Black Hill Photography – Carlos Alva

“Born and raised in Paterson, NJ, Carlos Alva began his career in photography as a hobby in 2011. A passion to capture the missed moments that people failed to recognize as beauty. It also started small. In a living room with movable furniture as people came to his house to shoot. Eventually, taking the name of BlackHill Photography, Carlos pursued his passion wholeheartedly. He has been fortunate and blessed enough to have worked with models and actors of all different experience levels. He has managed to work with models represented by some of the top model agencies in the world. He also had the privilege of working with models who would appear on CW’s America’s Next Top Model as well as numerous TV and screen appearances. Now along with his wife, they have decided to open BlackHill Studios in Passaic, NJ where they cater to aspiring actors and models as well as industry veterans as they continue their journey in the entertainment industry.

~Carlos Alva


Dorit Shmuel


Artist Statement

            My paintings have developed from many years of collaging. The use of different materials, layered and juxtaposed found objects, has transformed into larger works. My paintings, mostly with acrylic paint, often use additional media such as oil stick, charcoal and graphite. Lines are evolving from handwriting and calligraphy, while shapes investigate the relationships between positive and negative space. Every canvas starts a journey of its own. Many of my works continue to evolve over time. I consider my works to be “living entities”, which I often continue to discover and change over time. Investigating the space via mark-making is an ongoing process for me. Deconstructing old works and reconstructing them in space provides for new possibilities and unveils new directions.

~Dorit Shmuel

Natalie Atom

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Hello there!

My name is Natalie and I like to eat pie and paint pictures. Much of my work is experimentation based; I enjoy working intuitively and draw inspiration from books I’m reading, classes I’ve taken, and the variety of people I meet on a daily basis. I believe that observation is important to understanding: the more you look the more you see. Many of the “Tree People” paintings have come from my fascination with the beauty of trees and a desire to capture the majestic stillness which they posses.

I’m a student at Montclair State University and will be graduating this winter (eek!) with a B.A. in Fine Arts as well as a B.A. in Psychology. I hope to make it to graduate school and pursue a career in Art Therapy.

Take a look around and let me know what you think! If you are interested in any existing pieces, commissioning a piece, or have any questions please send me an email at

~Natalie Atom

Sean Catherine

DisputedTerritories_2013_oiloncanvas_136x90_Sean Sweeny (Sean Catherine) received his MFA at Mason Gross School of the Arts in 2014. Sean was awarded the 2012 Victoria J. Mastrobuono Memorial Scholarship Fund and the Eastman-Bolton Memorial Prize in 2009. We are proud to have him a part of the NP crew in Passaic and are looking forward to seeing how these abstract landscapes evolve! To view his full website go to Email:

Irene Costello Brandle

Irene Image Brighton Beach UK

Irene Costello Brandle is a realist painter working in oil and acrylic.  She lives and works in the NY/NJ metropolitan area. Irene studied fine art at Montclair State University and the Yard School of Art at the Montclair Museum.  After working in a corporate position for many years, she is now dedicated to her art work full time.

For more images and information check out Irene Costello Brandle’s website at:

Heather L. Johnson

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Artist Statement

I grew up moving from place to place. Dramatic cultural transitions defined each move: Hawaii to suburban Chicago; Rio Grande du Sol, Brazil to Heber City, Utah; Woking, Surrey, England to Houston, Texas. This process, along with an entrenched fondness for long road trips, has inspired my investigation of rootlessness, of moving through space without connecting to it. My work examines spaces from the perspective of an outsider looking in, positioning the viewer to gaze intimately at things that are temporary, generally ignored, or distorted by memory.

Employing a range of media, my work reenacts the act of searching, of hunting for clues from the past to build new connections to the present. Drawing on source material such as maps, engineering schematics, official documents, newspaper articles, internet ephemera, and the personal stories of friends and strangers, I often use labor-intensive processes to render richly layered images of things often forgotten or taken for granted. I look for relationships between different types of experiences, searching for evidence in the landscape of patterns and cycles that reveal our own fragile natures, as humans, in relation to it. It is my hope that the work inspires questions about where we are, physically and psychologically, in relation to what surrounds us.

Born in 1969 in Wahiawa, Hawaii, I have shown my work in galleries, museums and in the public realm throughout the United States, in Europe and in Japan. In 2001, I earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from California College of the Arts in San Francisco, and have completed residencies at McColl Center for Visual Art in Charlotte, North Carolina, and at Winthrop University in South Carolina. I have curated several exhibitions and collaborative projects, including Cracks in the Pavement: Gifts in the Urban Landscape, involving artists from around the world, and most recently, Love Letter, a collection of collaborative site-specific works presented in New York and Paris. Weehawken, New Jersey is my current home.

~Heather L. Johnson

To view Heather L. Johnson’s full website go to

Julia Li

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Artist Statement

Life is beautiful. There are obstacles and situations presented in life are not always easy but the very essence of life, the living energy is beautiful. My art is a reflection of the energy in life. Creating and looking at art can provide a much-needed haven for reflection, inspiration, and a plethora of other emotions in an increasingly hectic world. I strive to make art that reflects an energetic allure that immediately seduces the viewer. Ultimately, I want my art to generate heightened feelings within the audience.

Movement and energy are key elements in the creation my work. I feel painting should be an experience and I want my viewers to feel the raw energy that goes into the process. Vivid colors and intended brushstrokes are in my pieces to help the viewer engage in the movement. My marks reflect motions made with my hand, as my body and mind work together in internal balance.

I create art in hopes of inducing emotions in others. I hope to capture the viewer and lure them to experience my vision. Because I believe passion can be rediscovered in this modern world through the arts, I want my pieces to ultimately inspire feeling and thought.

For more information visit Julia Li’s Full website.