The Artful Deposit Gallery has been flourishing under the watchful eye of its owner, C.J. Mugavero, for 27 years. Patrons and collectors have come to rely on her stable of accomplished artists and recurring theme shows.
For this current exhibit of scenes along the Delaware, she's added a spark of novelty to the annual theme by bringing new life to the gallery in the works of guest artists Alan Fetterman and Mike Malzone and by adding a fresh new artist to the group she represents.
Mugavero tells about first seeing a painting by Rudolf Stumpf in an Ellarslie Open exhibit and being very impressed by it. "Then I walked into Art All Night and saw a beautiful snow scene, saw it was by him, and knew I had to have him here," she says.
In this show, visitors will see his thickly painted view of the Delaware, where turbulent water makes a narrow cut through snowbanks, and the chill of winter is deftly captured.
Outstanding is his "Water Works, New Hope." In this, impasto brush strokes of snow rest on bare branches and the sides of tree trunks along the river's edge, as snow drifts out into the streaming water toward lights of the water works in the distance.
Born in Germany, Stumpf immigrated to the United States in 1956 and, after attending divinity school and serving in Vietnam, he studied with Mel Leipzig and Vincent Ceglia at Mercer County College, where he earned a fine arts degree. He is also a sculptor and wood carver.
Visiting group shows and keeping a close watch on the region's art world is most often the way Mugavero brings other professional artists into her gallery. "I walk around at the shows, and if someone keeps hitting my eye, I watch them awhile and then invite them in as a guest artist," she says.
Fetterman is one such artist. "I've admired his work for a long time," Mugavero says, calling it "juicy." His works have been widely collected in this country and abroad and, according to the Michener Art Museum Database of Bucks County artists, Fetterman is also a sculptor, photographer, musician, poet and prose writer.
Fetterman calls himself a neo-impressionist, and that is clearly seen in the paintings in this exhibit where color and light rule. Primarily a plein-air painter, he uses daubs and brush strokes of thick pigment to build his response to the scene before him.
One of his paintings in this show is a small jewel called "Summer's Eve," where two boats are only suggested as seen from the shore. Also on display is "Illumination," a book about the artist and his work, written by arts writer and critic Cathie Viksjo.
Mugavero says she learned about North Jersey artist Mike Malzone through someone who had studied with him.
"I went to his website and really liked what I saw," she says. "He lives by the Delaware Water Gap ... and I thought, I have Bucks County and Trenton painters who paint the river. It would be fun to have a North Jersey painter painting it."
On display are his paintings of Dingman's Ferry, where the powerful waterfall cascades down over rocks and ledges foaming and glittering in a vast pool surrounded by spring greenery.
Go online to his website, michaelmalzone.com, and you will learn he has been a professional artist and illustrator for more than 30 years and has exhibited widely in highly respected venues. He owns and teaches at the Creators Workshop Art School in Pompton Plains.
Three years ago, Mugavero added two dynamic artists to her stable. One is Jackson Township artist D. Eleinne Basa, whose painting "Afternoon Light" was awarded first place in the First Annual 2012 Plein Air Salon online juried show by Plein Air Magazine. The painting appeared on the cover of the magazine's June-July 2012 issue.
She was also given an Award of Excellence from the Art of the West Magazine at the 101st Gold Medal Exhibition of the California Art Club in 2012. These are but two of numerous awards she has received.
In this show, her abilities as a luminist draw you in and invite you to linger in "River Light," where sunlight sets autumn trees aglow at the edge of the sun-silvered river, and in "Scarlet Reflections," where golden grasses and trees turned orange border the flowing stream.
You'll also enjoy "Fireflies," offering glimpses of the luminous insects sprinkled on the river rocks and water along the shoreline.
Also new to the gallery is pastelist Anna Wainright, a Pastel Society of America signature member, who is also scheduled to exhibit in two prestigious juried exhibits beginning in September.
They are the Annual Pastel Society of America exhibition to be held in New York's National Arts Club and Painting New England in Pastel at the Duxbury Art Complex Museum in Duxbury, Ma.
If you go online to her website, wainrightgallery.com, you'll see a long list of her other awards and pastel society memberships.
If you visit this exhibition, you'll see a sampling of Wainright's marine pastels. "Moored" depicts a weathered boat tied at its mooring on water that is beautifully handled in a way that can only effectively be done in this medium.
Distinct "holidays" of pink interspersed amid the water's blue tones mix in your eye, bringing in warm light that dances on the ripples.
Her "Low Tide" is quite different — a small segment of bright gleaming water flows into shadowed, swirling deep ruby tones.
This annual exhibit also includes works by the artists who have long been represented by the Artful Deposit, contributing to the long life and consistent dependability of good art that is always found there.