STONE HARBOR — Ocean Galleries will welcome back Josef Kote for his third consecutive summer exhibit over the weekend of Aug. 9 through 11. Kote will bring his newest collection, titled “Letting Go: Serenity Found,” to Ocean Galleries, 9618 Third Ave.

Best known for his distinctive artistic style that features bold brushwork and strokes of vibrant color, Kote has a unique approach to creating his art. Unlike other artists who photograph a scene to capture the moment, Kote starts by hand sketching the selected matter and then using the drawings as inspiration. He then focuses on three fundamentals to create his art: light, color, and passion.

Kote explains the process.

“Light, both in life and in art, has been an intriguing concept for me. With every painting, my motivation is finding and showcasing the light and color of the visual stimuli. The most important thing for me is to not become enslaved by reality. I want to find new things from a visual reference, not re-create the reference itself. Even though those looking at one of my paintings may not see what I have seen, they will probably see their own journey, and that’s what makes the relationship so beautiful.”

Throughout his career, Kote’s style has evolved, becoming a reflection of his interesting transcontinental journey. In his mid-20s, Kote relocated from Albania to Greece, where the warmth of the Mediterranean sun and brilliant light infused his paintings in tone and style, and lent them a more impressionistic air. After a successful decade in Greece, Kote moved to Toronto. Already renowned for his beautiful portraits and scenic paintings, Kote now garnered additional kudos for his gorgeous urbanscapes, and snow scenes. His color and style moved away from the impressionistic influence toward a more expressionistic feel. When Kote moved to New York 10 years ago, once again his paintings and style transformed further with colors growing bolder and his style became so different it cannot be ascribed to an existing genre.

“Josef is one of those rare artists who paints truly expressive art. At first glance, his art is abstract in nature, but there is a realism that envelopes the viewer in the moment and stimulates all five senses. His latest collection with so many great oceanscapes is truly magnificent,” said gallery owner Kim Miller.

Although many of Kote’s nautical paintings were influenced by his hometown of Great Neck, New York, the New Jersey shore, particularly the beaches of Avalon and Stone Harbor, inspired numerous pieces in the new collection. This year’s exhibit also includes several unique urban and rural landscapes.

What You Need To Know If You Go:

What: “Josef Kote — Letting Go: Serenity Found”

• Where: Ocean Galleries, 9618 Third Ave. in Stone Harbor

• When: Friday, Aug. 9 through Sunday, Aug. 11. Josef Kote will appear at gallery receptions from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday.

• Cost: The exhibition is free to attend, with all artwork available for acquisition.

For more information, call Ocean Galleries 609-368-7777 or see

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