CONTACT: Tom Plante, (908) 527-4746
Sebastian D’Elia, (908) 527-4419


Enjoy the Awards Ceremony & Exhibit
of Art by Union County Employees, May 6


UNION, NJ – The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders will recognize local artists and present awards at a reception on Wednesday, May 6, at the Eighth Annual Exhibit and Contest for County of Union Employees and Their Relatives. The free reception and awards ceremony will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Elizabethtown Gas Company, located at Liberty Hall Center, 1085 Morris Avenue in Union Township.

“Our county staffers do a great job with their regular jobs, and quite a number of them have artistic gifts,” said Freeholder Bette Jane Kowalski, liaison to the Union County Cultural and Heritage Programs Advisory Board. “We thank Elizabethtown Gas for hosting the reception and providing gallery space for Union County employees and their families to display their talent. We also thank the National Arts Program Foundation for funding the prize awards.”

Presented in partnership with the National Arts Program®, the exhibit offers County of Union employees and their families an opportunity to display their art work. The exhibit will be open weekdays from May 6 to June 1, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

“The Freeholders share the goal of the National Arts Program® to reach as many people as possible of all ages, offering them a chance to show their creations,” said Freeholder Chairman Alexander Mirabella. “We invite you to view this exceptional artwork.”

The show will be judged by three prominent artists and arts professionals: Gina Minichino, Tom Stone and Roberto Terrana.

Gina Minichino grew up in Westfield. In 1986, she began studying cartooning at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. It wasn’t until after graduation that she decided to go back and take a painting course. Through paint, she explores the human form, an attraction to junk food and a fascination of processed foods. She has exhibited widely in New York City and New Jersey and is represented by Allan Stone Gallery in NYC. Ms. Minichino’s paintings have appeared in various publications such as Art + Auction magazine, New Jersey Savvy Living and Gallery & Studio. Her cartooning studies have not gone to waste – she has her own party caricature business. Gina’s illustrations can be found on various CD covers and in magazines.

Sculptor and computer artist Tom Stone studied at Hartford Art School, University of Hartford to pursue a degree in Fine Arts in 1991. He studied technical approaches to sculpting by working as an apprentice at the Johnson Atelier Technical Institute of Sculpture. In 2005, he earned a master’s degree in Fine Arts at The Savannah College of Art and Design, where he learned to combine his interests in light, color, nature, 3-dimensional form, and audio in a medium referred to as abstract experimental animation. Mr. Stone is active in the Visual Effects industry, working on an independent film called “Chord” and on television broadcasts. His sculptures have been shown in exhibitions throughout the Northeast. Tom lives in Union County. 

Roberto Terrana received his BFA from the School of Visual Arts. He is a professor at Essex County College where he teaches traditional photography, video graphic arts, and advanced graphic arts. He is also an instructor at The Newark Museum, where he teaches digital photography and Adobe Photoshop, and a supervisor at the International Center of Photography in New York. Mr. Terrana has created documentary photo stories about Hong Kong, Peru, Ecuador, and Sicily. His latest work deals with Newark’s changing downtown area since the completion of the new arena, and the impact on the local businesses and residents who live there.  He has shown work both in the U.S. and internationally. Roberto lives in Elizabeth.

The National Arts Program® currently runs 84 annual programs reaching 450 cities in 44 states nationwide. The program was conceived by Leonard E.B. Andrews (1925 - 2009), an art collector, publisher, business executive and journalist “for the encouragement and development of artistic expression.” The aim of the National Arts Program® is to provide an uninhibited opportunity for people to present their talent, at whatever level, in a free, public exhibition.
The National Arts Program® is sponsored by The National Arts Program Foundation of Malvern, Pennsylvania. To learn more about the program, visit

Additional support for this event is provided by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.

For more information, contact the Union County Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs,
633 Pearl Street, Elizabeth NJ 07202. Telephone (908) 558-2550 or e-mail:
NJ relay users dial 711.