Thank you for your interest in the Ewing Arts Commission!


The Ewing Arts Commission meets the First Tuesday of every month unless otherwise indicated. All meetings start at 7:00 pm at the Ewing Senior and Community Center. Next Meeting July 2, 2019.

Meet Mark Stermer
Featured Artist of the Month

Artist Reception Thursday, June 20, 2019 6:30-8pm

I grew up in a small town on the Southern Tier of New York State called Waverly. I didn’t have any interest in art at all until I attended SUNY College at Buffalo, which is located directly across the street from the Albright Knox Art Gallery.

After muddling around for a few semesters, I decided to become an Industrial Arts teacher. The Art & Design departments shared the same building with the shops and before I knew it I was hanging out with the art students sketching, throwing pots and my favorite, printing black and white photographs in the darkroom. Buffalo has a thriving art community and I soon became interested in all things art, but I still majored in Industrial Arts Education and to this day have never enrolled in an art class. I am entirely self-taught in photography and art history. I pursued my interest in photography after graduating college by setting up darkrooms in bathrooms or basements where ever I lived. My wife and I moved to New Jersey in 1980 and we landed in Trenton until 1993 when we moved to Ewing and have parked our cars here since then.

In 1989 I accepted a teaching position in a private school as a photography, graphic design and offset printing teacher. As the digital age evolved I transformed my curriculum to keep up with the times and became immersed in teaching myself and my students various graphic design and digital photography software products as well as digital printing technology.

My artistic interest in photography has always been capturing light in the absence of sunlight. My favorite shots are taken at night. The reflection of a parked motorcycle lit by street lights and passing headlights or a band performing under the lights on a City Gardens stage intrigued me.

I’m not really interested in capturing a realistic image. I want to create an image that doesn’t exist to the normal eye. With the software technology available now, virtually thousands of adjustments can be applied to a picture after it is taken. However, it is virtually impossible to use software solely to create the level of vibrance and contrast captured in my photographs. In my neon photos I capture the essence of the light emitted by making adjustments to the camera’s settings at the time the shot is taken. An understanding of how a camera captures light is essential to the process of creating the desired effect, more so than software manipulations. Virtually no exposure adjustments using software to alter the camera’s exposure have been made to my images.

The prints on display at the municipal building are part of a series of pictures of neon and reflected night light shots taken in Wildwood and Wildwood Crest over a three year period. Many of these neon lights no longer exist, but some, for example “Laura’s Fudge”, an image inspired by Hopper’s “Nighthawks”, will probably be around for a long time.

I’ve had the good fortune for three of my works from the Vanishing Wildwood series to have been displayed in museums. “Pink Champagne Motel” was chosen for exhibition in the Ellarslie Open in Trenton and “Blue Water” donned the walls of the Burchfield Penney Art Center in Buffalo. “Jolly Roger” was selected for the 2017 Mercer County Photographers show at the Silva Gallery. I’ve also sold numerous works at the annual “Art all Night” events in Trenton, donating part or all of the proceeds to Trenton Artworks. A print of “Jolly Roger” is also on permanent display at the Wildwood Crest library.

Why did I chose to try my hand at creating art? Maybe artistic creation chose me. The one course that I took in college to fulfill my art requirement was entitled “Fundamentals of Art Inquiry”. The reason that I chose the class was because I thought that I had no artistic ability and it was a lecture class that didn’t require me to produce any artwork. The point of view of the professor was that the creation of art was the result of utilizing scientific discoveries and technological advancements. For instance, the creation of new and better pigments occurred because our understanding of chemistry progressed due to the applied analysis of paints. Brushes were also analyzed and developed to fulfill the different functions necessary to execute a painting. Nowadays much of the new art work on display in museums is in the audio visual realm, representing our most technologically advanced form of artistic expression so far. In 2010 my work was exhibited along side an installation by video artist Nam June Pak at New Jersey Network. Kim’s video sculpture used video technology in combination with neon lights to create an artwork. I use neon light, digital photography, computer technology, and mechanized painting to create an artwork. So years later the influence of the art inquiry lectures inspired me to try and create something unique, based on my knowledge of photographic principles, computer software programs and the most advanced printing technologies available.

My ultimate creative vision for the Wildwood series is to build a soundproof darkroom enclosure completely devoid of light and mount a multitude of video monitors on the walls and ceiling which will have the images displayed by slowly fading them in and out randomly while a continuous audio loop plays a recording of the sounds of the Wildwood boardwalk prominently featuring “watch the tram car”. The patron will enter the room through a darkroom door on one end and walk in near total darkness following a line of pin lights on a boardwalk floor to the other end of the room and exit through another darkroom door. I looking for a benefactor or grant to finance the project.

More of Mark’s work can be found on his website: https://sites.google.com/site/yalestermer/vanishingwildwoodneon

or on his facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Mark-Stermer-Photography

Community Mural Project

As part of our efforts to promote art in the community, the Ewing Art Commission is working on a Community Mural. Individuals interested in participating in this unique opportunity should contact us to learn more about this project and how to become a part of it.

Calling Student Musicians!

Would you like a place to share your talent? The Ewing Arts Commission is looking for young performers to show off their skills. Musicians under the age of 21 are welcome to perform. Original music or your favorite cover songs are all acceptable. This will be a free event, no performers will be paid for their time. This is a family event and the Commission reserves the right to turn away any performer for any reason. Sound good to you? Send us an email at ewingartscomm@gmail.com. Tell us what you play and where we can sample your talent.

Open Mic Nights at 1867 Sanctuary

Mark your calendars! The 4th Friday of every month from 7-9pm the 1867 hosts an open mic night. The Sanctuary has a grand piano and excellent acoustics but take our advise check it out for yourself. Admission is free and all ages are encouraged to participate. plus free parking is right across the street. The next event is Friday, May 24, 2019. For more information or to register to perform call 609-392-6409 or email 1867sanctuary@preservationnj.com

Are you interested in display your art?

The Ewing Arts Commission is looking for local adult artists to show off their work at the Ewing Township Municipal Building located at 2 Jake Garzio Drive. This is a great opportunity to share your talents with our community and sell your work!

For details on Showing YOUR art, click HERE

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The Ewing Arts Commission is an appointed municipal body constituted as a non-profit organization. The focus is to support, develop and expand the Arts. The goal is to foster freedom in expression of artistic growth and enjoyment within the community of Ewing Township through commitment and dedication.

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