Public Info

Enjoy the Awards Ceremony & Art Exhibit by Union County Employees, May 5

UNION, NJ – The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders will recognize local artists and present awards at a reception on Tuesday, May 5, at the 14th Annual Exhibit and Contest for County of Union Employees and Their Families. The free reception and awards ceremony will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Elizabethtown Gas Company, located in the Liberty Hall Center, 1085 Morris Avenue in Union.

“This show offers a chance for our Union County employees and family members to shine,” said Freeholder Bette Jane Kowalski, liaison to the Union County Cultural and Heritage Programs Advisory Board. “The artwork that they do in their spare time is outstanding, and we are proud to display it in the beautiful atrium space of the Liberty Hall Center. We are grateful to Elizabethtown Gas for generously hosting the program and awards reception and to the National Arts Program Foundation for funding the prize awards.”

Presented in partnership with the National Arts Program®, the exhibit will be open weekdays until May 26, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

“The Freeholders share the goal of the National Arts Program Foundation to reach as many people as possible of all ages, offering them a chance to show their creations,” said Freeholder Chairman Mohamed S. Jalloh. “We invite you to view this exhibit of exceptional artwork at the Liberty Hall Center.”

The art exhibit will be judged by three prominent artists: Laura Brown, Peter Lester and Joan Pamboukes.

Laura Brown is an artist and teacher living and working in Union County. After receiving a BFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York, she went on to get a Post-Baccalaureate certificate to teach Fine Arts. Laura has taught Fine Arts in public schools in New York and New Jersey and is currently teaching art classes to both children and adults. She is a member of the Arts Guild of New Jersey and the Contemporary Art Group and serves on the board of the Westfield Art Association. She also continues to study, paint and exhibit regularly.

Peter Lester attended the Camberwell School of Art and the Heatherly School of Fine Arts in London and the School of Visual Arts in New York. At the Children’s Television Workshop, he was a Digital Artist, Art Director and Director of Art and Animation. Peter’s artwork has been exhibited at the Dianna Burke Gallery in New York, Gallery Aferro and City Without Walls in Newark. Among his clients are: Hooked on Phonics, The Karsten Foundation, Scholastic, Byron Price, National Geographic, and Digital Tape and Ink. Peter also teaches Photoshop and Digital Media at The Visual Arts Center of New Jersey in Summit.

Joan Pamboukes received her BFA from Massachusetts College of Art and her MFA at New Jersey City University. Her photography has been exhibited in numerous exhibitions at venues such as the Jersey City Museum, The Brooklyn Brewery, Gallery Aferro and City Without Walls in Newark, Chashama UpTown and Hunter College Times Square Gallery in New York. Joan also teaches photography at Long Island University in Brooklyn, the County College of Morris and at the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey.

The National Arts Program® is in its 32nd year with 82 annual programs reaching 450 cities in 38 states. 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 goal 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.