Thirteen artists come back ‘By Popular Request'

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:18

    The Sussex County Arts and Heritage Council is currently hosting a show of 38 works of art created by artists who received the highest number of votes in the People's Choice category in the 2004 Skylands Art Show. The "By Popular Request Exhibit," which runs through Jan. 13, can be seen on the second floor of the Public Gallery located in the judicial center at 43-47 High Street, Newton. The gallery is open to the public Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Tuesdays from 5 to 7 p.m. Closed holidays. Admission is free. Included in the show are 13 photographs, 11 oils, six limited edition prints, four watercolors, three mixed media works and one pen and ink. The featured artists are Marc Cicchetto, Patricia Curtis, Peggy Dressel, Don Myles, June Ponte, and Craig Slaff. Marc Cicchetto, of Newton, is a self-taught artist who drew his first pencil portrait at age 11 and his first paid commission at age 15. At San Diego State University, he studied industrial arts and was a practical engineer and design manufacturer. Cicchetto is a natural artist, sculptor and painter who has chosen to exhibit seven oil paintings in this exhibit. Patricia Curtis, of Sparta, is a music educator in the Sparta School District. Photography is an artistic outlet inspired by her father, Stephen Gross, who was a professional photographer in Pawleys Island, South Carolina. Curtis started doing portraits but now combines her love for travel with her talent for photography. She is showing six photographs. Peggy Dressel, a resident of Oakland, is an illustrator and portrait artist who studied at Pratt Institute, in New York city, the National Academy of Design, and Moore College of Art, Penn. She has exhibited in galleries and shows throughout the area and was awarded Best in Show at the Bergen Museum Outdoor Show, the Cynthia Goodgal Memorial Award at Ridgewood Art Institute and The Degas Pastel Society Merit and purchase prize from People's Bank and Trust in Alabama. She is a published illustrator including three children's books this year. Her paintings are in more than a 100 private collections. She is exhibiting four watercolors and three mixed media works that combine watercolor and pastel. Don Myles, of White Township, is an award-winning impressionistic photographer. His work ranges from traditional scenes to modern abstracts. Although a photographer for most of his life, since 2000 he has made it into a full time business called Mylestone Photography. He has received many awards and appeared in various publications, galleries and fine art shows. His images include the Skylands area of New Jersey, the rugged land of the southwest, lighthouses of the north and southeast United States, Newfoundland's icebergs, Nova Scotia's coast and Asian people. There are seven of his photographs in this show. June Ponte Rogers, a resident of Stillwater, is a descendent of people from the Azores and Madeira Island. Her background has shaped her artistic interests. Raised by her grandmother, tales of Madeira colored her childhood. Mainly self-taught, Ponte enjoys painting people and animals with anti-war and spiritualism themes. She exhibits in area galleries in New York and New Jersey. She has illustrated a number of children's books. There are four of her oil paintings in this exhibit. Craig Slaff, of Sussex, is renown for his historically accurate paintings. He is a graduate of Hartwick College with a degree in fine arts. With great technical detail, Slaff captures his fascination with the interaction of man and machine. His works have been shown in the Canadian Air and Space Museum, the National Museum of Naval Aviation, the Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum and Annapolis. He is an artist member of Aviation Artists, the American Society of Marine Artists and the coast Guard Art Program. He is showing six signed limited edition prints and one pen and ink. The public is invited to a reception to honor the artists from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 13. Admission is free. For further information, contact the Sussex County Arts & Heritage Council at 973-383-0027, or e-mail