4 Gorgeous Galleries to Explore Down the Shore

These galleries are well worth the visit.

Waiting Room; oil on canvas by Nancy Colella
Waiting Room; oil on canvas by Nancy Colella

The Noyes Arts Garage, Atlantic City
A light-filled space near the shopping outlets four blocks from the Boardwalk, the Noyes Arts Garage of Stockton University includes exhibition galleries, retailing and artist studios. With its cavernous entry and concrete floors, the Arts Garage projects an industrial-chic vibe. The Noyes Museum of Art curates the galleries that feature contemporary photography, painting and mixed media. The space also houses the African-American Heritage Museum of Southern New Jersey, an institution developed from a personal collection of memorabilia. Visitors can often catch artists, such as contemporary impressionist Steve Kuzma, at work in their studios. The gallery hosts frequent panel discussions, poetry slams and open-mic events; every second Friday, there is an artist reception with live music, snacks and a wine tasting. —Deborah P. Carter
2200 Fairmount Avenue, 609-626-3805

Solace Studio, Surf City (LBI)
Painter Franny Andahazy opened this studio five years ago in LBI’s informal arts district. Solace Studio specializes in coastal scenes by contemporary impressionist painters, but don’t be surprised to see mixed media works and sculpture on display. In addition to presenting local artists, Andahazy, who grew up on LBI but runs a design business in Boston, mixes in works by Bostonians.

The artists Andahazy exhibits, including local favorites like Linda Ramsay, also accept commissions through Solace. Paintings go for $175 for small works to $4,500 for larger pieces. Every year, just before Labor Day, Andahazy puts on a sale, though she hates to use that word in relation to art. “It’s just an end-of-season kind of thing,” she explains.

Daphnis and Chloé: Lamon's and Dryas's Dreams byMark Chagall

Daphnis and Chloé: Lamon’s and Dryas’s Dreams byMark Chagall

Andahazy also advises clients on decorating with pieces purchased at Solace. “People will come in and go, ‘I just bought this house and I don’t know anything about art.’ We’ll play around with art on their walls, free of charge.” —Tammy La Gorce
2312 Long Beach Boulevard, 609-848-9702

Ocean Galleries, Avalon and Stone Harbor
Kim and Joshua Miller started their gallery and framing business in Avalon in 1986, adding the Stone Harbor location four years later. Today, both locations showcase local and world-renowned artists, but stylistically, the two are more like cousins than siblings. The Avalon site has a nooks-and-crannies intimacy; the much larger Stone Harbor location is wide and deep, with high ceilings, creating an immersive experience for visitors. Both regularly show new works by legendary pop artists Peter Max and Charles Fazzino, neo-pop cubist Romero Britto, modernists Aldo Luongo and Josef Kote, and expressionist Hessam Abrishami. David Wight’s glass sculptures of cresting waves are also popular. Gallery prices range from a $200 beach print to $200,000 for works by marquee names.

This summer, the Stone Harbor location is hosting seven one-person shows by artists including Max, Kote, and Autumn de Forest, a 15-year-old painter whose work hangs in the Vatican.—Lynn Martenstein
2199 Ocean Drive, Avalon, 609-967-4662
9618 Third Avenue, Stone Harbor, 609-386-7777

SOMA Gallery, Cape May
This Soho-style gallery opened in 2007 in a neo-Victorian mall just off Washington Street, Cape May’s main shopping district. Its collection is as eclectic as its surroundings. Paper-cut pieces by Beatrice Corron hang alongside beeswax-on-wood works by Jim Inzero, and beneath circus banners painted on drop cloth by Molly Mcguire. All three artists debuted at the gallery last year.

Each summer, SOMA Gallery stages a series of exhibits of new and returning artists. In its first decade, SOMA helped launch the careers of realist artist Victor Grasso, pastelist Stan Sperlak, and oil-and-acrylic painter Carol King Hood. The trio returns to the gallery this season with new works.—LM
Carpenters Square Mall, 31 Perry Street, 609-972-1994

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