629 Cookman Ave, Asbury Park, NJ 07712
908-278-1597                         art629gallery@gmail.com


Upcoming Exhibition


A Group Exhibition Featuring 11 Local Artists
Saturday July 24 - Sunday Sept 5

July 24
7-10 pm

What does home mean to you? Is it the place where you grew up or a place where you feel you belong. This exhibit focuses on artists' interpretations of ideas of the home as a place and as a feeling.  Through different media, these artists have explored the theme of home in a literal and metaphorical sense, theirs or someone else's, homes of humans and animals, and from inside and outside.

Featured Artists:

Carla Valentino

Heather Brown Cadalzo

Jill Alexander

Joe La Mattina

Jose Arvelo

Judi Hull

Judith Mugrace

Maryann Vitiello

Michelle Renee Bernard

Scott Lukacs

Brittany James: Artist and Curator

Patrick Schiavino: Artist and Gallery Owner

Meet The Artists

Brittany James   brittanyjamesart.com

Brittany James graduated from Montclair State University with a BFA degree concentrated in oil painting in 2009. As a Jersey Shore native, James began painting in Island Heights with mentor Elaine Sgambati. She currently lives and works in Asbury Park. Brittany's paintings are of surreal images, depicting the relationships between women in nature and society. Her work is often inspired by song lyrics and poetry. The two paintings in this exhibit focus on the word home as a feeling. The painting "Bedroom Window" was inspired by Sheryl Crows song lyrics "Home".

In addition to painting, Brittany teaches art classes for children and teens at Inspired Minds Fine Art School in Lincroft. She also curates exhibitions for art629 gallery, teaches painting and life drawing classes, and runs an open studio for local artists. She is experienced in oil painting, acrylic murals and abstracts, performance art, and mixed media. She has done live painting performances at multiple theaters and has shown her work in several New Jersey galleries. 

"Bedroom Window", oil on canvas, 30" x 38"

"Bittersweet", oil on canvas, 36" x 40"

Carla Valentino Carla-valentino.squarespace.com

"These images represent an aspect of “Home” to me. It is more of a state of well-being, a consciousness rather than a specific place. These works all reflect one or more facets of that consciousness - comfort, serenity, familiar objects, personal history, and nature, particularly the sea and sky. Individually or collectively, they make me feel at home wherever I am."

Carla Valentino is a New Jersey Shore area mixed media artist and art educator. She is continuously inspired by the history of Art, the beauty and variety of the shore area and the entire natural world. She constantly explores mixing a variety of media as it provides endless possibilities for creative expression. Her work is in several public and many private collections.

“Home Again”

Mixed Media

30” x 30”

“Time Travel”

Mixed Media Collage

28” x 32”

Heather Brown Cadalzo


Originally trained in oil painting by mentor Elaine Sgambati of Riverview Art School, NJ. Brown received a BFA in Illustration from the School of Visual Arts (SVA) in NYC. After graduation she began teaching extra-curricular art and eventually became co-owner and founder of Inspired Minds Fine Art School of Lincroft in 2006. In 2015 she completed a Master’s of Science in Occupational Therapy from Philadelphia University and now works part time with Seniors in Rehabilitation to help them improve their quality of life. In 2018, Brown and her business partner opened a second Inspired Minds location in Brielle, where they can facilitate training in fine arts to artists of all ages.

Brown’s work has been shown and received many awards regionally including the Art Alliance of Monmouth where she served as a board member for many years, Covert Gallery, various juried shows and arts festivals. She is probably most known for her portraiture and has been commissioned for many private collections. She specializes in family portraits and postmortem memorial portraits. 

Artist Statement

A self proclaimed “realist-expressionist”, I strive to capture the beauty I perceive in the world, with an infusion of color and light.

A large portion of my work focuses on my connection with nature. Sometimes I attempt to replicate the perfection I find, with an emphasis on texture and movement. A portrait artist at my core, I often compose candid moments of human interaction with the world. I may also personify animals and creatures to encompass a universally understood human emotion. Regardless of the subject, I am attracted to this beautiful life, and the essence of being present and interested.

Most of my work marks a period in the timeline of my experiences. 

Honeybees is a manifestation piece for me, it is representative of a stage in my life where I am working hard to achieve goals that I have set for myself. I lay claim to a “hive” for my family, and celebrate the sweet honey of dedication, loyalty, and perseverance. As you must be aware, honeybees are under threat due to overuse of pesticides, monoculture farming, parasites, and even climate change. If all bees died, we would lose many of the foods that rely on bees for pollination such as honey, tomatoes, coffee, avocado, banana, pumpkin, strawberries, broccoli, and kidney beans. Resist the urge to use pesticides or kill bees because you feel threatened. The world is also their “HOME”.


"Honeybees", Oil and Plaster on Canvas, 30" x 36"

Jill Alexander  


Jill Alexander graduated from The School of Visual Arts with an MFA in 2006.  During her days of navigating the concrete jungle, she longed for the salty air, ocean breezes and the boardwalk of her home, the Jersey Shore.  These works are from her tenure at SVA.  Stillwell Avenue, a 45 minute subway ride would do the trick; Coney Island: her home away from home.  She would spend afternoons there, creating sketches and watching the few who walked the boards.  Through those sketches and photographs, these paintings were born.

“Wonder Wheel”



“Dante’s Inferno”



“Astroland Arcade”



“Gregory & Paul’s”



“Grill House” (SOLD)



“Shoot the Freak”



Joe La Mattina 


Joe LaMattina’s figurative paintings narrate the journey into the concept of imagination, exploring the creative process through mixed media. A recently retired art educator of thirty-six years, thisartist has preserved a focus on the exploration of the creative mind by teaching others and pushing the boundaries of his own working practice. His works are intuitive, usually starting withgraphite drawings and mark-making on the support, and continuing with the artist both building up and tearing down layers of visual information. LaMattina is able to respond to the canvas in an uninhibited manner, layering collage materials and paint, only to subject his surfaces to the possibility of temporary ruination via his method of ripping and scratching. Any clear subject matter that begins to form is typically figurative, and often in the shape of figures in physical or otherwise active states. He states that, “interpreting the human form is what excites me and fuels my spirit to create,” a passion which transfers clearly to his canvas.

For thirty-six years, I was employed as an art educator with the Hackensack Public School System and P.I. Art Center in New Jersey, USA. Loving my job as teacher and mentor, I spent those years and most of my energy inspiring adults and young artists ages five to eighteen. It was an amazing experience. Since retirement, I have continued my journey with a shift, which allows me more time to focus on integrating my studio time, gallery shows, and private teaching. I have been having lots of fun doing what I love to do and exhibiting my work locally and at various

venues around the world. My work is divided into three categories that I have named, “Human Essence”, “Representational”, and “Abstract/Organic”.

“Moroccan Mix”, acrylic/collage on canvas,

36”W X 24”H

“Last Call for the Poverty Train”, acrylic/collage

on canvas, 36”W X 24”H

“Mas Lucia’ “, acrylic/collage,

14”W X11”W/framed

Jose Arvelo


Born 1968 in Caracas Venezuela. 

1993, Degree in Architecture from the Simon Bolivar University, Caracas, Venezuela.

1997, Fine Arts at the Beaux Arts Cristobal Rojas School.  Caracas, Venezuela.

“If you’re not having fun with art, you’re not taking it seriously” 

I grew up and spent most of my life in my home country, Venezuela, close to the Caribbean, the Rainforest and the Andes Mountains, but my family came from the Canary Islands, technically Spaniards but closer to Africa than their Motherland, now living in New Jersey the past  7 years. (quite a mix!, isn’t it?). 

Having  living in three different countries, big cities or small towns and traveling to so many places, had made me, as artist a “diverse thinker” hard to catalog.

I use to build my sculptures  almost exclusively with reclaimed wood and architectural wooden objects from demolitions, common things anybody could find on the streets, I just try to find  beauty underneath and incorporate my own roots,  the  light and color from the Caribbean,  lushness from the Rainforest,  hard work  from my Family, adaptability from Immigration, a seasonal sense  of  time acquired in  New Jersey and a personal aversion to any kind of waste… and just made beautiful things out of that mix.

The  process to build any sculpture starts on a very intuitive way,  with a simple “go” over a  raw idea and a pile of wood, the rationalization, the catalog and even the thinking  comes later when putting  pieces  somehow related, building  “families” (Some people called it “series”).

Maybe is not obvious when you see my artwork, but there’s always a family memory or an immigrant making  a political  statement, trying to adapt not loosing himself, some fun coming from my Caribbean soul and a search of order over this chaos of waste modern  life had serve us.


Reclaimed door, reclaimed wood assemblage.



"Big Nest", 

Reclaimed wood sculpture



Judi Hull


Judi Hull, JustJudi is an Asbury Park, NJ based artist.

She is a painter of anything she can find. Bold, friendly colors and uplifting inspiring subject matter are among this artists favorite things to paint. 

Judi is also a Graphic Designer and Creative Director. She studied graphic design and fine art at California College of the Arts, Oakland, CA and also fine art at The Art Students League in New York. Judi earned her A.A.S. degree from duCret School of Art in Plainfield, NJ. 

She began her career in New York on Madison Avenue at Young & Rubicam, Inc. Judi has worked as an Art Director and Graphic Designer at various agencies on accounts ranging from food and beverage, liquor, pharmaceuticals, beauty, cosmetics and insurance. Now matter how busy, Judi always manages to come back to her first love which is painting and drawing. 

Please visit her website to see a broad range of work.

“Asbury Park Backyard”

18 x 36” - Oil on Canvas $2950

I planted this sunflower from seed. I also dug the garden in my backyard from scratch that I grew this beauty in. It towered over the fence, watched the sunrise and stared at the Empress Hotel all summer long. I like the contrast of the dead branches in the neighbors yard. They represent death to me and the sunflower, new beginnings - I did it. Yay! I made it home and I started over.

The This sunflower represents home to me. 

“Marigolds and Tomatoes”

20 x 16” - Acrylic on Canvas, Palette knife Application $1600

A year after the sunflower I got ambitious and grew tomatoes. To me there’s just something so satisfying about planting your own food, watching it grow and then bringing it in to eat or can for later. This is home to me and this is my garden. I also got ambitious and tried painting with a pallet knife and acrylic paint.

Judith Mugrace

Judith Mugrace, a resident of Monmouth county since 1966, is a graduate of Monmouth university and a photographic enthusiast. She began exhibiting her photographs in 1977 and since then has been part of many juried, solo, and group exhibitions in New Jersey and Florida where she received multiple awards from art guilds. Judith combines her love of travel with her photography to show the beauty of nature and people around the world. She is a member of the international freelance photographers association and the guild of creative arts.

"My Window, My World”, photograph, 18" x 24"

"Serenity", photograph, 22" x 28"

Maryann Vitiello


"Timeless", Photograph, 33" x 25"

Resiliency ties the past , present and future together and is the thread that weaves not just through the human spirit but communities and environments as well. Resiliency can take many forms and may be seen as dramatic, subtle, or joyous, but however it manifests it is always inspiring. Though frequently elusive, resiliency is what i seek to photograph.My photographs honor and preserve moments that hold meaning for me, but at the same time reflect my belief that photographs speak a transcendent and powerful language - one that can instantly elicit compassion and deepen understanding across cultures, communities, and countries.

I’ve continued to use my camera as a tool to raise awareness of people, places and situations that I feel deserve our attention. But I also use it to pay tribute to our commonalities as beings who share a planet and the human experience, with all its imperfections, challenges, complexity and beauty. My work worldwide as an HIV/AIDS nurse and activist has allowed me to witness first-hand the best and the worst of the human condition - from dark despair, to growing hopefulness, to enduring faith in one’s self-worth and ability to overcome. It is that which draws me to my subjects and their stories. To try to capture a moment that speaks to all, a fleeting instant that may have the potential to change thoughts and sometimes lives, particularly important in our present day world. This is what makes me feel alive.

"Red Door"


25" x 32"

"Blue Stairs"


22" x 32"

Michelle Renee Bernard 


It may seem a bit cliché to say “Home is where the heart is” but when joy, comfort, and solace emanate from that space, it really rings true. The places and pastimes I seek out to elicit those feelings are where I feel most at home. The boardwalk games, rides, and concessions, where every sense is activated, all in one place. A local diner that feeds my soul with memories of simpler times. Playing with toys or engaging in activities from my youth, that remind me how important it is to have fun. These familial experiences are engraved into my psyche, and my heart still seeks them out today whenever I need to feel at home. 

Having grown up along the Jersey shore, Michelle’s style emerged from childhood memories of the boardwalk amusements, rides, and games, as well as the roadside americana she encountered on family trips. Her penchant for days gone by shows up in her imagery, which often brings vintage iconography into a quirky modern narrative. Michelle lives in a 100-year-old house in the quaint Victorian seashore town of Ocean Grove, NJ where she makes art in her home studio.

Printer’s Proof (SOLD)

Mixed Media


Post No Bills

Mixed Media


The Italian Rainbow (SOLD)

Mixed Media


I Spy With My Little Eye

Mixed Media


Mixed Media


Scott Lukacs 


Scott Lukacs is a contemporary artist currently based in Morristown, New Jersey. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts from the Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, New Jersey. Additionally, he studied painting at the New York’s Art Student League before pursuing his Masters of Fine Art in Computer Graphics from the School of Visual Arts in New York. Artistic tendencies and creativity run in the artist’s family, as his father was a musician and his sister also creates art.

His involvement in the art world throughout the years encompasses various creative fields such as art consulting, art publishing, creative event planning, and even delving into the music field. Furthermore, he has experience as an independent producer, a published songwriter, and an advertising director and sales manager in the corporate world. While working in these various capacities, such as a liaison between galleries and artists, Lukacs rediscovered his passion for the visual and creative arts.

His current professional endeavors as a practicing artist began in 2014. After working with internationally acclaimed musicians, sports figures, and visual artists, Lukacs wanted to create art once again. Being surrounded by and interacting with talented musicians such as English rock musician Ronnie Wood, American singer-songwriter Grace Slick, English lyricist Bernie Taupin, and musician Mick Fleetwood fueled his creativity. Other figures he worked with that inspire his art include professional boxer Muhammad Ali, football player Joe Namath, baseball catcher Yogi Berra, professional ice hockey player Cam Neely, and football player Troy Aikman.

Working primarily with acrylic paints, the visible brushstrokes of his paintings imbue his work with dark and lush quality. His creative process involves him directly sketching on his canvases with charcoal before layering on paint. Lukacs has participated in various solo and group exhibitions in galleries throughout New Jersey, New York, and California.

“The Return”

Acrylic on Canvas

24” x 30"

“Where The Heart Is”

Acrylic on Canvas

38” x 44"