December 31, 2014
HUMOR AND MENACE BY THADDEUS ERDAHL: Titled “Op One,” 2014, this 33 by 20 by 16 inch ceramic work by Princeton Day School faculty member Thaddeus Erdahl is on show in a solo exhibition by the artist in the school’s Anne Reid ’72 Art Gallery. The exhibition “Yes Sir No Sir This Way That” runs from January 12 through January 29 with a public reception for the artist Friday, January 16 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. For more information call (609) 924-6700 extension 1772 or visit:www.pds.org.

HUMOR AND MENACE BY THADDEUS ERDAHL: Titled “Op One,” 2014, this 33 by 20 by 16 inch ceramic work by Princeton Day School faculty member Thaddeus Erdahl is on show in a solo exhibition by the artist in the school’s Anne Reid ’72 Art Gallery. The exhibition “Yes Sir No Sir This Way That” runs from January 12 through January 29 with a public reception for the artist Friday, January 16 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. For more information call (609) 924-6700 extension 1772 or visit:www.pds.org.

The Anne Reid ’72 Art Gallery at Princeton Day School will present the work of faculty member Thaddeus Erdahl in an exhibition titled “Yes Sir No Sir This Way That.” The show, which opens on January 12 will continue through January 29. There will be an opening reception with Mr. Erdahl on Friday, January 16 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Mr. Erdahl has exhibited throughout the United States. After receiving an MFA in ceramics from the University of Florida, he was the artist-in-residence and program manager at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. More recently, he was artist-in-residence at the Arts Council of Princeton and a visiting artist at Princeton Day School, where he is currently a member of the art faculty. He also recently had a solo exhibition at Greenwich House Pottery in New York City.

Mr. Erdahl uses ceramic sculpture and portraiture as visual narrations to document what he sees around him. He often uses an artifact or imaginary person to allow the viewer to disconnect from the present and look into their own personal histories. His work evokes the humor in human behavior; he uses humor to get through tragedies.

Of his work, Gallery Director Jody Erdman has said: “his manipulation and mastery of ceramic materials is only trumped by his ability to accentuate the human condition in both humorous and menacing ways.”

Mr. Erdahl is represented by the Obsidian Gallery in Tucson, Arizona, and the Signature Gallery in Atlanta, Georgia.

“Yes Sir No Sir This Way That” is open to the public at Princeton Day School, an independent, coeducational school educating students from Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday when the school is in session, and by appointment on weekends. For more information, call Ms. Erdman at (609) 924-6700 extension 1772, or visit:www.pds.org.

December 17, 2014
VILLAGE HOTEL: The hotel in Lumberville, Pa, that wood engraver Herbert Stewart Pullinger (1878-1961) depicts here brings to mind more tranquil days. Just under 10 by 12 inches, the image on paper is one of over 20 works by the artist in the exhibition “Spirit of the Everyday: Prints by Herbert Pullinger” opening at the James A. Michener Art Museum Saturday, December 20, and continuing through March 29. For more information, call (215) 340-9800, or visit: MichenerArtMuseum.org.(Image Courtesy of the Michener Museum)

VILLAGE HOTEL: The hotel in Lumberville, Pa, that wood engraver Herbert Stewart Pullinger (1878-1961) depicts here brings to mind more tranquil days. Just under 10 by 12 inches, the image on paper is one of over 20 works by the artist in the exhibition “Spirit of the Everyday: Prints by Herbert Pullinger” opening at the James A. Michener Art Museum Saturday, December 20, and continuing through March 29. For more information, call (215) 340-9800, or visit: MichenerArtMuseum.org. (Image Courtesy of the Michener Museum)

A small exhibition of works by one of America’s foremost engravers goes on display at the James A. Michener Museum of Art Saturday. For lovers of the wood cut and the art of wood-engraving, this show should not be missed.

Titled, “Spirit of the Everyday: Prints by Herbert Pullinger,” the exhibition showcases a select group of wood engravings and wood blocks given to the museum by Ann and Martin Snyder. According to the show’s curator, Constance Kimmerle, the artist was Mr. Snyder’s great uncle.

This will be the first time the collection has been shown at the Michener. It is perfectly suited to the intimate setting of the gallery space devoted to works on paper, the Bette and Nelson Pfundt Gallery, and a perfect fit for the Michener’s mission of collecting, preserving, interpreting, and exhibiting American Art, with a focus on art of the Bucks County region.

Herbert S. Pullinger (1878-1961) emerged as one of America’s foremost wood engravers during the 1920s. Born and raised in Philadelphia, where he lived, he also spent many summers in Lumberville, Pa. He studied at the Pennsylvania Museum School of Industrial Arts (University of the Arts) and at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and taught graphic arts and watercolor at the Pennsylvania Museum School of Industrial Art. Several of his works, such as his 1934 engraving of Dock Street from Delaware Avenue, are in the collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, although not currently on view.

“It seemed appropriate to show this work in the wintertime because the collection includes several snow scenes,” said Ms. Kimmerle, the museum’s curator of collections, who had not been familiar with the artist’s work until the collection was donated to the museum in 2005.

Ms. Kimmerle, who has been with the Michener for some 14 years, is particularly fond of Mr. Pullinger’s snow scenes and country scenes. “The collection includes some very nice images of Bucks County and some of Philadelphia; they can be divided into urban scenes, country scenes, and scenes of heavy industry.”

The images depict everyday life, landscapes, houses, stores, barns, post offices, bridges, canals, lighthouses, coal breakers, and steel furnaces that the artist encountered in Pennsylvania and New Jersey during the 1920s and 1930s.

“Expressing the ‘spirit of the everyday’ was a genuine concern for many American artists at the beginning of the 20th century, and Herbert Pullinger was no exception,” commented Ms. Kimmerle. “As the works in the show reveal, whether he was rendering a snow scene in rural Bucks County or a dynamic industrial scene in Pittsburgh, Pullinger’s creations moved beyond the mere description of a place to fully capture its distinctive spirit and vital energy.”

Presented by Vivian Banta and Robert Field, “Spirit of the Everyday: Prints by Herbert Pullinger,” will be at the James A. Michener Art Museum, 138 South Pine Street in Doylestown, from December 20 through March 29. The Museum is open Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. For more information, call (215) 340-9800, or visit: MichenerArtMuseum.org.

December 10, 2014
SHADOW COURT: That’s the title of this photograph by Mercer County Community faculty artist Aubrey J. Kauffman. An exhibition of Mr. Kauffman’s images of basketball courts, stadiums, soccer, and lacrosse fields is on display in the solo exhibition, “It’s Not About the Game,” in the Marguerite and James Hutchins Gallery in the Lawrenceville School’s Gruss Center of Visual Arts though January 23. A public reception with the artist will be held on Sunday, December 14, from 2 to 4 p.m. The Lawrenceville School is located at 2500 Main Street in Lawrenceville. Gallery hours are Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 9 a.m. to noon. and 1 to 4:30 p.m.; and Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon. The Gruss Center will be closed from December 18 through January 5. For more information, visit www.lawrenceville.org.

SHADOW COURT: That’s the title of this photograph by Mercer County Community faculty artist Aubrey J. Kauffman. An exhibition of Mr. Kauffman’s images of basketball courts, stadiums, soccer, and lacrosse fields is on display in the solo exhibition, “It’s Not About the Game,” in the Marguerite and James Hutchins Gallery in the Lawrenceville School’s Gruss Center of Visual Arts though January 23. A public reception with the artist will be held on Sunday, December 14, from 2 to 4 p.m. The Lawrenceville School is located at 2500 Main Street in Lawrenceville. Gallery hours are Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 9 a.m. to noon. and 1 to 4:30 p.m.; and Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon. The Gruss Center will be closed from December 18 through January 5. For more information, visit www.lawrenceville.org.

Photographic works by the Princeton-born and Lawrenceville-raised artist Aubrey J. Kauffman, are currently on display in the Marguerite and James Hutchins Gallery in the Lawrenceville School’s Gruss Center of Visual Arts.

The exhibition, titled “It’s Not About the Game,” will run though January 23. There will be a public reception with the artist on Sunday, December 14, from 2 to 4 p.m.

In this exhibit, Kauffman has created images of several sites including basketball courts, stadiums, soccer, and lacrosse fields. In all cases the images are devoid of activity and human interaction. “Urban studies have long been a major part of my photographic practice,” explained Kauffman. “My work extends from abandoned urban structures and shopping malls to building facades, parks, and ball fields.”

The artist has said that his interest “… lies not in the portrayal of teams, sports, or players but in the visual elements of where play takes place. For me, ‘It’s Not About the Game.’”

Now a resident of Ewing, Mr. Kauffman received his BA from Jersey City State College and his MFA in visual arts from Rutgers University’s Mason Gross School of the Arts. He teaches photography at Mercer County Community College and is the gallery manager for Mason Gross Galleries at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.

He was the creator and coordinator of “Trenton Takes: 24 Hours in the City,” a photo-documentary project featuring the work of 29 photographers who spent one 24 hour period photographing life in the city of Trenton, for which he edited the catalog. His work has been exhibited across the region in group exhibits in the Newark Museum, Philadelphia Photo Arts, New York’s Prince Street Gallery, and the Biggs Museum of American Art in Dover, Delaware, among others. His solo shows include the New Jersey State Museum, Mercer County Community College, the Southern Light Gallery in Amarillo, Texas, and New York’s 2nd and 7th Gallery.

Mr. Kauffman was guest curator for Rider University’s “Landscapes: Social, Political, Traditional” and was recently awarded the Mason Gross School of the Arts Brovero Photography Prize for Excellence in Photography and the New Brunswick Art Salon “Best in Collection.”

Founded in 1810, The Lawrenceville School is located at 2500 Main Street in Lawrenceville. The gallery is open Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4:30 p.m. Visitors are also welcome on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon. The Gruss Center will be closed from December 18 through January 5. The galleries are open to the public, free of charge. For more information, visit www.lawrenceville.org.

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December 3, 2014
MEET DANNY SIMMONS: Brooklyn-based abstract painter Danny Simmons will read from his latest book “The Brown Beatnick Tomes” at the Princeton Public Library this Sunday, December 7, at 3 p.m. Mr. Simmons is the older brother of hip hop impresario Russell Simmons and rapper Joseph Simmons. In addition to being a visual artist Mr. Simmons originated and co-produced the hit HBO series “Def Poetry Jam.” His appearance marks a collaboration between the Library and the Baker Street Social Club, founded by Taneshia Nash Laird.

MEET DANNY SIMMONS: Brooklyn-based abstract painter Danny Simmons will read from his latest book “The Brown Beatnick Tomes” at the Princeton Public Library this Sunday, December 7, at 3 p.m. Mr. Simmons is the older brother of hip hop impresario Russell Simmons and rapper Joseph Simmons. In addition to being a visual artist Mr. Simmons originated and co-produced the hit HBO series “Def Poetry Jam.” His appearance marks a collaboration between the Library and the Baker Street Social Club, founded by Taneshia Nash Laird.

Danny Simmons is known primarily as an artist but it is as a poet that he will appear at the Princeton Public Library this Sunday, December 7, to read from his latest collection of prose and paintings, The Brown Beatnick Tomes.

As an American abstract painter, he’s been lauded for “meticulously rendered and decoratively impressive” work, which hangs in the Smithsonian Institution and is owned by the likes of music industry executive Lyor Cohen and actor Will Smith.

In addition to an impressive portfolio of what he calls “neo-African Abstract Expressionism,” Mr. Simmons also originated and co-produced the hit HBO series Def Poetry Jam. The Broadway version of the show earned him a Tony Award.

According to a recent article in the International Review of African American Art, the Queens, New York native is number three on its list of movers and shakers in the African American art world.

Along with his equally famous brothers, music mogul Russell Simmons and hip hop legend Joseph Simmons (aka “Rev Run”), Danny Simmons co-founded the Rush Arts Gallery and serves as vice president of the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation which provides arts exposure and access to the arts to disadvantaged urban youth.

Mr. Simmons holds a bachelor’s degree in social work from New York University, a master’s in public finance from Long Island University, and is the recipient of an honorary PhD from Long Island University. Currently a resident of Brooklyn, New York, he comes to Princeton at the invitation of Taneshia Nash Laird, founder of the newly formed Baker Street Social Club (BSSC), which is co-sponsoring the event with the Princeton Public Library. His visit is the second such event from the BSSC, which was formed to promote African American art and artists in the Princeton area. The Club is an event-driven initiative focusing on music, theater, art openings, and film premieres.

Originally from White Plains, Ms. Laird lived in Brooklyn with her late husband Roland Laird until moving to the Princeton area. She lived in Trenton for some eight years and in West Windsor for about the same amount of time. Today, West Windsor is where she’s raising her two young daughters, Naima, 4, and Imani, 8.

Baker Street Social Club

Named for the Baker Street that was once part of the African American neighborhood in downtown Princeton until it was removed in 1929 to make way for the expansion of Palmer Square, the Baker Street Social Club aims to honor past history by supporting fine arts and film from the African Diaspora.

Ms. Laird acknowledged Princeton’s rich African American community and the writings of the influential Trenton Central High School (TCHS) teacher Jack Washington as inspiration for her founding of the Club. Known as “a keeper of the African-American legacy,” Mr. Washington has taught American history at the TCHS Chambers Street campus for decades. HIs books include In Search of a Community’s Past: The Black Community in Trenton, New Jersey, 1860-1900 and The Quest for Equality: Trenton’s Black Community 1890-1965.

The BSSC, said Ms. Laird, will also support black artists in nearby Trenton, which has a resident population that is predominantly African American and Latino, as well as the Crossroads Theatre Company in New Brunswick. Membership in the club in its first year is free.

“Our goal is to group like-minded individuals who not only share a love of black arts, but a passion for uplifting the community. In the future, we anticipate trips to the African American Museum in Washington, D.C., the Studio Museum in Harlem, Philadelphia African American Museum, and wherever black arts can be found,” said Ms. Laird, who is a trustee for the Art Pride New Jersey Foundation and the Advocates for New Jersey History. She is a Senior Fellow in the Eastern Regional Network of the Environmental Leadership Program and formerly served as director of economic development in the Douglas H. Palmer administration and later as the executive director of the Trenton Downtown Association.

In 1997, with her late husband, she co-authored Still I Rise: A Graphic History of African Americans. The book was updated and re-published in 2008.

“My late husband had created My Image Studios (MIST), a 20,000 square foot, $21 million entertainment center in Harlem that focuses on cultural offerings–including film, live music, and theater — from the African and Latin Diaspora. He co-developed MIST with real estate developer partners Carlton Brown and Walter Edwards.”

A week after MIST opened officially in January 2013, Mr. Laird died in the University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro just two days after his 52nd birthday.

“The mission of the BSSC, to support fine arts and film from the African Diaspora, aligns with the type of programming we do all year round at the library,” said Library Program Coordinator Janie Hermann, whom Ms. Laird credits for helping to get BSSC events off the ground.

“After I had taken my daughters to the Princeton University Art Museum’s exhibition on the African American Presence in Renaissance Europe and to the Princeton Symphony’s performance of a piece inspired by the work of Jacob Lawrence, I wanted to do something to put my arms around what was happening locally and bring it all under one umbrella,” recalled Ms. Laird. “Janie Hermann at the Princeton Public Library has been a fantastic help.”

“I first met Taneshia in March 2009 when she and her late husband Roland gave a reading at the library of their book Still I Rise: A Graphic History of African Americans,” said Ms. Hermann. “We kept in touch over the years and when Taneshia approached me with the idea of having the library be the first venue to co-sponsor events for her fledgling Baker Street Social Club I knew immediately that we would be able to create unique programming that would fill a much needed gap in town.”

“I didn’t want to have to take my kids all the way to Philadelphia or Manhattan for cultural activities so I thought it would be great to develop an audience for African American related material and bring African American artists to the Princeton area,” said Ms. Laird. “This event marks my second collaboration with the Princeton Public Library as part of the Baker Street Social Club and I am thrilled that Danny Simmons is able to be here.” said Ms. Laird. “I have found a lot of support in Princeton and I look forward to bringing some stellar speakers, artists and performers here.”

Mr. Simmons will read in the Library’s Community Room between 3 and 5 p.m. Admission is free.

 

November 26, 2014

The Artists’ Gallery at 18 Bridge Street in Lambertville will hold its 19th annual Holiday Exhibition featuring artwork by its 16 member artists from Thursday, December 4, through Sunday, February 1, 2015. There will be a free opening reception for the artists on Saturday, December 6, from 4 to 7 p.m.

Each year, Artists’ Gallery, one of Lambertville’s longest running art galleries, celebrates the holiday season and the beginning of the new year with a group show. “Our Holiday Show is an excellent opportunity both for collectors and art lovers to meet the gallery artists and for the artists to offer a selection of work they are especially excited to present,” said gallery artist Beatrice Bork. “It is a fun event with serious artworks but at a variety of price points just in time for the holidays,” said fellow gallery artist Paul Grecian.

For the show, each gallery artist will offer personally selected pieces or work. Besides Ms. Bork and Mr. Grecian, the artists include Jane Adriance, José Anico, Gail Bracegirdle, Richard Harrington, Joe Kazimierczyk, Alan Klawans, Patricia Lange, Alla Podolsky, James Pryor, Eric Rhinehart, Carol Sanzalone, Michael Schweigart, Charles David Viera, and Andrew Werth.

Since its inception in 1995, Artists’ Gallery has exhibited the work of area artists in a variety of styles and media. This diversity of styles is a point of pride for the artist-run gallery and means collectors of all types can enjoy exploring the gallery’s many different rooms. Visitors will find paintings, photography, digital prints, sculpture, and more in media that include oil, watercolor, pastel, acrylic, ink, and ceramic.

Each of the artists on the gallery’s roster was juried by their peers based upon the quality and style of their work. Because Artists’ Gallery is run by the artists, visitors benefit from being able to speak with at least one exhibitor during each visit and may meet several artists during a group show. The artists are always pleased to speak about their materials, techniques, and motivations.

Artists’ Gallery hours are Thursday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., or by private appointment. For more information, visit: www.lambertvillearts.com.

 

November 19, 2014
WHAT SHALL WE EAT? The title of Judy Brodsky’s painting brings to mind the old nursery rhyme, “If all the world were paper and all the seas were ink, and all the trees were bread and cheese, what should we have to drink?” It’s not known whether the esteemed artist had Mother Goose in mind, subliminally or otherwise. Perhaps her question relates to a more contemporary environmental problem. Or perhaps she’s just referring to the glorious abundance of the peaches, pears, plums, grapes, and apples that she renders here. Ms. Brodsky’s work, as well as paintings and drawings by Mel Leipzig and Harry I. Naar, are on view in the exhibition, “Rendering, Representing & Revealing” through December 13 in the Romano Gallery of the Armstrong-Hipkins Center for the Arts at Blair Academy in Blairstown. Gallery hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. or by appointment. For more information, call (908) 362-6121, or visit: www.blair.edu.

WHAT SHALL WE EAT? The title of Judy Brodsky’s painting brings to mind the old nursery rhyme, “If all the world were paper and all the seas were ink, and all the trees were bread and cheese, what should we have to drink?” It’s not known whether the esteemed artist had Mother Goose in mind, subliminally or otherwise. Perhaps her question relates to a more contemporary environmental problem. Or perhaps she’s just referring to the glorious abundance of the peaches, pears, plums, grapes, and apples that she renders here. Ms. Brodsky’s work, as well as paintings and drawings by Mel Leipzig and Harry I. Naar, are on view in the exhibition, “Rendering, Representing & Revealing” through December 13 in the Romano Gallery of the Armstrong-Hipkins Center for the Arts at Blair Academy in Blairstown. Gallery hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. or by appointment. For more information, call (908) 362-6121, or visit: www.blair.edu.

Paintings and drawings by three renowned local artists will be on display at the Armstrong-Hipkins Center for the Arts at Blair Academy in Blairstown.

The show is an opportunity to examine differences and parallels in the work and careers of Judith K. Brodsky, Mel Leipzig, and Harry I. Naar, all of whom have played significant roles in teaching and mentoring young artists in New Jersey.

Ms. Brodsky worked for many years as an artist, printmaker, and arts advocate. She is a distinguished professor emerita of visual arts at Rutgers University, where she established two art institutes — The Brodsky Center for Innovative Editions and The Rutgers University Institute for Women and Art.

For 45 years, Mr. Leipzig taught painting and art history at Mercer County Community College (MCCC) where he earned the respect and love of generations of young artists.

Mr. Naar began his teaching career some 30 years ago at Rider University, where he serves as director of the Art Gallery to which he consistently brings stellar and surprising artists and their work.

Besides their teaching roles, however, each of the artists featuring in the Blair Academy demonstrates a singular artistic vision.

“With a background in 20th-century modernism, the artists’ work also includes representational and figurative elements of a 21st-century perspective,” said gallery co-director Rita Baragona. “Though their work often reflects similar origins and motifs, Mr. Naar, Mr. Leipzig, and Ms. Brodsky create very individual artworks that often explore the intellectual, political, and social issues of our time.”

Ms. Brodsky, who has a master of fine arts from Temple University’s Tyler School of Art and a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University, where she majored in art history, has organized and curated numerous exhibitions. Her work is in the permanent collections of more than 100 museums and corporations around the world, such as the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.; the Victoria & Albert Museum in London; The Stadtmuseum in Berlin, Germany; the Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts at the University of California at Los Angeles; the Rhode Island School of Design Museum; The New Jersey State Museum; and The Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University. She has also written extensively about women’s influence on the arts.

During his long career at MCCC, Mr. Leipzig maintaind his career as a painter, exhibiting his work in solo and group showings across the country, as well as in New Jersey. His paintings can be found in the White House Collection in Washington, D.C.; the Whitney Museum in New York City; the Yale Art Gallery in New Haven, Connecticut; the National Endowment for the Arts Gallery in Washington, D.C.; the Cooper-Hewitt Museum in New York City, and closer to home in the the New Jersey State Museum in Trenton. His work is regularly featured at the Gallery Henoch in New York City.

Mr. Naar’s work is also frequently exhibited in private and public collections throughout New Jersey, including The New Jersey State Museum, the American Council on Education, The Morris Museum of Arts and Sciences, Newark Museum, the Montclair Art Museum, Rutgers University’s The Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, and The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center in New York City. At the Invitational Exhibition of Visual Arts of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, he won the Hassam, Speicher, Betts, and Symons Purchase Fund award and his numerous group shows include The Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.; The Canton Art Institute in Canton, Ohio; The High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia; and The Boca Raton Museum of Art in Boca Raton, Florida. Currently, Mr. Naar’s drawings are in the New Jersey State Museum’s exhibition, “America Through Artists’ Eyes.”

“Rendering, Representing & Revealing” will continue through December 13 in the Romano Gallery of the Armstrong-Hipkins Center for the Arts at Blair Academy in Blairstown. Gallery hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. or by appointment. For more information, call (908) 362-6121, or visit: www.blair.edu.

 

November 12, 2014
NEW JERSEY NATIVE: As a member of the artist’s group Art+10, local photographer Tasha O’Neill was among a number of artists asked to focus their attention on the native species of the Garden State for a stunning show at the D&R Greenway, opening this Friday, November 14. In addition to her photograph “Wild Columbine,” shown here, Ms. O’Neill captured the beauty of state treasures such as Trout Lily, Royal Fern, Beach Plum, and the tiny orchid with the big name, “Dragon’s Mouth.”(Image courtesy of Ms. O’Neill)

NEW JERSEY NATIVE: As a member of the artist’s group Art+10, local photographer Tasha O’Neill was among a number of artists asked to focus their attention on the native species of the Garden State for a stunning show at the D&R Greenway, opening this Friday, November 14. In addition to her photograph “Wild Columbine,” shown here, Ms. O’Neill captured the beauty of state treasures such as Trout Lily, Royal Fern, Beach Plum, and the tiny orchid with the big name, “Dragon’s Mouth.” (Image courtesy of Ms. O’Neill)

If you haven’t been to the D&R Greenway Land Trust’s galleries of late, a new exhibition opening this Friday, November 14, is sure to entice old friends and new visitors to the Johnson Education Center’s lovingly restored barn, circa 1900, off Rosedale Road.

Titled, “Botanicals Illuminated,” the exhibition is designed to show just what there is in New Jersey that is worth the work of preserving. The works on display have all been inspired by native species that can be found on lands preserved by the D&R Greenway.

The exhibition opens this Friday, November 14, with a reception for the artists from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. To register for the free reception email rsvp@drgreenway.org. It takes place during the D&R Greenway’s 25th Anniversary Year, which has seen continued preservation and protection of natural lands, farmlands, and open spaces throughout central and southern New Jersey, including most recently, preservation of the former Norma Pratico property in Trenton for use as an urban community farm. The site was acquired by the City of Trenton through a partnership organized by D&R Greenway.

The multi-media show features work by members of the Princeton area artists group Art+10, as well as work by award-winning botanical illustrators and sumptuous pieces by three regional artists selected for the show by curator Diana Moore, who has been curating shows at the Greenway for four years now. A fan of the Land Trust and its programs, she started out as a volunteer, but with two degrees in art, one in medieval art from Princeton University, she has found a niche in curating for the organization.

“I have always loved botanical illustrations of the past such as you see in early herbals,” said Ms. Moore. “The work by the artists in this exhibition is exceptionally fine and it is a treat to be able to present these images.”

Known for championing art as an effective means of highlighting the serious work of land preservation and stewardship, President and CEO Linda Mead and her staff have turned the Johnson Education Center into a focal point for conservation activity with inspiring programs, art exhibitions, and related lectures. “Botanicals Illuminated” is one in a long list of singular exhibitions that they have put on in service to their conservationist mission.

“As always, our exhibits are mounted to demonstrate the importance of preservation of New Jersey land and species,” said Ms. Mead. “I am delighted to share the results of a year-long process, which began with lists of native plants of New Jersey and the D&R Greenway preserves where they are most likely to be found.”

Along with botanist emeritus of Rider University Dr. Mary Leck, a D&R trustee, as well as staff members Emily Blackman and Diana Rachel, Ms. Moore asked the artists participating in the exhibition to select specific D&R Greenway sites and plants on which to focus.

“Diana is brilliant in bringing artists of the area together under one roof,” said participating fine art photographer Tasha O’Neill. “I admire her calm in the midst of a storm and the always gracious D&R staff have done a tremendous job in pulling together information about the subject and from the artists.”

In addition to the work of eight botanical illustrators: Chiara Becchi, Carrie Di Constanzo, Fran Henig, Ann Hoffenberg, Robin Jess, Lanis Monfried, Carol O’Neill, and Carol Woodin, the work of regional artists from the Art+ 10 group is being featured.

Collectively titled “Native Plants of New Jersey,” Art+ 10’s members (there are 11, incidentally) Priscilla Algava, Heather Barros, Jim Bongartz, Betty Curtiss, Katja De Ruyter, Suzanne Dinger, Jeaninne Honstein, Ryan Lilienthal, Meg Michael, the above mentioned Ms. O’Neill, and Gill Stewart offer a diverse and pleasing collection of creative and colorful photographs and paintings of plants from the familiar to the rarely celebrated.

Art+ 10 offers its members an artistic home and provides opportunities for solo and group shows. Being a member, “challenges my creativity,” said Ms. O’Neill, who expressed admiration not only for the Land Trust’s efforts but also for the use to which it puts its gallery space. “The Land Trust is the only gallery in Princeton where the themes of exhibitions consistently deal with nature. Buyers of the art support the mission to preserve New Jersey farmland.”

The theme of preservation was not a hard sell to members of Art+ 10. “We are grateful to D&R Greenway Land Trust for their deep commitment to stewarding and preserving nature and also for the many opportunities we have as artists to exhibit and share our work,” said member Priscilla Algava, who described the D&R galleries as “a magic space where community members come together to meet and appreciate the worlds of art and nature.”

The three regional artists selected by the curator are Karen McLean, Carol Sanzalone, and Madelaine Shellaby.

Each artist found their subject in plants across a broad spectrum of beauty and scientific interest. Thus you will find Columbine, Trout Lily, fern, and orchid. Even poison ivy has its place here.

All the art on display is for sale with a percentage going to support D&R Greenway’s preservation and stewardship mission. According to Ms. Moore, there is an attempt to be as inclusive as possible and have prices that range from $100 up into the thousands of dollars.

“Botanicals Illuminated” will be on display through January 9 in the Marie L. Matthews Galleries, Johnson Education Center, D&R Greenway Land Trust, One Preservation Place, off Rosedale Road, Princeton. The gallery is open during business hours of business days.

For more information and to be sure Galleries are open on day of visit, call (609) 924-4646, email info@drgreenway.org, or visit: www.drgreenway.org.

 

November 5, 2014
ANNUAL ART ALL DAY: ArtWorks third annual Art All Day event will take place at sites all over Trenton this Saturday, November 8. Last year’s event saw artist Steven Morris (above) painting at Gallery 219. This year’s event promises to be bigger and better than ever before. Activities begin and end at Artworks, located at 19 Everett Alley, Trenton, N.J. 08611 (off South Stockton Street, across from NJ Motor Vehicle Commission building). For more information, call (609) 394-9436, or visit: http://artworkstrenton.org/art-all-day/.(Photo by Jeff

ANNUAL ART ALL DAY: ArtWorks third annual Art All Day event will take place at sites all over Trenton this Saturday, November 8. Last year’s event saw artist Steven Morris (above) painting at Gallery 219. This year’s event promises to be bigger and better than ever before. Activities begin and end at Artworks, located at 19 Everett Alley, Trenton, N.J. 08611 (off South Stockton Street, across from NJ Motor Vehicle Commission building). For more information, call (609) 394-9436, or visit: http://artworkstrenton.org/art-all-day/. (Photo by Jeff

Trenton is reinventing itself through art as visitors can see for themselves this Saturday, November 8, when the city becomes a huge outdoor gallery courtesy of ArtWorks, the visual art center at 19 Everett Alley in Trenton, which hosts its third annual “Art All Day” (AAD), a companion to the ever popular 24-hour Art All Night event each year in June.

Aptly described as the Capital City’s own open studio tour and creative showcase, Art all Day transforms Trenton into a vibrant arts destination and if other ArtWorks-organized events are anything to go by, Art All Day will be well-attended. Over a thousand visitors are expected to enjoy free art, music, and entertainment at some 30 sites across the city.

To facilitate access to the many studio tours and performances around town there will be docent-led trolley, walking, and bicycling tours to the art studios and exhibition sites as well as numerous activities for art-lovers.

Three new art-oriented venues have been added this year. The Hive Community of Art & Design is among the city’s latest collective spaces for local artists. The New Trenton Store & Studio is a combination collectibles shop, photo studio, and gallery. Both join The College of New Jersey’s CommunityWorks Art Gallery and Art All Day’s existing roster of 27 other Trenton sites showcasing the work of more than 80 artists and craftspeople.

“What I love about Art All Day is that every year there is so much that is new to see and do,” said Art All Day Director Lauren Otis. “Trenton is just bursting with new ideas, new ventures, new art. It is a city with a lot of history, some of it not so great, so it is really gratifying to show people how Trenton is reinventing itself right now before their very eyes,” he said.

Visitors will find some of their favorite activities from last year with artists like Mel Leipzig painting for all to see at the New Jersey State Museum from noon until 4 p.m., and Trenton muralists doing their stuff around town. The city’s latest public murals will be featured on the Art All Day public art tour.

In addition, the S.A.G.E. Coalition’s Gandhi Garden and Gallery 219 will be open and members of the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen’s A-Team artists will be showcasing their work.

Cast iron sculpture by members of the AbOminOg International Arts Collective will be on view at the Old Barracks Museum.

All of the activities are free with suggested donations for tours (see below). Don’t forget to pick up a free map showing all the sites around town where art will be on view throughout the day.

Tours and Activities

Events begin with a group exhibition from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the Artworks main gallery. From noon through 5 p.m. there will be open studios and pop-up galleries in unexpected places throughout Trenton.

Special trolley tours guided by Art all Day staff will leave from the ArtWorks parking lot at noon, 1:30 p.m., and 3 p.m. The tours operate on two separate loops (Northeast Loop and Southwest Loop). Each loop features three tours and each tour takes approximately one and one half hours. There is a suggested donation of $10 for one tour, $15 for two, and $20 for three.

For those who prefer to walk, there will be one hour docent-led tours of the downtown and central Trenton sites leaving at 12:30 p.m., 2 p.m., and 3:30 p.m., for which the suggested donation is $5.

And if bicycling is your preference, you can bring along your own bike and be guided by Wills Kinsley. These tours will operate continuously throughout the day from noon to 5 p.m., returning to the Artworks site to pick up new riders approximately every hour on the hour. A donation of $5 is also suggested for participants.

Throughout the afternoon from noon until 5 p.m, there will be live painting/demos at multiple AAD sites. Dean “Ras” Innocenzi and Jonathan “Lank” Connor will be at TerraCycle; Will Kasso will be at Gallery 219, Leon Rainbow will be at Zienowicz Signs, and Kenneth Lewis and Julia “Kito” Kirtley will be at the Conservatory Mansion.

Also from noon to 5 p.m., there will be a JuJu Crossing World Music & Art Fete with live drumming and dance featuring DanceSpora, Akoma House, and Ahmed Davis, at the Conservatory Mansion

At the New Jersey State Museum, Curator of Fine Art Margaret O’Reilly will lead a gallery tour of “American Perspectives: The Fine Art Collection,” at 2 p.m. on the museum’s third floor.

Classics Books will host poetry readings from 2 to 4 p.m. and a reception in celebration of the day, kicks off in the ArtWorks main gallery at 5 p.m.

The evening will conclude with a showcase of work by local filmmakers at the Mill Hill Playhouse from 7:30 until 9:30 p.m. when the Trenton Film Society in conjunction with Cinema Thursdays presents “Trenton Makes Movies.”

A comprehensive map showing all the sites can be viewed at: http://artworks.rockbridgeservic.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/ArtMap-AAD-2014.pdf.

Free parking all day will be available at Artworks, which will serve as Art All Day headquarters, where visitors can obtain information on sites and activities, view on-site studios, take in the “Artists of Art All Day” group show, sample from food trucks, and gather before embarking on trolley, bike, and walking tours.

Artworks is located at 19 Everett Alley, Trenton (off South Stockton Street, across from the N.J. Motor Vehicle Commission building). For more information, call call (609) 394-9436, or visit: http://artworkstrenton.org/art-all-day/.

October 29, 2014

In 1483 when Portuguese explorers first set foot in the Kingdom of the Kongo located in parts of today’s Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, and Angola, they discovered a sophisticated society with a strong artistic and cultural life. The exchange between the Kongo and Europe continued as enslaved Kongolese, transported to the Americas through the Atlantic slave trade, left an imprint of their cultural heritage on the development of art and music in the Americas. Presenting masterpieces of Kongo and African-American art, Kongo across the Waters will trace a journey of ideas, artistic practices, and religious beliefs across 500 years and three continents.

On view at the Princeton University Art Museum through January 25, 2015, “Kongo across the Waters” will be the single most important project ever presented at Princeton University that addresses the issues of the slave trade and colonialism through the lens of the artistic traditions of Africa and the African diaspora.

“This exhibition presents some of the finest works of African art in the world, and reminds us of Kongo’s visual legacy throughout the Atlantic world — an idea of central importance, considering the fact that nearly one-fourth of first-generation African slaves in the United States were from the Kongo region,” said Princeton University Art Museum Director James Steward. “In doing so, this represents the Museum’s most ambitious project to date involving African artistic production and culture.”

“Kongo across the Waters” features over 100 works, including numerous pieces never before exhibited in the United States. It is accompanied by a catalogue with entries by leading scholars in archaeology, history, religion, and African and African American art history. In addition to featuring rare archaeological finds, the exhibition includes sculpture, carved tusks, musical instruments, baskets, and textiles from Kongo and the Americas. Works attributed to the Kongo artist “The Master of Kasadi,” the American cane carver Henry Cudgell and the South Carolina basket weaver Elizabeth F. Kinlaw will be on view, along with contemporary art by Steve Bandoma (Democratic Republic of Congo), Edouard Duval-Carrié (Haiti and USA), José Bedia (Cuba), Renée Stout (USA) and Radcliffe Bailey (USA). A video produced for the exhibition reveals the notable influence of Kongolese music on the development of jazz.

“Kongo across the Waters” is a joint project organized by the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, and the Royal Museum for Central Africa, Tervuren, Belgium, and is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities. At Princeton, supplementary interpretive content has been developed by the Princeton University Art Museum.

For information, visit: http://artmuseum.princeton.edu.

October 22, 2014
LUCKY GIRL: That’s the title of this oil-on-panel painting by renowned Bucks County artist Robert Beck, who will be exhibiting his latest works at the Gallery of Robert Beck, 204 North Union Street, Lambertville from October 25 through November 23. A free public reception for the opening will take place on Saturday, October 25, from 5 to 8 p.m.; a second reception will take place on Sunday, October 26, from 1 to 4 p.m. The artist’s work can be seen at www.robertbeck.net. For more information contact (609) 397-5679 or robert@robertbeck.net.(Photo by Jeffrey Apoian)

LUCKY GIRL: That’s the title of this oil-on-panel painting by renowned Bucks County artist Robert Beck, who will be exhibiting his latest works at the Gallery of Robert Beck, 204 North Union Street, Lambertville from October 25 through November 23. A free public reception for the opening will take place on Saturday, October 25, from 5 to 8 p.m.; a second reception will take place on Sunday, October 26, from 1 to 4 p.m. The artist’s work can be seen at www.robertbeck.net. For more information contact (609) 397-5679 or robert@robertbeck.net. (Photo by Jeffrey Apoian)

Bucks County artist Robert Beck, whose works are popular among local art collectors, was one of three internationally acclaimed artists to be honored by The Philadelphia Sketch Club at its 154th Anniversary Gala last week. Together with Elizabeth Osborne and Moe Brooker, Mr. Beck received the the Sketch Club Medal. The medal will join no less than 28 other major awards the artist has received over the years; past recipients include Jamie Wyeth and Robert Venturi.

Visitors to Mr. Beck’s gallery, at 204 North Union Street, Lambertville, will have an opportunity to see his recent paintings in an exhibition appropriately titled, “Open Road,” opening with a public reception on Saturday, October 25, from 5 to 8 p.m. A second reception will take place on Sunday, October 26, from 1 to 4 p.m. The exhibition will continue through November 23.

Described as “a Renaissance man,” Mr. Beck is not only an accomplished painter, he has taught other artists, curated art exhibits, and sat on numerous arts organization boards. He’s also hosted a radio show and is a columnist for ICON magazine. He’s known for representational paintings unrestricted by subject matter or genre, and for painting live events in unusual or difficult environments.

Over the years, Mr. Beck, who attended the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, has built a portfolio of images that speak to the American experience. His subjects show people at work and at play. They depict, he once explained, “who we as Americans are by painting what we do, where we do it, and by giving our everyday world a second look.”

“Open Road” comprises 39 oil-on-panel paintings and one sketch for Lucky Girl, shown here. Visitors will discover plein air paintings and larger studio works of subjects ranging from Maine, New York, and Vienna, as well as local images.

The paintings depict scenes of people at work, in coffee shops and bars, gathered around a table for storytelling, or playing music together as in Jam Session.

“Regardless of genre, I want my paintings to strike a chord in the viewer that gives association to something in memory,” said the artist. “I don’t want to tell you it is a lunch counter; I want you to feel what you felt when you ate at one. I want you to hear the plates.”

“Open Road” includes scenes that will resonate with New Jersey and Bucks County residents such as Stockton Inn, and Behind Phillips Mill, as well as scenes of Manhattan. Especially evocative are Mr. Beck’s snowscapes and night scenes like Night Snow, Manhattan and Broadway, above Columbus, all of which can be viewed on the artist’s website (www.robertbeck.net).

According to his artist’s statement, Mr. Beck has “always been fascinated by what makes things happen” and he uses painting in order to “investigate events that combine to make life’s parade.”

“I really enjoy working under the difficult and distracting circumstances that come with being in the middle of a crowded event, faced with the multiple challenges of motion, unusual lighting, limited time, and interaction with the public. Painting from life adds substance a camera can’t record. Your wet feet make you consider the puddles, and the wind on your face draws attention to the swirl of the leaves and sway of the branches. The experience is included in the artwork and felt by the viewer. I spend hours in one spot taking a good look and, in a form, creating an iconic image of what I see. Over time I observe rhythms that add to the identity of the scene, absorbing a great deal of sensory information.”

Mr. Beck has had dozens of solo shows; his representational style has won awards at the Phillips’ Mill Annual Juried Exhibition, the Woodmere Art Museum Annual Juried Exhibition, the Lambertville Historical Society Annual Juried Exhibition, and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Fellowship Exhibition.

He is represented in galleries in New York, Philadelphia and extensively through the region, including the National Arts Club, and in numerous collections, including the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, University of Pennsylvania, and the James A. Michener Art Museum, which selected 37 of his paintings for exhibition in 1999. More recently, the City of Trenton Museum at Ellarslie presented a retrospective of his work in 2007.

The artist’s philosophy is expressed in this remark: “Art is the sum of our collective experience and imagination, and the most powerful way to present ideas that we have. It’s not an answer, it’s a proposition. It keeps the human conversation from going circular.”

Of his most recent work, the artist said: “This has been a year of probing boundaries for me. I’m always trying to identify a basic truth about that first moment when you engage a subject — that thing that gives it identity — and I’m still discovering new ways to describe the world around me.”

The Gallery of Robert Beck is open Saturdays and Sundays, from noon to 4 p.m., and by appointment. For more information, call (215) 982-0074, or visit: www.robertbeck.net.

 

October 8, 2014
“LOW TIDE, VINALHAVEN:” This 28 x 23 inch acrylic painting by local artist Charles McVicker will be on display at the Arts Council of Princeton (ACP) alongside work by members of the Princeton Artists Alliance, the group which Mr. McVicker founded with several other local artists 25 years ago. The ACP show features 21 artists and opens Saturday October 11, with an public reception from 3 to 5 p.m. For more information, call (609) 924-8777, or visit: www.artscouncilofprinceton.org.

“LOW TIDE, VINALHAVEN:” This 28 x 23 inch acrylic painting by local artist Charles McVicker will be on display at the Arts Council of Princeton (ACP) alongside work by members of the Princeton Artists Alliance, the group which Mr. McVicker founded with several other local artists 25 years ago. The ACP show features 21 artists and opens Saturday October 11, with an public reception from 3 to 5 p.m. For more information, call (609) 924-8777, or visit: www.artscouncilofprinceton.org.

It’s been 25 years since the accomplished local painter Charles McVicker reached out to fellow Princeton artists to form The Princeton Artists Alliance (PAA). An exhibition in celebration of the group opens at the Arts Council of Princeton with a reception this Saturday, October 11, from 3 to 5 p.m.

Inspired by Impressionist painters who had met in Parisian cafes and legendary discussions by Abstract Expressionists at the Cedar Bar in Greenwich Village, Mr. McVicker got together with Margaret Kennard Johnson, Marie Sturken, Jane Eccles, and Joanne Scott. They each made a list of artists they thought might form an interesting salon; 20 was thought to be about right number, and the artists invited to join were charmed by the idea. The aim was to enrich the Princeton art community with talks, open studios, demonstrations, and exhibitions. To this day, the group has maintained its manageable size and its goal of enriching Princeton’s art scene.

Today, as 25 years ago, its members are painters, sculptors, printmakers, and photographers; some recognized nationally, some internationally.

Recalling the group’s beginnings, Mr. McVicker remembers monthly meetings and exhibits wherever an empty space could be found, in empty stores, model homes, and corporate galleries. “Each artist showed their best work, and the art was diverse,” he said in a statement of PAA history. “At some point it was suggested that we have a ‘theme’ for our next show. Robert Fagles of Princeton University, had just released his highly-regarded translation of Homer’s Odyssey and we liked the idea of using this story as a basis for an exhibition.”

Not surprisingly, the exhibition was recommended viewing for a number of college literature classes. After being shown in a corporate gallery, it went on to the Newark Museum, two college galleries, and a cultural foundation in New York City. After such initial success, PAA produced more themed exhibitions, including several focused on the New Jersey landscape and the need to protect it. PAA members have produced work on the Trenton Marsh and the Pine Barrens, a show which ran at The Noyes Museum. Recently, they have presented work that draws attention to the havoc of Superstorm Sandy and global warming at the D&R Greenway Land Trust. Several years ago, they collaborated with poets for a show at the State Museum in Trenton. And this fall, they will feature in another, “America Through Artists’ Eyes,” curated by Margaret O’Reilly.

Over the years, the group has renewed itself as members have left and been replaced. “But,” said Mr. McVicker, “the dedication of the Alliance to high quality shows and the enrichment of the Princeton art community and beyond has never waned. Like the Impressionists, life-long friendships have been made and the cross-pollination of ideas holds the group together, and benefits the community as well.”

“Little did I realize that joining PAA in 2000 would become a turning point in my work,” said Shellie Jacobson, an award-winning ceramicist, book-maker and teacher. “Not only have I grown more confident as an artist, but over time my focus became stronger and my work more mature as we offer each other suggestions and lend support through our common struggles and accomplishments as artists.” Ms. Jacobson’s artists’ books are part of the permanent collection of the Newark Museum and the Ben Shahn Gallery and she has exhibited in Korea, Japan, Mexico, Costa Rica, and Greece. For more of her work, visit: www.shelliejacobson.com.

Alongside such newer members, Mr. McVicker, Ms. Kennard Johnson and others of the original 20-member group, including Marie Sturken, Joanne Augustine, Anita Benarde, and Lucy Graves McVicker, continue as vital members of PAA. Ms. Eccles and Ms. Scott have since moved from Princeton.

Mr. McVicker (www.charlesmcvicker.com), former president of the Garden State Watercolor Society and the Society of Illustrators, is a retired professor of art at The College of New Jersey. His work has garnered many top awards at regional and national juried shows and has been featured in The Artist’s Magazine and International Artist Magazine. His paintings are in the permanent collections of the U.S. Capitol, Princeton University, Dupont and Johnson & Johnson, among others.

Margaret Kennard Johnson (wmgallery.com/Johnson.html) studied with Joseph Albers and taught studio art at the Museum of Modern Art for23 years. Her work is in the collections of the British Museum, The U.S. Library of Congress, and the Tochigi Museum in Japan. The art of Japan, where she lived for eight years, remains a primary influence on her work.

Paper- and print-maker Marie Sturken (www.mariesturken.com) works out of the Dieu Donne Paper Mill in New York City, where she enjoys the “low-tech aspect of making paper by hand, of natural fibers.” Her primary focus of late is to embed a wide variety of materials into the pulp: fabric, yarn, and printed words. Her work is included in public and corporate collections including the New Jersey State Museum, Johnson and Johnson, and the University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro.

Joanne Augustine (coryellgallery.com/artists/Augustine/) has a passion for “flowers and beautiful weeds,” and tries to capture their essence in her work. “I find them a spiritual resource, putting me in touch with my own intuition and reverence for nature,” she has said. “As a metaphor for our own lives, they challenge us to remember that we, too, exist on borrowed time.”

Mixed media artist Anita Benarde (www.benardeart.weebly.com) is also a paper- and print-maker. She has published illustrated books for children, including The Pumpkin Smasher, which is part of the Children’s Rare Book Collection at Princeton University’s Firestone Library.

Work by Lucy Graves McVicker (www.lucygravesmcvicker.com) has been shown in national and state-wide exhibitions and competitions and has received numerous awards, including a Gold Medal from the Audubon National juried show in New York. It has featured in exhibitions at Rider University, Lambertville’s Coryell Gallery, and Kean University, and included in private and public collections like Johnson and Johnson, DuPont Corporation, Capital Health System, Princeton University, AtlantiCare, the University Medical Center at Princeton, and the New Jersey State Council of the Arts.

Arts Council Show

The Arts Council of Princeton will showcase the work of 21 PAA artists. In addition to the above mentioned, the show features works by the late Nancy Lee Kern, combining the artist’s love of nature and color. The other artists are: Hetty Baiz, (www.hettybaiz.artspan.com), whose large-scale mixed-media images of animals were the centerpiece of last year’s Woodrow Wilson School exhibition “NonHuman Animals: Eat, Test, Love;” painter, mixed media artist, and poet, Joy Barth (www.joybarth.artspan.com); the English-born Zenna Broomer (www.zennabroomer.com), currently exploring printmaking to visualize abstraction in the urban landscape, and incorporating steel, copper and metal shavings into her work; Jennifer Cadoff (www.jennifercadoff.com), a signature member of the Philadelphia Watercolor Society; Rajie Cook (www.rajie.org), who creates three-dimensional sculptural assemblages; photographers Clem Fiori (www.fioriworks.com) and Thomas Francisco (www.thomasfranciscopho
tography.com); landscape painter Carol Hanson; Harry I. Naar (www.harrynaar.com), director of the art gallery at Rider University; sculptors James Perry (www.jimperrystudio.com) and Richard Sanders (www.richardsanders@carbonmade.com); Madelaine Shellaby (www.madelaineshellaby.com); and watercolorist Barbara Watts.

The Arts Council of Princeton will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Princeton Artists Alliance with an exhibition of work from Saturday, October 11 through Wednesday, November 26. Related events include gallery talks on Saturdays, October 25, November 8, and November 22, from 2 to 3 p.m.; and a panel discussion, Saturday, November 1, from 2 to 3 p.m.

The Arts Council of Princeton is open Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call (609) 924-8777, or visit: www.artscouncilofprinceton.org.

 

October 1, 2014
INSIGHT FOR SORE EYES: Offering a strange if grotesque beauty, the above ground power and telephone lines at the intersection of Lover’s Lane and Mercer Street in Princeton are a sight that most of us take for granted. Photographer Alan Chimacoff hopes to change that and prompt those who view his work on display at the Princeton Public Library into a discussion that would see all such wires moved underground by the year 2020. Mr. Chimacoff will discuss his view at the library Thursday evening at 7 p.m. in the Community Room.(Image courtesy of the artist)

INSIGHT FOR SORE EYES: Offering a strange if grotesque beauty, the above ground power and telephone lines at the intersection of Lover’s Lane and Mercer Street in Princeton are a sight that most of us take for granted. Photographer Alan Chimacoff hopes to change that and prompt those who view his work on display at the Princeton Public Library into a discussion that would see all such wires moved underground by the year 2020. Mr. Chimacoff will discuss his view at the library Thursday evening at 7 p.m. in the Community Room. (Image courtesy of the artist)

Who hasn’t looked with sadness, even horror, at some roadside tree misshapen by utility companies into a v-shaped caricature of its former self. Perhaps you might have wondered about the purpose and value of such prunings and whether they really do the job of protecting power and telephone lines from storms that are sure to come. Ridgeview Road resident Alan Chimacoff certainly has. One such sight spurred to action the photographer/architect who came to Princeton in 1973 to teach in the School of Architecture. A series of his photographs are currently on display on the second floor of the Princeton Public Library.

Mr. Chimacoff will put his argument for putting utility wires underground before a Princeton audience on Thursday, October 2, at 7 p.m. when he speaks in the Community Room at the Princeton Public Library (PPL).

The photographer makes his case with visual eloquence in the exhibition of 25 images that comprise “Princeton Underground 2020,” which will be on display through January 4, 2015.

His eye-catching images of complex systems of wires and pockmarked wood utility poles against sky and tangled tree limbs manifest his belief that Princeton “needs to put utility wiring underground in order to avoid continual power outages.” He’d like to see an end to telephone poles overloaded with wires, cables, splice boxes, light fixtures, cell booster boxes, and the rest.

Mr. Chimacoff’s one-man crusade against above-ground wires began several years ago in response to what he saw as “the wanton destruction and removal of trees” and days without power during storms. His work shows the absurd manner in which problems are “fixed” that simply exacerbate the situation. After taking numerous photographs, he approached PPL Director Leslie Burger and the current exhibition, curated by the Arts Council of Princeton’s Maria Evans, is the result.

The display highlights what most people drive past each day, without remark, having become used to the “mess” that results from the decisions of engineers who are “totally unregulated and totally uneducated about the way things ought to look,” said Mr. Chimacoff, who has received much comment in response to the exhibition. “It’s been gratifying to know that people look at these and see great photographs, and that is most meaningful to me since my photographs are generally neither topical nor political but rather have high artistic aspirations.” If the artist has his way, however, the subject of his art might disappear.

The exhibition’s title conveys not only conveys Mr. Chimacoff’s call for change to be accomplished by the year 2020, “it’s also a play on the numbers used to describe perfect vision, in this case hindsight and foresight,” he said, in an email interview Monday.

With one or two exceptions showing scenes in neighboring towns such as Lawrenceville and Hopewell, all of the photographs were taken in Princeton.

According to the photographer, it is inevitable that “storms with big winds, big rains and big snows will snap and uproot trees, knock down power lines and power poles, and leave us in the dark unless you happen to be in the center of Princeton or on the Princeton University campus, where the utilities are underground.”

“In the late 19th century, the telegraph and telephone revolutionized communication,” he explained. “Single wires strung between series’ of wooden poles enabled the most technologically advanced communication and stood as signs of progress. Today, 150 years later, the same poles are overloaded with literally tons of wires, cables, splice boxes, light fixtures, cell booster boxes, and myriad additional devices.

“Overloaded so heavily and asymmetrically, the poles bend and can break, even without a storm. Many are held upright with steel guy wires to keep them from overturning under their burden. Broken poles often are not replaced but reinforced with a second pole lashed to the first with yellow plastic rope — a caricature of a broken clipper ship mast (also of the 19th century) repaired in a storm at sea,” he said.

Putting all of the wiring underground would eliminate regular power outages as well as the cost of importing tech crews and tree crews from around the country, and the costs of restoration and repairs that continue year after year. While acknowledging that such change would be costly, Mr. Chimacoff questions whether we can afford not to do it. “Can everyone afford the cost of auxiliary power generators for their homes?”

The images on display at the library are a small fraction of the thousands of similar grotesqueries that can be seen in and around Princeton, said the photographer/architect who has taught at Princeton University as well as at Cornell University, Syracuse University, and the University of Maryland. In 1986, he joined Hillier Architecture as director of design. He left the Princeton faculty 1988 and is now principal of his own firm ikon.5 architects.

His previous solo exhibitions include JAMuse at Cornell University Johnson Art Museum, in Ithaca, N.Y., last year and and the Architects Gallery in Los Angeles, also last year. He’s shown at Princeton’s Art Times Two Gallery and at the Gensler New York, Architects Gallery, and is featured in the permanent collections at Cornell University Johnson Museum of Art, Princeton University, and in the homes of numerous private collectors.

His extensive list of accomplishments includes state and national design awards; national and international publications of buildings and writing; and a number of winning design competitions. He lectures broadly across the country.

For more on Mr. Chimacoff’s work, visit: www.chimacoff.com.

September 24, 2014
UNDERGROUND RAILROAD: Inspired by the Underground Railroad, this mural can be found behind the Arts Council of Princeton’s Paul Robeson Center, where it was completed by artists Will “Kasso” Condry and James “Luv 1” Kelewae on Sunday, September 14. Both artists are members of the S.A.G.E. Coalition. For more information, call (609) 924 8777, or visit www.artscouncilofprinceton.org.

UNDERGROUND RAILROAD: Inspired by the Underground Railroad, this mural can be found behind the Arts Council of Princeton’s Paul Robeson Center, where it was completed by artists Will “Kasso” Condry and James “Luv 1” Kelewae on Sunday, September 14. Both artists are members of the S.A.G.E. Coalition. For more information, call (609) 924 8777, or visit www.artscouncilofprinceton.org.

It’s not visible from Witherspoon Street, so you’ll have to look behind the Arts Council of Princeton’s Paul Robeson Center building to discover the brightly-colored mural that was painted there on Sunday, September 14.

The mural’s clandestine positioning speaks directly to the subject that inspired the artwork. Titled Underground Railroad, the mural commemorates the historic web of routes and safe houses that escaped slaves from the south followed and found refuge in on their harrowing journeys to freedom.

The routes covered thousands of miles and ran through New Jersey. Sections were known as “stations,” and Station A ran through Princeton’s Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood. The mural thus serves as a reminder of Princeton’s historical involvement in the Underground Railroad.

“Those viewers who choose to wander in and explore the ‘hidden’ wall will experience the clandestine nature of the Underground Railroad as well as that of contemporary urban art,” said local curator, writer, teacher and photographer Ricardo Barros who conceived of the work.

Completed in one day by Will “Kasso” Condry and James “Luv 1” Kelewae of Trenton’s S.A.G.E. Coalition, the mural also pays homage to the tradition of quilt-making. According to a press release following the event, “the alternating diamond patterns and geometric shapes that can be seen throughout the mural are directly inspired by African-American quilt patterns, bringing to mind their importance in telling the story of the Underground Railroad.”

As members of the S.A.G.E. nonprofit organization formed in 2012 to initiate, plan, and execute inner-city beautification projects, both artists are used to being watched by the public as they work, in this case to the music of OLD SOL, a Trenton-based funk, hip-hop, and soul band. The arts coalition is a diverse group of visual artists, engineers, fabricators, musicians, and teachers who create everything from murals to 3-D models. Kasso and Luv 1 have already created a series of public art projects in Trenton, including a depiction of Gandhi, the Dalai Lama, and Barack Obama. The Gandhi mural generated a strong, positive, public response, and led to the transformation of an abandoned lot into a public urban garden, known as Gandhi’s Garden.

The ACP abstract mural, which took 10 hours to complete, interweaves symbolic images such as lantern, sailboat, sun, moon, and star. The project brings together the art communities of Princeton and Trenton, which is exactly what Mr. Barros, a resident of the Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood and ACP Exhibition Committee member, had in mind.

“This day will go down in history. Not because of what we painted, but because of the connections that were made and the new bridges that were built,” said Kasso in a recent blog post on the ACP website, where comments and perspectives on the mural can be viewed.

For more on the S.A.G.E. Coalition, visit http://sagecoalitionnj.com/. For more information, visit www.artscouncilofprinceton.org or call (609) 924-8777.

 

September 18, 2014

Princeton University is steeped in tradition, as is classical music, but music is a continually evolving medium. Well into the second decade of the 21st century, the University’s department of music has established a new residency collaboration with one of music’s most innovative ensembles. So Percussion, a quartet of four human rhythm machines who have been performing together for 15 years, opened its residency with a concert in Richardson Auditorium last Friday night. Following the former Edward T. Cone Performers-in-Residence — the mufti-faceted Brentano String Quartet, So Percussion may have had a big job introducing their repertoire and style of music to the Princeton audience. However the four musicians of So Percussion (Eric Beach, Josh Quillen, Adam Sliwinski, and Jason Treuting) are no strangers to the Princeton community and quickly made themselves at home.

The New York Times recently called the percussion ensemble the “string quartet of the 21st century,” and attendees at orchestra concerts can easily make an evening out of watching the percussion section. It is therefore no surprise that the percussion section has stepped out of the orchestra on its own as a performing ensemble. Melodic line and sinuous melodies may not always be present in the repertoire of percussion ensembles, but Friday night’s concert showed that great variety could be found in the diversity of instruments and rhythmic intensity of the music.

So Percussion presented three works from the 20th and 21st century, one of which demonstrated that music for this genre goes back further than one would think. American composer John Cage composed Third Construction in 1941, surely before anyone thought this medium would be popular. Cage wrote this one movement work for both traditional instruments and objects found around the house. So Percussion set the stage with a collection of drums, as well as tin cans, South American and Northwest Indian instruments, and some of the lesser-heard instruments of the orchestra. Composed for a very early percussion ensemble with which Cage was involved in the 1940s, Third Construction required each musician of So Percussion to play at least five instruments. All players demonstrated exacting rhythm and communication with one another. Among the more unique instruments played were Northwest Indian rattles, claves, a conch, and a “lion’s roar” — a membranophone bringing of a sound from the depths.

As an ensemble, So Percussion not only focuses on music of the past century, but also creates its own repertory. In 2006 founding member Jason Treuting created a series of short pieces entitled amid the noise, several of which were performed in this concert. Again, each musician played multiple instruments at once, and especially in the first “life is (blank)” the rhythm and percussive action were so fast it was difficult to tell who was playing what instrument when. The second and more improvisatory “June” contrasted pitched percussion instruments with an electronic drone carried through the audience and to various parts of the stage. The “noises” of amid the noise are sounds of both traditional classical music and sounds of the concert hall in which the piece is played. Audience involvement is another component of So Percussion performances, and the audience at Richardson was more than willing to participate.

So Percussion likes to devote the second half of the ensemble’s concerts to a single work, and Bryce Dessner’s 2013 Music for Wood and Strings showed innovation both in compositional style and instrumentation. Dessner composed this work for four “chordsticks,” a newly-invented instrument which was a cross between a guitar and hammered dulcimer. Resembling a zither and played with sticks the size of pencils, the “chordstick” was fretted as a guitar, yet also bowed with a violin bow at times. The four members of So Percussion each played one of these instruments throughout Dessner’s piece, creating a more mellow sound than one would hear from a dulcimer. The music appeared to be notated on cards (with Mr. Sliwinski impressively playing without any apparent written score) and the overall effect built in intensity as the piece went on.

Music in the 21st century has entered a new era of evolution, and Princeton University has placed itself in the thick of it with the appointment of So Percussion as performers-in-residence. Much of the ensemble’s responsibilities will involve working with students, which will no doubt open up new avenues of creativity within the department of music. Princeton audiences as well will surely enjoy hearing music at its evolutionary best through this unique ensemble.

September 17, 2014
“BAYOU” (egg tempera on panel 18 x15 inches): This work by Mavis Smith can be seen in “Think Again,” at Monmouth University’s DiMattio Gallery, through October 17, with the opening on Friday September 19, from 7 to 9 p.m. The artist will be giving a talk at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday October 2, at the gallery, 400 Cedar Ave West in Long Branch.

“BAYOU” (egg tempera on panel 18 x15 inches): This work by Mavis Smith can be seen in “Think Again,” at Monmouth University’s DiMattio Gallery, through October 17, with the opening on Friday September 19, from 7 to 9 p.m. The artist will be giving a talk at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday October 2, at the gallery, 400 Cedar Ave West in Long Branch.

Mavis Smith, the “honored artist” at the Phillips’ Mill 85th Annual Juried Art Show, has new work on display at Monmouth University’s DiMattio Gallery. Titled “Think Again,” the exhibit will run through October 17, with the opening event set for Friday September 19, from 7 to 9 p.m. The Phillips Mill show will run from Saturday, September 20, through Saturday, October 25 from 1 to 5 p.m.

Mavis Smith will be giving a talk at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday October 2, at the gallery, 400 Cedar Ave West in Long Branch.

An American Arts Quarterly review of “Hidden Realities,” the 2012 exhibit at the James A. Michener Art Museum in Doylestown, Pa., describes “an accomplished tempera painter” who “depicts calm, stylized figures, often young girls, in quiet interiors” and “whose implicit scenarios suggest contemporary fairy tales.”

According to the artist herself, “It’s not so much specific people or events, but the general sense of unknown depths that intrigues me. It does not have to be dark heroic acts toward total strangers; simple people rising to extraordinary occasions are equally in the mix.” About working with egg tempera, she said she has “a love/hate relationship …. It’s a labor intensive medium, but the luminous effects you can achieve makes it seem worth it to me. I build up layer upon layer of thicker paint, alternating with sheer washes of pigment — back and forth, back and forth. The actual process is very meditative, and I believe it contributes to my subconscious imagination coming into play.”

art lead 2

“RED ROOM” (egg tempera on panel 16 x12 inches): According to the artist, “We come into contact with dozens of people on a daily basis, catch their eyes for a brief moment and move on, never knowing the intricate accumulation of experience that forms their reality. My work is about that moment — hinting at a narrative, yet remaining intentionally elusive.” Mavis Smith’s new exhibit, “Think Again,” will be at Monmouth University’s DiMattio Gallery through October 17, with the opening on Friday September 19, from 7 to 9 p.m.

Mavis Smith studied at the Pratt Institute in the 1970s, and in addition to her solo show at the Michener, has exhibited her work in Holland and Switzerland as well as Santa Fe, New York City, and several venues in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. She is also an illustrator and author of children’s books, having authored 10 and illustrated some 75. This exhibition samples a range of work from years past, as well as several new pieces, including both paintings and works on paper as well as some recent sculptural works incorporating egg shells.

“Hidden Realities” was reviewed in Town Topics, February 22, 2012.

GROVER’S CORNERS: Mary Barton, shown here with Richard Kondras in the 1995 production of Philip Jerry’s “Our Town” by American Repertory Ballet, coaches current dancers by relaying the late Mr. Jerry’s direction “almost word for word.” “Our Town” is being presented this weekend at Rider University.

GROVER’S CORNERS: Mary Barton, shown here with Richard Kondras in the 1995 production of Philip Jerry’s “Our Town” by American Repertory Ballet, coaches current dancers by relaying the late Mr. Jerry’s direction “almost word for word.” “Our Town” is being presented this weekend at Rider University.

Nineteen years ago, American Repertory Ballet (ARB) debuted the ballet Our Town, based on the play by Thornton Wilder that won the playwright a Pulitzer Prize in 1938. Choreographed by Philip Jerry, who was ballet master of the company while earning his undergraduate degree at Princeton University, the affecting drama was made all the more poignant by Mr. Jerry’s death from AIDS not long after the premiere. He was 41.

The fact that the ballet company has continued to perform Our Town over the ensuing two decades is testament to its dramatic power. This weekend, it is one of four works on a program ARB is presenting at Rider University’s Bart Luedeke Center. Coaching the dancers are artistic director Douglas Martin and the company’s ballet mistress Mary Barton, who starred in “Our Town” at its premiere. The two, who celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary last week, knew Mr. Jerry from when they were all members of The Joffrey Ballet in the 1980s.

“He was very clear about what he wanted,” Ms. Barton said, recalling Mr. Jerry before a rehearsal of Our Town last week. “We only had a week to learn the ballet. But he was so articulate and such a good actor that he got me to fully understand what he wanted. And I relay that today, almost word for word.”

Ms. Barton played Emily Webb, a central character in the story of Grover’s Corners, an average, early 20th century New England town as depicted through the simplicity of everyday life. Emily’s childhood, her romance with George Gibbs (played by Mr. Martin), her death giving birth to her second child, and her wrenching return to Earth for just one day are the crux of the three-act play, which Mr. Jerry condensed into one act.

“Philip had done a first draft of it elsewhere, but not on professional dancers,” Ms. Barton continued. “When he set it on us, a professional company, it felt like it was real to him, I think. This was his first drama. He had done some ballets for Joffrey 2 [the Joffrey Ballet’s second company] that were strictly just movement. But this was what he was really great at, in my opinion. The music, by Aaron Copland, really sweeps you along. Philip arranged it beautifully and set it in such a way that it just flowed from your body.”

Mr. Jerry was first accepted at Princeton University in 1972, but he deferred to pursue a dance career in New York. He was a member of the Joffrey Ballet until 1991, when he left to enroll at the University. He graduated with honors in art history and a certificate in French.

“Philip was very well read and very intelligent,” said Mr. Martin, during a rehearsal break last week. “He understood what artists of the early 20th century did, and he was so smart at understanding character.” As a younger dancer with the Joffrey, Mr. Martin remembers following Mr. Jerry into several roles. “I spent a lot of time with him in the rehearsal hall,” he recalled. “I mean, he had learned the role of the Chinese Conjurer (in the revival of the historic 1917 ballet Parade by Leonide Massine) from Massine himself. He was my role model.”

The local connections with Our Town go back to Mr. Wilder’s day. He taught French at The Lawrenceville School between 1921 and 1928. While there, he earned a master’s degree in French from Princeton University. Mr. Wilder won his first Pulitzer, for the novel The Bridge of San Luis Rey, before resigning from Lawrenceville in 1928. When Our Town premiered a decade later, it was at Princeton’s McCarter Theatre.

The ballet Our Town was also given its first viewing at McCarter. “We performed it with the scrim up, as the play had been done,” said Ms. Barton. “Then we did it again during Douglas’s first year as artistic director.”

Monica Giragosian and Cameron Auble Branigan play Emily and George in the current version of Our Town. Jumping up during rehearsal to demonstrate Emily and George’s loving glances at each other and the baby in Emily’s arms, Ms. Barton and Mr. Martin look completely believable as the young couple. “After I learned the ballet, I felt like I had become Emily,” Ms. Barton said. “It was very powerful.”

It’s all about simplicity, Mr. Martin tells the dancers. “When you do it right, you feel the righteousness of this New England town. It’s about community. It’s almost like a Capra film. It’s a day in the life of everybody, and people are doing so much. If the people in the background aren’t doing their job, it doesn’t work.”

The ballet “is more about the story than the steps,” Ms. Barton said. “The way Philip felt about it — and I’m sure he knew his situation — imbued you with how important a piece it was. You felt entrusted with something very precious.”

American Repertory Ballet performs Our Town, Confetti, Fantasy Baroque, and Dreams Interrupted Friday and Saturday, September 19 and 20, at 7:30 p.m. at Rider University’s Bart Luedeke Center. Tickets are $20; $10 for students and seniors. Call (609) 896-7775.

 

September 10, 2014
MURAL ART COMING TO PRINCETON: Shown here is a mural by artists of the S.A.G.E. Coalition that was created in Hopewell. This weekend S.A.G.E artists, Will “Kasso” Condry and James “Luv 1” Kelewae will create a mural for the Arts Council of Princeton. Inspired by the Underground Railroad, the mural will take shape behind the Arts Council of Princeton’s Paul Robeson Center throughout the day, beginning at noon, on Sunday, September 14. For more information, call (609) 924 8777, or visit www.artscouncilofprinceton.org.

MURAL ART COMING TO PRINCETON: Shown here is a mural by artists of the S.A.G.E. Coalition that was created in Hopewell. This weekend S.A.G.E artists, Will “Kasso” Condry and James “Luv 1” Kelewae will create a mural for the Arts Council of Princeton. Inspired by the Underground Railroad, the mural will take shape behind the Arts Council of Princeton’s Paul Robeson Center throughout the day, beginning at noon, on Sunday, September 14. For more information, call (609) 924 8777, or visit www.artscouncilofprinceton.org.

The walls may be small, but the subject of the mural that will cover them is large. And the artists who will carry it out are the larger than life Will “Kasso” Condry and James “Luv 1” Kelewae of Trenton’s S.A.G.E. Coalition, the Trenton-based nonprofit organization that was formed in 2012 to initiate, plan, and execute inner-city beautification projects.

The two artists will create a mural that will span two small brick walls behind the Arts Council of Princeton’s (ACP) Paul Robeson Center for the Arts on Witherspoon Street. The work will be carried out and completed throughout the day on Sunday, September 14, beginning at noon.

The mural is inspired by the Underground Railroad and quilt-making tradition. The Underground Railroad was a web of routes covering thousands of miles, several of which ran through New Jersey. Sections were known as “stations,” and Station A ran through Princeton’s Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood.

According to an ACP press release, “members of the Witherspoon Street Presbyterian Church, spoke out against slavery as early as the 1840s and assisted escaping slaves in their passage north.”

The father of Princeton’s Paul Robeson, after whom the ACP building is named, was a slave who escaped a Southern plantation and eventually settled in Princeton’s Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood, where his son Paul was born. For a time, Paul Robeson’s father was minister of the Witherspoon Street Presbyterian Church. Paul was born on April 9, 1898, in the church parsonage nearby. He graduated from Rutgers University and Columbia Law School and went on to international acclaim as an actor, singer, and humanitarian. He was an uncompromising champion of black civil rights.

Conceived by local curator, writer, teacher and photographer Ricardo Barros, the mural project will be one of several carried out by members of S.A.G.E., a diverse group of visual artists, engineers, fabricators, musicians and teachers, who create everything from murals to 3-D models.

“The mural will present a stylized, interpretive take on the Underground Railroad, reflecting the S.A.G.E. Coalition’s urban roots,” said Mr. Barros, a resident of the Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood and ACP Exhibition Committee member. “The mural will not be visible from the street, but those viewers who choose to wander in and explore the “hidden” wall will experience the clandestine nature of the Underground Railroad as well as that of contemporary urban art.”

Kasso and Luv have already created a series of public art projects in Trenton, including a depiction of Mahatma Gandhi, the Dalai Lama, and Barack Obama. The Gandhi mural in particular generated a surprisingly strong, positive, public response, which led to the transformation of a derelict, abandoned lot into a public urban garden, known as Gandhi’s Garden.

The artists are accustomed to completing their murals in one day and welcome a public audience. They also enjoy working to music, and live musicians and DJs will add to the festive occasion. It’s been rumored that a few break dancers may make an appearance as well.

“The ACP is proud to support the S.A.G.E. Coalition and bring their unique urban vision to Princeton,” said Executive Director Jeff Nathanson.

Founded in 1967, the Arts Council of Princeton (ACP), is a non-profit organization with a mission of building community through the arts. Housed in the landmark Paul Robeson Center for the Arts, designed by architect Michael Graves, the ACP fulfills its mission by presenting a wide range of programs including exhibitions, performances, free community cultural events, and studio-based classes and workshops in a wide range of media. Arts Council of Princeton programs are designed to be high-quality, engaging, affordable, and accessible for the diverse population of the greater Princeton region.

The Arts Council of Princeton is located at 102 Witherspoon Street. The creation of the mural will coincide with the ACP’s Free Fall Open House, from noon to 3 p.m. and its annual Members’ Show, from 3 to 5 p.m. All events are open to the public and free of charge. Parking is available in the Spring and Hulfish Street Garages and at metered spots along Witherspoon Street and Paul Robeson Place.

For additional information about the S.A.G.E. Coalition and to see photographs of previous work, visit http://sagecoalitionnj.com/. For more information about this event, please visit www.artscouncilofprinceton.org or contact Alyssa Gillon at agillon@artscouncilofprinceton.org or call (609) 924-8777 x110.

 

September 3, 2014
FLIGHT PATTERNS: Work such as those shown above by award-winning artists Jennifer Cadoff (left) and Beatrice Bork (right) will be on display in an exhibition, titled “Flight Patterns,” at the Artists’ Gallery in Lambertville from September 4 through October 5. An opening reception will take place Saturday, September 6, from 5 to 8 p.m. and there will be Coffee and Conversation with the artists on Sunday, October 5, from 2 to 4 p.m. The gallery is located at 18 Bridge Street, Lambertville, and is open Thursday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and by appointment. For more information call (609) 397-4588, or visit: www.lambertvillearts.com. For more on the artists’s work, visit: www.beatricebork.artspan.com and www.jennifercadoff.com.

FLIGHT PATTERNS: Work such as those shown above by award-winning artists Jennifer Cadoff (left) and Beatrice Bork (right) will be on display in an exhibition, titled “Flight Patterns,” at the Artists’ Gallery in Lambertville from September 4 through October 5. An opening reception will take place Saturday, September 6, from 5 to 8 p.m. and there will be Coffee and Conversation with the artists on Sunday, October 5, from 2 to 4 p.m. The gallery is located at 18 Bridge Street, Lambertville, and is open Thursday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and by appointment. For more information call (609) 397-4588, or visit: www.lambertvillearts.com. For more on the artists’s work, visit: www.beatricebork.artspan.com and www.jennifercadoff.com.

Works by Beatrice Bork and Jennifer Cadoff will be showcased in an exhibition at the Artists’ Gallery in Lambertville, from September 4 through October 5. Titled, “Flight/Patterns,” the exhibition explores rhythms, flight, textures, and patterns inspired by the natural world. There will be an opening reception on Saturday, September 6, from 5 to 8 p.m. and Coffee and Conversation with the artists on Sunday, October 5, from 2 to 4 p.m.

The show will include the latest paintings and drawings by these two award-winning artists and is their second collaboration in as many years.

Ms. Bork is an internationally-recognized wildlife artist whose watercolors capture animals, often, but not exclusively, birds, immersed in their natural habitat. The signature of Beatrice’s art is an ability to balance the intricate details of her animal subjects with loose brushwork, splashes of color, and unusual compositions that make her paintings thrum with life, said Ms. Cadoff.

Ms. Bork has won the prestigious Don Eckleberry Award for outstanding bird art from the Society of Animal Artists, of which she is a signature member. Her paintings have been published in a variety of books and magazines and acquired by collectors from around the world.

Ms. Cadoff makes intricate abstract ink drawings that suggest her close observation of natural patterns such as tree bark, rain, even cells under a microscope. She incorporates into some of her compositions the outlines of leaves, pine cones and other natural detritus that she collects on her walks, mesmerized by the infinite variations of their simple forms. Other work includes striking collages that play with dimension and form through combinations of patterns and textures.

“Jennifer creates thousands of small, simple marks that transform into wonderfully complex organic patterns that let your imagination take flight; they draw viewers in to discover and interpret — and each can see something totally different in her work,” said Ms. Bork.

The Artists’ Gallery has been a fixture in the Lambertville art scene for nearly 20 years, showcasing established local artists with regional and national reputations whose work is sought after by art lovers who visit the town from across the country and around the world. Each of the current gallery roster of 18 artists has work on display at all times. New work is hung every month, so there’s always something fresh and exciting for collectors to discover.

The gallery is located at 18 Bridge Street in the heart of historic Lambertville, and is open Thursday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and by appointment. For more information call (609) 397 4588, or visit: www.lambertvillearts.com. For more on the artists’s work, visit: www.beatricebork.artspan.com and www.jennifercadoff.com.

August 27, 2014
BROOM AND LUDLOW: That’s the title of this 18 x 24 inch oil on canvas by Hopewell artist Ken McIndoe, who will have a one-man show of his paintings in the Silva Gallery of Art at the Pennington school from September 3 through October 3. A reception with the artist will be held on Friday, September 12, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The Pennington School is located at 112 W. Delaware Avenue in Pennington. For more information, call (609) 737-4133, or visit: www.pen nington.org/arts/silva-gallery-of-art.

BROOM AND LUDLOW: That’s the title of this 18 x 24 inch oil on canvas by Hopewell artist Ken McIndoe, who will have a one-man show of his paintings in the Silva Gallery of Art at the Pennington school from September 3 through October 3. A reception with the artist will be held on Friday, September 12, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The Pennington School is located at 112 W. Delaware Avenue in Pennington. For more information, call (609) 737-4133, or visit: www.pen
nington.org/arts/silva-gallery-of-art.

Hopewell artist Ken McIndoe will exhibit his work, in a solo exhibition entitled “Paintings,” at The Pennington School’s Silva Gallery of Art. The exhibition opens on September 3 and continues through October 3. A reception with the artist will be held on Friday, September 12, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

An intense observer of life, Mr. McIndoe can capture and interpret an object, a scene, a person in a way that makes one pause with curiosity. In “Paintings,” Gallery Director Dolores Eaton has chosen to focus on Mr. McIndoe’s city scenes in an effort to highlight the enormous range found in the artist’s marks and use of color. The work ranges from painterly to almost completely abstract. Painted on-site in oils, the paintings capture what is happening in the moment. The artist has not reworked these paintings back in the studio.

Born in London, Mr. McIndoe lived his early childhood in Liberia and spent his schooling years in English boarding schools. Soon after his arrival in the United States in 1957 he enrolled at The Art Students League to study painting. In 1981 he became an instructor at The Arts Student League and continues to teach there today. He has conducted landscape workshops in Ireland, South Korea, Alaska, New York, and New Jersey.

Mr. McIndoe has had numerous solo and group exhibitions in New York and New Jersey, including the State Museum in Trenton. He is the recipient of two, New Jersey State Council on the Arts Fellowships in 1987 and 2000.

The Silva Gallery of Art is the gallery of The Pennington School, 112 W. Delaware Avenue, Pennington, NJ 08534. Gallery Hours are Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.; or by appointment.

For more information, call (609) 737-4133, or visit: www.pennington.org/arts/silva-gallery-of-art.
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August 13, 2014
FACES OF THE NIGHT: This photograph by Wendy Paton will be part of an exhibition of 70 gelatin silver prints in the exhibition “Wendy Paton: Nuit Blanche” opening in the James A. Michener Art Museum in Doylestown on Saturday, August 23. It is part of the artist’s “Visages de Nuit” series of 51 black and white candid night portraits, shot over a six-year period from 2006 to 2012. For more information, call (215) 340-9800, or visit: www.michenermuseum.org.(Image Courtesy of the Michener Art Museum).

FACES OF THE NIGHT: This photograph by Wendy Paton will be part of an exhibition of 70 gelatin silver prints in the exhibition “Wendy Paton: Nuit Blanche” opening in the James A. Michener Art Museum in Doylestown on Saturday, August 23. It is part of the artist’s “Visages de Nuit” series of 51 black and white candid night portraits, shot over a six-year period from 2006 to 2012. For more information, call (215) 340-9800, or visit: www.michenermuseum.org. (Image Courtesy of the Michener Art Museum).

An installation of 70 gelatin silver prints by Wendy Paton are on view in “Wendy Paton: Nuit Blanche” at the James A. Michener Art Museum in Doylestown from Saturday, August 23 through December 7 in the Commonwealth and Pfundt Galleries.

An award winning fine art photographer, Wendy Paton was in the throes of a successful, ground breaking career training and driving Standardbred race horses in New York, when in 1981, her interest in photography emerged. She studied at the International Center of Photography in New York, learned the intricacies of night photography from Michael Kenna, and darkroom printing techniques from her mentor and collaborator, master printer Chuck Kelton.

The Michener exhibition consists of two bodies of work: “Nuit Blanche” comprises a premiere selection of Paton’s Visages de Nuit, complemented by a collection of her latest series, Reclaiming Dignity.

Visages de Nuit, is a collection of 51 black and white candid night portraits, shot over a six-year period from 2006 to 2012 in various international cities. The series of nocturnal images explores the mystery of the night and brings the viewer into her subject’s nighttime world. Ms. Paton’s dark and gritty images purposely convey her interpretation of the surreal quality of life at night, and what is hiding behind what we normally view as reality.

Reclaiming Dignity is a portfolio of the photographer’s vision of “abstract portraits,” faces and bodies of neglected cars, once coveted for their style, beauty, speed, and grace, left unattended and ignored for years, then given a chance to once again be admired and coveted; an opportunity to “reclaim their dignity.”

Both Visages de Nuit and Reclaiming Dignity share the common thread of a strong desire to visually document a contemporary vision of “portraits,” a creative portrayal of what the artist observes through her camera’s lens.

The execution of this work, size of prints, the choice to use black and white film, and the conscious style of printing in a traditional darkroom, were all vital in allowing Paton to produce this exhibition of gelatin silver photographs with the desired strong, emotional impact.

This exhibition is curated and organized by Lisa Tremper Hanover, Director and CEO of the Michener Art Museum and is supported by an anonymous friend of the Museum in honor of Padmini and Rajan as well as by Jay and Barbara Belding and Sandra and Conrad Leon. In-kind support is provided by Brilliant Graphics and Paris Framemakers.

Ms. Paton will speak about her work at the museum on September 16; she will conduct a weekend studio workshop, “Making Photograms/Darkroom & Cyanotype Technique,” from October 18 through October 19.

The James A. Michener Art Museum is located at 138 South Pine Street, Doylestown, Pa.

For more information, call (215) 340-9800, or visit: www.michenermuseum.org.

 

July 30, 2014
BYGONE BARBERS: This shot of the interior of Jack Honore’s Barbershop, which opened on Nassau Street around 1913, is among the 90 bringing the town’s past to life in the show currently on view at the Historical Society of Princeton’s two locations.      (Photo courtesy of Historical Society of Princeton)

BYGONE BARBERS: This shot of the interior of Jack Honore’s Barbershop, which opened on Nassau Street around 1913, is among the 90 bringing the town’s past to life in the show currently on view at the Historical Society of Princeton’s two locations. (Photo courtesy of Historical Society of Princeton)

Most towns the size of Princeton have collections of historical photographs that offer clear clues to the past. But few can claim treasure troves as extensive as that of the Historical Society of Princeton. Thanks to the town’s bygone and long-active Rose Photography Studio, as well as others adept with a camera, everyday life in 19th and early 20th century Princeton is especially well documented.

An exhibit currently on view in the Historical Society’s two locations, at Bainbridge House at 158 Nassau Street and Updike Farm on Quaker Road, shows an exceptional range. Many of the images in “Princeton’s Portrait: Vintage Photographs from the Historical Society of Princeton” have never been previously exhibited. The show divides 90 shots  between the two locations.

During a break in the installation process last week, guest curator Ellen M. Snyder-Grenier, who has developed past exhibitions at the Historical Society, reflected on its archives. “The breadth and diversity of the collection here is remarkable,” she said. “It’s especially strong for the late 1800s and early 1900s. I also appreciate it for its very rich collection reflecting the long-standing African-American community in Princeton. That, I think, is truly unusual.”

In a 1920 photo, Philip Diggs, Princeton Borough’s first African-American police officer, poses proudly in his uniform. Images run the gamut, showing many aspects of life in town and in rural settings. There is the interior of Hulit’s shoe store in the 1930s, a bit different from the way it looks today. A group of employees stand in front of 120 Nassau Street,  known then as Leggett’s City Market; another worker can be seen looking out of the window from within.

The show is divided into different categories, showing Princeton residents at home, at play, and at work. Dated 1911 is an exterior shot of the Central Hotel, which was later home to Lahiere’s restaurant and today houses the popular eatery Agricola. J. D. Lawrence’s ambulance, which doubled as a hearse, is shown in a 1923 photo. A group of salesmen inside Farr’s Hardware at Nassau and Mercer Street is dated 1900.

Among the photos depicting lighter moments is one from 1897 showing the Jared Wolfe family, clowning around with musical instruments on their porch at 19 Vandeventer Street. Another shot shows a potato sack race in Rocky Hill from 1908. In an image from around 1910, Princeton University students are dressed up for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. A sign held by one student reads, “They furnish the beans, I spill the hot air.”

Princeton’s Rose Studio, which documented life in town and on the campus from the early 1870s to 1951, is the source for many, but not all, of the images in the show. “It was very hard to choose what to use,” said Daniel Schnur, the exhibition’s designer. “So we had our intern put them on a DVD that will run and show all the ones we couldn’t use.”

That intern, Princeton native and recent Princeton University graduate Isabel Kasdin, was struck by what she found when combing through the collection. “It was a true joy looking through every plate and print within our tens of thousands of photographs,” she wrote in an email. “I was struck with awe as I flipped over each new treasure. There were some wonderful surprises along the way, such as discovering an 1850s daguerrotype from the studio of Mathew Brady, one of the most famous early American photographers. I feel so  lucky to have access to so extensive a visual representation of the history of the town in which I grew up.”

Prints from the show are available for purchase, with proceeds going to help support the Historical Society. The organization will move all of its operations to Updike Farm in 2016. Bainbridge House is owned by Princeton University, which has yet to announce its plans for the building.

Admission to the show is $4. On Nassau Street, hours are Wednesday-Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. The exhibit is on view at Updike Farm from 12-4 p.m. the first Saturday of every month. Visit www.princetonhistory.org for more information.

 

July 23, 2014
THE AWAKENING: Sited on the Meadow at Grounds for Sculpture, this 2014 cast aluminum work from J. Seward Johnson’s “Points of Departure” series is on display with 136 other works, large and small, in Seward Johnson: The Retrospective is on view through September 21. For extended summer hours and admission, visit: www.groundsforsculpture.org.(Photo by Jeff Tryon)

THE AWAKENING: Sited on the Meadow at Grounds for Sculpture, this 2014 cast aluminum work from J. Seward Johnson’s “Points of Departure” series is on display with 136 other works, large and small, in Seward Johnson: The Retrospective is on view through September 21. For extended summer hours and admission, visit: www.groundsforsculpture.org. (Photo by Jeff Tryon)

A retrospective of the work of sculptor J. Seward Johnson is currrently on view at Grounds for Sculpture (GFS), the sculpture park and arboretum founded by the philanthropic artist on the site of the old New Jersey Fairgrounds in Hamilton.

Known throughout the world for life-like bronze figures inspired by the everyday, Mr. Johnson is something of an institution in Princeton. Several of his pieces: the student with his books on Palmer Square, the gentleman reading a newspaper by Battle Monument, and the man taking a nap on one of Drumthwacket’s garden benches are familiar to all.

Similar works by Mr. Johnson can be see throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia; examples of the artist’s “Celebrating the Familiar” series depicting a trip to the grocery story, say, or arriving at a hospital, or a child enjoying an ice cream cone.

“My starting point was a wish to get people back out-of-doors in the early 70s when a crime wave had people avoiding public spaces,” said Johnson when interviewed for Princeton Magazine in 2012. “I wanted to put sculptures into parks to act like decoys and entice people back to parks.”

To date, “Seward Johnson: The Retrospective” is the largest exhibition mounted at the sculpture park, which is quite an achievement after its showcasing of the massive works of Steve Tobin in 2012. Not only are there 287 works by Mr. Johnson on display, some of his biggest pieces have been dismantled from elsewhere and brought here for the show.

The outsize exhibition is fitting for Mr. Johnson’s outsize personality. Some 150 pieces are installed indoors and outdoors at the 42-acre site and if you haven’t been there recently, make tracks; the show will only last through September 21.

Elements of surprise are characteristic of GFS. The park brings art and nature together. The winning combination drew some 160,000 visitors last year. “Each time you visit, you experience the park differently, the sequence is never the same and there’s a freshness that comes with that,” said Mr. Johnson in a recent interview.

As expected, the retrospective includes some of the 83-year-old artist’s most unforgettable works. His 26-foot-tall 34,000-pound steel-and-aluminum, Forever Marilyn, traveled all the way from Palm Springs back to New Jersey where it was constructed.

This iconic representation captures a moment from the 1955 Billy Wilder comedy The Seven Year Itch, in which Monroe luxuriates in an updraft from a subway air vent, her white skirt billowing around her legs. The sculpture was such a hit in Palm Springs that the town hopes to buy it from its owner, The Sculpture Foundation, and put it back on permanent display once the GFS show ends.

Mr. Johnson’s most famous work, Unconditional Surrender, is a must-see. It’s his 3-D version of the famous kiss between a sailor and a nurse in New York’s Times Square on V-J Day at the end of World War II and it is one of his most charismatic trompe l’oeil painted bronzes.

As anyone who has met the artist will tell you, Mr. Johnson loves to tell a story and relishes a battle. Unconditional Surrender, involved him in a battle of sorts when the owners of the copyright to LIFE magazine photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt’s image, refused him permission to use it. With typical bravado, Mr. Johnson based his work on another photograph of the same kissing couple taken on the same day at the same time by another photographer, one whose work happened to be in public domain.

When the sculpture was finished it took pride of place in Times Square where a kissing fest was held and written up by The New York Times. Not only did Mr. Johnson write to TIME to tell them about it, he asked them to contribute $50K to the project!

Also on a grand scale at 25 feet in height, the kissing couple has traveled the world from Times Square to San Diego, from Sarasota to Rome.

Besides these massive pieces and the artist’s Beyond the Frame life-size three-dimensional homages to Claude Monet’s Garden at Sainte-Addresse and Edouard Manet’s Le Dejeuner sur l’herbe, smaller pieces from the artist’s five-decade career are on display in three indoor galleries.

“At GFS we try to break down barriers,” says Johnson, who believes in separating sculpture from the landscape so that one “discovers” what is to be found. The avuncular octogenarian enjoys having fun with visitors. The sculpture park has numerous hidden spaces tucked away for quiet reflection: behind doors, through corridors of trees, around corners, over hills, or behind walls.

Were You Invited?, his three-dimensional life-size version of Renoir’s, The Boating Party, playfully allows visitors to get up close and personal with the work.

Such explorations cultivate what Mr. Johnson describes as “the visceral moment,” when viewers engage with art to transcend their own place in space and time. He deliberately provokes engagement between artwork, artist, setting, and viewer. “The real moment of art is in the eye of the beholder,” he said, “that’s a moment of consecration; if the artwork has changed a life, then it has done its job.”

GFS has grown since Mr. Johnson led the team that transformed the once derelict site of the New Jersey State Fairgrounds. What began as an offshoot of the artist’s foundry, The Johnson Atelier, and the need for a place to show the work that artists were doing there to prospective clients, is now a showcase for prominent and emerging artists. It became a non-profit organization in 1992.

Mindful of his legacy, the artist asked Derek Gilman for advice on avoiding some of the mistakes made by Albert Barnes. “There is a need for some flexible thinking here,” he said. “I don’t want what happened to Barnes to happen here. Barnes fell out with everyone. I like a good fight too, but there’s a difference, Barnes had no sense of humor!”

A sense of humor Johnson has. And fun is a huge part of the GFS philosophy. “Let MOMA tell people what good art is, we will find out what people enjoy,” said the artist.

For more information on “Seward Johnson: The Retrospective,” including extended summer hours and admission, visit: www.groundsforsculpture.org.

 

July 16, 2014
DANCING SUNFLOWERS: Christine Ochab-DiCostanzo’s painting of this title will be among her works on display, along with photography by members of PEAC Health at Fitness, during the month of August at 1440 Lower Ferry Road, Ewing, Monday through Thursday, 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday, 5 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information about the artist, visit www.artsbychristine fineart.com. For more information about the exhibition, visit www.peachealthfitness.com.

DANCING SUNFLOWERS: Christine Ochab-DiCostanzo’s painting of this title will be among her works on display, along with photography by members of PEAC Health at Fitness, during the month of August at 1440 Lower Ferry Road, Ewing, Monday through Thursday, 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday, 5 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information about the artist, visit www.artsbychristine
fineart.com. For more information about the exhibition, visit www.peachealthfitness.com.

As part of its “Art on Display” program, PEAC Health & Fitness will showcase a combined artwork display of photography from PEAC members and paintings from local artist Christine Ochab-DiCostanzo during the month of August.

PEAC’s member photography exhibition will give PEAC members a chance to share their photography skills with others. “It’s a fun way to see the creativity and talents of our members,” said PEAC President, Michael Briehler.

In addition, Christine Ochab-DiCostanzo of Ringoes, will exhibit her paintings. Ms. Ochab-DiCostanzo has been interested in art since she was young, studied at the DuCret School of Art in Plainfield, N.J., and continually takes classes and workshops to develop her skills. She finds inspiration wherever she looks and believes that “art captures the love and feeling you put into it.”

She is a member of Artsbridge artist community. In April 2014, one of her pieces won the “People’s Choice Award” at the 28th Annual Byers Buck’s Fever Art Exhibition. She has also received Honorable Mention for the past two years at the Hunterdon County Library Art Show. This will be her first exhibit at PEAC Health & Fitness.

“Art on Display,” will run at PEAC Health and Fitness, 1440 Lower Ferry Road, Ewing, from August 1 through 31, during regular business hours: Monday through Thursday, 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday, 5 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information about the artist, visit www.artsbychristinefineart.com.
For more information about the PEAC Art on Display program, contact Christine Tentilucci, PEAC Health and Fitness, at (609) 883-2000, ctentilucci@peachealthfitness.com, or visit www.peachealthfitness.com.

 

 

July 9, 2014
(Image courtesy of The B Home Project)

(Image courtesy of The B Home Project)

An experimental project to design homes based on sustainable building practices is the focus of a gathering this Saturday, July 12, on the grounds of D&R Greenway Land Trust, from 5 to 9 p.m.

The B Home Project is described as “out-of-the box spaces made from reclaimed materials” as well as “a living arts installation.” These sculptural-architectural-communal dwellings are the brainchild of artist Pete Abrams and engineer Graham Apgar.

The structures are designed to provide low cost shelters with applications ranging from disaster relief, to eco-tourism, to alternative dwellings for under-served populations.

Built from shipping pallets and other post-industrial and natural materials such as steel pipes, recycled tires, and bamboo, examples are currently on display at D&R Greenway, including three single cells and one three-cell structure. At Saturday’s event, a transportable bakery and community gathering space, the mobile bread house, will also be on view.

The B Home modular shelter system was developed several years ago in collaboration with Princeton University professor Wole Soboyejo and the Engineering Projects In Community Service (EPICS) program. The idea is to provide a fast, cheap way to provide shelter and security for those in need. Unlike tents and trailers, the B Home is also designed to support a sustainable community.

As its name suggests, it was inspired by the geometric efficiency of honey bees.

“The display at the D&R Greenway is more of an art installation, although it was originally developed as an emergency shelter system,” said Mr. Abrams who lives in Princeton and works from a studio on North Clinton Street in Trenton. “I’ve been working on this since last August every month on the evening of the full moon. I’m a bit of a hippie, I guess, and the moon is a reminder of how much time I have left before my next effort.”

The installations can be explored outdoors at D&R Greenway Land Trust’s Johnson Education Center, 1 Preservation Place (off Rosedale Road), Princeton through August 15.

For more information about the B Home Project, visit: thebhome.wikispaces.com/. To follow the project’s progress, visit: thebhome.blogspot.com or www.facebook.com/bhomenow.

 

June 25, 2014
MONUMENTAL SCULPTURE: From left: a detail from Steve Tobin’s “Steelroot” sculpture, his cast and welded bronze “Syntax,” and his “Earth Bronze.” All are on view in the exhibition “Out of This World: Works by Steve Tobin,” opening at the James A. Michener Art Museum in Doylestown this Saturday, June 28. For more information, call (215) 340-9800, or visit michener artmuseum.org.(Photograph by Kenneth Ek)

MONUMENTAL SCULPTURE: From left: a detail from Steve Tobin’s “Steelroot” sculpture, his cast and welded bronze “Syntax,” and his “Earth Bronze.” All are on view in the exhibition “Out of This World: Works by Steve Tobin,” opening at the James A. Michener Art Museum in Doylestown this Saturday, June 28. For more information, call (215) 340-9800, or visit michener
artmuseum.org. (Photograph by Kenneth Ek)

For anyone who missed the incredible New Jersey showing of Steve Tobin’s work at Grounds for Sculpture (GFS) in 2012, the James A. Michener Art Museum in Doylestown offers another chance to view art by this Bucks County native, including the massive Steelroots that dominated the GFS outdoor sculpture garden.

The Michener’s show opens this Saturday, June 28, and continues through October 26. It’s title, “Out of This World: Works by Steve Tobin,” reflects the choice of monumental works in steel, bronze, and clay.

The exhibition features a broad range of the work Mr. Tobin has produced during the last decade including Exploded Earth Vessels, and Forest Floors from his Earth Bronzes series.

Curated by Museum Director and CEO, Lisa Tremper Hanover, the exhibition takes the Michener beyond its usual location and out into the community. In addition to works on view in the Paton/Smith/Della Penna-Fernberger Galleries, the Fred Beans Gallery, the Sculpture Garden and as part of the Outdoor Sculpture Program, the exhibition includes outdoor placements throughout Doylestown. Playing on the sheer size of Mr. Tobin’s works, Ms. Hanover has turned Doylestown into a museum by placing his Steelroots and Walking Roots in the town.

With the cooperation of George Ball, chairman and CEO of W. Atlee Burpee Company, she has also brought sculpture to the grounds and gardens of the nearby Fordhook Farm.

As part of the Garden Conservancy’s Open Days Program, free passes to Fordham Farm will be available from the museum on the opening day of the exhibition with the cost of general admission.

Mr. Tobin is perhaps best known for his epic work, Trinity Root, permanently sited at the corner of Wall Street and Broadway in Lower Manhattan. He cast the root system of the 80-year-old Sycamore tree that had stood across the street from the World Trade Center in the churchyard of the Trinity/St. Paul’s Chapel. First responders to Ground Zero had taken shelter there. Dedicated on the anniversary of 9/11 in 2005, the sculpture was “a massive undertaking of 20,000 man hours,” recalled Tobin in an interview for Princeton Magazine in 2012. “It incorporates the dirt and DNA of that place.”

Mr. Tobin’s work has been shown at numerous museums and outdoor venues across the country in New York City, Chicago, St. Louis, and San Francisco. His larger pieces reference Stonehenge and the monuments of Easter Island and the Great Pyramids.

Initially trained as a scientist, Mr. Tobin has described his work as closer to visual philosophy than art history. After graduating from Tulane University in 1979 with a Bachelor’s in mathematics, he studied glassmaking at the Pilchuck Glass School, founded by glass sculptor Dale Chihuly and others. In 1989, he became the first foreigner invited to build his own studio in Murano, Italy. By 1994, he was building his first foundry and casting in bronze.

Of the Michener show, Ms. Hanover said: “The soaring steel sculptures echo the stretched elegance of his early glass work; and the Earth Bronzes are filled with whimsy and capture the residue of a forest floor, complete with pine needles and insects. Visitors will be confronted with an array of exploded clay vessels that reveal majestic interiors of glass and dynamite-incised textures.”

Mr. Tobin has exhibited extensively throughout the world, including New York’s American Museum of Natural History; the Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art campus complex in Los Angeles; and in museums, art fairs, and public sites in Italy, Russia, China, and Finland.

“I thank Lisa and the Michener for the opportunity of bringing it all back home,” said Tobin. “While my work has taken me far and wide, from the deserts of Ghana to the caves of Nutijarva in Finland, its genesis and inspiration originated in the treehouse of my youth, along Philadelphia’s Main Line.”

“The long arc of Steve Tobin’s success will be celebrated at the Michener with a dynamic installation that recalls his own roots in Bucks County and the Philadelphia region,” said Ms. Hanover. “We are proud to present Tobin’s work … to an audience eager to interact with articulate and engaging artists.”

“Out of This World: Works by Steve Tobin” is supported by Visit Bucks County and an anonymous friend of the Michener. Along with the show, there will be a lecture about the artist’s work on July 22; tours of his Quakertown studio on August 21 and September 5; and contemporary dance performances on August 27 and September 21.

The James A. Michener Art Museum is located at 138 South Pine Street, Doylestown, Pa. The museum is open Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. from 4:30 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday noon to 5 p.m. For more information, call (215) 340-9800, or visit www.michenerartmuseum.org.