I have two drawings on display in the exhibition Committee/Committed which opens this Sunday at the Pierro Gallery of South Orange. Having helped to put up quite a few shows at the Pierro (in truth, following that great master of exhibition hanging, Jennifer Takahashi, around with a pencil, level, hammer and nails), I can say without hesitation that this one is quite compelling in quality and scope: 25 talented artists who have given their time and energy to be part of the Pierro Gallery committee.
I do feel like a newcomer - technically on the committee for only about a year. All of the groundbreaking work to get the gallery up and running was done over 15 years ago by a group of incredibly dedicated artists and art lovers. My affection for the Pierro goes back to nine years ago, when it was quite a surprise to discover that I had moved into a town that was home to a gallery with such a unwavering dedication to serious art and exhibitions. After struggling in Boston for several years to find some sort of connection to the artistic community (quite unsuccessful for me in that traditional-portrait-and-sea-landscape-painting-lovin'-town), finding the artists in South Orange and Maplewood (and of course the Pierro and 1978) was like finding a little artistic sanctuary in the Garden State.
It is true that artists serving on the committee are not permitted to exhibit in the Pierro, however this exhibition marks a significant crossroad for the gallery - the departing of Judy Wukitsch, Assistant Director of Cultural Affairs in South Orange. Judy, along with her husband Lennie Pierro, co-founded the gallery 16 years ago. I never had the opportunity to meet Lennie, but watching Judy as the dynamo behind the gallery has been an eye-opening experience (quite simply marvelling at the dedication and time that it takes to make a non-profit gallery of this nature run seamlessly ~ she will be difficult to replace).
Oh, by the way, speaking of my committee duties, any artists who are interested in exhibiting at the Pierro (from anywhere in the US), the next portfolio review deadline is June 20th; acceptance will put you into the file that is used to curate exhibitions in the gallery space. Portfolio entry information is here.
Opening Reception: Sunday, June 12th 2 - 4 PM
Directions to the Pierro are here.