Harbor Gallery at the Nature Center of Cape May opens its new exhibit, "Birds in Snow/Textures in Clay," with a free reception 6 p.m. Friday, March 2.

The show features the artwork of two local artists - photographer Scott Whittle, of Cape May, and potter Susan Ross, of West Cape May. As in all exhibits at the gallery, nature is the prevalent theme.

Ross, an award-winning potter, finds inspiration for her works in anything from a piece of coral found on the beach to a grain of rice. She incorporates the shapes and patterns found in the natural world to hand-carve the textures in her pieces.

"Clay is the most amazing material on earth. It is responsive and forgiving. I carve stamps and patterns that are then pressed into the clay. I am truly lucky that I found clay. This is what I was meant to do," Ross says.

Whittle, a professional photographer who has lived and worked in New York City for about the past 15 years, recently relocated to Cape May to pursue his twin passions of photography and birds.

The photographs for "Birds in Snow" are the result of several seasons in various locations in the Northeast.

"The snowy background has several effects: it lights the birds evenly and beautifully, it isolates the birds so that they spring forward out of the print, and it highlights both the delicate details of the birds and their incredible ability to survive in harsh and barren landscapes," Whittle says.

All of the pottery and photographs in the exhibit are for sale. The exhibit continues through the month of March.

Harbor Gallery at the Nature Center of Cape May is located at 1600 Delaware Ave., in Cape May. For more information call 609-884-2736.

Atlantic County

•"La Vita Bella: One Artist's Journey Through Italy," watercolor exhibit by Marie Natale, to Saturday, March 3, at Hammonton Arts Center, 219 Bellevue Ave., Hammonton. Hours are: 1 to 5 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. For information call 609-567-5360 or go to www.hammontonartscenter.org.

•Galloway Cultural Arts Center's current exhibit, "Winter Magic," can be seen through March 17 at the Atlantic County Library, Galloway Branch, Jimmie Leeds Road, Galloway Township, during normal library hours. For more information go to

Cape May County

•Ocean City Fine Arts League accepting submissions for "Signs of Spring," art show. Drop off dates are Friday, March 2, to Monday, March 5 at Art on Asbury Gallery, 608 Asbury Ave., Ocean City. For more information call 609-814-0308 or go to oceancityfineartsleague.org.

•"Schools for the Colored," a collection of 50 photographs by Wendel White, Distinguished Professor of Art at The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, along with a photo exhibit of Cape May's Franklin Street School, is on exhibit at Carriage House Gallery, 1048 Washington St., Cape May. Both exhibits open Saturdays through April 14; Sundays April 1, 15; Mondays through Thursdays, April 2 through 12. Admission is free and gallery hours vary. Call 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278.

•NJ Junior Duck Stamp exhibit will be on display to March 9 at the Cape May Bird Observatory's Sluice Creek Gallery, 600 Route 47 North, Goshen. The gallery is open from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays. For information call 609-861-0700.

•Ocean City Arts Center presents its annual Juried Photography Show April 1-30. Photographers may submit up to four entries at $15 per entry. Judging takes place March 12-27 at Arts Center, 1735 Simpson Ave., on the second floor of the Community Center. For information call 609-399-7628 or go to www.oceancityartscenter.org

•"Sheet Music Covers, A Decorative Art," graphics and artwork from World War I- and World War II-era sheet music covers, new exhibit at Naval Air Station Wildwood (NASW) Aviation Museum, Historic Hangar No. 1, Cape May Airport, 500 Forrestal Road. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. $10 adults, $8 children, free for age 3 and younger. Call 609-886-8787.

Cumberland County and West

•Gallery 50 will hold a " First Friday" reception from 6 to 9 p.m. March 2, for "Harbingers of Spring," featuring the Society of New Jersey Artists. The show runs to March 30. Gallery 50 is located at 50 East Commerce St., Bridgeton. Hours are: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. For more information go to www.Gallery50.org

•Wheaton Arts and Cultural Center, Glasstown Road, Millville, offers free admission to the Museum of American Glass during its winter operating schedule through March. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The current exhibit is: "Pioneers of American Studio Glass: Edris Eckhardt, Maurice Heaton, Frances and Michael Higgins." For information about WheatonArts, call 800-998-4552 or 856-825-6800 or go to www.wheatonarts.org

•"Willie Cole: Deep Impressions," will exhibit at Rowan University Art Gallery to March 10. It is also the first ever public art gallery survey of Cole's work in South Jersey. Rowan University Art Gallery is located on the lower level of Westby Hall on the university campus, Route 322 in Glassboro. Admission is free and open to the public. Gallery hours are: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, with extended hours Wednesdays to 7 p.m.; and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday. For more information call 856-256-4521 or go to www.rowan.edu/fpa/artgallery.

Ocean County

•Alex Stillano is the March Artist of the Month at Pine Shores Art Association. An open house reception will be held 2 to 5 p.m. March 3 at the Pine Shores' studio and gallery, 94 Stafford Ave., Manahawkin. The gallery will also be open to the public through March on Sundays from 1 to 3 p.m., Mondays from 7 to 9 p.m., and Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. For more information visit www.pineshoresartassociation.org

•Professor Lisa Festa, of Georgian Court University, will speak on the topic, "Master Artist Vincent Van Gogh, Expressionist and Visionary," 7 p.m. March 26 at Stafford Library, 129 N. Main St., Manahawkin. Preceding the lecture will be an artists reception from 6 to 7 p.m. to honor three exhibiting artists from Pine Shores Art Association: Pat Johnson, Brad Thomas and Carol Neugebauer. Their art will remain on the library's gallery walls from March 1 to April 30. For information call the library at 609-597-3381 or www.pineshoresartassociation.org

•Pine Shores Art Association, 94 Stafford Ave., Manahawkin, weekly open studio sessions: Sundays: Portraits, 1 to 3 p.m.; Mondays: Portraits, 7 to 9 p.m.; Tuesdays: Artists Helping Artists, 7 to 9 p.m.; Wednesdays: "Do Your Own Thing" 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Thursdays: Life Drawing, 7 to 9 p.m. Call 609-597-3557 or www.pineshoresartassociation.org

Items for Art Gallery should be sent two weeks in advance to ldrake@pressofac.com or mailed to Lucia C. Drake, The Press of City, 11 Devins Lane, Pleasantville, N.J. 08232.