Gallery to display allure of alleys

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“Penny Lane” by Carol Zerbe.
SOMERS POINT – Arranging the paintings for the opening night of “Alley Art: Discovering Wabi-Sabi” at Great Bay Gallery put the project into perspective for owner Kathleen Arleth.
“When you see the whole project together it’s just very enjoyable, but it makes you appreciate the value they placed on the project and the effort they put forth to make the project cohesive and fun,” Arleth said Tuesday, July 24.

The gallery opened for the exhibit at 3 p.m. Wednesday, July 25, marking the sixth and largest summer project it has undertaken; featuring 17 artists and seven poets painting, sketching and writing about the alleys throughout Somers Point.
During the first weekend in June, the artists set forth to paint and write en plain aire, French for in the open air or creating art on location.
“Their feedback was they all really enjoyed doing the project and that makes me feel good that the project was good for them and that they enjoyed it,” said Arleth.
Arleth said the project took its inspiration from Wabi-sabi, the Japanese philosophy of seeing beauty in things imperfect, impermanent and incomplete; something that relates to the nature of alleys, terraces and lanes that connect the city.
“For instance we have a shopping cart as part of the alley image on one of them. It’s something that is not permanent and something that may not look like a perfect spot for a shopping cart but it adds an interesting perspective,” said Arleth. “With the artist touch it’s very intriguing and interesting.”
For the poets, conveying the vibe of an alley required much more than putting pen to paper, Arleth said.
“The poets really wanted to convey the feeling of the alleys and the Wabi-sabi so we have some framed poetry and we have more interesting displays and exhibits that the poets put together,” said Arleth. Among them are flag books, chap books, zines, accordion books and a poetry installation in the garden of the gallery.
The Great Bay Gallery has produced a limited edition poster, similar to the “Come to the Garden Party” poster produced last year. The poster is 18-by-24 inches and is $35 at the gallery.
“I hope people will come through the gallery and maybe relate to some of the pieces,” said Arleth. “I do hope we get people associated with alleyways, terraces and the lanes to come see the show and exhibit; especially on Aug. 3.”
There will be a reception 5-8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 3 at the gallery located at 829 Bay Ave. A poetry reading will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the driveway of the gallery.
“Alley Art: Discovering Wabi-Sabi” will continue through Sept. 1.
The Great Bay Gallery is open 3-8 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays and 3-9 p.m. Saturdays. Call (609) 653-4991 or see

“Shapes and Shadows of Stretch's Alley” by Thelma Snyder.   “The Carriage House at Fox Terrace” by Nancy Palermo.   “Alley Art: Discovering Wabi-Sabi” poster by Great Bay Gallery.

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