FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 21, 2012
Contact: Ilene Greenfield
Director of Media Relations
201-291-1111, ext. 1-5122
Berkeley College is exhibiting the artwork of Tom Austin at its New York City Midtown Gallery, First Floor Lobby, 3 East 43rd Street. This exhibit is on display from April 9 through 27 – Monday through Friday – from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm and on Saturday from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. An artist’s reception will be held on Thursday, April 12, from 5:30 to 7:00 pm.
The exhibit, entitled “Stories on Canvas,” shows the artist’s ability to capture the meaningful aspects of life and tell those stories on canvas.
Born in Fort Lee, NJ, Mr. Austin says he was fascinated with art at an early age, and that drawing and color always interested him. He remembers that, on rainy days, he was happy to stay indoors, grab some paper, and draw. His teachers at Fort Lee High School recognized his ability and encouraged him to pursue a career in art. He studied at Fairleigh Dickinson University where he met artist Paul Ortlip who also encouraged him to continue with his art endeavors, and who entered Mr. Austin’s first serious painting in a university show.
Awhile ago, he held his first solo show at the Fieldstone Fine Art Gallery in his present hometown of Ramsey, NJ. Other paintings are held in private collections in New Jersey, New York, and California.
Over the years, while continuing to paint, Mr. Austin also enjoyed a successful music career. In the 1950s, he co-founded The Royal Teens which propelled him to the top of the record charts with the original composition of “Short Shorts.” Following international success, he and co-writer Bob Gaudio recorded about 30 more songs and performed with Buddy Holly and the Crickets, Sam Cooke, Jerry Lee Lewis, Paul Anka, Frankie Avalon, and a host of others. The current Broadway show “Jersey Boys” includes the images and music of Mr. Austin and The Royal Teens.
The multifaceted Mr. Austin is also a writer. At the April 12 artist’s reception at Berkeley College, he will be on hand to sign his co-authorized book, “Bill Miller’s Riviera.” It’s a glimpse into the history of Fort Lee, NJ, where movies were made, and of the nightclub, the Riviera, where all the top stars of years ago performed.
For more details about the exhibit or the book signing, please e-mail Berkeley Gallery Curator Robert Keiber at rjk@BerkeleyCollege.edu. or call 212-252-2065.
Photo Caption: Oil on canvas from artist Tom Austin’s “Stories on Canvas” exhibit on display at the Berkeley College New York City Midtown Gallery, First Floor Lobby, 3 East 43rd Street, from April 9 through 27. It was painted to memorialize the opening of the Broadway hit show “Jersey Boys.”
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