History and Purpose
In June of 1966, Mount Holly artists Robert Ransley (deceased) and Gisela J. Bly (President Emerita) had the mutual desire to form an art guild that would increase awareness of the visual arts. Thus, the Burlington County Art Guild was formed. The Burlington County Art Guild, Inc. (BCAG) is a community-based volunteer organization of approximately 150 member artists, who reside in and around Burlington County, New Jersey. The Burlington County Art Guild, Inc. is a 501 (c) (3) public charity.
The BCAG has the goal of educating, encouraging, supporting and advocating the visual arts community in Burlington County, New Jersey and its surrounding areas. Towards this end, Burlington County Art Guild provides numerous artist educational workshops and monthly meetings for our member artists. The meetings consist of a short business meeting, then a break for refreshments and socializing, followed by a demonstration or program by a professional artist. In lieu of a December meeting, a Holiday Party is held.
Burlington County Art Guild also sponsors and promotes art exhibitions and juried competitions. One of these is the Robert Ransley Show, an open juried exhibition that is held annually in the spring. The exhibit attracts artists from the tri-state area. Awards of cash, gift
cards, and merchandise are offered. Prizes have totaled $3,000 dollars. The BCAG publishes a regular monthly newsletter, “Tidings,” which is distributed to our membership, September through May.
It includes members’ news, exhibition opportunities, calendar of events and other pertinent art related material.
|Co-founder and President Emerita—Gisela Bly
Gisela is an artist, instructor and demonstrator owner of The Art Circle. She is known for her Native American portraits and ceremonial dancers.
Growing up, I've always had a love of art. My father would spend evenings sharing his version of a John Negi art lesson by having us look for and draw all the shapes hidden within pictures. Although my college education was as a business major, this did not stop me from painting trees on the walls at home or creating cartoons for use in advertising and training communications. Moving from New York to the West Coast, my work changed focus from business to finance and then to fundraising and nonprofit management. Fundraising brought me in contact with many artists who shared their talent, passion, and experience. It highlighted for me how organizations and artists working together were able to find a link that helped both groups achieve their goals. I have come full circle returning to the East Coast and finding the Burlington County Art Guild (BCAG), a community of artists, 50 years thriving, nurturing the growth of art and artists in Burlington and beyond. As for my art work, I have worked with oil and acrylic, pen and ink, pastel and pencil. Currently, I am exploring the creative opportunities present in mixed media. I look forward to continuing my growth as an artist, and using my life experience in support of the work of the BCAG.
|Vice President—accepting volunteers
John is happily retired. He is not an artist but happily volunteers to manage the finances for the Burlington County Art Guild.
|Member-at-Large—Volunteer Recognition—Pam Levin
Pam was the past president for 4 years. She remains on the Burlington County Art Guild board to assist with volunteer recognition and as a consultant. Pam enjoyed a fulfilling career of 33 years teaching math, history, science and world cultures in art classes for the children of Burlington City public schools. She is delighted to have found the art guild in her second career. Watercolor is her medium: Nature her inspiration. She feels fortunate to live in a county that has it all: creeks, rivers, lakes, ocean, farms, parks, gardens, historic towns, and big sky. She enjoys collaborating with artists in the Burlington County Art Guild; finding them very supportive and friendly.
|Member-at-Large: Fundraising—Kathy Aubert
Kathleen Aubert started drawing and painting at a very early age and continued through High School, winning a scholarship to Moore College of Art in her senior year. At Moore, she majored in Art Education and taught Visual Arts during President Johnson's "War on Poverty" years, in a program called "Operation Discovery" for disadvantaged youth in the inner city. On graduation, she did her first year teaching Visual Arts in Sydney Australia, in a Senior High School. Back in the US, Kathleen lived in California for a time, and then worked as Visual Arts Educator in NJ Public Schools--Elementary, Middle School, and High School, teaching Fine Arts, Crafts, and AP Art History. While teaching for over 39 years, she continued Graduate Studies at Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia College of Art, as well as Workshops and Studies with individual artists. Ms. Aubert traveled to study regional Folk Art and Crafts, as well as great Traditional Works of Art History, in the US, Australia, Mexico, Panama, the Caribbean, and Europe. Ms. Aubert works in Water Color, Oil, Acrylic, and Colored Pencil, but considers herself primarily an Educator who shares Art skills, knowledge, and love of learning with other people of like interest.
|Data Specialist—Carol Janes
Art is wonderful. Expression is wonderful. I believe in art as a positive force in our lives. I graduated from the Maryland Institute, College of Art (known today as MICA) in 1979, with a major in Fine arts, specializing in printmaking. I painted in watercolors for a long while – still lifes, landscapes, portraits. Lately, I’ve been working in pastels and oils, and charcoals. I especially enjoy drawing the human figure.
Leslie has a Master of Architecture degree from NJIT and has taken many art and design classes and workshops over the years. She has been a member of the Burlington County Art Guild for over 5 years now, has worked as the Newsletter Assistant and Newsletter Editor, and most recently as the Exhibitions Chairperson. Her love of art and craft drew her to the Guild, and she is looking forward to many more years as both a member and a volunteer.
Diana received her degree in Elementary Education from Temple University. After retiring from teaching, she pursued art by taking various classes at Burlington County College and Perkins Center for the Arts.
Marge has painted in acrylics since the 80's and received private instruction for several years. She studied at the Art School at Old Church and more recently at Perkins Center for the Arts, and likes to dabble in various media.
|Photography, Elections and Judges—Richard Montemurro
A self-taught artist, Richard has been involved in photography and computer graphics since the mid-60’s. By the 80’s, he began experimenting with manipulative photography. Then, the computer allowed him to pursue new directions in creating digital images. He calls the resulting images “Digographics”. He is currently creating digital images using combinations of photographs, computer art and iPhone and iPad, calling it “iPhoneography”. Richard has been exhibiting with several art groups in Camden, Burlington, and Gloucester Counties in New Jersey and the National Arts Program.
My passion for art has been like a life long friend. Always there to comfort me when I am sad, filling the void when I am lonely and energizing me when I am tired; giving life to new and exciting ideas. I have studied at Moore College of Arts & Design, Phila.,PA, Samuel S. Fleisher Art Memorial, Phila.,PA, Perkins Center for the Arts, Moorestown, NJ and most recently at The Art Circle, Moorestown, NJ and The Art Studio, Pemberton, NJ. The Burlington County Art Guild has given me the opportunity to exhibit at different venues across New Jersey.
Ellen is a past Treasurer and Corresponding Secretary of the Burlington County Art Guild. She started her career as a secretary, but after attending a few art classes, changed her career and graduated from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1975. Upon graduation from PAFA, she worked at RCA in Presentation Services, combining both secretarial and artistic skills. Later, reverting back to full time secretarial, she did not get back to art classes until 2004, after her son went to college. Ellen then attended classes at Perkins Center for the Arts, The Art Studio in Pemberton, and numerous workshops. Forever a student of art, Ellen works in oils, watercolor, charcoal, and pen and ink.
|Publicity and Tidings Newsletter Editor—Sherry Dellaria McGrath
Sherry had Studied Fine Art and Advertising Design at Mercer County College in Trenton, NJ. She won her first 1st place award at the age of 16 in a county run teen show which got her piece displayed in the Trenton State Art Museum and Smithville Mansion. She has experience in Screen Printing and Visual Merchandising/Marketing, and has been juried into numerous shows with awards all around NJ and PA. Her work is part of permanent collections at Chairville Elementary School, Virtua Hospital and Pemberton Library. She was previously the Exhibition Coordinator, VP and President of the Burlington County Art Guild, Inc. and continues to do volunteer work for the B.C.A.G., currently as the Publicist and Newsletter Editor. She was chosen as juror for a 2D/3D Fine Art exhibit and she is the owner of Artsy Art NJ ~ Art by Sherry; a visual artist working in several mediums with a specialty in ink; she displays and sells her work in shows and online with her website and others, social media, an Etsy shop and a VIDA designer for an e-commerce company of collaborating artists and makers who provide literacy programs for their makers.