SOMA artists open their studios to the public

The four Seton Hall University students were enthusiastic about the South Orange Maplewood Artists Studio Tour.

Clare Dueweke, Alexandra Carroll, Edward Sherman, and Connor Powers stopped at locations in both South Orange and Maplewood after stumbling upon the event; they ended up spending a good part of their weekend visiting studios on the tour, which was held on Nov. 4 and 5.

Photo by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta
Seton Hall students, from left: Clare Dueweke, Alexandra Carroll, Edward Sherman, and Connor Powers, who visited several studios over two days.

All four students were from the Midwest and appreciated the strong sense of community that South Orange and Maplewood artists have.

“It’s a cool thing, lifting each other up and boosting art,” Carroll said.

“The community seems so tight,” added Powers, who is from Ohio.

More than 50 artists showed their work at various venues throughout the towns. Leslie Goldman of Wild Cherry Art was one of the hosts from South Orange. Goldman is a musician, songwriter, and painter who makes “vibrant, uplifting, positive art.” She seeks to “inspire and delight clientele.”

Sandra Charlap of East Orange who was showing her work at Wild Cherry Art works with materials she treats as paint such as glass mosaics. She recently had a piece in the Newark Museum. Charlap attended Parsons and teaches art classes at various locations.

Photo by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta
Leslie Goldman of Wild Cherry Art during the SOMA Artists Studio Tour.

Sybil Archibald is an artist who has created 900 monotypes in 900 days, including during the time she spent in a hospital for three weeks.

“As I got healthier, images got brighter,” she shared. Archibald has recently authored a book “The Inner Life of the Artist.”

Christopher Boudewyns of Maplewood is a photographer who started out taking pictures all over New York City. He began by taking photos of discarded umbrellas and men on Wall Street, impeccably dressed, wearing ties. He likes to take unusual photos of performers. He also does headshots.

Wendy Bellermann uses powdered ochre and charcoal to make neo-primitive stone art. She also does high contrast black and white acrylic portraits of blues and rock musicians and colorful acrylics of farm animals.

Peter Astor was showing his art at The Parlor at the Woodland in Maplewood. He’s a retired math professor who has only been painting for six years but has already won awards for his work. He was looking for something creative to do and became serious about art. He said that prior to taking classes he couldn’t draw a stick.

Natalie Crandall of Maplewood creates new art in thrifted frames.

An artist who goes by the name “E” and lives in Maplewood just began her journey in art four years ago. She’s a retired lawyer who said its what she’s always loved. She describes her art as “A lot of motion, excitement. I love dance and motion.” She’s recently had pieces in the Newark Art Exhibit.

Alicia Starr, a Maplewood resident originally from Iowa says her art is “all over the board.”

In addition to the artists who hosted in their homes, the following venues participated in the event: 1978 Art Center in Maplewood; DeHart Community Center in
Maplewood; Maplewood Senior Center; The Parlor at the Woodland in Maplewood; and The Skate House in South Orange.

To learn more about SOMA Artists Studio Tour, visit: