This summer, The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) will showcase artwork by New Jersey’s K-12 students alongside innovative lessons designed by their talented art teachers.
Students from Princeton High School, The Hun School, Maurice Hawk School in Princeton, as well as students from Notre Dame High School and Slackwood School in Lawrenceville have artwork accepted to the exhibition, “Art, Innovation, and Ideas,” which is co-organized by Dr. Lisa LaJevic, assistant professor and program coordinator of art education at TCNJ, and Emily Croll, director of TCNJ’s Art Gallery.
The exhibition opens in the college’s Art and Interactive Multimedia (AIMM) Building on Sunday, June 2 and continues through June 23. An opening reception will be held at the gallery, Sunday, June 2, from 1 to 3 p.m.
Of the more than 440 artworks submitted to “Art, Innovation, and Ideas,” 121 submissions were accepted after review by a jury of contemporary artists, curators, and educators, including internationally acclaimed artist, illustrator, and author Faith Ringgold.
Known for her painted story quilts, Ms. Ringgold has works in the permanent collections of many museums including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, The Museum of Modern Art, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Her many awards include 22 honorary doctorates. A devoted advocate for art education, she has illustrated sixteen children’s books, eleven of which she authored. Her first book, Tar Beach, was a Caldecott Honor Book and winner of the Coretta Scott King Award for Illustration.
Other jurors include New Jersey artist and educator Aylin Green; Baltimore-based sculptor and fine artist Christine Tillman; painter and director of Art Collaborations in Princeton, Heather Barros; and TCNJ Gallery Director Emily Croll.
Ms. Green is currently the membership director at Grounds for Sculpture. She holds a Masters of Ed from Tufts University in Boston, Mass., and a BFA in Sculpture from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. Her mixed media paintings and cast metal sculpture has been exhibited at galleries and art centers throughout the region including Philadelphia, Princeton, and Trenton. She has taught classes for adults and children in a variety of traditional and experimental media in a range of educational settings including private studios, city and county programs, public schools, and art centers.
Ms. Tillman is primarily a sculptor who draws. Her main interests lie in ideas surrounding handmade celebrations and man-made interpretations of natural forms. She earned her MFA in painting and drawing from the University of Iowa.
Ms. Barros directs Art Collaborations, an art school in Princeton offering year-round classes for children, teens and adults. She began teaching children at the Arts Council of Princeton in 1990 and now directs art programs and summer art camps at the Arts Council, Montgomery Cultural Center, Charter School of Princeton, and now with Art Collaborations. She studied oil painting with Gregory Perkel for ten years and paints every day, en plein air every week. “I’ve visited art museums around the world and I’ve seen some of the greatest art ever made, but children’s art work is still my favorite genre,” says Ms. Barros. “I once thought that if I surrounded myself with children’s art long enough that I could do it as well. I’m not even close.”
“Art, Innovation, and Ideas” is intended to connect student learning and art to current real world issues. It aims to exhibit meaningful two-dimensional, three-dimensional, and media artworks and to recognize efforts by New Jersey art educators to push the boundaries of the arts in K-12 schools. Submissions were received from more than 100 cities and towns across the state.
“As the world is changing, it is vital that arts pedagogy and curriculum reflects the world in which we live,” says Dr. LaJevic. “As such, I support innovative art making that connects student learning and art to the real world, academic subjects, social issues, big ideas, and/or contemporary art.”
TCNJ Art Gallery is located in the Arts and Interactive Multimedia Building (AIMM) on the campus at 2000 Pennington Road, Ewing. In June, the gallery is open to the public free of charge, Wednesdays and Sundays from 1 to 3 p.m. and by special appointment for groups and school visits.
For more information, call (609) 771-2633, or visit: visit www.tcnj.edu/edu/artgallery.