Dressing up

Bayonne artists enter show to raise funds for Dress for Success

Five artists from Bayonne will join a group of international, regional, and local artists, who will show off their work in “Art and Soul; Women In the Arts,” a show at Mana Contemporary gallery’s first annual fundraiser and cocktail reception on May 19.
Organizers of the event last week announced the lineup of artists that will be featured in the show. The proceeds from the event will help fund Dress for Success, Hudson County.
“Solely dedicated to celebrating the diverse and artistic achievements of works of art by women, including professional and emerging artists, that herald from the metropolitan area and beyond,” said Joyce Devlin, event chair person. “We are most very excited about this up and coming first annual fundraiser for Dress for Success. Join us for an evening of art, style, and conversation. It promises to be a fabulous evening.”
Sixteen professional and emerging female artists, many from the New York tri-state area, will showcase and sell original works of art that include sculptures, mixed media, photography, paintings, water colors and hand-crafted jewelry. There will also be a Pop Up shop in the art gallery where event attendees can purchase various works from these artists.

Art for a good cause

“The art show is being put on by a local chapter of a national organization founded to help women going back into the workforce or into the work force for the first time,” said Gina Irizarry, project manager for the show.
The idea of Dress for Success is to keep women out of poverty or prevent homelessness by providing them with the basic attire they might need when going out on job interviews.
The mission of Dress for Success is to empower women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.
The group strives to build a world where, according to the group’s mission statement, “All women are financially independent, are treated with dignity and respect and are directly impacting their lives and those of their families. Our purpose is to offer long-lasting solutions that enable women to break the cycle of poverty. Dress for Success is part of a global movement for change, empowering women to obtain safer and better futures.”
The group provides each client with professional attire to secure employment, but it is about much more than simply a new outfit.
“Besides physically equipping the client with apparel and accessories, our programs furnish her with a confidence that she carries forever and the knowledge that she can actively define her life, the direction she takes and what success means to her,” the mission statement says.
Poverty often affects women the most, and its effects on them and their families can be long-lasting. Therefore, addressing women’s needs is central to improving the quality of life for not only that woman but also her family, future generations and her community.
“Over the last few years, we needed to become more inclusive, so we have offered this program to men as well,” Irizarry said. “So we’ve changed the name to ‘Suits for Success.’”


“All the artists are women. Many are from the metropolitan area.” – Gina Irizarry

Local and international artists will be featured

The premise of the fundraiser, Irizarry said, was to keep with the original theme of helping women.
“The title ‘Art & Soul’ is supposed to reflect the original mission,” she said. “All the artists are women. Many are from the metropolitan area. Many of them are from New Jersey. Some are from Jersey City and Bayonne.”
Local talent includes artists such as Donna Greenberg, from the Grove Street area of Jersey City, who is a sculptor and jewelry designer. Debra Block, also from Jersey City, is a painter who often works with fabric. A well-established Jersey City artist, Stefania Panepinto, will also have work for sale at the show.
Five artists from Bayonne are Catherine Duffy is a landscape artist who works in pencil, graphite and charcoal. Linda Lioui is a realistic painter who works in oil paints. Ann Tedeschi does still life and portraits and often works in charcoal. Randy Drogin and Kristie Anna Fitzpatrick are other Bayonne artists who will have work for sale.
Maureen Bennett, from Rockland County, N.Y., is an abstract artist working in acrylic and mixed media.
The show will also feature work by Arlene Carnio, of Newark; Darlene Kwiatkowski, from Glouster County; and Toni Lee Sangastiano, from Montclair.
Two sister artists, Gloria and Janet Fernandez are from Colombia, and Natalya Oleshkeuich is from Russia.
The show will be held on May 19 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Mana Contemporary, 888 Newark Ave. in Jersey City. Tickets are $75 per person and can be purchased online at www.hudsoncounty.dressforsuccess.org. Tickets are also available the night of the event.
“This will be a fabulous event that includes food, liquor and live jazz, all in addition to our amazing selection of fine artist work on display and for purchase,” Irizarry said.

Al Sullivan may be reached at asullivan@hudsonreporter.com.

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