Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIV, No. 42
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
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It’s New to Us by Jean Stratton

DYNAMIC DIALOGUE: “I love dialogue. My belief is in the power of a good conversation to alter one’s thinking and our being in the world. We all know when we’ve had a great conversation that has elevated and enriched us.” Roberta Pughe, co-owner of Camillo’s Cafe, is enthusiastic about the new Artists’ Apiary, a Sunday series of brunches and dialogue with area artists.

Artists’ Apiary, A Sunday Series in Princeton, Has Opened at Camillo’s Cafe in the “Salone”

An artists’ salon has arrived in Princeton!

Creativity will be on display once a month on Sunday at Camillo’s Café in the Princeton Shopping Center. And it is not just in the kitchen! The work of area artists will be exhibited in the Café’s private “salone”.

The Artists’ Apiary, a Sunday series in Princeton, opened in October and will continue into May.

“Artists Apiary will bring interested members of our community together with featured local artists — visual, literary and performing, budding, starving, and established — for an inspiring and revitalizing dialogue,” explains Roberta Pughe, co-owner of Camillo’s.

“We hope that this will be a passionate program to enrich connection, spark dialogue, and support creativity through an encounter with the arts.”

The establishment of such a “salone” has been a long-time goal of Ms. Pughe, who is a Princeton area psychotherapist and director of the Center for Relationship, specializing in marriage and family therapy. She is also co-author of a book, and is currently working on another.

Earliest Years

“It was my vision and dream to have the artists’ salone at Camillo’s. This Artists’ Apiary is a reflection of my soul,” she explains. “As Camillo’s partner, it has been my vision that the restaurant could support the arts and the pursuit of creativity and authenticity. Now, with the addition of the private salone, I have the opportunity to realize this vision.”

The arts have been important to Ms. Pughe from her earliest years. Growing up in Florida, she came from a musical family. “My dad was from Wales and sang, my mother played the piano, and I played the flute and piano. I am also a published poet. I write poetry all the time.”

Food and art are perfectly combined at the Artists’ Apiary Sunday Series. A four-course brunch is served during the exhibition. The popular restaurant, known for its authentic regional Italian cuisine, offers a warm and inviting setting for the artists’ work and for the brunch.

“Art is the nectar that feeds the soul,” says Ms. Pughe. “This series offers an intimate view into the extraordinary dynamic of creation, while supporting and motivating our own creativity. Sharing in an encounter with artists and with one another will deepen and revitalize our experience of creativity and aliveness — in ourselves and in our community.”

Further Dialogue

With time at the outset to mingle and sip coffee or tea, view the featured artist’s work, and for people to get acquainted, the morning’s exchange also features a brief drumming experience, led by Ms. Pughe. The drumming, which is part of the ancient Shamanic tradition, “is a tool to facilitate a process of deepening into openness and receptivity,” explains Ms. Pughe. “It heightens an embodied experience of listening to ‘the still, small voice’ of creation.”

Then, there is ample opportunity to interact and have further dialogue with the artist during the four-course brunch, from 11:30 to 1. “The encounter with the arts and the encounter with the artist, and the public, and the impact of that shared experience is so meaningful,” points out Ms. Pughe. “It’s the inspiration and the intimacy of shared beauty.

“The variety of experiences people bring to this and how we impact one another is all part of it. We are open to that kind of encounter. People are so hungry for this kind of experience.”

Even more so perhaps in our high tech age, where virtual communication so often takes precedence over actual face-to-face experiences.

Hundred Percent

The artist’s work on display is available for sale, and one hundred percent of the proceeds goes to the artist; none goes to Camillo’s. $5 of the $40 brunch fee also goes to the artist.

“We want to support the artists and do all we can to help them make money,” says Ms. Pughe.

She has often been asked about the unusual name she has chosen for the series: Artists’ Apiary. “The apiary is the home of the honeybee, where the nectar is collected from the beehives,” she explains. “This series is all about collecting the nectar, collecting and receiving the nectar of life. It’s all about being nourished, fed, and fulfilled.”

The opening session in October was so successful that Ms. Pughe is eagerly awaiting the next gathering on November 7. Photographer David Simcock, based in Mercer County, will be the featured artist. He specializes in portraiture, events, and photojournalism.

Ms. Pughe suggests reserving space early. The salone takes place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.To make a reservation, call Steve Grasso at (609) 252-0608. Website:

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