A show of new work by Cape May artist (and Exit Zero legend) Victor Grasso will open at SOMA NewArt Gallery this Saturday, August 7, with an Opening Artist’s Reception from 6-9pm. This is Grasso’s third solo exhibit at SOMA and he is returning with a stunning new body of work which probes the imagery, history and myth of our region. “My mission is to construct unusual circumstances from ordinary situations, and my muse is the southern New Jersey coastline; mixing local flavor, a heavy dose of femininity, historical irony, naturalism, and a rich maritime legacy,” he says.
New to this exhibit, in addition to Grasso’s startlingly realistic oil and watercolor paintings, is his embrace of pen and ink to create an illusionary universe of what appear to be historical etchings, reminiscent of old maritime charts, secret maps, and Civil War engravings, always with Grasso’s darkly-ironic vision of startlingly-mischievous unpredictability.
Painting and drawing in the realist tradition, Grasso’s new work pushes the limits of the viewers’ visual perception as he explores the mysterious allure of the people, and the terrain, of the southern shore communities.
In the watercolor, Libertas, Grasso combines the setting of the historic Congress Hall Hotel, the American flag, a white steed, and a beautiful woman dressed in white, to create an almost mythological, storybook, fairy-tale tableau.
In the oil painting, Bait, an octopus morphs from the model’s head, sensuously descending like hair over her back. Grasso explains, “I wanted a study of the female form punched up a bit with a Davy Jones Locker style, like some mythical siren bewitching a sailor.” Another captivating image, aptly titled Triceratops, depicts a beautifully painted weathered piece of driftwood on Higbee Beach.
For more information contact SOMA NewArt Gallery, 31 Perry Street, Cape May (609) 898-7488, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Leave your corsets and top hats at home and break out your summer whites for A Night in White, an unmissable fundraiser being held by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities this Monday, August 9.
Enjoy an open bar, catering by the Carriage House Tearoom & Café, music by Cape May’s favorite DJ, Tony Genaro, with Bill Bittman on steel drums, dancing, summertime food and beverage and more – all for a great cause! Admission is $65 per person. Casual summer white attire required.
A Night in White: An Evening for Education will help benefit thousands of area schoolchildren. Committed to educating schoolchildren and interpreting the Cape May region’s unique history, the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities served more than 10,000 students last year.
History comes alive in and out of area classrooms with programs administered by MAC. Cape May’s only Victorian house museum, the 1879 Emlen Physick Estate, 1048 Washington Street, will host the event, which will run from 6pm to 9pm.
One of MAC’s major missions is to provide professional development to teachers and educational outreach to schoolchildren and adults in subject areas corresponding to the organization’s public programming. MAC’s educational programs help teachers satisfy curriculum standards and achieve educational goals, and help to enhance and expand the classroom by bringing to life 200 years of area history. Students are able to work with professional musicians, learn about the area’s important World War II history by climbing the recently restored World War II Lookout Tower, discover Cape May’s maritime heritage with classroom programs, experience the Victorian lifestyle with living history presentations and much more.
MAC has been certified by the New Jersey Department of Education as a professional development provider. MAC’s public history programs are funded in part by an operating support grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission in the Department of State. Free educational programs will be funded in part through proceeds from A Night in White. The Cape May Music Festival’s educational outreach component is funded in part by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State and by PNC Arts Alive.
For reservations and more information about A Night In White, call MAC on (609) 884-5404 or 800-275-4278, or visit its website at www.capemaymac.org.