Linda Congemi is artist of the month

Linda Congemi, the Brigantine Beach Cultural Arts Commission's Artist of the Month for October 2016, stands by a display of her work.


The Brigantine Beach Cultural Arts Commission will pay tribute to the artistic talent in the community at a dinner event titled Afternoon of the Arts 2-5 p.m. Sunday, April 23 at Laguna Grill & Rum Bar, 14th Street South and Ocean Avenue.

Artists who have been featured in the commission's Artist of the Month series from 2014 to the present will bring two pieces of artwork for display. The CAC's first-ever Artist of the Month honoree, Sister Celeste Mokrzycki, will give a talk while creating an original work of art.

All are welcome. Tickets are $25 and include a buffet dinner. Reservations can be made by calling 609-266-3808.

The Cultural Arts Commission was founded in 1993. Its Artist of the Month series is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.

“The series started in the lobby showcase of City Hall in 2007, then a couple of years ago it was moved to the lobby showcase at the Community Center,” said Pam Carchidi, a CAC board member who is organizing the event.

“Every month it's a different artist whose work is on display, and the purpose of Afternoon of the Arts is to honor these showcase artists. They're each invited to bring two pieces of their work, and we're setting up art panels for display," she said.

“A lot of people enjoy going to the community center just to see the artwork. We have a lot of talented artists in Brigantine.”

The event will feature the works of 18 former artists of the month, all of whom reside or have formerly resided in Brigantine.

“We got a nice response and a nice turnout of artists who agreed to come, including Sister Celeste, who is going to do a demonstration for us, which will be really fun,” Carchidi said. “Unfortunately some others who wanted to make it could not due to other commitments or having relocated far away.”

Born in Poland, Mokrzycki immigrated to northern New Jersey with her family at age 5. Her artistic talent started to reveal itself when she was in high school, and the Sisters of St. Joseph at Holy Family Academy encouraged her to nurture that talent.

Mokrzycki went on to receive a bachelor’s degree in studio art from Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia, and also studied art at the Fashion Institute in New York City and at the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts. She later became a nun in the Roman Catholic Church and for seven years was a pastoral associate at St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Brigantine. She is currently a vocation director for the Sisters of St. Joseph in Philadelphia.

Sunday's dinner buffet will feature chicken francaise, penne alla vodka, assorted vegetables, salads, side dishes and desserts. There will be a cash bar.