Professional artist Grace Zambelli won Best of Show in the Atlantic County Senior Citizens Art Show held at the Ventnor Library. Her submission, “View from Ventnor Boardwalk” also took first place in the professional acrylics category.

VENTNOR – The winners of the 43rd annual Senior Citizens Art Show held at the Atlantic County Library System/Ventnor branch during the month of May were announced Thursday, May 30 during a reception held on the second floor of the library.

Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson was there to congratulate the winners and recalled that his mother was an artist.

“She tried hard and we have a lot of her pictures at my house,” he said. “It kept her young and vibrant.”

Cindy McNellis, executive director of the county’s Office of Aging said all first-place winners would receive a $100 award and automatically become eligible to exhibit their work in the statewide New Jersey Senior Art show, which features the artwork of senior citizens from all 21 New Jersey counties.

Atlantic County artists over age 60 were eligible to submit artwork completed within the last three years for consideration in 11 professional and non-professional categories.

Sue Van Duyne, executive director of the Ventnor City Cultural Arts Center who coordinated the show, said this year’s exhibition was the largest ever with a total of 73 entries.

“There were a lot of first-timers,” she said, including professional artist Grace Zambelli who took first place in the professional acrylics category and won Best of Show, with her painting, “View from the Ventnor Boardwalk.”

Professional artist Marilyn Chackman, whose woodcut print, “Toothache” took first place in the drawings and prints category, was the longest participating artist in the show. She has submitted her art pieces for the last 22 years, she said.

The artworks were judged by three prominent artists – Atlantic City artist and drawing teacher Joe Duffy, pastel artist Renee Leopardi of Northfield, and fashion illustrator and painter Michael Waters of Ventnor.

Winners of first, second, third place and honorable mention, along with those receiving special recognition, received certificates.

First place winners are:

Jeff Pascal – acrylics, non-professional

Grace Zambelli – acrylics, professional

Elaine Wisler – oils, non-professional

Brenda Casel – oils, professional

Janet Gabriel – pastels, non-professional

Donna Mindish – pastels, professional

John Locasale – photography, non-professional

Charles Eberson – photography, professional

Marilyn Chackman – prints, professional

Christine Trice – mixed media, non-professional

Patti Reed Rosenberg – watercolor, non-professional

Kathy English – watercolor, professional

Janet Kurland – craft, professional

Shirley Belitsky – sculpture, professional

John LaMarca – digital art, non-professional


Nanette LoBiondo Galloway

Award winning journalist covering news, events and people of Atlantic County for more than 20 years.