Friday, December 16, 2011

2011 Report from the Executive Director

2011 Annual Meeting

Executive Director’s Report

When I started my job here in late February as Executive Director I knew that I had my work cut out for me. We had just changed our name to The Center for Contemporary Art, membership had been declining steadily for five years, programs were becoming stagnant, the Board was reduced to just four active Trustees, and some members and students were wondering how much longer the organization would be around.

While we are not out of the woods yet, we are close. Our Board has grown and, though still small, is enthusiastic and dynamic and easily does the work of a much larger group. We saw a significant increase in income from classes and workshops this year, we began to be known by our new identity, and our exhibitions and special events were well-received.


o This year we ran 187 classes and workshops attended by 771 individual adults and 680 individual children.

o The Education Committee was re-formed and is made up of a great mix of our own faculty, area artists and arts educators as a forum for discussions about all aspects of the Education program. The Marketing Committee polled our faculty, members and students to gauge levels of satisfaction and gain input for improved ways of doing things. As a result, changes to program offerings and course corrections were made and we added new classes and workshops in both traditional and non-traditional media to serve as a point of entry for new students.

o The Marvin Flowerman ceramic studio was reorganized and cleaned up by volunteers, the floor sealed and painted, a space created for storing clay and unfired work, and another for glazes. Most importantly, a kiln was purchased, new faculty hired, a studio coordinator lined up and a variety of classes offered.

o Until this year, all registrations were hand-written and stored in three ring binders. One of the biggest changes this year was the implementation of online registration for our classes and workshops. The new system is far more secure and efficient, and user-friendly for our students.


o The Exhibitions Committee was also re-formed and is made up of a Board member, a gallery owner, a professional curator, a University art professor and a working artist all committed to presenting high quality exhibitions by emerging, mid-career and under-represented artists to our members and the community. The Center also remains committed to serving our own community of artists and fostering the next generation, and will continue to present annual members shows and the Youth Art Month exhibition.

o This year we exhibited artwork by 336 artists, many of them members, beginning with the Juried Members’ Show, followed by Youth Art Month, the iPOP paintings of Serena Bocchino, the Non-juried Members’ Show and Water/Line, which came down yesterday. We were pleased to begin to get recognition with photos, listings, and mentions in the New York Times, the Star Ledger and the Courier News, including one full review of the last exhibition.


o With a new identity, fundraising was nothing short of challenging this year and we saw decreases of individual support in the areas of special events and individual contributions.

o We held three fundraising events: An Evening of Red Hot Jazz, The Art of the Garden Party, and the DADA House Party. We also held a very successful Holiday Boutique last month that we will certainly plan again in 2012.

o Membership at SAA began to decline in 2006. The good news is that this year we have slowed the process, losing 3% of our members this year compared to last when we lost 10%. In fact we gained nearly 300 new members this year, and 40 through the new database which displays prompts during online registration that inform the student of how much they would save on tuition if they were a member.

o We had good news on the side of organizational income with new grants from Investors Savings Bank Foundation and Provident Bank Foundation, and new corporate sponsorship from Team Capital Bank, CR Bard and Investors Savings Bank. Several grant proposals are still pending for 2012, including one to the Dodge Foundation.

Community Partnerships:

Partnerships have been the key to so many things that have gone on this year and will continue to be so in the future. In an effort to reach a broader audience, we joined forces with several of our non-profit neighbors in programs that were cross-promoted.

o We provided artists for the Dillon Library’s CafĂ© Salon series and jointly offered a children’s book writing and illustration class that was held at both locations.

o We promoted printmaking classes for painters at the Printmaking Center of NJ, and their visiting artist ran a clay mono print workshop here at The Center.

o We ran a one-day workshop for those affected by cancer with The Cancer Support Community.

o We have also been meeting with the Matheny School Arts Access Program and are discussing ways to partner with them in terms of exhibitions and art education programs for which we will jointly seek funding.

Next year will be a critical one for us, and will begin with strategic planning on the part of the Board and Staff. I believe that we will see needed growth in many areas. Membership will continue to grow as the result online registration, more aggressive promotion and new benefits designed to attract and retain members, even those who do not take classes. We will also turn up the volume in pursuit of grant funding and corporate sponsorship of events with the help of the Board and the development of event committees. Cross-promotion will continue with our program partners for classes, workshops and exhibitions that will contribute to a new base of first time students and visitors. As The Center becomes known in the art world, we will see increased critical attention to our exhibitions. Through list shares we will be able to market using specific geographic and demographic information.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Board and Staff who have welcomed me to The Center and worked very hard alongside me all year. Nothing that has been accomplished would have been possible without their efforts and support.

Elie Porter Trubert

Thursday, October 13, 2011

New Exhibition to Open!

Bathers by Cindy Stockton Moore

Water/Line: Mark Stockton and Cindy Stockton Moore

The Center for Contemporary Art is pleased to present “Water/Line”, an exhibition of the work of Philadelphia artists Mark Stockton and Cindy Stockton Moore opening on Sunday, October 16, 2011 from 3-6 p.m. with an Artist Talk at 3 p.m. The exhibition runs through December 3, 2011 and is curated by well-known New Jersey artist Mel Leipzig.

Cindy Stockton Moore's painted work explores the liminal landscape in a variety of media including encaustic, watercolor and gouache. Swimmers trespass in isolated bodies of water - restricted reservoirs, wetlands, and rivers- creating a sense of both playfulness and potential for disaster. Themes of unease within nature, impending danger, and vulnerability also run through Stockton Moore’s Actum Agere series. Here paintings are repeated and abbreviated resulting in shifts and alterations from piece to piece and creating a narrative series that references cinematic story-telling. The imagery is inspired by cult films and staged photographs, resulting in a related but evasive narrative.

Mark Stockton works with traditional materials and techniques to reference a range of historical portraiture. Through a time-intensive and rigorous process, he reproduces the synthetic product of celebrity through hand-drawn and intimately human means. Through his drawings, Stockton reexamines familiar images of famous and infamous archetypes in an exaggerated size and with painstaking detail. Working from memory, found images and Internet sources, his work reflects a collective consciousness that is shaped by our media-saturated culture.

Poised by Mark Stockton

“Water/Line” speaks to the underlying themes connecting the work on view and the very different ways that these two, married artists work in their shared studio. Both artists are interested in saturation, Stockton with media-generated saturation of images, and Stockton Moore with the physical sensation of saturation. Both seek out the implied spaces around figurative images, but their methods differ dramatically in revealing them. Mark Stockton’s carefully rendered compositions introduce complex connections between iconic figures, while Cindy Stockton Moore’s looser, more intuitive approach to painting allows the media to obscure and reveal simultaneously.

Area artists will have an opportunity to learn directly from the exhibiting artists when they return to The Center on Saturday, October 22nd  to lead full day Guest Artist Workshops. Cindy Stockton Moore will lead an 'Experimental Watercolor Workshop" and Mark Stockton will teach "Drawing from Photographic Sources."

Please call The Center at 908.234.2345 for more information or register for the workshops online at

Friday, September 16, 2011

Party of the Year!!!

DADA Co-chairs Lisa Mayle, Christine Sutherland and Michelle Mendez

Get your DADA on at The Center for Contemporary Art’s anti-gala house party on Saturday, September 24, 2011, 7:30-11:30 pm. Taking place at The Center’s headquarters at 2020 Burnt Mills Road in Bedminster, this much anticipated fundraiser will celebrate the whimsy, imagery and inspiration of the international artistic and literary movement know as Dadaism.

Art studios will be transformed into a hip and happening venue where guests will experience the vibes of DJ Frankie Frank, black light body and graffiti painting, Cabaret Voltaire, timed portraits, slight of hand magic, video projections, pocket art and more. Featured entertainers from the Little Top Circus and Medicine Show will bring a refreshing dose of different as they pop up in unexpected places complete with ringmaster, burlesque queen, vocals, percussion, lovely assistant and more. This unique theatrical cast will enliven the mundane as they replicate the antics and characters of a 19th c. sideshow. Food, drink and dancing will round out this lively art-themed, surprise-filled and interactive evening.

DADA Co-Chairs are Lisa Mayle, Michelle Mendez and Christine Sutherland. Lisa Mayle is President of The Center’s Board of Trustees and long-time resident of Bernardsville. Michelle Mendez and Christine Sutherland are owners of downtown Bernardsville Wallflowers Gallery.

Be hip, be square, be you, be me, be there…be DADA! Reservations for the event are $75 and up per person. Guests must be 21 years+. Facilities are fully accessible. Please call The Center for Contemporary Art at 908-234-2345 or go to its website to purchase a ticket or make a tax-deductible donation

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Teen Programs Starting Soon!

Super Hero by Rich Hedden
Happy campers of all ages are honing their creative skills while having old-fashioned fun in our spacious air-conditioned art studios in this, the saecond week of summer art camps at The Center.

Many of you have expressed frustration at the lack of art programs available for older children. We heard you! For the first time The Center is offering intensive morning and afternoon courses in drawing, digital photography, graffiti, oil painting, printmaking and fashion illustration for teens. Also, a Portfolio Development Intensive is designed for teens 16-18 who plan to apply to art school or want to strengthen a liberal arts college application by submitting an art portfolio.

JULY 18 - 22 · 9:30-11:30 · $190/165 members
Yelena Piatigorsky
Students will focus on the fundamentals of drawing through demonstration and direct observation. Shapes, proportions, line, composition, light and shade, and value will be stressed. A clothed model will be used for the last session. Pencil, charcoal and pastel will be used. Model fee included.

JULY 18 - 22 · 12 - 2:30 · $225/200 members
Adam Turow
This course will explore the technical aspects of photography, allowing students to feel confident using the manual mode in their cameras. Students will learn how to make a photograph tell a story and how to approach a photograph as an artist, making choices about everything such as color, lighting, backgrounds, angles, reflections and more. Bring a camera that has aperture adjustments and the instruction booklet.

JULY 25-29 · 9:30-12 · $225/200 members
Kasso, AJA & LUV1
Three masters of this under-appreciated art form who are taking public art to a new dimension, will teach various aspects of graffiti with it's bold use of color and design. The week begins with the history of graffiti, including the evolution from the subway era to modern aerosol art, followed by methods of drawing large-scale. Students will learn letter design and abstraction and the different levels of designing a name. Portraiture, character design, masking, stencils and various painting methods will all be covered.

JULY 25- 29 · 1- 5:00 · $425/400 members
Dannielle Mick
Do you want to go to art school, but need to improve your skills? The Portfolio Development Intensive (ages 16 - 18) offers students the opportunity to prepare portfolio-ready work that meets the requirements of the four top rated art schools. The student will develop skills and confidence while learning still life, portraiture, perspective and much more. Demonstrations and class critique will round out this one week intensive.

AUGUST 1-5 · 9:30-12 · $225/200 members
Yelena Piatigorsky
Learn the basics of oil painting in this intensive program. Students will be working from a still-life or their own reference material. They will learn to mix colors, block in the underpainting, master brush techniques and bring the painting to completion- painting lean to fat, and dark to light. Composition and lighting will also be covered.

AUGUST 1-5 · 1 - 3:30 · $225/200 members
Dot Paolo
Students will experiment with monotype collograph, chine collé and relief printmaking. The class will be working with Akua inks, the new soy based inks that are easily cleaned up with water. All of the techniques taught can be done at home without a press but students will have access to an etching press for this class.

AUGUST 8-12 12:30 - 2:30 · $190/165 members
Wanda Blake
Students will learn to achieve the sensitive drawing techniques of line and shading used most often by fashion illustrators. Emphasis will be on accurate, yet stylized proportion, along with capturing the gesture of the pose using a live model. A variety of media will be used including charcoal and pastel. Model fee included.

JULY 16 · 10 - 3:00 · $100/80 members
Rich Hedden (see "Superhero" above)
Students will learn the process of creating a comic strip from the initial concept to the finished product from DC Comics writer and penciller, Rich Hedden Focus will be on character development, drawing, visual storytelling and how to best express a personal idea into comic book panel format.

Many of these week-long sessions still have spaces available. Please call The Center for more information or to register for a class at (908) 234-2345.

Visit us online for information about summer programs for all ages!

The Center for Contemporary Art
2020 Burnt Mills Road
Bedminster, NJ 07921

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Art of the Garden Party to feature Manhattan Floral Designer Mark Rose

Bridal Luncheon at Marble House, Newport, RI by Mark Rose Flowers & Events

The Center for Contemporary Art will hold its annual spring benefit luncheon on Tuesday, May 17th at Fiddler’s Elbow Country Club in Bedminster. “The Art of the Garden Party” will take place from 11 am to 2:30 pm and feature table designs by well-known area designers and businesses including Laura Clare Floral Design and Event Decor, Eggsotic Events, Classic Home and Garden, Philosophy Boutique, Diane Durocher Interiors and House of Jawi.

Mark Rose
The day’s special guest is acclaimed Manhattan floral designer Mark Rose who will share highlights of his own events and give a presentation on the elements of a fabulous garden party. Mark Rose was raised in New England where his fascination with nature and love of flowers began at an early age. His education in architecture, design and horticulture combined with his extensive international travel continually provide his inspiration.

Mark’s professional career began in Washington, DC where he designed events at The National Gallery of Art, The Library of Congress, The Smithsonian and The Washington Opera, establishing himself in his field. Mark moved to New York to work with event designers Robert Isabell and Preston Bailey, and soon after was offered the position to oversee the public flowers and in-house events at The Plaza and The Pierre Hotel for Atlas, where he worked for almost a decade. These grand hotels and other prominent venues throughout New York have been ideal locations to showcase Mark’s style, where he has designed spectacular wedding receptions, corporate galas, and charity balls in the celebrated spaces. Mark is also sought after for his beautiful residential flowers, and brings his elegant point of view to every project.

“The Art of the Garden Party” is co-chaired by Kathleen Palmer and Debbie Bergen. Tickets start at $85 per person and all proceeds benefit education and exhibitions programs at The Center for Contemporary Art. For more information or to purchase tickets please visit our website or contact Ellen Rannells, Special Events Coordinator at (908) 234-2345 or

Friday, April 8, 2011

Serena Bocchino exhibition opens April 10 and runs through May 26th

The public is invited to the opening reception of "Serena Bocchino: Paintings from the iPOP series" on Sunday, April 10th. The artist will be signing copies of her children's books.

iPOP is the term used by Bocchino to describe her recent body of mixed media work which includes paintings, “photo-paintings,” painted figures and drawings. Using bright enamel and her unique “pouring technique,” Bocchino creates a true wonderland in this installation. Surrounding her vivid and lyrical paintings is a garden with ordinary lawn ornaments such as bunnies, squirrels and flamingos which she transforms into iconographic pop elements. The result is vital and dynamic; a colorful and surprising environment which combines high art with popular culture.

Bocchino is also a children’s book author and illustrator. Who Am I? The Story of the Artist, is her most recent book and will be on display and for sale for the duration of the exhibition. At the opening reception Bocchino will be available to sign copies of her book and limited edition giclee prints of the illustrations that combine watercolor illustration with her abstract paintings will also be on display.

Visit our website for more information or call us at (908)234-2345!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

An Evening of Hot Jazz is coming up on Friday, March 25th

The Center for Contemporary Art will present “An Evening of Red Hot Jazz” on Friday, March 25th from 7:30 – 10 p.m. The event features live performances by the Rio Clemente Quartet and the Vincent Troyani Trio. Guests will enjoy wine and hors d’oeuvres, a display of original jazz-themed artworks, caricaturist, silent auction, door prizes and more.

Morristown native Rio Clemente is an acclaimed master pianist, composer, educator and recording artist who has performed at the Newport Jazz Festival, Carnegie Hall, Birdland and Lincoln Center among other venues. His music combines a strong classical background with a rich knowledge of jazz history, making him one of the most expressive and versatile pianists today.

Vincent Troyani played first alto sax in Chico Mendoxa’s Latin Jazz Ensemble and has since performed with numerous jazz and rock groups. Troyani graduated from William Patterson University where he majored in Sound Engineering Arts and Saxophone Performance. He is the owner of Dungeon Studios recording studio and is active in live performance, recording/producing and teaching.

Tickets for “An Evening of Hot Jazz” begin at $50 per person. All proceeds benefit education and exhibition programs at The Center for Contemporary Art. For more information or to purchase tickets please contact Ellen Rannells at (908)234-2345 or

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

New Executive Director

On Feb. 22 the Center for Contemporary Art (CCA) in Bedminster will welcome Elie Porter Trubert as its new executive director.
Trubert brings more than 12 years of nonprofit arts experience to CCA, having held positions at the Hunterdon Art Museum, the Arts Council of the Morris Area and the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey where she was the director of development and communications for three years. She is an experienced manager, fund-raiser and development professional, and most recently was employed as a development consultant with Partnership in Philanthropy. She is also an artist, and lives with her family in rural Hunterdon County.
“I am a strong believer in the value of the arts and their impact on so many areas including the education, health and wellness, community-building, economic development and overall quality of life," said Trubert. "I am honored and excited to join an organization that is reinventing itself and is poised for tremendous growth, and I look forward to working with the CCA Board, staff, members and the local community.”
Founded in 1970, CCA until recently was known as the Somerset Art Association. The organization’s new identity was announced last October when the art center marked its 40th anniversary, recognizing past accomplishments and looking toward the future. CCA is a vital regional art center with a vibrant studio art school, extensive exhibition program and important community outreach component.
For more information, visit or contact Trubert at (908) 234-2345 or