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HAMMONTON - The first Third Thursday of the year was all about the ladies, with the downtown pulling all of the stops for a “Girls Night Out.”

Some women decided to begin their ladies’ night out at Stockton University’s Kramer Hall where the opening reception for the new exhibit “Without Papers” was in full swing. The new exhibit was created by artist Jim Dessicino, who created the exhibit after exploring his family history.

Dessicino’s journey began after an unexpected surprise during a move.

“I discovered a lot of letters addressed to my great-grandfather,” said Dessicino. The discovery of those letters led Dessicino on a journey that allowed him to create the pieces in his new exhibit, and he found the opportunity to display his exhibit in Hammonton to be very fitting.

“My grandmother was from Hammonton,” said Dessicino.

Like most people living in the United States, Dessicino’s family had immigrated to the U.S., an experience that was reflected in many of his art pieces.

“No matter how far removed we are from our immigrant experience, it still lives in us and we shouldn’t forget it,” said Dessicino.

Kramer Hall was not the only place where art was the main attraction.

Over at the Hammonton Arts Center, visitors had the chance to make their own piece of art by creating an encaustic wax painting. To make the encaustic wax painting, participants first melted clear wax onto the glass piece of a picture frame — which had been removed from the picture frame. Once the clear wax had been completely melted, participants then shaved crayon pieces in various colors onto the glass. Once the shavings were placed around the glass, participants then melted those shavings creating a multi-colored masterpiece that could be placed back into the picture frame once the wax on the glass had dried.

Those grabbing a bite to eat or a refreshing drink at Casciano Coffee Bar and Sweetery also had the chance to listen to some poetry by Krystle Bailey and view illustrations by Delfino Falciani.

“I am a storyteller at heart and I love illustrating those stories,” said Falciani.

To top off the Girls Night Out, a couple of local breweries offered special deals for the ladies who came out to Third Thursday. Three 3’s Brewing was offering one dollar off “Trips and Pours” for the ladies. Over at Vinyl Brewing, ladies had the chance to play some trivia centering on television shows from the 1990s to today. After three rounds, the winning group would go on to win a prize.

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