William Ris Gallery in Stone Harbor is hosting a Thanksgiving weekend event that offers commissioned portrait paintings by Philadelphia artist Katya Held, who will paint in the "alla prima" style.

Alla prima comes from Italian, literally meaning "at once." The French term is "premier coup." The term refers to a style of painting in which, instead of building colors up with layers or glazing over an underpainting, the piece is completed while the colors are still wet.

"I enjoy painting people in one session utilizing alla prima (wet into wet) method," Held says in her artist's notes. "Getting an essence of the likeness, determining the most important information and making a simple statement with paint are some of the hardest things to grasp in a fast gestural portrait painting."

Portraits painted in this style are started and finished in one painting session, with sittings taking from 2 1/2 to 3 or 4 hours.

Sessions will take place on Nov. 25, 26 and 27, and are by appointment only. Observers are welcome, said William Ris Gallery director Mary Cantone. A commissioned portrait would make a truly one-of-a-kind holiday gift, she said.

Held, a native of St. Petersburg, Russia, began painting at the age of six. Professionally trained, she holds a degree from the highly respected Studio Incamminati in Philadelphia and has been an assistant to its founder and world-renowned painter Nelson Shanks. She currently maintains studios in both Philadelphia and St. Petersburg and exhibits in Europe and throughout the U.S.

For more information about the artist and portrait sessions, call the William Ris Gallery at 609-368-6361 or go to www.williamris.com. The gallery is located at 9400 Second Ave., Stone Harbor.

Atlantic County

•Julie Kayati Smith will exhibit her work through November at the Atlantic County West Library, 451 Egg Harbor Road, Hammonton. The exhibit is sponsored by the Hammonton Arts Center. Kayati Smith is a retired art teacher from the Waterford School District. For more information go to http://www.hammontonartscenter.org" target= "_blank">www.hammontonartscenter.org

•The Hammonton Arts Center's November Juried Fine Arts Exhibit will run through Nov. 29 at the HAC Gallery, located at 219 Bellevue Ave., Hammonton. Hours: 1 to 4 p.m. Tuesdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays, 1 to 8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. Closed Sundays and Mondays. Go to

•The Noyes Museum of Art of The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey presents an exhibition of works from its Signature Artists through Nov. 27; "Paul Stankard: Poetry in Glass," runs to Jan. 22; "Refuge: Robert Lach," a work of larger-than-life nest installations, will be on display through Jan. 8. The gallery is located on Lily Lake Road, off Route 9, in Galloway Township. Admission is $4 adults, $3 seniors and students, free to museum members. Hours:

10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, until 8 p.m. Thursdays, and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. Closed all major holidays. 609-652-8848 or go to www.noyesmuseum.org

•Somers Point artist Jane Petransky is exhibiting at "The Studio," on the second-level dining room of Latz's By the Bay Restaurant, 801 Bay Ave., Somers Point, through December. The exhibit includes works from the artist's "Seaview Series." For more information about Latz's By The Bay, call 609-788-8838 or visit www.LatzsByTheBay.com

•A special exhibition of images relating to Richard Stockton College of New Jersey's 40th Anniversary of Teaching is on display in hallways near F-Wing and the College Library, and adjacent to Alton Auditorium (A-Wing) on the Galloway Township campus. The exhibit will be on display through August 2012. For more information, visit www.stockton.edu and click on the 40th Anniversary and Reaching 40 icons on the main home page.

Cape May County

•Ocean City Arts Center's Annual Juried Art Show is exhibited through November at the gallery, located at 1735 Simpson Ave. All works are for sale. Hours: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays; 9 a.m. to

3 p.m. Saturday. 609-399-7628 or http://www.oceancityartscenter.org" target= "_blank">www.oceancityartscenter.org

•The final exhibition of the 2011 season at SOMA NewArt Gallery features works by Samuel Donovan, Richard Samuelson, and Bruce and Robin Hippel, through Nov. 28 at the gallery, located at Carpenters Square Mall, 31 Perry St., Cape May. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursdays through Mondays. For more information, call 609-898-7488 or go to

•Harbor Gallery at the Nature Center of Cape May will host "Ocean Treasures," with a meet the artists reception 6 p.m. Dec. 2. Featured are works of Janet Payne and Tina Giaimo. The Nature Center is located at 1600 Delaware Ave., Cape May. Winter hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. The center will be open for special holiday shopping hours noon to 4 p.m. Dec. 7, 11. For more information contact the nature center at 609-898-8848.

Cumberland County and Points West

•"New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music," a Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibition, through Dec. 31, Museum of American Glass, WheatonArts and Cultural Center, 1501 Glasstown Road, Millville,10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays (closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day), $10 adults, $9 seniors, $7 students, all children 17 and younger admitted free on Sundays through Dec. 18. 856-825-6800, 800-998-4552, or go to www.wheatonarts.org

Ocean County

•Pine Shores Art Association's Fall, Winter, Holiday Show will be on exhibit at Stafford Library, 129 N. Main St., Manahawkin, through February. Call 609-597-3557 or 609-597-3381.

•Pine Shores Art Association, 94 Stafford Ave., Manahawkin, weekly open studio sessions: Sundays: 1 to 3 p.m.; Mondays: 7 to 9 p.m.; Tuesdays: 7 to 9 p.m.; Wednesdays: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Thursdays: 7 to 9 p.m. 609-597-3557 or http://www.pineshoresartassociation.org" target= "_blank">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.