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


Last Exhibition

art629 Gallery Presents...

Click on the videos below for a full Virtual Gallery Tour! You can see videos showcasing a different artist's work every day on our instagram @art629gallery






On Saturday evening, MARCH 7, 2020 from 7-10pm, art629 Gallery, located at 629 Cookman Avenue, Asbury Park, NJ, will host an opening reception featuring the work of 13 artists curated by Brittany James. Brittany is a local artist who has been the resident art teacher at art629 for the past 5 years where she teaches life drawing, as well as oil and acrylic painting classes, and an open studio class.

“Women’s Work” will feature the following artists: 

Alexandra Martin- alexandramartin.com

Brittany James- brittanyjamesart.com

Caitie Kohl-  caitiekohlart.com

Carol Magnatta- carolmagnatta.com

Elaine Shor- elaine-shor.com

Gail Kolflat- www.gailkolflat.com

Jennifer Levine- jlevinestudio.com

Jessica Violetta- jessicavioletta.com

Jill Alexander- jillalexander.net

Kel Mur- kelmur.com

Michelle Renee Bernard- michellereneebernard.com

Nanci France-Vaz- nancifrancevaz.com

Natalie Straub

 Most artists will be attending the opening, and this event is free and open to the public. The exhibit will be on display from March 7 through April 27.  Gallery hours vary, and it is suggested to call ahead for hours of operation: (908) 278-1597

This exhibit, titled “Women’s Work” will be a showcase of art in different media from artists across the country. 2020 is the 100-year anniversary of the Suffrage Movement in America. To honor this occasion, most of the art chosen for this exhibit is focused on women’s rights, past and present. This exhibit celebrates women and portrays gender equality as well as gender stereotypes, and brings awareness to oppression and objectification of women which still exists today.


 by Brittany James

The title of this exhibition is meant to be a play on words meaning the artwork of women and the work that comes with being born a woman. It’s an important show because it brings awareness to the inequalities many women are still facing today. Much of the art in this show is a reaction to oppression, objectification, gender stereotypes, and an imbalance of power and patriarchy in recent times as well as in the past.




1 the advocacy of women's rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes.

If you type “women’s work” into Google search right now, one of the first sites that comes up is Wikipedia which states that “it is particularly used with regard to the unpaid work that a mother or wife will perform within a family and household.” It describes women’s work as relating to professions such as midwife, nurse, teacher, nanny, day care worker, maid, and cook. Today, there are more and more men who are performing these tasks, and the fact that this article exists in the present tense portrays how what is considered “women's work” is still misinterpreted. In addition, this and many other articles I’ve read include feminism as women’s work. Hopefully this art exhibit will bring awareness to the fact that feminism needs to be everyone’s work, not just women’s.

This exhibit also coincides with the 100-year anniversary of the women’s suffrage movement. According to author Rebecca Solnit’s book “Whose Story Is This?”, “The right to vote according to your own conscience and agenda is really not so different from the right to control your own body or to have equal access and rights in the workplace. It’s a right we’re meant to have because the law says we’re all equal. But we’re not.”

The year is 2020, and we have come a long way throughout history, but the concept of women’s work is still imbalanced today. As the saying goes, Man may work from sun to sun, but woman's work is never done.

About the Artists and Their Work

Alexandra Martin- alexandramartin.com 

I started creating art in my early 50s and then studied at the National Academy of Design in NYC.   I have shown and won awards at Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club, the National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC, the Salmagundi Club, Audubon Artists, Monmouth Museum, Trenton City Museum, National Sculpture Society among others.  

I am an elected member of Audubon Artists, the Salmagundi Club, Pen and Brush, Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club, the Guild of Creative Art at Shrewsbury and the American Artists Professional League.  I am also a member of BelmarArts, Monmouth County Art Council and Allied Artists of America.

About the Art: The human body and how it functions has always fascinated me. My sculpture honors traditional concepts of beauty but also strives to honor the beauty of human thought processes. I believe it is essential for sculpture to present not only an idea but an underlying emotional narrative as well. The sheer size of the Broken Promise makes people stop and take notice. It is a force in and of itself. It is a portrait of all women. We may be cracked. We may even be broken, but we will continue to stand for strength not violence! This Fist continues to stand strong for all of us! Fragment I represents the fragmentation of women. 

Brittany James- brittanyjamesart.com

 Brittany graduated from MSU with a BFA degree concentrated in oil painting in 2009 and has been a full-time artist ever since. As a Jersey Shore native, James began painting in Island Heights in 1995 with mentor Elaine Sgambati. In addition to painting, James teaches art classes for children and teens at Inspired Minds Fine Art School in Lincroft. She also teaches painting and life drawing classes for adults at art629 Gallery and runs an open studio for local artists.

Brittany has painted live on stage at the State Theater in New Brunswick, Paramount Theater in Asbury Park, and Count Basie Theater in Red Bank during Glen Burtnik’s British Invasion and Summer of Love shows. She has been a muralist and featured artist for the Asbury Underground Art & Music Crawl, and has shown her work in several New Jersey galleries including Torche Gallery and Belmar Arts Center in Belmar, art629 Gallery and Parlor Gallery in Asbury Park, Alfa Art Gallery in New Brunswick, and George Segal Gallery in Montclair. 

All of Brittany’s paintings are derived from a combination of photo references and imagined scenes to create surreal images. Most of her paintings are about the relationships between women and nature, and women’s roles in society.  Brittany’s philosophy is that artists are seekers, always trying to understand the underlying, hidden truths in the world around us. Nothing is exactly as it seems and reality is often hidden behind illusions. She has represented this theme in many of her paintings which are often inspired by dreams, memories, and life experiences. 

About the Art: Brittany is currently focused on the struggles some women face in society today. “Keeping it Together” is a reaction to the objectification of women. “Thinking With Her Heart” is a reaction to gender stereotypes. “The Balancing Act” is a reaction to Gender Inequality. “The Looking Glass” is a reaction to power and patriarchy. The needle and thread pay tribute to sewing, a job that was once considered to be women's work.

Caitie Kohl-  caitiekohlart.com 

Caitie Kohl's mixed media paintings and drawings depict the colorful, often comical and surreal figurative landscapes that illuminate her imagination. Kohl’s work has been shown in Honolulu at the Honolulu Museum of Art, the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, Cedar Street Gallery, Ars Cafe, Kapi`olani College and Surf Taco in New Jersey.

About the Art: Caitie Kohl’s work addresses gender roles and sexual dimorphism of animals. The dominance and power of the matriarchal, deep-sea angler fish contrast with the idea that a women's worth relies solely on her appearance through a man's eye. By combining the anatomies of the angler fish and human females, Kohl plays and explores the clout of the male libido in our society.

Carol Magnatta- carolmagnatta.com 

My immediate surroundings and the natural world are what move me to paint.  And of all nature's facets, color is the driving force.  Whether creating a still life or figurative work in my studio or nature out in the wild, I work primarily from life.  Sometimes I feel like nature uses me as a conduit to capture its wonders on canvas and share them with the world.  No matter what the subject matter, this immediacy of approach is the common thread that ties my work together.

I find my joy interacting with the world to make art.  Working in oil paint in the tradition of generations of plein air painters, I see subjects in my own back your and places as diverse as the hills of Italy, a Greek island, or the Jersey shore.  From braving the elements to find just the right view, to interpreting and pushing nature's color and light with my paint, to laying down brushstrokes that demonstrate the intensity of my experience, each painting is an adventure.  I hope they bring my viewers  along for the ride.

Carol has been part of many juried shows and gallery exhibitions in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. For a full list of exhibitions, visit her website. 

About the Art: Each of these pastel pieces show an awareness of who women are, what they may say, or not say, or are not afraid to say. They are examples of statement and change. "Shoes Off”- High heels were invented by men for themselves for riding horses. Maybe we don't always have to want what men have. The choice to teeter about in heels is not the new normal. "Smoozer" - Men are not always fascinating. We see through the jargon and are not amused. "So Bored" -A blank stare is a well-developed expression. 

Elaine Shor- elaine-shor.com 

I studied fine art at Brooklyn College, where I earned a baccalaureate degree in 1979. I have exhibited my work in New York and New Jersey, including exhibitions at SOHO20 Gallery, The Monmouth Museum, and Limner Gallery. I am the president of the Art Alliance of Monmouth County in Red Bank, NJ. In 1998, I earned a master’s degree in art therapy from New York University. I am presently in private practice as a licensed professional counselor and an art therapist in Colts Neck, NJ. I divide my time among my three fields of interest – painting, designing, and practicing art therapy. 

About the Art: “The Hand That Rocks The Cradle Is The Hand That Rules The World” is a poem by William Ross Wallace that sets the tone for my series of paintings. The poem, written in 1865, praises motherhood as a preeminent force for change in the world, citing woman’s capacity for both tenderness and strength. These paintings reflect the embodiment of those dualities with strong female figures within masculine environments.

Pairing ruffled sleeves and feminine stances with the rigid geometric backgrounds create a tension that appears feral and mysterious. The figures in the work exemplify the power and energy that is unique to women. Their touch is gentle but most effective. In this way, women personify the nurturance of ideas into fruition.

Gail Kolflat- gailkolflat.com 

Born in the Midwest, and raised in Winnetka Illinois, Gail Kolflat earned a BFA with Honors from Parsons School of Design in New York City.  Her artistic career blossomed after developing a signature style of large-scale colorful canvases that meld abstract and representational components.  Through the 1990s, Gail exhibited frequently, gave artist talks and demonstrations, wrote a column for the county art council's bimonthly newspaper, and maintained a robust studio practice.

Near the turn of the century she took a break from art while raising her daughters.  Fifteen years later, an invitation from a local university to participate in an exhibition in their gallery, sparked a complete revival in the artist’s practice. Since then, she has produced a fresh body of work, a renewal of earlier paintings but evolved - encompassing expanded topics, modified techniques, and a distinct, mature sensibility.  Her recent works portray a bold use of space and color, with themes of social commentary.

About the Art: The history of the women’s rights movement inspired me to create this painting (Unite: Women of the World), which is derived from Fred McDarrah’s photograph of the Women’s Liberation Demonstration on August 26, 1970 in New York City. In my painting, I highlight this important march, recognizing the struggles women have faced, and the progress that’s been made in overcoming obstacles. It is important to reflect and remember, or in some cases introduce events that helped bring forth equality for women.

Jennifer Levine- jlevinestudio.com 

Jennifer Levine lives and creates in Montclair, NJ at her Church St studio. She has a BA in Jewish studies from UMASS/Amherst, and completed a two year conservatory program at the San Francisco School ofCircus Arts. Levine has worked as a classroom teacher in private schools for over twenty years. Currently she is Director of Education at Temple Sholom, a reform synagogue in Scotch Plains, NJ. Her theme portraits and large scale paintings on canvas and woos convey the same whimsical themes of her publications, recordings, and performance art. 

For the past four years, I have worked with Scott Massarsky on "The Peace Garden Song and Mural Project" (Peacegardenproject.com) - an arts program that combines murals, music and mindfulness. To date, we have worked with over 1000 school children in New York and New Jersey. We are Teaching Artists with Morris Arts and the New Jersey State Council of the Arts.  

We are currently spear heading ART PARK - Montclair, a project that will turn a local park into an art mecca.  

About the Art: Turning 50 and raising a teenage daughter has inspired an exploration of our journeys as women - through respectively - menopause and adolescence. My new work makes manifest our ever evolving vulnerabilities and strengths as well as how and where we stand as individuals, with each other, and in community.  Most of my work contains images of women with their arms outstretched, in nature or in a surreal circus. The women find home with magical elephants who escort them on their journeys. The paintings and drawings celebrate opening the heart and the freedom that comes from self acceptance. 

Jessica Violetta- jessicavioletta.com 

I’m a classic Sagittarius - spiritually optimistic, riveted by the “big picture”, outgoing, passionate, and philosophical. I have always been interested in fostering connections and cultivating individuality. 

I grew up in New Jersey with a loving Italian-American family, halfway between New York City and Philadelphia. Having spent time in both cities, I consider myself a seasoned daydreamer with street smarts.

In 2012, I moved to San Francisco and received a BFA in Illustration from California College of the Arts.  Living here has taught me patience, social advocacy, and the importance of inner peace. Since graduating, I have worked designing textiles, painting murals, and creating product illustrations for various Bay Area companies and private clients.

About the Art: PRIME is a 4 piece series that explores the themes that have developed for me in what I consider to be the “Prime” of my life (so far). As a woman in her thirties, I am encountering existentialism, maternal urges, emotional abundance, and a strong moral compass. In the paintings, I illustrate each of these themes as “natural phenomenons” with titles and imagery that honor the occurrences as beautiful, fascinating, and simply natural.

Jill Alexander- jillalexander.net 

“The very differences which humanity should embrace are disappearing at a rapid rate.  Why travel anywhere if everything is the same?  My work celebrates the places where, despite modernization, the vibrant simple life continues as it has for generations.  The sun-kissed smile of a fishmonger negotiating the terms of his next sale on the docks; a lone man repairing his weathered boat using techniques his grandfather taught him; a son watching his mother make Argan oil with a slate and her bare hands.  These are the quintessential moments of my travels, the vocations that have existed for thousands of years that are being threatened with extinction.”


About the Art: This series of works celebrates the women of African cultures.  After traveling to Egypt and Morocco, I was full of creative impulse and a desire to build a creative archive of paintings to document the experience of interacting with such vibrant cultures. I was particularly impacted by the encounters with African women, who I found to be heroic, beautiful, and powerful.. My paintings aim to reflect the strength and vitality of these women.

Kel Mur- kelmur.com 

Kel Mur grew up in New Jersey, graduated Cum Laude with a BA in Fine Art from Monmouth University in 2011, and received the Creativity in Studio Art Award for her senior honors thesis, Commodity. After her undergraduate studies, she relocated to New Orleans to develop her studio practice. Kel Mur has shown in many locations around the United States including: La Femme at the New Orleans Art Center curated by Don Marshall, New Orleans, LA; Women’s Work in the Cyrus M. Running Gallery, Moorehead, MN; Internal/External at the Arts Council of Southeast Missouri, Cape Girardeau, MO; and WHY MOM at Commonwealth Gallery, Madison, WI. She also curates and collaborates with different chefs in her ongoing project Feast of the Feminine: A Performative Art Dinner. Kel Mur has had artwork published in BARED: Contemporary Poetry and Art on Bras and Breasts (La Femmes Folles, 2016) and HOOT Online Magazine (November 2013, Issue 25). She is a member of the Catalyst Collective of New Orleans, an art and social action initiative in New Orleans and frequently volunteers for Mama Maji, a New Orleans based non-profit that funds water projects and entrepreneurial training for women in Kenya. Kel Mur currently resides in Madison, WI and is an MFA candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, expected to graduate in the spring of 2020. 

About the Art: Topless/Shirtless is a series of photographs that uses pairs of male and female torsos to contemplate the social indecency of female breasts and nipples. Censor strips are created from each photograph and transposed over its opposite to explore the similarities between male and female anatomy, exposing the outdated and linguistically loaded word “topless”. The Oxford English dictionary defines topless as: (of a woman) having the breasts uncovered. Its connotation is evidence reflecting how deeply misogyny is embedded in the subconscious of Western cultures, how being female makes you an other. Topless/Shirtless is a comparison of the language used to describe males and females without shirts on in public space, but is also an opportunity to explore what the sexes have in common by altering the perception of what male and female bodies can look like. Its goal is to unify the sexes by visually putting one in the other’s place.

Michelle Renee Bernard- michellereneebernard.com

Michelle's art is what happens at the intersection of wit and whimsy, but it’s also about differences of all kinds. She loves to pull you in with bold colors and playful subject matter, engage you with pattern, amuse you with metaphor, confound you with irony, and allow the tension of contradictions expand your mind and stretch the imagination.

Her inspiration comes from a love of vintage everything — toys, packaging, book illustrations, circus sideshows, carnival games, rides, and amusements. Michelle’s work revives the past with a quirky modern twist, and her graphic design background seems to have an almost advertorial influence on her work. She incorporates all kinds of surprises that add to the symbolism of a painting, encouraging viewers to frolic through the visual playground she's hidden within each piece.

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.

About the Art: “La La La, Whatever” portrays how women are typically perceived as dolls, plastic, fake, empty headed or filled with thoughts that are unimportant as the title and busy graffiti-style background suggests. “Bros Before Hoes” portrays how women can easily be pushed aside, ridiculed, and put down just for being themselves, or be denigrated as a means of attempting to control them, especially when the “boys club” bands together to cover up their own misbehavior. Calling women “hoes" for reasons unrelated to promiscuity is much too often a tactic used by men use to denigrate and demean women. This piece was created to look like part of a FUN HOUSE sign that has broken off leaving just the letters FU HO. “Does This Hat Make My Ass Look Big?” was inspired by the Pink P*ssy Hat movement, #metoo movement, and Trump and his disrespectful behavior towards and treatment of women. 

Nanci France-Vaz- nancifrancevaz.com 

Nanci France-Vaz was born in Brooklyn, NY and graduated School of Visual Arts with a BFA in 3d computer animation for Film and Special Effects.

Nanci is a Modern Narrative Realist working primarily in figure and portrait. Her series, Bohemian Spirits and Mysticism combines myth, hope, spiritual beliefs, and the human condition. Most of her models are professional musicians, artists, actors, and dancers. She is inspired by their passion and energy when she directs them. Most of the paintings in this series have patterns that are in the background and become part of the subject. The spiritual, the mystical, and the juxtaposition of abstract to realistic have underlying tones and meanings left for the beholder to ponder and engage psychologically

The artist’s many awards include the Len G. Everett Memorial Award, the Joseph Hartley Memorial Award, International ARC Salon, 1st Place for Oils Salmagundi Open Painting Exhibition 2019, Colonel George J. Morales Award, the John Collins Memorial Award, and 3rd place for Portrait Society of America Members Showcase Exhibition, and The Artists Choice Award for Gateway International Contest. 

Her recent group shows include Abend Gallery Miniature Exhibit, 5x5 Project, Enigma Group Exhibit, Lovett’s Gallery, Women Painting Women, Principle Gallery, OPA National and Eastern Regional Eisele Gallery, Allied Artists of America Annual Exhibit.

In 2014, her painting of Lloyd Price was accepted into the permanent collection of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Her imaginative commissioned paintings hang in private collections.  

About the Art: “The Key of Soul” Model-Jaquita May Perkins

Women of color in the R&B industry past and present is the narrative of this painting. 

Back in the 40’s and 50’s, women singers like we not allowed to leave the front door of a club. 

As we approach the late 60’s and 70’s, this starts to change for them. Here Jaquita May,is

reflecting a moment back in time of her heroine’s of soul, Aretha Franklin, Chaka Kahn. 

She is inspired me when I saw her perform with Remember Jones as she was dressed like a retro soul diva. The abstract music keys are a time tunnel behind her and the colors are 70’s style and influence. Women of color and song today have come a very long way to equal acknowledgement and pay in the music industry!

“The Offering” Model- Amanda Wymbs

Apperances aren’t always what they seem! Juxtaposition of a single mom's life.

I met the model in yoga and she spoke so softly and childlike. An image struck me as at first glance, she seemed like a hard rocker chick because of her appearance, but 

is so far removed from that! She is very spiritual and angelic in persona. Women with tattoos are often judged as being hard, fast, and wild, especially if they are single moms! The background is imaginative and the fairy and fireflies represent the light and protective circle for the woman. Her hair is purple and has a full sleeve tattoo juxtaposed by an angelic face, white top representing purity and innocence. The left side is  the dark and the right is the light representing extreme sides…juxtapositions in her life. Moving more into the 21st century, this taboo of what women should be and look like is, especially if they are single moms like her are 

becoming more faded with last century!

Natalie Straub- h0ney666.tumblr.com 

Natalie Straub is a visual artist working primarily in sculpture, performance, and video. Her practice is concerned with reclaiming the objectification of the female/non-binary body by creating so-called "body objects." These sculptural objects are often visceral and sensual, as themes of sexual freedom and resistance to abuse and oppression are present in the work. In addition to her sculptural work, Straub also performs as the character Honey, an online personality or "e-girl" whose work is heavily influenced by the aesthetics of witchcraft, grunge, and goth. Natalie is a student at MasonGross graduating in 2020 with a BFA focused in Sculpture and Media. 

About The Work: Satan's Chastity Belt represents a paradox. The chastity belt was historically used to prevent women from having intercourse or masturbating, and was typically designed by men. In this version of a chastity belt, the "genitalia" is exposed, therefore the object represents both sexual oppression and sexual autonomy. 
I'll Get You (my pretty) is an ambiguous object that resembles both a pumpkin and the human anatomy. By blurring the lines between body and object, the work begins to confront the way in which society imposes gender binaries upon both people and objects. 


"Broken Promise" 

 bonded aluminum

 40 x 25 x 20"

by Alexandra Martin

"Coming Undone" 

Oil on Canvas

24" x 36"

by Brittany James

"Beth Dishes Drama at the Dog Park" Mixed Media on Paper

18" x 24"

by Caitie Kohl

"Heels Off"



by Carol Magnatta

"Axis Grounded"

30 x 30"

Oil on canvas,

by Elaine Shor

"Unite: Women of the World",

 41" x 31"

 Mixed Media 

by Gail Kolflat

"This Aliveness In Me", 

Mixed Media on raw canvas

53" x 43"

by Jennifer Levine


Digital Print

11 x 34"

by Kel Mur

"Maternal Equinox"

18 x 24"

Acrylic & Oil on Birchwood Panel

by Jessica Violetta

"Into the Light"

24 x1 8"

Oil on Masonite

by Jill Alexander

"La La La, Whatever"
24” x 24” 
mixed media on wood
by MIchelle Renee Bernard

"The Offering"

18 x 24"

Oil on dibond

by Nanci France -Vaz

"I'll get you (my pretty)"

wax, plaster


by Natalie Straub