ATLANTIC CITY – Hundreds of art lovers turned out for the grand opening of the Holtzman Gallery at the Claridge Saturday, March 28. The gallery is the second location for Ventnor artist David Holtzman, who opened his Ventnor gallery five years ago. The new gallery, which takes up two levels of the Claridge’s former casino area, totals 20,000 square feet. Holtzman boasts it as the largest museum styled gallery in the world.

The opening was attended by Downbeach friends, art lovers and some of South Jersey’s famous folks. Mayor Don Guardian greeted and shook hands with everyone who arrived at the door, while Miss New Jersey Cierra Kaler Jones and Native Americans from the Apache Tribe mingled and posed for pictures with guests.

The gallery features the artwork of 50 famous artists and celebrities, including exclusive showings of the work of late actor Anthony Quinn and actor Burt Young, famous for playing Rocky’s brother-in-law Paulie in the movie “Rocky.” Young was on hand to greet fans of his movies and artwork, which includes his paintings of boxers.

Palette-knife painter Francis Mesaros was also there to explain his unique process of laying on paint to create intriguing landscapes.

The art gallery fits with Atlantic City’s mission to diversify offerings for locals and tourists, offering an upscale fine art venue that’s available for special events, parties weddings and business functions.

The gallery is free and open to the public 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.