Big Bear Gear Art Series


Big Bear Gear will be hosting local artists on a rotating basis throughout the Spring and Summer. Each artist will have an exhibit on the dates listed, and an opening on the Saturdays from 2PM-5PM. The art will be available for purchase. So join us, see some art, buy some art, mingle, eat a little, drink a little, and enjoy. You can make a day (and evening) of it. After the art, head over to our Summer Concert Series, on selected Saturdays in July and August.


 April 15-16

Tom Gunia

Tom Gunia has had a love for photography for many years. Starting as a teenager, he apprenticed with his father as a wedding photographer, eventually branching out with his own business. Tom has always been an outdoor enthusiast, enjoying nature and watching wildlife. He has a keen eye for finding wildlife among the tangle of trees and leaves, and with the advance of digital cameras, has now been an avid outdoor, nature and wildlife photographer. Tom enjoys sharing his love of photography with others, especially children, and has earned a reputation as a great mentor and guide. 

May 6-8

Del Val Students Expo

Delaware Valley Regional High School Visual Arts Department offers a comprehensive foundation in the elements and principles of art. We encourage the exploration of art and creative problem-solving. We challenge our students to take creative risks. We believe in the transformational power of art and know that the creative mind transcends the studio into all  subject areas. The fine art department also hosts visiting artists, museum field trips to NYC and Philadelphia, art clubs, and opportunities to work and create art with and in the community.

The DelVal Visual Art Department consists of two teachers, Sarah Ruppert and Jason Farnsworth:

Sarah Ruppert is a resident of Holland Township. Sarah has a Fine Arts Degree from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and an Art Education Degree from the College of New Jersey. Sarah also studied photojournalism at Ohio University and analog photographic processes with John Coffer and Brenton Hamilton. 

Jason Farnsworth is a resident of Easton, Pa. He graduated from Kutztown University in 1998 with a BFA in Ceramics and is currently in his 17th year as an educator in Hunterdon County. While his formal training falls largely in the world of clay, Jason admittedly embraces all materials, often working with what he has on hand. Excitement and process are largely the driving forces of his work. 

May 20-233

Hunterdon County Polytech Student Expo

Teresa Alessandria De Sapio Diaz, owner of TADS - Art and Illustration, was born and raised in Hunterdon County, New Jersey. An artist from an early age, she was inspired by her beautiful rural surroundings, Italian heritage, and faith in God. She is a graduate of Columbus College of Art and Design with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Illustration and Visual Communication. For the past 23 years, Teresa has been the Commercial Arts/Advertising Design and 3D Computer Animation teacher at the career and technical high school of Hunterdon County Polytech. 

The exhibit will show the work of her two classes, computer animation and commercial arts. Both are two year programs. In commercial arts they learn fine arts as a foundation to commercial arts. They learn to use graphic programs like Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and In Design. By the end of their coursework they have real world commercial portfolios and are launched into freelance businesses and learn entrepreneurship through a career fair for artists.  

July 1-3

Erika Rachel

Erika Rachel is an outsider artist best known for her abstract paintings; however, she has also worked in other mediums, such as screen printing, collage, and photography. She describes herself as a “foodie, master recycler, and painter of things that need explanation.”

Erika credits her encouraging, supportive, and open-minded parents for exposing her at a young age to the teachings of gurus, such as Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer, and Werner Erhard. Rachel attributes her ambition and artistic style to those formative years and considers herself a follower of Socrates’ famous saying, “The unexamined life isn’t worth living.” She embeds poignant life lessons in her brushstrokes that ask the audience to not only examine her work but also themselves.

Rachel’s work has been exhibited at The Guild Hall Museum, Ashawagh Hall, Dohm Alley, Tag Heuer, ArtExpo, and Hunterdon Art Museum and sits in private collections of notable art patrons, including Lawrence Benenson (MoMa Board of Trustees) and Cyma Zarghami (Former Viacom President). Rachel has also been featured in magazines, such as L’Etage, Posture, CREATIV, and The Princeton Packet. She is a regular event artist with Robert Graham.

July 8-10

Amanda Penecale

Amanda is a photographer, writer, musician, and art educator. She is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design where she majored in Illustration, and now she teaches high school art. She paints landscapes in acrylic and watercolors and writes and performs folk-inspired music. She has an Esty shop, Penny Cow Press, where she sells her handmade stickers and art prints to make people smile. Her art is greatly inspired by a sense of place. Creating music and art has been at the center of her world for as long as she can remember. 

July 15-17

Gloria Kosco

Gloria Kosco received her M.F.A. from Rhode Island School of Design and continued her study of architectural ornamentation at The Moravian Pottery and Tileworks in Doylestown, PA. Her tiles have been installed throughout the country in private homes and corporate buildings. Her largest public installation can be seen in Terminal E at the Philadelphia International Airport. She lives and works in Point Pleasant, Pennsylvania. Her work incorporates the use of several materials including ceramic bronze, masonry, found objects of iron and steel. Gloria has been awarded Pennsylvania Council for the Arts Fellowships and has participated in the Pennsylvania State Council Artist in Education Program. She has been an artist in residence at schools and universities. Recently she was featured as a solo artist at The Moravian Tiles works, honoring the legacy of Tileworks artists.

July 22-24

Asia Pompiska

Asia Popinska is a native of Poland who received her first camera at  age nine as a Communion gift. Toting around the Soviet-Era Smena on nature excursions with her father, the self-taught photographer learned to develop the prints in a home darkroom, honing the essentials of the craft. As an adult, she became a trained physiotherapist, and immigrated to the United States in 1996 where she raised a family and eventually found her way back to photography. A catalyst for pursuing photography again was the end of a twenty-year marriage in 2011, and that quickly led to exhibition opportunities ranging from group shows at the Philadelphia Sketch Club and Pennsylvania Center for Photography to solo shows at Trenton Social and Artworks in Trenton. A practitioner of Buddhist Philosophy who is guided by  altruism and sensitivity, she resides in Mercer County where the natural beauty and constructed spaces of her regional environment provide an abundance of inspiration and curiosity.

July 29-31

Stephen Harris

Stephen discovered photography in his early years, developing his photographic skills and composition eye in grade school. At the time, he focused on 35mm black & white photography processed in a small basement darkroom. After a corporate executive career, he returned to photography. Stephen was a photography teacher at the Visual Art Center of New Jersey, Digital Photo Academy (NYC) and various community schools. He owns River Town Creative – marketing and photography services for local business and co-owns 26 Bridge Studio & Gallery in Lambertville. Stephen lives in Lambertville and loves capturing unique and inspiring images in this naturally awesome area.

August 5-7

Helene Mazur

Helene started painting 10 years ago with a small group of art friends. Since then, her art circle has grown and so has her passion for creating and showing her art. She paints from her observations about the world, often outdoor ‘en plein air’, or from photographs and sketches created on location.  Helene’s works are engaging and colorful, often filled with texture and lyrical brush work. Inspiration comes from travels far and near. While much of her art is created with water-soluble oils on panel, she also likes to experiment with gouache, pastel, charcoal, and mixed media collage.