A New Space for Camden County
In the six years that Camden County, NJ has hosted the National Arts Program® they have moved the show four times. From the Cultural & Heritage Hopkins House museum in Camden, to the Camden Library, back to Hopkins House, then this year clear across town to the Katz Jewish Community Center. Each change has brought more artists than the last and this year was no exception. NAP Coordinator Sandra Turner-Barnes who is the Cultural & Heritage Director for Camden County, was a bit nervous after the last show included an outstanding total of 155 pieces. This year, Sandra said was, “our best show ever” after 176 pieces were submitted by 90 artists!
The Katz Jewish Community Center offered a longer stay, 60 days, and the facility is open seven days a week to the public, so artists can come back and see the show more often, as can their family members. In addition, it exposes the artwork to a constant stream of people using the center, gaining more interest for next year.
Many returning and new artist’s entered; including one teen, Miguel Serrano, who participated and won third place. Miguel was featured in his school newspaper along with an article on the NAP.
Bruce Garrity, Gallery Coordinator from Hopkins House, is also to be commended on continuing to coordinate and hang the show, which can be challenging with so many pieces. Camden County, New Jersey is a wonderful National Arts Program® example of adapting to challenging times and trying different things to keep the employees, public, and their family members engaged in the culture of their community.