Steve and Cookies serves up art to suit any taste

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Jonathan Mosarone, 18, of Mays Landing is one of the Special Services School District artists. He shared his Muppet drawing at the art show.

MARGATE – Steve and Cookies by the Bay was transformed into an art gallery June 7 when Cookie Till hosted local artists, some of whom just happen to work at the restaurant, for a benefit art auction.

"A few years ago I invited my employees who are also artists to show their work and what everyone learned was that their work is really good," said Till.

The real beneficiaries of the ninth annual art show are the art students at Atlantic County Special Services. Till has been a benefactor for many years and working with art teacher Lisa Confora, a tent outside the Oyster Bar became a showcase for the students’ talents. Aside from paintings, the students created a number of bracelets and necklaces that were for sale. The student art work was offered as silent auction items; each brought in many bids before the evening ended.

Jonathan Mosarone, 18, of Mays Landing entered his painting of the Muppets for the auction.

"I never thought I would be able to draw the Muppets so well, but I kept doing it and I got pretty good. I drew them 20 times and gave them to my teachers as gifts," Mosarone said with a great deal of pride.

The art show featured Michael Bell of Ventnor who does amazing detailed work with matchbooks. Jon Baker highlights the region through his bold paintings. Till’s assistant, Brooke Pileggi of Absecon, featured her amazing abstract landscape photography. It was a hit with patrons as she sold a number of muted green and blue framed pictures. Pileggi said she has been playing with cameras and having fun with photography since she was 8 years old.

Dave Songle offered something new out of something old. His specialty is turning reclaimed wood into interesting frames. Songle said his real passion is making furniture, but along the way he has discovered that crown molding and doors can have a second life as a great picture or mirror.

Featured artist Aleksandra Puzyn of Ventnor is a stained glass artist who came here from Poland four years ago. She is working on the window restoration of the New Jerusalem Church in Atlantic City; she was offering stained glass work that captured the light with amazing results.

Channyn Gallegos said no one really ever told her not to play with her food and she has made an art out of just that. Gallegos is a painter, but something told her to try new things. She has paintings done with a rich Shiraz wine among others.

But what made many stop and take a second look were her Oreo sculptures. Marilyn Monroe has been photographed and painted, but Gallegos decided to sculpt her using the white cream filling of her cookie.

After several layers of preservation, Marilyn Monroe is framed and hung on the wall. Gallegos will be featured on the "Rachel Ray Show" in September on a segment about playing with your food and alternate things to do with food.

The event raised thousands that went directly to help fund the art program at ACSSSD.

Jeanne Silip of Gladwynne, Pa. and Margate, looks over jewelry made by students from the Special Services School District at the art auction at Steve and Cookies by the Bay June 6. Laura Pietropola of Galloway, her mother Gail and friend Danielle Paci, also of Galloway Township catch a bite to eat during the art auction to benefit the Atlantic County Special Services School District. Aleksandra Puzyn of Ventnor is a stained glass artist working on the New Jerusalem Church in Atlantic City and creating her own work as well. Artist Channyn Gallegos of the Work of Heart Studio shows Lisa and Pete McLaughlin of Margate the painting she did of Pete’s guitar. Brooke Pileggi of Absecon sold a number of her muted landscape photographs at the Steve and Cookies by the Bay ninth annual art show to benefit the Atlantic County Special Services School District art program. Dave Songle of Wilmington, Del. specializes in reclaimed wood. Marilyn Monroe forever preserved on an Oreo by artist Channyn Gallegos.

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