Every artist likes a challenge. Cape May Point's John Safrit was already a successful art director for various Philadelphia-area advertising agencies when he decided to change direction and study watercoloring about five years ago.

He can now add "award winning" to his list of credentials. Safrit won first place last year in the Philadelphia Sketch Club's "Art of the Flower" exhibition. He was one of 60 artists accepted into the Philadelphia Watercolor Society 2011 Members' Art Show, winning an honorable mention. In May 2011, he took best in show and first place for works on paper in the Cape May County Culture and Heritage Commission's National Arts Program.

"Watercolor is perhaps the hardest painting medium because it's unforgiving," Safrit says. "My ambition is to capture the joy and beauty of nature. If I can create images of nature that encourage people to see their environment with a fresh eye and an inspired spirit, I've succeeded as an artist."

Safrit, a member of the Cape May Artists Cooperative, will demonstrate his watercolor painting techniques 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday, June 3, outside the gallery at the West End Garage, 484 W. Perry St., in Cape May. Safrit will set up his easel and talk about preparing and stretching a paper canvas on board. He'll then draw and paint a still life of flowers and field questions, explain technique and suggest tools. The entire demonstration is free.

The Artists' Cooperative Gallery is a group of local artists who have joined together to showcase and sell their work as well as educate the public about their art forms.

The Artists Cooperative Gallery is open daily. Call 609-770-8261 for information.

Atlantic County

•Artists and poets of Great Bay Gallery will participate in the plein air project, "Alley Art: Discovering Wabi Sabi," Saturday and Sunday, June 2 and 3, on location at several alleys, terraces and lanes in Somers Point. The completed works will be on exhibit at Great Bay Gallery, 829 Bay Ave., from July 25 through Sept. 1. A "Meet the Artist" reception will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Aug. 3. The event is free and open to the public. Call 609-653-4991 or go to www.greatbayartgallery.com

•Nationally known watercolor artist Donna Elias will exhibit her "Great American Lighthouses Collection" and her "By the Seaside Series" in the Crafter's Village in Historic Gardner's Basin Maritime Park, 800 North New Hampshire Ave., Atlantic City. Admission is free. Elias' shops are open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays. Call 609-348-5826.

•Victor Viventi will exhibit his acrylic paintings throughout the month of June at the Atlantic County West Library, 451 Egg Harbor Road, Hammonton. The exhibit is sponsored by the Hammonton Arts Center, 219 Bellevue Ave. Go to www.hammontonartscenter.org

•The exhibition "Works on Paper," is in residence at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey Art Gallery through Aug. 16. The exhibit is from the Noyes Museum of Art's Permanent Collection and features 45 artists in a mix of intaglio, lithography, digital, serigraphy, chine colle, painting, handmade paper and mixed media. The gallery is open to the public from noon to 4 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays. Admission is free. It is located adjacent to the Performing Arts Center on Stockton's main campus in Galloway Township. Call 609-652-4566.

• Art in the Park takes place 3 to 8 p.m. fourth Fridays through September on the beach behind Ventnor Library, 6500 Atlantic Ave., Ventnor. Regional artists demonstrate, discuss and sell their work. Free arts and crafts booths for children, puppet shows, dance and music presentations.

•The Hammonton Arts Center, 219 Bellevue Ave., is calling for entries for its Floral & Fauna Juried Art Exhibit. Entries accepted June 2 at the gallery. Information: ww.hammontonartscenter.org

•Jacqueline Boyd Fine Art Studio, 1012 W. Brigantine Avenue, Brigantine, "Art Show and Sale" highlighting painter Jacqueline Boyd, potter Lauren Bellero and photographer Liz Wuillermin. Show hours are: 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, June 2; 1 to 6 p.m. June 3. Call 609-226-6080 or go to www.jboydfineart.com.

•"Clip, Cut; Paper Thin," an exhibit highlighting the art of cut paper, can be viewed to June 19 at The Noyes Gallery in Hammonton. The satellite gallery of the Noyes Museum of Art of Stockton College is located at 5 South Second St. Hours are: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays; 1 to 8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays. For admission fees call 609-561-8006 or go to www.noyesmuseum.org/hammonton.html

•"Examining Themes of Racial Stereotyping: Black Sambo, Aunt Jemima, the Gold Dust Twins, Amos & Andy and Buckwheat," currently on display at the African American Heritage Museum of Southern New Jersey, Martin Luther King Center, 661 Jackson Road, Newtonville, free admission, donations accepted. The exhibit will become a permanent display. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays to Saturdays; closed Sundays and Mondays. Call 609-704-5495 or go to www.aahmsng.org

•Artists are invited to submit works for the Summer Fine Arts Festival hosted by the Brigantine Beach Cultural Arts Commission and the Brigantine Historical Society to take place June 24 through July 15 at the Historical Museum. Every artist is permitted to display two pieces and each one must be accompanied by a registration form and $5 fee. To register contact Joanne at 609-266-2806 or joannecprice@msn.com

•Katherine Mott will exhibit her mixed-media work entitled "Graffiti" at The Studio on the second level dining room at Latz's By The Bay Restaurant, 801 Bay Ave., Somers Point, through June. The event is part of an ongoing partnership between the restaurant and Great Bay Gallery to present exhibits by local artists. Call 609-788-8838 or go to www.LatzsByTheBay.com. For Great Bay Gallery hours call 609-653-4991 or go to www.greatbayartgallery.com

•"Enduring Brilliance: The Pastel Society of America at 40," a juried pastel exhibition, through Sept. 2, at The Noyes Museum of Art of Richard Stockton College, Lily Lake Road, Galloway Township. An opening reception with the artists in attendance is scheduled for 5 to 8 p.m. June 8. Call 609-652-8848 or go to www.noyesmuseum.org.

•Call for entries for "Art in the Basin," outdoor fine arts show at Historic Gardner's Basin in Atlantic City, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. July 14. Artists must submit photographs of their work for approval by Thursday, May 31. Call 609-653-7006 or email gazman4@verizon.net.

Cape May County

•"Sails & Sterns," the June exhibit at Harbor Gallery, located at the Nature Center of Cape May, 1600 Delaware Ave., Cape May, features local artists Don Merwin and Janet McShain. The public is invited to a meet-the-artist reception 6 p.m. Friday, June 1. All artwork is for sale, with a portion supporting the Nature Center. Call 609-884-2736.

•"I Remember Wanamaker's," themed art show featuring artists interpretations of Wanamaker's Department Store in Philadelphia, opening reception 7 to 8:30 p.m. June 8, free and open to the public, at Ocean City Arts Center, 1735 Simpson Ave., Ocean City. The show runs through June. Go to www.oceancityartscenter.org or call 609-399-7628.

•Sculpture by South Jersey's Katherine Stanek, watercolors by Marcie Cooperman and oils by Dori Spector are on exhibit through summer at William Ris Gallery, 9400 Second Ave., Stone Harbor. Call 609-368-6361 or go to www.williamris.com

•The first annual GLBT Artist Exhibit, by GABLES of Cape May County, can be viewed 1 to 4 p.m. daily, Sunday, June 3 to 30, at The Beesley House, 605 Route 9, Cape May Courthouse. An opening reception to meet the artists will be held 1 to 3 p.m. June 3. Call 609-463-6370 or go to www.gablescapemay.com

•Call to artists for "Flowers," June competition and exhibition by Ocean City Fine Arts League, entries accepted June 1 to 7 at Art on Asbury Gallery, 608 Asbury Ave. Call 609-814-0308 or go to oceancityfineartsleague.org

•The Cape May Artists Cooperative will feature the work of Eliza Dietz, Lee Hajduk and Mary Stewart in its gallery at the West End Garage through June 3. The Artists Cooperative Gallery is open Fridays through Mondays. Call 609-770-8261.

•The Cape May County Art League's Members Spring Fine Art Show runs through June 6 at the gallery at Mad Batter Restaurant, 19 Jackson St., Cape May. All art work is for sale, with proceeds benefiting the CMCAL Scholarship Fund. Call 609-884-5970.

•SOMA NewArt Gallery, Carpenters Square Mall, 31 Perry St., Cape May, hosts three solo exhibitions through June 17. The artists are: Terri Amig, in Gallery 1; John Monteith, in Gallery 2; and Greg Bennett, in Gallery 3. Spring hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursdays to Mondays, to 8 p.m. Saturdays; open daily 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. beginning May 24. Call 609-898-7488 or got o www.somagallery.net

•The Gail Pierson Gallery exhibits

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Animal Compassion: What Is and What Can Be - The Textile Art of Joan Veneziano-D'Avanzo," through June 25, with 100 percent of the profits from the sales of the artists' work donated to Animal Alliance of Cape May County. Gail Pierson Gallery is located at 658 Washington St., Cape May. June hours are noon to 5 p.m. Fridays to Mondays, closed Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays. Call 609-884-2585 or go to gailpiersongallery.com

•"Flowers of Light" exhibit by celebrity artist Brian Davis, through June 25, at Ocean Galleries, 9618 Third Ave., Stone Harbor. Hours are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. For more information call 609-368-7777 or www.oceangalleries.com

•Rosalie Hettenbach is the featured artist in the newly renovated A Ca Mia restaurant, 524 Washington Street Mall in Cape May. Her exhibit of 29 oil paintings is on display through December. The public is invited to meet the artist at a free reception on Sunday, July 8, from 1 to 3 p.m. Call 609-465-6008.

•"Sheet Music Covers, A Decorative Art," graphics and artwork from World War I- and World War II-era sheet music covers, 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. Mondays through Fridays. $10 adults, $8 children, free for age 3 and younger. Call 609-886-8787.

Cumberland County and West

•The works of Bridgeton artist Kurt Hansen can be seen in a front window of the Ashley McCormick Building, located at 40 East Commerce St., Bridgeton. The collection changes monthly, and all works are for purchase. Contact the artist at kurtphansen@yahoo.com.

•The Riverfront Renaissance Center for the Arts in Millville celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Modern Studio Glass Movement with special exhibits through June 9. The North Gallery will feature a group exhibit of world-renowned glass artists, while Witt Gallery will be hosting a solo exhibition by modern glass artist Hyunsung Cho from Korea. The RRCA is located at 22 N. High St. Call 856-327-4500.

Ocean County

•Watermark Gallery, 115 Water St., Tuckerton, hosts a 15th season opening reception from 1 to 4 p.m. June 3, featuring new paintings and sculpture. Call 609-294-3343.

•Pat Shepherd, Marilyn Flagler and Suzi Hoffman, all members of the Pine Shores Art Association, will have their works displayed in the Stafford Library through June. For hours and information call 609-693-9351.

f-9•The 36th annual Ocean County Senior Citizens Art Exhibit can be viewed from June 8 to 27, at Ocean County College Arts & Community Center Gallery, located on the main campus, College Drive, Toms River. Gallery hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays to Fridays, 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays. Admission is free. Call 732-255-0400, ext. 2065 or www.ocean.edu

•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

•The Pine Shores Art Association summer fundraising event will be an exhibit of 50 framed, original works of art donated by 50 artists. Each painting will be offered for sale at only $50 to the first 50 people. Art patrons will be able to select their favorite work in an order chosen through a lottery drawing at a gala reception beginning 1 pm. July 22 at Stafford Firehouse, 133 Stafford Ave., Manahawkin. Art Patron forms are available at 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.