Arts & CultureNorwescap’s Morris County Seniors and Persons with Disabilities Art Show and Awards

Norwescap’s Morris County Seniors and Persons with Disabilities Art Show and Awards 

Art Show Celebrates Talents of Seniors and Individuals with Special Needs



MORRIS COUNTY — The Morris County Office of Aging, Disabilities, and Community Programming and Norwescap held the 2023 Morris County Seniors and Persons with Disabilities Art Show and Awards Ceremony earlier this week at the Marion E. Sally Building on Clyde Potts Drive in Morristown, showcasing artwork from many local talents.

The 16th annual event, and the first one in person since the pandemic, received 21 submissions representing a vast array of creativity from within five different art categories: Acrylic Painting, Photography, Mixed Media, Watercolor, and Drawing.

In each category, winners selected for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place awards were presented satin ribbons and generous gift bundles of art supplies. Everyone who participated received public acknowledgment with a certificate of recognition for their artwork.

“During October, the County Commissioners observed and celebrated Arts & Humanities Month and National Disability Employment Awareness Month by publicly presenting framed proclamations to several local organizations. This art show was another way to continue these community celebrations as we recognize the contributions and talents of our senior and special needs neighbors,” said Morris County Commissioner Deb Smith.

The judges for the event were Dr. Edward Ramirez, Chief Program Officer of Norwescap, Rochelle Ostenfeld, Norwescap’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Manager, and Xavier Powell, owner of operations and curation for Gallery X in West Palm Beach, Florida.

During the Awards Ceremony, Mark Valli, CEO of Norwescap, took the stage to express his gratitude and appreciation, emphasizing the importance of displaying the “untapped talent of Morris County.” He highlighted Norwescap’s extensive services, which include early childhood programs, employment services, nutrition and food security initiatives, housing and community development, and volunteer and civic engagement programs, such as the Norwescap RSVP program.

“We’re all born artists. We’re all born to express ourselves. We all have it in us, and art is a way to draw that out… There is a ton of talent in our senior population and those with disabilities. Art is a way to bring us together,” said Valli.

“We at Norwescap hope that with today’s program, we might be reaching individuals that we are serving in our other programs in a way that is expressive, a way that is beautiful and that builds strong community,” he added. “That is why art is important. That is why Norwescap is doing this work with the county, and we are grateful to be a part of this community.”

The winners in each category included:

  • In Acrylic Painting, Ismael Villavvubla won 1st place for his piece entitled “Campout.” Holly Hunter came in 2nd place for “Reflections Past” and Elizabeth Bain earned 3rd place for “Isolation.”
  • In Photography, Tom Cassidy was the 1st place winner for “Sole Pole with Clouds,” Patricia Anderson came in 2nd place for “Ocean Breeze” and Wilma S. Pickell in 3rd place for “Low Tide Cape Cod.”
  • In the Mixed Media category, 1st place went to Barbra Elliot for “Butterflies,” 2nd place to Ian Crowe for “Ladybugs in Flowers Spring,” and 3rd place to J.R. Schomp for “Sea Life.”
  • In Watercolor, MaryAnn Tunstead won 1st place with her artwork titled “A River Runs Through It.”
  • In the Drawing category, Dee DeJulio claimed 1st place for her piece, “Best Buddies.”

After the awards ceremony, everyone gathered for a luncheon provided by The Fruited Plain, a local caterer in Parsippany-Troy Hills.

The event was a true celebration of art, community, and the incredible talent of Morris County’s seniors and individuals with disabilities. Each year, the County Commissioners approve roughly $5,000 through a grant in aid to fund the art program.

Morris County congratulates all the participants and thanks the dedicated team from Norwescap who worked behind the scenes tirelessly to make this event a reality.


Article courtesy of Parsippany Focus.