Saturday, March 28, brought stars, celebrities, artists, and a very chicly dressed list of guests to the heart of Atlantic City with the grand opening of the Holtzman Gallery in the Claridge Hotel. What? An art gallery in a hotel? Yes! And it’s a multilevel 20,000 square foot display of beauty, that immerses you in the look and feel of a museum as you stroll through it, seeing great works of art by Anthony Quinn, Burt Young, Peter Max, (a follower of TheLadyinRed on Twitter), Evelyn Pino, John Dzedzy, several other exquisitely talented contemporary artists, and owner David Holtzman himself.
The black-tie optional event began with Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian participating in the ribbon cutting ceremony. The week before, a select audience who attended the Garden State Film Festival awards dinner got a sneak peek at the gallery which hosted their star-studded cocktail party as the perfect backdrop prior to the gala that followed in the Claridge ballroom, including actors James Wilder, Ed Asner, and Armand Assante.
Included in the elegant unveiling of artwork this past Saturday, were attendees Miss America 2015, Kira Kazantsev, Miss New Jersey, Cierra Kaler Jones, and actor Burt Young (known most famously for his starring role in “Rocky” movies).
The gallery is a collection of modern sculpture, mosaics, three dimensional artwork, paintings, - and not all paintings are flat paint on canvas. Some incorporate cold wax into colors, or painted-over resin is laid on canvas creating texture and depth that’s really fascinating to look at up close.
Champagne flowed, cocktails were poured, and light fare of cheeses, and hors d’oeuvres, were served as many mingled and had a chance to meet artists who answered questions and engaged people with their artistic visions that lined the pristine tall white walls which curved and created an intriguing environment on their own, spanning three levels. As usual, Claridge event manager Joel Ballesteros went above and beyond creating a dreamscape for a spectacular evening.
Somewhat into the evening, artist and gallery owner, David Holtzman addressed the crowd and had a blessing placed upon this place of expression.
Some of my favorite paintings just spoke to me… struck a chord inside of me, and I was drawn to them. Artist Evelyn Pino created an exhibit of red that inevitably caught my attention. David Holtzman had a piece behind the main bar upon entry that appeared to change the more I looked at it --- the further back I stood, the more the tiny points of paint formed a scene which transfixed me. Equally embracing was meeting Burt Young, who graciously sat with me for a few minutes while I told him how his paintings really moved me.
All artwork is for sale, and the gallery is open daily. See the website for hours of operation and details about featured artists, artistic styles, and parking. It’s truly a must see when visiting Atlantic City!
Hands down, the Holtzman Gallery at the Claridge is the place I would select as a backdrop for any event I would host!