pastel on board, 1984

photograph, 1991

How Ya Gonna Keep ‘Em Down on the Farm (after they’ve seen Paree)
mixed media painting, 2007

Bells and Whistles
abstract collage on board, 2008

Nude with Physics
Sharpie on paper, 2012

The Social Worker Arrives
mixed media, 2013


Tova Navarra served as an art critic for the Asbury Park Press for 14 years. She authored New Jersey Artists Through Time in 2015 and is currently completing work on New Jersey Masters: A New Legacy of Visual Arts—her 33rd book. For more insight into her life and work, visit


Shutter Speed: Ron Galella

You have to be quick to capture celebrities in the wild. Montville’s Ron Galella knows a thing or two about that. He was a paparazzo long before you’d ever heard that word—and became more recognizable than many of the stars he shot during his spectacular 50-year career.

Allen & Keaton
September 12, 1972 • NYC Woody Allen and Diane Keaton at a ‘A Tracy and Hepburn Film Memoir’

Steve McQueen
April 15, 1973 • Montego Bay, Jamaica Steve McQueen on location filming Papillon

Lennon & Jagger
March 13, 1974 • Century City, CA Mick Jagger and John Lennon at Film Institute Lifetime Achievement Awards honoring James Cagney

May 15, 1974 • NYC Robert Redford at Mary Lasker’s cocktail party for Wayne Owens

June 25, 1974 • Philadelphia Elvis Presley leaving Philadelphia International Airport

November 20, 1974 • NYC Cher during Romantic and Glamorous Hollywood Design Exhibition at Metropolitan Museum of Art

Pacino & De Niro
February 14, 1982 • NYC Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro attend Night of 100 Stars Gala at the New York Hilton Hotel

Madonna & Penn
August 13, 1986 • NYC Sean Penn and Madonna break for lunch from the rehearsals for the Lincoln Center workshop production of Goose and Tomtom at the Mitzi Newhouse Theatre, Lincoln Center








Ron Galella’s work is in the collections of the Modern Museum of Art in New York and San Francisco, the Tate Modern in London and the Helmut Newton Foundation Museum of Photography in Berlin. Newsweek once called him a “paparazzo extraordinaire.” Debbie Harry, one of Galella’s favorite subjects, wrote to him that “any photographer that is fascinated with people, and then is able to catch them live, not in a studio set up, has a real gift.” He is sharing that gift in Shooting Stars, a collection of untold stories and rarely seen candid photos of entertainment and society icons. Sued by Jackie Onassis (another all-time favorite) and socked in the jaw by Marlon Brando, Galella has many a tale to tell—from his early life in the Bronx to his remarkable red carpet adventures.

The Field of Dreams

Dreams come to everyone, day and night. Think of all the children who dream of what they want to be when they grow up. Lady Gaga? Batman? A paleontologist? As a young boy, Werner Carl Burger declared that he wanted to be an Abstract Expressionist. The German-born painter never wavered from achieving his dream, no matter what the waking world had in store.

Forest Flame
18” x 20”, Oil on Canvas

When Werner Carl Burger first began making art, he thought it was just something fun to do. “It was when I started teaching that I really felt something,” the Stockton resident recalls. “I wanted to be a guide and emphasize the intellectual aspects of art for my students, the history and philosophy, knowledge in general.”

In Memory of Peter Jones 24” x 30”, Watercolor

And teach he did…for 40 years at Kean University. It was an honor, he says, to be a professor of art. Though Burger garnered numerous awards during his career, he never let it go to his head: “I see other artists’ great work at art shows and always wonder if I’m good enough.” When informed that Leonardo wrote that one moment he’d ask God’s forgiveness for being a lazy lout—and the next moment he’d think he was the greatest artist in the world—Burger roars with laughter. His work graces museums and public spaces throughout the U.S.,

Liquid Forest
16” x 20”, Oil on Canvas

including the Smithsonian Institution, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Newark and Montclair museums. At 94, he is a major figure in the art community and, particularly, a New Jersey master. —Tova Navarra

Love Forest
16” x 20”, Oil on Canvas

Turnpike #2 Jersey City 60” x 55”, Watercolor

Tumble Town
8” x 10”, Watercolor

City Light
8” x 10”, Watercolor

Normandy France 11” x 14”, Watercolor

Rafael’s Town
10” x 14”, Watercolor


Line Shape Color Texture: David Levy

David Levy adores the purity of geometric forms. He is drawn to bridges, automobiles and musical instruments. Levy’s crisp, elegant lines, bold colors and the visual record of his brushstrokes move the eye and the intellect.

Dubliners' Delight, Acrylic, 24"x36" 2013

“Dubliners’ Delight” Acrylic, 24″x36″ 2013

“1967 Corvette” Acrylic, 24″x36″ 2014

“1968 Muscle Car” Acrylic, 24″x36″ 2013

“1963 Corvette” Acrylic, 24″x36″ 2012

Dubliners' Delight, Acrylic, 24"x36" 2013

“Dubliners’ Delight” Acrylic, 24″x36″ 2013

“Rhode Island Red” Acrylic, 28″x22″ 2012

Born in Manhattan and raised on Long Island, David Levy has been a New Jersey resident for more than 30 years. Levy was an Optical (Op) artist at age 15—well before he established his hard-edge style of painting he dubbed Engineered Abstraction as a Fine Arts major at Lehigh University, where he also earned a master’s degree in Art History. For more on David Levy’s story, visit

The Illusionist Eye

Tova Navarra

Take a long look at the work of painter Gary T. Erbe and you’re likely to detect a sophisticated handshake between the familiar and unfamiliar. His paintings embrace the realism and perspective of traditional trompe l’oeil—with a contemporary update that has set him apart from his peers for more than  50 years. The virtual, mysterious, kaleidoscopic, collagistic world Gary T. Erbe puts on canvas can fool the eye—in French, trompe l’oeil—as well as sit you down to many huge holiday meals all at once, literally making your eyes bigger than your stomach.

Born in 1944 in Union City, Erbe is a self-taught artist who had a studio in Union City from 1972 to 2006 before moving to Nutley. Unable to attend art school while young, Erbe worked as an engraver and painter on weekends until he began trompe l’oeil painting à la 19th-century masters. He then developed modern departures from the masters. Erbe has exhibited extensively since 1970 with solo exhibitions at museums and galleries throughout America, Asia, and Europe, and is in the permanent collection of many prestigious institutions. Erbe paints flat forms enhanced by shadow, light, and color for pure three-dimensional illusion and for stimulating the mind. For more information, visit or go to for an extended bio.

Subway Series, 2008 55” x 45”, Oil on Canvas The Heckscher Museum of Art, NY