If you feel art education for both young and old is important, if you love having a center for the arts in Merchantville, if you enjoy the classes we host at our center or duck duck goose, or you support family businesses, PLEASE take 2 seconds to vote. We need 250 votes by Oct 17th to have our application considered. Vote for Eilandarts Center at Chase Mission Main Street Grants here: https://www.missionmainstreetgrants.com/business/detail/37459

4 Towns 4 Art, the grassroots art tour of studio spaces in neighboring Collingswood, Haddonfield, Haddon Township, and Oaklyn, might just have to change its name this year because the event is expanding its network to include Merchantville, Audubon, Barrington and Haddon Heights. Organizers of the event, which takes place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 5, 2014, are calling for participating artists.

Read more: Calling All Artists … show off your studio

With the holidays nearing, you’re bound to be searching for that perfect gift for someone special – and what better place to find it than at Eilandarts Center. On December 7th from 6 - 9 p.m. local artists will fill the gallery with one-of-a-kind items, for both adults and children. With free admission, food and drink, as well as live music by Mat Eiland, there’s sure to be something to please every name on your list. After all, supporting local artists (in the community you already love) surely beats going to the mall!

Lee Whitaker, a Haddon Heights resident who plays guitar and sings in the praise band at United Methodist Church in Pitman, is an unusually busy guy whose life is driven by his love for Christian music. The retired 33-year Merchantville schoolteacher performs songs from his new CD release, “Alabaster Jar,” Friday, Oct. 4, 7:30 p.m. at a free concert at Haddon Heights Community Center, with proceeds benefiting Interfaith Caregivers. http://bit.ly/170Bgwe

Some find art intimidating, and the idea of creating art even more so. But South Jersey art venues welcome a wide range of talent, whether your work is fit to hang in a gallery or on a refrigerator. Aside from a creative outlet, art classes offer a way to unwind and feel good about a new skill. Plus, you get some pretty cool souvenirs to take home. Here are 10 South Jersey spots that will help you add color to your life. Eilandarts Center, Merchantville Talk about eclectic.

Read more: 10 places to get creative in South Jersey

If you’ve ever spent time in Cape May or other shore communities of New Jersey, you’re bound to feel pangs of nostalgia as you make your way through Janice Stridick’s eminently readable new book about the superbly painted pictures of her late mother, Alice Steer Wilson. As an artist, Wilson devoted her best talents to interpreting the appearance of famous old hotels and other subjects in the charming and historically significant community of Cape May, situated at the southern tip of the Garden State. http://bit.ly/1gB20JY

Read more: Cape May captured brilliantly

Crossing the river into New Jersey was also still a new notion, and so was leaving an urban life. Then two things occurred. The first: Close friends in the acting community discovered what they called a "hidden jewel": Merchantville, cheek by jowl with Cherry Hill but with a decidedly small-town vibe. The second: They unexpectedly found the house that seemed just about perfect for their new family configuration. http://bit.ly/VtTIbK