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Meet Gary Pizzigati

What happens when the simple act of walking becomes your passion

Gary Pizzigati reveals the hidden benefits of his lifetime passion.

Nancy & Gary Pizzigati

“The runner’s high can also be achieved through walking.”  GP 

Gary Pizzigati is an engineer who retired in 2017 from the defense industry, and a permanent resident of Moorestown, NJ. He has been walking four to six miles almost every day for over three decades. 

Mr. Pizzigati grew up on Long Island, NY and studied mechanical engineering at Lehigh University. In 1981 he moved to Moorestown NJ to work for RCA main plant, now Lockheed Martin. There he met his wife Nancy. 

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“She’s the wonderment of my life!” says, Mr. Pizzigati.

Mr. Pizzigati started jogging with a group of fellow engineers during lunch time at work. However, he had to switch from running to walking after several leg injuries. After adjusting to walking, he realized that he could get the same results as when he was jogging, which are the physical exercise and mental clarity. In other words, Mr. Pizzigati had a breakthrough and walking became his passion and a way to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This moment was so significant to him that for ten days he avoided using his car, since he was at reasonable proximity to work and local stores where he frequently shops. From this point on, Mr. Pizzigati was resolute to incorporate walking in his daily routines, and the results opened the floodgates to a happier life.     

Mr. Pizzigati says that when he walked to work his thinking was more efficient, and on the way back home he cleared his mind from the workday stress. 

Mr. Pizzigati became more committed to walking thanks to the help of his first dog, Duchess, who helped him establish a firm routine. Currently, Mr. Pizzigati walks with Chaser, their second dog. Chaser can’t walk very far nowadays because she is older and injured. However, Mr. Pizzigati manages to get his long distance walk after walking Chaser in the early morning.  

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Mr. Pizzigati is a friendly person, and enjoys sharing a quick hello with new and familiar people he sees on his walks. In other instances, people beep their horns when they see him. Also, he enjoys exchanging waves with the town’s police and local municipal workers. 

“…. there’s the fellow on Main Street who’s lots of times smoking a cigar on his front porch when I pass him. He’ll always look at his watch when he sees me and let me know if I’m on time or late,” says Mr. Pizzigati.

Mr. Pizzigati gets his motivation to walk from the discipline of a schedule and knowing what is to gain after a good long morning walk. 

“It’s my time. My time to think through a problem. Or my time to just let my mind wander. I don’t do meditation. But I suspect I get the same sort of benefits from the time I spend walking – and a good bit of cardio at the same time,” says Mr. Pizzigati.

Mr. Pizzigati continues to walk every day, in fact, it is rare not to see him walking (at a high pace) throughout the town waving hello to people and sometimes stopping to chat. His passion for walking is very inspiring. In addition, Mr. Pizzigati enjoys being friendly and having face to face interactions with others and I believe that today’s world benefits from people like him. 

Chaser and Gary Pizzigati

Mr. Pizzigati is also very aware that he is not alone on this planet and thinks beyond himself. 

“Every time we can substitute a mile of walking for a mile of driving, we’re doing good by the planet. We’re also doing good by ourselves. If Americans walked more and sat less, we’d have a healthier – and I think happier – society,” says Mr. Pizzigati.

ClampArt

New Space Upgrade / The Secret Lives of Buildings

Featuring Marc Yankus' fine art photography exhibition titled "The Secret Lives of Buildings."

Exciting news happening at ClampArt! 

ClampArt, like pioneers, are forging a new neighborhood, and designing a new formula for how works are seen and sold. 

Recently, ClampArt opened their new gallery space located at 247 West 29th Street, New York City. The new space is a major upgrade, measuring four times the amount of square footage since their previous location. ClampArt now has a mezzanine and nineteen-foot ceilings, which allows them to exhibit works of a larger scale than they previously could. More importantly, the new location is highly accessible, standing nearby two main subway lines. 

Marc Yankus’ latest solo show, “The Secret Lives of Buildings,” is currently on display at ClampArt until November 26, 2016. 

“In some ways this work is capturing a historical record of the city....between documentation and fiction.”  Marc Yankus

Meet Jennifer Dunne

A career driven person whose passion benefits the community.

Jennifer Dunne is a proud South New Jersey native. Growing up in Moorestown, Ms. Dunne attended preschool through high school here, and the library was an essential and fun part of this education. Ms. Dunne never thought of becoming a librarian, however, she had an affinity for English literature. For this reason, she obtained an English degree with a Minor in Education wanting to become a high school English teacher. 

During her higher education, she understood that some of her ideas of teaching were too flexible for the existing structure of most schools. Consequently, her aspiration experienced a sudden pause, and she went to work for a government consultant until she found the right place that could embrace her ideas.  

Her job was to compile records for EPA Superfund sites and send them to public repositories in the affected communities, including public libraries. As she sent these records to the libraries, a new desire enchanted her imagination. 

Ms. Dunne said, “I began to fantasize about working in places where people could come in and learn about absolutely anything.” 

After several months of visualizing, one of her friends mentioned that the Moorestown Library was looking for part-time help in their Children’s Department. She started working evenings and Saturdays, and quickly learned that she had found the right environment.

Ms. Dunne said, “I especially loved talking with kids about books. I loved their enthusiasm, and I loved being in their world.” 

Within two years she saved up enough money to resign from her jobs, and go back to Rutgers University for a Master’s in Library Science (MLS.) After graduation, to work for the Moorestown library was a career goal for Ms. Dunne. However, there were no positions available. Therefore, she interviewed with lots of different libraries within the state of New Jersey. At the time, Ms. Dunne could have worked for any of the libraries she interviewed in because she had the option to learn from experienced librarians and simultaneously refine her ideas. 

Moorestown Library

Accordingly, Ms. Dunne accepted a position in the Somerset County Library and worked there for five years at their headquarters and cycled through two different branches. This experience was a fantastic training ground as a children’s librarian. After five years she was fully equipped with the knowledge and field experience needed to keep perfecting her craft anywhere. Fortunately for Ms. Dunne, the position that she wanted to have at the Moorestown Library opened around the same time. As a result, in 2007 she accepted her current position at the Moorestown Library as the Principal Librarian for Children’s Services.

Ms. Dunne said, “….I was thrilled. Personally and professionally, it was great timing for me to come home.”

As a librarian, Ms. Dunne loves to work with children, she believes that they are easier to entertain, and interactions with them are less complicated than adults. In addition, Ms. Dunne has great patience for children. She loves the playful world of children like toys, colorful clothes, silly jewelry and especially children’s books. Working with children is Ms. Dunne’s passion, in other words, it does not feel like a job. She is thankful that she can retreat into a world that is playful, peaceful and full of possibilities. An unplanned benefit of this career, is that through working with children she has created a path to cultivate strong relationships with the adults that love them. 

Ms. Dunne said, “When you share a common passion with someone, and that passion is their child, then you have a natural bond.”

Other unplanned benefits of working as a librarian in Moorestown, is how visible the position would make Ms. Dunne throughout the community. If fact, it has opened lots of doors for her to do story telling at the Moorestown Community House, the Farmer’s Market, Family Circle Playgroup, local pre-schools and even birthday parties. Her passion has enabled her to become a very productive member of the Moorestown community. As a result, she has found immeasurable happiness through how she has been welcomed and embraced in so many different places. 

Moreover, Ms. Dunne is a person that has a tremendous amount of compassion for people. She has been involved in lots of different volunteer projects, primarily through church. She works with a local organization called The Waymakers. They send supplies, support sanitation, and education projects in Ghana. Also, she is a Stephen Minister, which is a trained person who develops relationships with people who need support during challenging times in their lives. Also she does publicity for her church’s monthly coffee house, Grounds for Good.  She has been a blood donor since high school, and for the last seven years, she has been coordinating blood drives through church.  Furthermore, she helps out in her daughter’s Sunday School class and in her kindergarten through Art Goes to School. 

Ms. Dunne is passionate about her work because children and learning are important, and her career is based on that. She believes that libraries are essential to these two things. Libraries are places where people can participate in education and entertaining their children. And what is amazing about these places is that everything is free, giving everyone access to books, movies, music, story times and performances. And because of these qualities, she also believes that libraries are very important to building a strong community.    

At the Moorestown Library, Ms. Dunne’s work provides plenty of satisfying moments on a weekly basis.

Ms. Dunne said, “There are so many lovely moments when a parent or grandparent tells me how their child says rhymes or sings songs from Storytime at home, or even pretends to be “Miss Jen” by reading books to their stuffed animals. Little kids run up to me and hug me and blow kisses. I love to see the very small children clap or sing along for the first time, or try to make an itsy bitsy spider with their fingers. They are experiencing social learning and becoming part of the group, and I get to be a part of that, over and over again! This is the beginning of a lifetime of learning and trying new things and it is thrilling to me.” 

Moreover, with older children, she loves recommending books and having them back and say how much they loved the book. Recently, she ran into a thirteen-year-old girl who grew up coming to the library. The girl was telling Ms. Dunne how busy she is at school and suddenly paused and said these words, “Miss Jen, no matter how busy I get, I always make time every night for a book.” Ms. Dunne was very proud of her because she is taking a habit that will probably last a lifetime with endless wonder, learning, and excitement. Knowing that this young girl’s habit is associated with her, nearly made Ms. Dunne cry.  

Ms. Dunne sees herself as the children’s librarian at the Moorestown Library for the rest of her working life. For her, this profession is sustainable because it never gets boring, and the variables are always changing: books, children, ideas, technology, and even the role of libraries. In fact, the profession has changed a lot since she first started, and according to her, that’s a relatively short time.

Ms. Dunne see herself in Moorestown, and plans to live and work here for a very long time. She aspires to have a life like her mother’s, traveling, volunteering and spending lots of time relishing in the company of grandchildren. Ms. Dunne is currently working on a future where eventually her daughter will look back and feel that it was filled with magic, wonder and love. When she is gone, she wants her daughter to have great memories and see her as a role model just like Ms. Dunne remembers her father. 

Ms. Dunne said, “I’d love for the children I work with, when they grow up to take their children to the library, and read to them because these actions create fond memories of their library. I hope the children I work with will grow up to see themselves as lifetime learners. That is the value of reading and libraries as I see it. I also hope to serve as an example that whatever work you choose, it should be thrilling, rewarding and motivating. I hope to be one of many people in a child’s world who helps them see work not as an obligation, but an adventure. I want children to look forward to the opportunity to work and to be excited about their prospects.”  

As a parent who participates in the Moorestown Library’s activities, Ms. Dunne’s existence has been very valuable in making our experience there, wonderful. She is a loving person who really cares and puts a tremendous effort in her work. She truly is an amazing person with children. My daughter, who now is 18 months of age, has learned many things with her since she was 9 months old. As a father seeing my child being part of a larger group learning, playing, flourishing and being happy is priceless. Thank you Ms. Dunne for being who you are, an individual who cares about people and takes pride in what you do. 

Reflection

Photograph by Cecilio Ignacio Rodriguez 

This is one of my favorite photographs. Not because of how I look or the photograph’s aesthetics, in fact, my reasons have very little to do with beauty. 

My father captured this photograph from his bedroom. I believe that this image was the last frame on his point and shoot film camera. Most of the photograph that he made with this camera were of people during special events like parties, family gatherings and so on. So, this point and shoot camera was sitting in his bedroom for a while waiting to be used. 

This particular day had nothing special. I clearly remember it as a warm breezy day. I came out of our house to stand on our front steps just to be outside for a few minutes. I did not know that my father was looking out of his bedroom window. Possibly, he was there for a while looking at his oldest son who then was 12 years old. 

He called my name, and as I turned my head, he captured this picture. What was so special about this moment? What was he seeing? What was he thinking?

The main reason I like this photographs is because to me it is a reflection of my father. Perhaps he saw himself as I was standing right in front of him looking away and completely unaware of his presence.

Position of High Honour and Responsibility

Position of High Honour and Responsibility

I do not put much emphasis on superstition. In fact, my drive is based on ideas and goals mainly. Nevertheless, long ago, probably long before Amanda and I were married, I remember receiving a couple of fortune cookies with our order of Chinese food. I decided to keep the paper messages inside these two particular ones because I like what was written on them. For years I kept revisiting these two messages, which I keep inside my wallet. 

The one I would like to share about today says; “You will be called in to fulfill a position of high honour and responsibility.” 

To me this is just a piece of paper with writing on it. However, I like to think that I have the power to make whatever I want of this random item that was probably made in a factory somewhere. Therefore, the position of high honor and responsibility, for me is now. Elena is our best foot forward. For this reason, as a stay home dad, I feel very fortunate to be able to hold and realize such a fulfilling task.

Halloween in the Suburbs

Aus (Pirate) and Ryan (Batman) are good friends who came out with their parents to trick-or-treat. (My little one (Super Girl) felt the need to photo-bomb.)

Moorestown NJ, October 31, 2015; I love Halloween, and now as a parent even more. It was wonderful to see that there were lots of families out in the streets of my new adopted neighborhood celebrating and trick-or-treating. This Halloween being my first here, I can only feel very optimistic and look forward to next year.

Additional photographs from this event: 

Wayne White's Cubist Cardboard Civil War Puppets

Rag-tag Confederate Soldier Sculpture

New York City, March 5, 2015; Wayne White’s “Cubist Cardboard Civil War Puppets” were originally created for an installation called “Foe” in York, Pennsylvania in 2014. This installation is about the invasion of York, Pennsylvania by rebel forces right before Gettysburg. The art pieces are representations of the Rag-tag confederate soldiers that looted the town for new shoes, food and other goods.

During the “Art on Paper” art fair, which took place this month in New York City on Pier 36, Mr. White showcased these art pieces. They are large and elaborate (with interactive movable parts) cardboard sculptures, the largest measuring approximately 20’ high by 30’ long. These cardboard sculptures were the heart of the fair, visible from various key locations within the complex.

In addition to being a successful artist, Mr. White is a very kind and friendly person. 

On my way to the “Art on Paper” opening reception, right off the train, I walked into a snow blizzard. Visibility was low and it was difficult to see which direction to walk to the fair. I asked a few locals on the street, but some did not speak English and the ones that did had no idea what I was talking about. Mr. White was also on his way there, passed me and overheard the conversation.

“Come with me I am walking there,” Mr. White said to me.

It is winter, so, I could not possibly recognize him until he told me his name. Little did he know, I am a fan of his work and also a blogger. His personality and originality set him apart.  

Installation Photographs

To view additional photographs of this event please click HERE!

Art on Paper

Art on Paper VIP Card

Art on Paper VIP Card

New York City, March 5-8, 2015; I am honored to have received a VIP invitation to the “Art on Paper” art fair. See you there! (Photographs and thoughts about the VIP preview to follow after the event.)

About

Art on Paper is an art fair from the producers of Miami Project. Located in downtown New York’s Pier 36, Art on paper's exhibiting galleries will feature work by artists who look to paper as a major influence in their sculpture, drawing, painting, and photography.

A Love Story

Amanda Fortier, My Beautiful Wife

Amanda Fortier, My Beautiful Wife

Every day is Valentine’s Day!

The day before the official Valentine's Day, I am introducing my new body of work titled Amanda, a love story. This work is honest and deeply personal, which I am sharing with the intention of inspiring others to love.

I would like to thank the following people who have helped with their feedback and guidance: 

Manjari Sharma
Paul Aresu
Clifford Hausner
Thomas Egger
Katrina Lee Ford
Elizabeth Harnarine
Vicente Munoz 
Ronald Porcelli 

The Making of 3rd Rail

Foley Gallery, New York City, January 21, 2015; Opening of 3rd Rail by artist Clay Patrick McBride

Wednesday night, an exciting evening on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Clay Patrick McBride brings to light his most anticipated exhibition yet. The show has a sense of danger, darkness and captivating power. Mr. McBride’s recent body of work about New York City’s underworld represents a conflict in his conscious comparable to being stuck in purgatory, a dark place of uncertainty that he had to go through and come out. 

"3rd rail is a must see event that is raw, expressive and powerful."  

Mr. McBride’s art installation is analogous to how we see through glass and doors opening and closing in the subway. He uses the storefront glass as another surface layer in front of his large wheat-paste black and white photographs measuring up to four by eight feet long. All pieces are one of a kind, achieved by scratching the edges and treating their surfaces. The display resembles a giant tiled black granite wall that was meant to inhibit the space.

3rd Rail is on view through February 22nd. Foley Gallery is open Wednesday – Sunday, 12:00 - 6:00 pm. Please see Press Release for additional information. 


About CPMcB

NYC-based photographer Clay Patrick McBride began his visual training in the South of France, where he spent his late teens and early twenties studying painting and art history. He eventually turned his focus to photography, moving to New York City in the early 1990s to attend the School of Visual Arts. While earning his BFA, McBride developed a bold style of portraiture intended to both celebrate and empower the subject with humor and honesty.

McBride’s portraits of top athletes and musicians such as LeBron James, Allen Iverson, Norah Jones, Jay Z, and Kanye West have appeared in countless magazines, among them Rolling Stone, Sports Illustrated and Parade. His commercial work includes dozens of album covers for Sony, Blue Note and Atlantic Records, as well as print campaigns for Pontiac, Boost Mobile and Nike. The past few years have seen McBride expand into moving pictures with a number of short film projects and music videos. Characterized by a stark surrealist quality, his film work is an exciting and logical extension of his still photography. Current productions include The Incredible Exploding Boy, an autobiographical feature that explores father-son relationships, insanity and addiction.

In 2013, McBride earned his Masters in Digital Photography from the School of Visual Arts – where he has also served as an instructor for nearly 10 years. McBride currently resides in Rochester NY and is a professor at the School of Photographic Arts and Sciences at Rochester Institute of Technology.  


Based on CPMcB's Recent Work

SVA Subway Poster Advertisements (1 of 3)

SVA subway Poster Advertisements (2 of 3)

SVA subway Poster Advertisements (3 of 3)

A Book On Living History

New York City, January 01, 2015; It is my pleasure to announce the publication of “New York City’s Oldest Restaurant, Bars and Bakeries – A Book on Living History.”

SUNNY'S [1880's-1890] 253 Conover Street 

NATHAN'S FAMOUS [1916] 1310 Surf Avenue 

“21” CLUB [1930] 21 West 52nd Street 

It has been many years since the original concept to final fruition of the project by Mr. Ronald Porcelli and myself. Based on our experiences, a book that celebrates this aspect of New York history is unique and valuable in the way of preserving institutions that are vital part of our rich culture. Far too many times, these classic eateries go unnoticed and lack the patronizing that is required to sustain existence. 

KEENS STEAKHOUSE [1885] 72 West 36 Street

DELMONICO'S [1891] 56 Beaver Street 

EAR INN [used as a bar as early as 1835] 326 Spring Street

For more information about the book please see; The Origins of Living History 
To purchase the book please visit; Library Tales Publishing or Amazon

Ronald Porcelli is an alumnus of the School of Visual Arts, and a lifelong student of New York’s history. His work includes the illustrated works of Edgar Allan Poe, Published by Lantern Press. Porcelli is the author of two books: “Tanking the A Train,” “Taking the 4 Train” and two works of fiction.

Self-Portrait_140908_9812-Edit.jpg

 

Randhy Rodriguez is a New York based photographer who specializes in architecture, landscape, portraiture and conceptual photography. Rodriguez holds a Master of Professional Studies in Digital Photography from the School of Visual Arts. Rodriguez has eight years of experience as a designer in the field of high-end residential, institutional, and commercial architecture, which contributes a strong photographic and compositional skill to his photography.

Creative Freedom

As I create an architectural freehand sketch on paper, I feel a sense of creative freedom that is intrinsic to that medium. I enjoy the creative process of architecture, and now, as a photographer I have been in search of that feeling.

As a result, the closest freehand sketch sensation I have ever gotten through the creation of an image using the camera is in this photograph.

Feature Shoot

35 Voyeuristic Photos of People on Public Transport Around the World

5th Avenue and 42nd Street, Bryant Park in Manhattan

I am very happy to announce that one of my photographs from “Sub conscious way” has been highlighted on Feature Shoot, “35 Voyeuristic Photos of People on Public Transport Around the World.” 

For more details about this work please click here!

Meet Henry Francisco

Montecci When Cycling Becomes Art

New York City, Fall, 2014; Henry Francisco is a New York based competitive road cyclist whose passion for the sport goes beyond just riding his bike. Francisco is the founder of Montecci Bikes. Not only does he enjoy racing but, he also creates bikes designed for different personalities and purposes. 

Inspiration comes from any direction when you least expect it, and when Francisco sees someone on a Montecci bike, it is priceless! In fact, Francisco finds most of his inspiration here in New York City.  For instance, when choosing bikes colors, he would refer to the city for ideas. 

It is safe to say that Francisco is a cycling enthusiast.    “When I cross the George Washington Bridge, on my road bike to train, it-is-me, the-bike and the-pavement,”    says Francisco. Also, he personally enjoys testing the bikes his company designs and builds. As a result, this passion is carried throughout every detail of his bikes production. 


Francisco was born in Villa Juana, a progressive neighborhood in Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic. He grew up here watching cycling races, marathons, and parades. Although, at the time he did not have many resources, he still had an amazing childhood thanks to a group of adventurous friends who contributed lots of happiness. 

The education that made him the man he is today, mostly came from his mother, who encouraged him to focus and work hard to achieve his goals. At an early age, he learned the important lesson that one can be rich without much money, and that one can be happy without lots of possessions. This valuable knowledge, taught by his lovely mother, Francisco shares and is also the fuel that is currently nourishing his company. 


Montecci's Single/Fixed Gear Bike

A turning point in Francisco’s life happened in 2007, when he lived in Italy. Finding himself unemployed, he turned to his passion, cycling. He enjoyed riding his bike to a small town in Tuscany, Montecchio. The wonderful experiences Francisco had cycling in this town, sparked the idea to commence a company and commemorate the town by naming it Montecci Bikes

In 2008, after returning to New York City from living in Italy for over a year, Francisco felt the need to create an affordable bicycle. This was a challenge, but before the company was even started, a brave customer ordered the first bike. This strong belief by his first customer was the catalyst to the company’s initiation.  

As of now, Montecci is going through a growth spurt. They are acquiring more clients, making more sales calls, creating higher expectations, and providing exceptional customer service. Their bikes can now be found in many of New York City’s well known cycling shops. Francisco wants his customers to distinguish Montecci as a traditional and loyal brand.

Francisco is currently working on making Montecci available to customers in Washington D.C., Philadelphia, and the West Coast. He is working on producing the next generation of Montecci's mountain bikes, as well as the fifth generation of the Montecci Carbo-V model. Moreover, Francisco has trade shows planned for Montecci appearances in 2015, where he will introduce his growing brand to the cycling industry. 

Francisco’s future goal is to have a professional team using Montecci bikes. In addition, he plans to have full distribution in all fifty states, as well as establishing the brand worldwide. As Francisco says, “If we made it in NYC, we can be successful anywhere.” 


Credit: 
Lighting advisor: Clifford HausnerProfoto
Photography Advisor: Paul Aresu
Photography Assistant: Manuel Brito