Art on display at JCC’s Gaelen

Art on display at JCC’s Gaelen

“Emily” by Aliza Augustine
“Emily” by Aliza Augustine

JCC METROWEST presents “Portraits,” an exhibit of artwork in various media by contemporary artists, through Oct. 28 in the Gaelen Gallery East at the Leon & Toby Cooperman JCC, Ross Family Campus in West Orange.

Among the artists are photographers, painters, and sculptors, as well as several artists who explore drawing and mixed media. Photographer Aliza Augustine exhibits work from her series “Documenting the Second Generation: Daughters of Holocaust Survivors.”

“Walter” by Janet Boltax

“The women in these photographs are contemporary, modern women,” she said. “To them, the Holocaust is not something old from a history book, it is alive and visceral.” Her series combines contemporary studio portraits with landscapes she photographed in Europe and personal photographs from the family collections of her subjects to portray the story of the past and present.

Ellen Hark and Barbara Minch use elements of collage in their work. Hark uses accessible materials for her work. “I turned to magazines, flyers, wrappers, old maps, and newspaper to tickle my creativity,” she said. “I love the mix of graphic print and endless color and texture.”

For Minch, her sculptures “are about the feminine search for identity.” Her wall-hung pieces are constructed with paper clay and magazine print and are life-sized figures with an eerily realistic appearance.

Janet Boltax, Sarah Petruziello, and Sharon Sayegh are accomplished painters. Janet Boltax is a Montclair-based artist specializing in figurative and portrait painting. The paintings in this exhibit are part of her series, “Aging in America.”

“Eyes on You” by Oscar Peterson

Petruziello creates large-scale figurative portrait drawings using graphite pencil on paper. These meticulously-rendered illustrative works often use gold leaf, which allow “the drawings to transcend a simply illustrative image to a more tangible, touchable, physical surface,” she said.

Sayegh uses traditional painting techniques and works in gold, silver, and palladium leaf with oils. Her work can be self-reflective. “The pensive, reflective facial expressions on many of my figures are a reflection of my inner feelings,” she said. “The figures, often created from my imagination, are self-portraits at least in spirit.”

Award-winning pastelist Rita Agron exhibits her skillfully rendered landscapes in the Arts/Theater Lobby. A founder of the Pastel Society of New Jersey, Agron has exhibited throughout the United States and is also a popular pastels teacher.

The Gaelen Gallery East is open during JCC hours: Monday-Thursday, 5:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday, 5:30 a.m.-6 p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday, 7 a.m.-6 p.m. Contact Lisa Suss at 973-530-3413 or

read more: