ACP Presents Works by Kolodziej and Ramage
“PAN AMERICANS”: This mixed media piece by Libby Ramage is part of a new exhibit, “Travels: Domestic and aBroad,” also featuring works by Krysia Kolodziej. It will be on view in the Taplin Gallery at the Arts Council of Princeton from January 4 to January 30.
The Arts Council of Princeton (ACP) rings in 2021 with a new exhibit, “Travels: Domestic and aBroad,” featuring works by Krysia Kolodziej and Libby Ramage in the Taplin Gallery from January 4 to January 30.
When artists Kolodziej and Ramage met in the early 1990s, Kolodziej was editing for Princeton University Press and writing poetry; Ramage was starting her work teaching art to very young children while making and exhibiting her own art. Both inveterate savers of ephemera, they have been supporting each other’s artmaking ever since.
The artists’ say, “We have each preserved pieces of the past that spoke to us and remade them into expressions of our lives now, where all the pieces fit perfectly together.”
Ramage’s mixed media pieces – with painting and drawing using acrylics and charcoal – were created from a scrapbook originally compiled by her stepfather’s mother, Hilda, a formidable woman who reigned over her family imperiously. Hilda saved everything from her once-in-a-lifetime trip to Europe in 1957, hence the “aBroad” portion of the show’s title. Ramage rescued the scrapbook from the landfill and has been mining these materials for the past eight years, weaving one woman’s experience and the nostalgia of memories with her own sensibilities and creativity.
Kolodziej’s work, the “Domestic” in the title, uses domestic imagery (vintage fabrics, women’s jewelry, wrist watches, postage stamps, dressmaker’s patterns, zippers and buttons, thread, even the pieces of a broken-down piano) and techniques (sewing, for example) combined with mixed media techniques and collage to create visual poems. These reference the hours of unpaid labor of women not in the paid workforce – but for whom the home was/is the workplace – or that same labor expended after completing a full-time job. Items from the traditionally male domain are also present: pieces of wood, nuts and bolts, and/or electronic bits, all from Kolodziej’s late father’s workbench.
The Arts Council of Princeton is located at 102 Witherspoon Street. Taplin Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, visit artscouncilofprinceton.org.