Goodbye to a Friend

It is with great sadness that the Art Advisory Committee mourns the loss of Peter Blanchard III, Chairman of Greenwood Gardens. The committee has partnered with Greenwood Gardens for many events, and Peter’s singular generosity and friendship have been deeply appreciated throughout the years. We celebrate a man of great artistic sprit, fun and character. The Township is a better place through him. He will be greatly missed.

Peter Blanchard of Greenwood Gardens and Laraine Barach of the Art Advisory Committee, 2016

Please see this tribute on Greenwood Garden’s page to Peter.

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Scholarship Gala at Millburn Library Celebrating 17th Year of Awards

On June 16, the Arts Advisory Committee was grateful to be back in person for the Art Advisory Scholarship Awards celebration. Once again visitors were able to view the winning artworks on display in the library gallery and the head upstairs for the gala event of dinner and the presentation of awards to the High School Scholarship winners. 

Before the ceremony guests were treated to a dinner from Kimberly and Kings Catering, featuring gorgeous platters of sandwiches of roast beef, turkey, and chicken salad, crudités and cheese platters and vegetarian sushi, brownies and lemonade.

The awards were presented by Laraine Brennan Barach, chair of the AAC, and committee members aided in handing out the award bags.

The energy at the event was incredible, with applause for the winners and the donors generous contribution to honor the students. Moreover it gave the committee pride to know in our 17th year we are still an important bridge for our Artist Scholars.

Kathleen Hart Gilsenan spoke and told how she appreciates our dynamic professional support that AAC gives her and her students with our portfolio reviews. It helps the AP students see their work in a different way.

Congratulations again to this year’s scholarship winners:

Angela Huang: 1st
Chloe Mason: 2nd
Zev Marinoff : Honorable Mention

Joanna Yao
Jiyi Hong
Tiffany Jia

Donors and special thanks for 2022 include:

  • Millburn Free Public Library, Mike Bannick
  • Lynn Farscht, Michelle San Filippo, Amy McGovern, CatherineScorsese 
  • Kings Catering of Short Hills, Kimberly Sullivan
  • Jerry’s Artist’s Outlet of West Orange, Allen Shefts, Bonnie Shefts
  • Ashley and Steve of Print Media, Springfield.
  • Stephany Murphy, Greenwood Gardens, Short Hills
  • Nicholas and Brenda Rizzo of Rizzo Fine Arts, Chatham
  • Karl of Millburn Camera.
  • Jessica Cruz of Millburn Township

Please click on any photograph to launch slideshow. Photos by Molly Eisert, Michelle San Fillippo, Amy McGovern and Steve Barach.

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Point of Origin Show Returns to Millburn Library

The Art Advisory’s annual Point of Origin Show has returned to the newly updated Millburn Library Gallery. The show features the artworks of this year’s Millburn HS AP Art Scholarship winners, as well as that of mentors, local featured artists.

The show will remain on display until June 30.

Click on any photo to open slideshow.

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Dufner Paintings Returned to Millburn Library

The prized Edward Dufner impressionist paintings “Around the Fire” and “In the Summertime” were returned to display in the Millburn Library this week. During the Library’s closure and restoration, the paintings were removed for protection. On Wednesday, they were professionally re-hung in their place of honor, with special anti-theft technology incorporated. Millburn Library Director Michael Banick and Art Advisory members were on hand for the event.

These 100 year-old paintings, donated to the town by the artist, were painstakingly restored in 2017-2018 under the direction of the Arts Advisory Committee. Committee chair Laraine Brennan Barach produced the documentary “Leaving an Impression” about the project. This film will be screened at the library on June 15 at 7 pm and will include a Q&A afterward Ms. Barach.  This is a free event, presented by the Millburn Short Hills Historical Society.

Rehanging the artworks at the Millburn Library
Laraine Barach, AAC Chair (R) with Michael Banick, Library Director and Michelle San Fillipo, AAC Member (L) in front of the paintings
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2022 MSH Art Advisory Announces Prestigious AP Art Scholarship

MSH Art Advisory Committee Presents Award Winning 2022 AP Art Scholars

Seniors: AP Art Scholars 

Angela Huang: 1st Over all Portfolio. Glass and Lace, The Family After Five
Chloe Mason: 2nd. Rewind & Repeat
Zev Marinoff : Honorable Mention. Withheld 

Juniors: Award of Excellence

Joanna Yao: A Gloomy Day in Downtown Millburn, Childhood Arachnophobia, Sweetest Dreams
Jiyi Hong: School Cafeteria, Venturing Out, Presume to Speak
Tiffany Jia: Aftermath of the Rain, Walking Memory Lane

Awards will be given in a ceremony on June 16th with a reception and art show at the Millburn Library Gallery, 200 Glen Ave, Millburn.

** Awards include **
Art Supplies, Gift Certificates for College, Guest passes to Greenwood Gardens, Professional framing, Art Books thanks to Bookhouse

Art Show exhibition on display in Millburn Library Gallery: June 4-30. Reception Catered by KINGS

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Millburn Film Festival 2022

Art Advisory Committee members were honored to judge this year’s Millburn Film Fest – the 11th annual celebration of student film in Millburn. Congratulations to all the talented students! The Festival premieres this Friday, April 29 at Millburn High School. Get tickets at and see you at the movies!

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New Gallery Dedication at Millburn Library

When the remodeled Millburn Library reopens on May 4th, one of the many highlights will be the refurbished art gallery. This special place is dedicated to former library director William Swinson, a wonderful and generous partner to the Arts Advisory Committee. The gallery has newly updated walls and a professional art hanging system installed.

Oscar Peterson represented the AAC at the ceremony on April 16th. Michael Bannick, current library director presented the dedication to members of the Swinson family.

Michael Bannick and Oscar Peterson

Photos by Oscar Peterson

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Art Advisory Partners with Explore Millburn to Create Holiday Decorations in Millburn

For the second year, the Art Advisory Committee participated in the holiday window decoration program in Millburn and Short Hills, bringing festive artwork to local businesses. This year, the AAC partnered with Explore Millburn in the project by providing paints supplied from long time AAC supporter, Jerry’s Art Supplies of West Orange.

Artists from One River Art School, Millburn High School and the Art Advisory Committee created the colorful designs. Two-time AAC Scholarship winner Betty Zheng decorated the storefronts of Avalon Salon, Swim Quest and Cycle Bar with signature “Art Advisory Snowflakes” this holiday season.

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Fall Sculpture Update

Michael Cooper stopped by Taylor Park recently for some maintenance of his sculpture “All Together Now.” The figures and wheels were cleaned twice each (soap/water/alcohol) and a high-end montan / poxy wax was applied. The sculptures are now even more shiny than they had been before, ready for the winter. In May, he plans to return for any additional maintenance needed.

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Sculpture “All Together Now” added to Taylor Park

The Millburn Short Hills Art Advisory Committee is proud to have been part of the process to bring the latest public art sculpture to the community. Working together with the township and the Cultural Engagement Diversity and Arts Committee (CEDA), the team narrowed the selection from the approximately 50 artists who submitted proposals to the town’’s open call for artists in June of 2020. Eight were selected to be semifinalists.  From these, Michael Cooper’s piece, All Together Now, was chosen.

Over the past few months, Mr Cooper has worked with the township on the installation of the sculpture in Taylor Park, on the Main Street side near the pond. The official unveiling was in a ceremony on Thursday August 12.

photo caption: Michelle San Filippo, AAC member; Michael Cooper, artist, and Jackie Lieberberg, former Mayor and President of CEDA cutting the ribbon at the event. Photo credit: Steven Barach

photo caption: Michael Cooper, artist, Laraine Brennan-Barach, AAC Chair, and Jackie Leiberberg, CEDA President and former mayor. Photo credit: Amy McGovern

photo caption: Laraine Brennan-Barach, AAC Chair and Jesse Moehlman, Assistant Business Administrator, Millburn Township. photo credit: Amy McGovern

Here is some more information about the artwork, from artist Michael Cooper:

“My goal was to achieve a worthy sculpture for the town of Millburn after learning about its history and considering the current time we live in. Its intention is to show that we are all connected. The piece is a counterpoint to society’s increasing divisions especially in this time of Covid-19 and political and cultural unrest. This piece is meant to be a visual reminder of the underlying connection and equality of all humankind in a way that makes people smile and be comforted by that connection. Connecting – human to human – and knowing we are all the same is key to a strong and resilient society regardless of challenges we face, now or in the future.  And what better place to celebrate this fundamental truth than in a park, Taylor Park, a place that all people can share. Taylor Park which was given to the town by Mrs. John (Gertrude) Taylor, is a perfect vehicle for drawing people together within the uplifting influence of nature. 

The figures in the sculpture are symbolic of all people: the different colors represent our respective individualities, but the identical shapes denote our equal membership in the human race. The figures are connected physically here, and represent a connection that is global, hence the round shape they stand on. This circle represents not only a millwheel shape but also represents timelessness and continuation. Millburn is a town of evolution, remembering its roots (represented by the millwheel) and mindful that it is people that have created its history and will continue to bring it forward into a harmonious future.

My hope is for the entire work to be welcoming and to give a positive feeling.” 

For more information about Michael Cooper, please visit his webpage:

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