Middletown Arts Center presents “The Decade That Rocked” exhibition of works by Mark Weiss


(MIDDLETOWN, NJ) – The Middletown Arts Center is delighted to reopen its gallery doors with a tribute to 80s rock and metal music, The Decade That Rocked, an exhibition featuring the work of acclaimed Rock n ‘Roll photographer, Mark “WEISSGUY” Weiss. Also on display is a collection of silkscreens created from iconic photographs of Weiss by Steve Lacy, artist and presenter of Fox 5 New York. The exhibit is on view until August 15 and will celebrate Weiss’s birthday and 40+ years of Rock n ‘Roll photography with WEISSFEST 2021, three nights of exciting live entertainment events, from Thursday June 24 through Saturday. June 26.


This special celebration will begin with an exclusive opening reception, “An Evening with Mark Weiss ”on Thursday, June 24, with an acoustic performance of 80s songs by Cat Manning. The evening will end with Manning’s incredible tribute to Janis Joplin, Just Like Janis. Wine, beer and light meals will be served. Reception tickets are mandatory and all proceeds will be donated to Middletown Arts Center. Tickets are available for online purchase.

WRAT 95.9 DJ personality Tom Hanley will host a powerful program of performances on the MAC outdoor stage on Friday, June 25, starting at 5:00 p.m., with a special appearance by the legendary drummer Appice Carmine (Vanilla Fudge, Rod Stewart, Ozzy Osbourne, King Kobra, Blue Murder and more). The evening will feature Kodiak, playing original songs with songs by Van Halen. Keith roth (Sirius XM and Electric Ballroom DJ) will follow with his band, Frankenstein 3000, with special guest Jerry Gaskill of Kings X, as well as members of City Asylum, Moroccan Sheepherders and Fuzz The World, playing songs by the Ramones, Bowie, Alice Cooper, MC5, The Stooges and Velvet Underground and more raw Rock & Roll. JUST SABBATH will close the evening with a musical tribute to Black Sabbath.

The 80s music continues on Saturday June 26 at 5:30 p.m., featuring LITTLE OZZY, which appeared on America has talent and Ozzy and Jack’s World Detour broadcast on History Channel. Precious stone, composed of Rockit Academy alumni, will not only open the evening’s performances, but will make its debut, followed by the Mötley Crüe tribute group, Sixx Seconds to Mars. The concerts on both evenings are FREE and in the open air.

BRAND “WEISSGUY” WEISSLongtime local resident Weiss aims to see the arts endure in his community and has organized the exhibition and related events as a fundraiser for the MAC which suffered financially last year due to the Covid closures and severe damage from flooding.

“I am looking forward to sharing my exhibit in Middletown, NJ, where I have lived for the past 30 years,” Weiss said. “The Middletown Arts Center was hit hard during the pandemic and I am committed to helping in any way I can to get it back on track. It is an incredible creative space providing a safe place for local arts and institutions.

Weiss is currently donating a portion of the proceeds from his CHARITYBUZZ auction of signed photographs to the arts center. To place bids, please Click here.

“We are very grateful to Mark for his generosity and support of the arts over the past few months and we are delighted to celebrate the Rock n ‘Roll era with Mark and his superb photographs and musical performances,” said Maggie O’Brien , Director Director. “I know this is going to be a lot of fun.”

Mark Weiss has set an unmatched standard for rock photography. Mark has been photographing rock n ‘roll since he was a teenager in the 70s, sneaking into concerts. Over the next decade he began touring with Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, Guns N ‘Roses, Motley Crue, Ozzy, KISS and Van Halen, to name a few. He also photographed the covers of some of the biggest albums of the ’80s, including Bon Jovi’s Slippery When Wet and Twisted Sister’s Stay Hungry. Most recently, his photo of Van Halen made the cover of LIFE magazine following the death of iconic guitarist Eddie Van Halen. He embarked on a legendary career that took him across the world and to perform in some of the most historic concerts including the American Festival, Live Aid and the Moscow Peace Festival. Weiss features several of these classic photos in the exhibit as well as artifacts from his heyday, including backstage passes, posters, tour books and tour jackets. Weiss will also display the t-shirt worn on the forbidden Slippery when wet blanket.

“I was the guy the record companies hired to take their publicity photos and album covers. I did the Twisted Sister Stay hungry and Come play covers that were a huge success, selling over a million copies. Everyone started calling me to turn their album covers. Cinderella’s Night Songs, Bon Jovi’s Slippery When Wet … I quickly became friends and started traveling with them on their tour buses and private planes. It was awesome! said Weiss.


The decade that changed sums up the heyday of these rock and metal icons with images of a young Jon Bon Jovi at Freehold Raceway in 1980; Ozzy Osbourne on the roof of Convention Hall in Asbury Park in 1981; Dee Snider of Twisted Sister in Washington, DC, in 1985 for the Parents Music Resource Center hearings; Guns N ‘Roses outside the CBGB in Manhattan in 1987 and more. When asked what is Weiss’ favorite photo in his incredible work, he responds to the famous 1981 Circus Review cover with Ozzy Osbourne in his pink tutu.

Admission to The Decade That Rocked is free to the public, but donations are appreciated. Gallery opening hours are currently by appointment only. Please visit mac.ticketspice.com/the-decade-that-rocked or call the arts center to make an appointment. All illustrations and photographs are available for purchase. For more information on Weiss and Lacy’s collaboration, visit weissguylacy.com.

Middletown Arts Center is located at 36 Church Street in Middletown, NJ (next to Middletown Station). Free parking is available on site and additional free parking is available in the resort’s metered park on weekday evenings after 6 p.m. and on weekends. The Arts Center is an award-winning, state-of-the-art facility in Middletown, New Jersey that offers arts-focused shows, exhibits, classes, demonstrations and camps. Its convenient location opposite Middletown Station on Church Street provides easy access and its expanded MAC Annex is minutes from the Middletown Reformed Church Education Building. The MAC is operated by a 501c3 non-profit, the Middletown Township Cultural and Arts Council, which is dedicated to providing quality arts programming and events in Middletown and surrounding communities.

originally published: 04/06/2021

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