June 24, 2020

This oil painting by Deb Hoeffner is featured in “For the Love of Art,” the Arts & Cultural Council of Bucks County’s online exhibition and sale. The exhibit, now on view at bucksarts.org, celebrates 70 artists and 140 works of art including paintings, drawings, ceramics, fiber art, sculptures, mixed media, wood turning, collages, and more.

June 17, 2020

By Stuart Mitchner

Think of it as a double feature. Or better yet, one film, A Tale of Two Poets, with a week-long intermission.

Here are two driven, difficult artists who wrote difficult, celebrated verse. Each chose to “take his own life” or “end it all” on the grand scale. In last week’s column it was John Berryman leaping off a bridge over the Mississippi; this week it’s Hart Crane leaping off a ship into the Gulf of Mexico, his body never recovered, the headlines reading Poet Lost at Sea.

Fathers and Sons

Berryman’s father fatally shot himself outside his 11-year-old son’s ground-floor window at the Kipling Arms apartments, Mandalay Drive, Clearwater Beach, Florida. The shot echoed through four decades, the son reliving it in “Dream Song 145,” the last act of the father “so strong & so undone,” who “only, very early in the morning, / rose with his gun and went outdoors by my window / and did what was needed.”    

Crane’s father, a Cleveland, Ohio candy manufacturer “wholly loyal to the gods of Commerce” was “outraged by the jest of fortune which had given him a poet for a son.” Making it his mission to drive out the “poetry nonsense,” he put the boy to work selling candy and told the other employees to keep an eye on him in case he read “poetry books” during work hours.  more

“IN CONVERSATION”: McCarter Theatre presented an online conversation between outgoing Artistic Director and Resident Playwright Emily Mann and playwright and librettist Nilo Cruz. (Emily Mann photo by Matt Pilsner; Nilo Cruz photo by Marc Richard Tousignant)

By Donald H. Sanborn III

McCarter LIVE: In Conversation with Nilo Cruz” was presented June 12. Artistic Engagement Manager Paula T. Alekson curated the discussion between playwright and librettist Cruz; and outgoing Artistic Director and Resident Playwright Emily Mann. McCarter’s productions of Cruz’s Anna in the Tropics and Bathing in Moonlight were directed by Mann.

The conversation begins on a somber note. “Given the events of the past two and a half weeks, I felt the need to not simply dive into the past, but to be in the present at the top of our time together,” Alekson says, adding that she felt a responsibility not to create a “structured absence of the outrage, pain, unrest, and division. I thought, as a memorial, we might mark the present moment first.”

Cruz recites “The Weight of a Knee,” a poem he has written in memory of George Floyd. The harrowing elegy is unsparing: “The knee in uniform, made of law, crushed the tendrils of an already buried throat, as it strangled the breath of history once again,” Cruz reads. “The knee, known to be used for the sacred ceremony of prayer, now profaned.”

Reflecting on the ensuing national dialogue about racial justice, Mann offers, “We are at a turning point in history. It’s a seismic shift that has great possibility — and of course great danger in it as well, as all great possibilities do.” She observes “people around the world feeling the need to walk together, and show … their need to see justice and change for their fellow human beings. This is something that artists know: the whole thing is to go deep inside yourselves and dream big, and see where you want to go, so that then you can go there together.” more

Lileana Blain-Cruz

The Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University has announced the award of additional support to artists for the 2020-21 academic year through the Mary MacKall Gwinn Hodder Fund. These grants recognize the particular challenges the COVID-19 pandemic have had on artists.

The awards are intended to support the ten selected artists in continuing to advance their work in this environment. The selected artists are theater director Lileana Blain-Cruz, visual artist Oneydika Chuke, interdisciplinary director Mark DeChiazza, choreographer Marjani Forte, actor and performing artist Jennifer Kidwell, composer and musician Aurora Nealand, poet and journalist Maya Phillips, writer and translator Aaron Robertson, choreographer Katy Pyle, and visual artist Paula Wilson.

Oneydika Chuke

The Hodder Fund was established in the 1940s to provide artists and humanists in the early stages of their careers an opportunity to undertake significant new work. Hodder Fellows may be writers, composers, choreographers, visual artists, performance artists, or other kinds of artists or humanists who have, as the program outlines, “much more than ordinary intellectual and literary gifts.” In the regular cycle of Fellowship grants, artists from anywhere may apply in the early fall each year for the following academic year. more

“IN THE CENTER OF SUNRISE MEADOW”: This photograph by Patron Award Winner Phyllis Meredith is one of 143 images featured in the 27th Phillips Mill Photographic Exhibition, on view online at phillipsmillphoto.com/pmpe2020-exhibition.

The 27th Phillips Mill Photographic Exhibition, a prestigious, well-regarded photo show traditionally showcased in the Phillips Mill Gallery in New Hope, Pa., is in an online gallery form this year due to the pandemic. 

For the exhibit, juror, Emmet Gowin, formerly professor of art at Princeton University, selected 143 images out of 1,000 images submitted from professional and amateur photographers from 13 states and three countries.  Gowin is one of the greats in the history of photography and is an internationally acclaimed photographer.

“MINAS BASIN, WOLFVILLE, NOVA SCOTIA”: This photograph by Third Place Award Winner Liam Nelson is featured in the 27th  Phillips Mill Photographic Exhibition, on view online at phillipsmillphoto.com/pmpe2020-exhibition.

Michael Ast won Best in Show.  The second place award winner is Rory Mahon, with the photo “Mud Dauber.”  Third place award winner Liam Nelson traveled far and near for his photos, from Big Sur, California, to the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia, where he was surprised that there were no boats tied up on the docks in the water-filled harbor. Hours later when the tide receded almost completely emptying the harbor it became abundantly clear why there were no boats. Close to home he captured winter scenes along the Delaware River from his front yard in Titusville. more

The 48-star Whipple Peace Flag, circa 1931, is featured in Morven Museum & Garden’s newest online exhibition, “The Stars and Stripes: Fabric of the American Spirit,” on view at morven.org. The exhibition features more than 100 flags from the Pierce Collection of American Parade Flags.

June 10, 2020

By Stuart Mitchner

Nobody is ever missing.

—John Berryman, “Dream Song 29”

There’s a video online of John Berryman reading his poem “The Song of a Tortured Girl” in early October 1970, a year and three months before he jumped to his death from the Washington Avenue Bridge in Minneapolis.

It’s a short poem about a heroine of the French Resistance captured by the Gestapo and, as Berryman puts it, “tortured in various ways to death without giving up any names.” Watching the faded, grainy YouTube clip, I saw convulsive foreshadowings of Berryman’s last act. Although the video resembles a ghostly livestream preview of Zoom, there’s nothing merely “virtual” about the bearded, bespectacled poet’s spasmodic flailings; he’s not reciting the girl’s ordeal, he’s enduring it in an agony of compassion. You find yourself close to ducking, flinching, not sure whether he’s at the drunken mercy of — or in sly performative command of — his own lines. Everything’s at the last point-of-death remove, every pause feels like a fall into the abyss, and you’re there with the girl and the poet in “the strange room where the brightest light DOES NOT shine on the strange men: shines on me.” Nothing short of the capital letters I’ve added can suggest the way those two ordinary words wrench, attack, all but strangle him. It’s not emphasis for effect, it’s an emotional eruption.

No matter how much you read of Berryman’s work or John Haffenden’s 1983 biography or the Paris Review interview conducted at St. Mary’s Hospital later the same month, October 27 and 29, 1970, nothing really prepares you for the dimensions of Berryman’s presence alive and unwell, and rarely sober, in various online videos. Then you begin to understand his take-no-prisoners attitude to syntax; the poignant understatement of his third wife Kate’s reference to the “lovely confusion” of living with him (“you were part of the project”); and above all his lengthy closing response when the interviewer, his former student Peter Stitt, asks him, “Where do you go from here?”  more

The Trenton Music Makers have dedicated their Thursday, June 11 concert on Facebook to the Trenton community. “The beauty and resilience of the people of this city live in all of its children, and our mission is to empower them by uplifting their voices as musicians and members of their community,” the group has stated. “We offer this concert to celebrate and affirm that Black Lives Matter.” The concert, featuring students and teaching artists and special guests, is streamed at 6 p.m. on facebook.com/trentonmusicmakers. (Photo by Nick Donnoli Productions)

The Princeton Festival has added events to the second week of its free “Virtually Yours” online performing arts series. A performance of Georg Philipp Telemann’s Fantasia #8 in E major by Princeton Festival Baroque Orchestra violinist Maria Romero will stream on Thursday, June 11. Romero was earlier interviewed in a podcast about her career, which is now available on the Festival website.

The roster for the online season also includes entertainment by a Latin dance band, including dance lessons; an opera workshop; a podcast on costuming; a Baroque concert; and Mozart’s popular opera Le Nozze di Figaro.

“We’re happy these wonderful artists are joining our virtual season,” said Richard Tang Yuk, executive and artistic director. “We’re planning to announce more added attractions for the final two weeks as well.”

Most events will be available from 9 a.m. the day they debut through June 28. The week two schedule includes a podcast interview on “Costuming Operas and Musicals” with Marie Miller on Wednesday, June 10; “Signature Artists Showcase” with Baroque violinist Maria Montero playing Telemann’s Fantasia #8 in E major, and Session 1 of 4-part Digital Opera Workshop with Kyle Masson, on Thursday, June 11. more

In response to the tragedy of racism and the conversations and protests around social justice taking place in the United States, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra (NJSO) has postponed the world premiere of José Luis Domínguez’s Gratias Tibi to June 22.

NJSO President and CEO Gabriel van Aalst said, “Now is a time to listen to the voices of the black community. Issues of systemic racism and social justice should be the focus of our national conversation. We still believe in the importance of sending gratitude to the frontline medical and service workers who have been at the forefront of the ongoing pandemic response, and we look forward to sharing Gratias Tibi later this month.”

Gratias Tibi is an NJSO commission offering a message of thanks to the frontline medical and service workers responding to the COVID-19 global pandemic. The Montclair State University Singers, longtime NJSO partners, will join the Orchestra for Domínguez’s work for physically-distanced orchestra and choir.

The world premiere will now take place on June 22 at 7:30 pm at njsymphony.org/gratiastibi and on the NJSO’s social media channels. For more information, visit njsymphony.org/gratiastibi.

“SPRING FLOWERS”: This photo by John Marshall can be found in the Lawrence Hopewell Trail (LHT) online gallery at lhtrail.org. All are invited to participate in the LHT Art on the Trail program, which will run through next spring.

Whether area residents are inspired by the critters, trees, blossoms, and grasses or lakes and streams along the 20-plus miles of the Lawrence Hopewell Trail (LHT), all are invited to take part in the LHT Art on the Trail program. The goal is to create and share art inspired by the walking and biking trail that runs through Lawrence and Hopewell Townships.

The assignment: Take a walk along the trail with your cameras or art supplies, choose your subject matter by visiting the LHT photo gallery or tap into your own imagination and create drawings, paintings, videos, and photos of scenes along the Lawrence Hopewell Trail. Submit them at lhtrail.org/upload-trail-artwork, and the LHT will share the best of them on the lhtrail.org website, through social media, and in future LHT publications. more

PUBLIC ART MURAL: Princeton artist Marlon Davila begins painting the D&R Greenway Land Trust mural at Bordentown Beach, which will celebrate the Delaware River. It is projected to be completed by July 4.

D&R Greenway Land Trust of Princeton has announced that first brush strokes of paint are being applied to its public art mural celebrating their upcoming Kayak Education Program on the banks of the Delaware River at Bordentown Beach. This program is designed to increase water access and awareness of watershed protection for all people who live along the Delaware, recently named River of the Year 2020 by American Rivers.

The mural is to be completed by July 4. Meanwhile, the public is welcome to enjoy watching its progress at Bordentown Beach, maintaining social distance.

This announcement comes as June is celebrated as American Rivers Month across the country.  More than 15 million people get their drinking water from the Delaware River watershed.  To create a public statement about the importance of water and the river, and the diverse communities that benefit from it, D&R Greenway partnered with the Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund’s youth program, FUTURO, and with the city of Bordentown.

The mural-in-progress is under the artistic leadership of Princeton resident Marlon Davila. Like many of the students he worked with on this project, he is first generation, his parents having immigrated to the U.S. from Guatemala. To design the mural, Davila and Nadeem Demian of D&R Greenway, also first generation with parents from Egypt, worked with high school youth from Trenton and Princeton. The students were provided presentations about the important historic and natural resources of the Delaware River, and were invited to create art to express their cultural and individual views of environmental impacts on the Delaware.   more

June 3, 2020

By Stuart Mitchner

Each day’s paper more violent . . . Indochina to Minneapolis … History’s faster than thought …
—Allen Ginsberg, from The Fall of America

The news isn’t just breaking, it’s running wild, raging, incendiary, out of control, so how do you keep up when you’re aiming toward the middle of a week that may exceed your darkest expectations? What do you do when the ever-shifting, on-the-scene, at-the-moment image of a floodlit Washington Monument looming in the foreground of an apparent river of fire headed for the White House evokes dystopian TV like The Man In the High Castle, or David Simon’s The Plot Against America, where Philip Roth’s boyhood Newark neighborhood seethes with a Kristallnacht menace as chilling as the West Baltimore phantasmagoria of The Wire.

What can you do but try to keep pace, making a bid for vicarious relevance by tying your weekly hovercraft to art and adversity in the belief that inspired acting, poetry, music is always timely, always worthy of interest. That’s been the motive force driving these pieces week after week, year after year. Along comes Hurricane Irene, a flooded basement, the power out, so you listen to Chopin, read The Winter’s Tale by candlelight, and write about it. When terrorists shoot up the Bataclan in Paris, you connect by way of Henry Miller, Rimbaud, and the Velvet Underground. When youth is under fire at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, you write about the night in 1963 the Beatles played there before swooning audiences of young girls who could have been the mothers or grandmothers of the victims. When terrorists savage Brussels, it opens the way for a column on MI-5. A terrorist attack on Westminster Bridge inspires a flashback to Wordsworth and his spirited sister Dorothy.

Sunday night it’s breaking news gone wild in D.C.’s City of Dreadful Night where the White House of Usher has gone dark and the only refuge is down the rabbit hole into the third season finale of Ozark, high on the super reality of art and outrage, your heart full watching a brother-sister tragedy and the transformative performance of Laura Linney.  more

“CUT FROM MY PSYCHE”: This work by Ilene Dube is featured in the West Windsor Arts Council’s “Faculty Student Art Show,” which can be viewed online June 5 through July 12. 

The “Faculty Student Art Show” at West Windsor Arts Council (WWAC) will celebrate the work of teaching artists and their students created in a class or workshop at WWAC during the fall, winter, or spring sessions of the 2019-2020 class year. 

The online exhibition will run from June 5 to July 12, with an online opening reception and recognition of Certificate of Fine Arts (CiFA) students on Friday, June 5 at 7:15 p.m. This is a free event, but registration is required.  A link for registration can be found at westwindsorarts.org.

Each year WWAC honors its teaching artists and the work done by their students, both youth and adults, by showcasing their work in a culminating exhibition, “the Faculty Student Art Show.” This year is extra special, as it is the first year many of the youth students are part of the Certificate of Fine Arts (CiFA) program, which has become the backbone to the arts education classes offered at WWAC.  more

“LIFE ON SPRINGDALE”: Mary Waltham’s artwork is displayed on Springdale Road as part of the international Art-in Place initiative. Three other artists, Mic Boekelmann, Robin Resch, and Vince Bush, are also participating locally.

Four Princeton artists are participating in Art-in-Place, an international initiative from Terrain Exhibitions and CNL projects based in Chicago. Art-in-Place “invites artists to exhibit an original work of art to be displayed outside their home or from a window visible to the public.”

This collective action provides artists and community members with a sense of hope and connectivity through the experience of public art during the COVID-19 pandemic.  more

MCCARTER LIVE: McCarter Theatre presented an online conversation between outgoing Artistic Director and Resident Playwright Emily Mann; and actor, director, and political activist Cynthia Nixon. (Emily Mann photo by Matt Pilsner; Cynthia Nixon photo by Victoria Stevens.)

By Donald H. Sanborn III

McCarter Theatre presented “McCarter LIVE: In Conversation with Cynthia Nixon.” The May 29 discussion was part of the theatre’s ongoing live-streamed series, McCarter @Home. Artistic Engagement Manager Paula T. Alekson curated the conversation between Nixon and outgoing Artistic Director and Resident Playwright Emily Mann.

Nixon perhaps is best known for her portrayal of Miranda Hobbes in the television and film series Sex and the City, for which she received the 2004 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. She also has appeared in films such as Amadeus and A Quiet Passion. She has won Tony Awards for her Broadway performances in Rabbit Hole and The Little Foxes.

In 1996 Nixon portrayed Nora Helmer, the protagonist of A Doll House (1879), in McCarter’s production of the Ibsen classic. She regards being directed by Mann, who staged that production, as “one of the high points” of her career.  more

HEALING SOUNDS:  The Philadelphia Orchestra is being streamed directly into patient rooms on a dedicated channel or on tablets as part of a program with Penn Medicine hospitals, including Princeton Health. The staff can enjoy the gift of music as well.

The Philadelphia Orchestra, in partnership with Penn Medicine, will bring the healing power of music to patients at Penn Medicine’s six hospitals, including Princeton Health in Plainsboro. Those being treated for COVID-19 are among patients who will be hearing the orchestra.

Penn Medicine hospitals throughout the region will stream Virtual Philadelphia Orchestra programs directly into patient rooms on a dedicated Philadelphia Orchestra television channel or on tablets, including rebroadcasts of previous
concerts, chamber music from musicians’ homes, and more, with new content added each week. In addition, Philadelphia Orchestra audio and video content will be available on Penn Medicine’s employee COVID-19 support portal, PennMedicineTogether.

“Music has the incredible power to inspire, to comfort, and to heal,” said Philadelphia Orchestra Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin. “The patients and health care heroes battling COVID-19 are going through so much, and it is our hope that by providing them with our gift of music, we can do our part to help them endure, and bring them moments of joy.”  more

As policymakers plan for school reopening in the fall, Arts Ed NJ joined 53 other organizations in a statement that supports an arts education for all students.

In the statement, “Arts Education Is Essential,” the signing organizations convey that the arts have already played a pivotal and uplifting role during the health crisis, and that arts education can help all students, including those who are in traditionally underrepresented groups, as students return to school next year.

“Arts Education Is Essential” speaks to arts education’s role in supporting the social and emotional well-being of students, an area that administrators, educators, and parents have highlighted as essential to student safety and success during the pandemic and as students return to school, whether in-person, online, or in a blended fashion, this fall. Arts education also creates a welcoming school environment and a healthy and inclusive school community, helping students, educators, parents, and the community at large build and strengthen their connectedness during this time of social isolation and social distancing.  more

May 27, 2020

By Stuart Mitchner

It avails not, neither time or place; distance avails not. I am with you, men and women of a generation, or ever so many generations hence.

—Walt Whitman (1819-1892)

Facing the approach of a “grim milestone” with “U.S. Deaths Near 100,000” on the eve of Memorial Day 2020, the editors of Sunday’s New York Times produced a front page Walt Whitman himself might have conceived.

It’s as though one of the editors discussing how to convey “the vastness and variety of lives lost” had been reading Leaves of Grass. You might almost think Whitman had suggested the wording of the secondary head, “They Were Not Simply Numbers on a List. They were Us,” before putting the weight of his spirit behind the idea of culling “vivid passages” from coronavirus death notices of hundreds of newspapers around the country. No wonder the resulting inventory — “the conductor with the most amazing ear, the grandmother with the easy laugh, the entrepreneur and adventurer” — seems to echo Whitman’s “pure contralto singing in the organ loft, the carpenter dressing his plank, the connoisseur peering along the exhibition gallery.”

Always With Us

America’s poet is always with us on Memorial Day. Who else could have imagined, celebrated, or publicized such an event? He had a stake in it long before the ceremonial occasion was officially relocated from May 30 to the last Monday in May; in fact, he was there a century and a half before, having been born on the last Sunday in May 1819. He makes his generation-transcending presence vividly felt in “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry,” where time or place or distance “avails not,” and the “similitudes of the past and those of the future” are as “glories strung like beads” on his “smallest sights and hearings.” more

“EXECUTION OF JUSTICE”: A community reading of “Execution of Justice” was presented May 22 as part of McCarter Theatre’s continuing McCarter@Home series of online events. Written by McCarter’s outgoing Artistic Director and Resident Playwright Emily Mann, the docudrama examines the trial for the murder of Harvey Milk — and reactions from a “Chorus of Uncalled Witnesses.” Above: “My name is Harvey Milk, and I’m here to recruit you!” (Photo ©1978 by Daniel Nicoletta)

By Donald H. Sanborn III

Emily Mann started writing Execution of Justice in 1983, seven years before she began her 30-year tenure as McCarter Theatre’s artistic director and resident playwright. The docudrama examines the trial of Dan White, who in 1978 assassinated San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and City Supervisor Harvey Milk; the latter was the first openly gay official to be elected in California.

Execution of Justice was commissioned by San Francisco’s Eureka Theatre Company. The play was presented in 1985 by Arena Stage in Washington D.C. A Broadway production followed in 1986.

McCarter hosted an online community reading of Execution of Justice last Friday. The event commemorated the 90th anniversary of Harvey Milk’s birth, and was presented in collaboration with the Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice.

“No theatrical or performance experience is presumed; this is not a performance,” Artistic Engagement Manager Paula T. Alekson assured a multigenerational and diverse group of over 50 participants who had logged into Zoom, or dialed into a specially designated telephone line, to play one of the roles. Readers who participated via Zoom were asked to log in using their first name and last initial; before the reading started their captions were edited to identify the characters they were portraying.  more

VIRTUAL VIRTUOSITY: A digital presentation of “The Secret Garden” by Princeton Youth Ballet is planned for Sunday, May 31 at 7 p.m. The company premiered the ballet in 2008.

Princeton Youth Ballet’s production of The Secret Garden, based on the novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett and choreographed by Artistic Director Risa Kaplowitz, will be broadcast during a special watch party on Sunday, May 31 at 7 p.m. Details will be posted on Princeton Youth Ballet’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/PrincetonYouthBallet/.

The Secret Garden has become a staple of PYB’s repertory, with many founding cast members now dancing professionally in companies throughout the United States and Europe. Performances scheduled for this month were canceled due to the COVID-19 crisis. more

EVERYONE IS INVITED: The Princeton Symphony Orchestra will welcome the public to a virtual gathering hosted by Executive Director Marc Uys, left, and Music Director Rossen Milanov on Sunday, May 31 at 4 p.m. (PSO Staff Photo)

The Princeton Symphony Orchestra (PSO) invites patrons, subscribers, and members of the Greater Princeton community to be part of a couch-side, virtual gathering on Sunday, May 31, at 4 p.m. Executive Director Marc Uys will host “At Home with the PSO: A Visit with Rossen Milanov & Friends” and mix of  conversations with musical surprises alongside Edward T. Cone Music Director Rossen Milanov.

Special guests include violinist Daniel Rowland and cellist Maja Bogdanovic, originally scheduled to perform with the PSO at the orchestra’s canceled May concert. PSO concertmaster Basia Danilow will also drop by to talk about music and how she balances life at home.

The public is invited to “Zoom along” and join in, reminiscing about favorite PSO moments and asking questions of the featured speakers and performers. The event is free, but anyone who is interested should register in advance at www.princetonsymphony.org. more

“SERENE ESCAPE”: Alyssa Cai, Princeton University Class of 2020, won first place and $1,000 in Princeton University Concerts’ sixth annual Creative Reactions Contest. Her colored pencil drawing was created in response to a Live Music Meditation with cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras.

How might one visually represent the experience of going to a Princeton University Concerts event? Thirty-two Princeton University students, both undergraduate and graduate, signed up to take on this challenge as part of the sixth annual Creative Reactions Contest, one of several programs sponsored by the concert series to engage students in classical music.

Getting free access to a range of Princeton University Concerts offerings — including traditional concerts, Performances Up Close with audience seated on stage, Live Music Meditations, and the Annual Chamber Jam — the students were offered the chance at a $1,000 prize if they anonymously submitted a drawing of their experience, with an accompanying artist statement about their work.

After two rounds of judging — the first by Princeton University Concerts staff, and the second by local artist Marsha Levin-Rojer, Lewis Center for the Arts lecturer and former Hodder Fellow Mario Moore, and staff graphic designer Tom Uhlein — one winner and five honorable mentions were awarded. more

VIRTUAL ART CAMPS: The Center for Contemporary Art in Bedminster is offering weekly Summer Art Camps from June 22–August 28. The camps, which take place online via Zoom, are designed to stimulate creative expression through projects and activities that change each week.

Registration is underway for Virtual Summer Art Camps offered by The Center for Contemporary Art in Bedminster. Ten weekly Summer Art Camps, from June 22–August 28, are offered for children ages 5-15 in half-day sessions. Art Camps take place online via Zoom and are designed to stimulate creative expression through projects and activities that change each week.

Summer Art Camps allow children to develop important artistic techniques and learn about the principles of visual art, historical periods, and well-known artists. All camps are led by professional, experienced, and creative teaching artists; provide a curriculum tailored to three individual age groups; and allow students to enjoy small class sizes with projects and themes which vary weekly. All art supplies are included in the price of tuition and will be provided weekly via curbside pickup. more

“MONTEREY”: This photo by Michael Ast is featured in the 27th Phillips Mill Photographic Exhibition, now on view in an online gallery at phillipsmillphoto.com. Ast won Best in Show and Best Body of Work awards in the juried show.

The 27th Phillips Mill Photographic Exhibition is a prestigious, well-regarded photo show traditionally showcased in the Phillips Mill Gallery in New Hope, Pa., but it is in an online gallery form this year due to the pandemic. Only 14 percent of the 1,000 entries from 13 states and three countries were accepted by juror Emmet Gowin, formerly professor of art at Princeton University. See the 143 accepted photographs online at phillipsmillphoto.com/pmpe2020-exhibition. All work is for sale.

Michael Ast won both Best in Show and Best Body of Work awards. His four photographs show his photojournalistic background of being more objective in his work and his ongoing concept of creating a photo essay that builds a narrative with multiple images. His heavy use of blacks and tonality express his interiority, adding a more psychological aspect to his work. Ast’s work is more lyrical and about emotion than a specific place. He prints his own work from a digital darkroom. See more photos at michaelast.com.

Email any inquiries to PhillipsMillPhoto@gmail.com.