It’s a Family Affair in Union County, NJ

“The Newbury-Wilson family including participating artists, Danni Newbury (2nd Place Intermediate), Christian Wilson (2nd Place Professional) and Eleanor Wilson-Newbury (Youth Honorable Mention Age 3), pose with County Manager Al Faella near their collection of artworks during the awards reception.”

The Union County, New Jersey National Arts Program® Exhibit has become a celebration of the entire community and a true family affair for participants during these past sixteen years. Often multiple family members enter the show together and win. Artist Ryan Frees won first place in the Amateur Category this year and his wife Helen Frees entered as a Professional and his daughter Tegan as a Youth, age 8. The Borga sisters, Brianna and Elianna, entered and won Honorable Mention in the Youth Category. The Gault Family (Judith, Lorenzo, and Tatiana) also entered the exhibit for the first time and Tatiana took home the Art Education Award. Union County Coordinator Libby Reid hears from artists how much they look forward to the show every year and enjoy planning their next entries. We are so pleased that participants and their families have a reason to celebrate their artistic talents each year.

This was Libby’s 16th year working with the National Arts Program® for Union County. After so many years working on the same initiative you might expect one to get complacent but this has absolutely not been the case with NAP Coordinator Libby Reid. Year after year she promotes the show through every means possible and accepts every piece of artwork submitted right up to the very last minute. Literally taking in the final artworks thirty minutes before the judging occurred for this year’s NAP show! In her feedback on this year’s exhibit Libby discussed what she like most about the process of coordinating their NAP show. Here is some of what she said, “My favorite parts of the event still include “drop off day”. I enjoy the first view of the artists with their artwork and the chance to speak with them. After the work is hung and the ribbons are in place, I really like to take in the whole effect of the show. It is wonderful to see the variety and creativity and appreciate the talents of my fellow workers and their families. My very favorite part is the awards presentation, especially when the children (and adults) come up for their certificate and photograph. They are glowing with pride and their happiness is contagious.”