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Millville's Art Center

Each third Friday of the month, Millville Glasstown Arts District celebrates its bustling local arts scene with galleries and shops staying open late to showcase local artists with exhibits and “meet and greets,” while providing live entertainment and refreshments throughout the night.

On Friday, July 18, the monthly event will embrace three exciting new exhibitions at the Riverfront Renaissance Center of the Arts specifically.

A solo show for acclaimed acrylic painter Lance Balderson will be held within the spacious building’s largest exhibition room. Balderson, a resident of Ocean View, is a graduate of the Pennsylvania State University School of Architecture. In his paintings, he incorporates layers of rich colors with overlapping shapes and forms that often tie back to his prior career as an architect. His paintings are simple yet sophisticated, and his color schemes can often be conflicting to the viewer — sometimes they can soothe the senses, while other times they can provoke them.

Many of Balderson’s paintings can be seen in galleries throughout the Delaware Valley and New York, as well as in the City Halls of both Atlantic City and Ocean City. Interestingly, one of Balderson’s paintings will eventually be a part of the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s permanent collection, as his piece “Tryst” has been offered to the museum as a promised gift.

“We are thrilled to have Lance Balderson as part of Third Friday,” says Marianne Lods, executive director of Glasstown Arts District. “He is so well regarded and has so many fans.”

Shown in the adjacent gallery will be the “Art Creates Excellence” exhibition, which will be comprised of pieces created by 7- to 18-year-old students who participated in the four-week youth program Summer Art Creates Excellence. The child artists will show the fruits of their labor in everything from original paintings and print art, to woodcuts and mask work, to ceramic art and clay sculpture.

In the Associate Artist Alcove, two of the RRCA’s esteemed associate artist members will be displaying their works.

Award-winning watercolorist and muralist Susan Hannah Rau’s artwork has been shown throughout South Jersey for more than 25 years. Her paintings come in a variety of mediums, with watercolor being the most prevalent. An Ocean City resident, she is affiliated with the Ocean City Fine Arts League.

Vineland’s Doris Botts is a graduate of Moore College of Art and is a talented painter, sculptor and mosaic artist whose pieces will be shown along with Rau’s. A house artist at La Bottega of Art located just down the street from RRCA, she is also a member of the Society of New Jersey Artists.

“The summer months are always our largest turnout for Third Friday,” Lods says. “We always have such excellent shows and we just want people to come out and have a good time.”

Third Friday takes place from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, July 18. Guests will have the opportunity to speak with the artists while enjoying light refreshments and live music.

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