March 2, 2016

Art_PDS

“BEAUTY AND THE BEAST”: This photograph by Olivia Nini, grade 10 — Ken Lockwood Gorge, High Bridge, New Jersey is part of the “Beauty and the Beast — the Fall and Rise of the Raritan River” exhibit at the D&R Greenway Land Trust’s Olivia Rainbow Gallery on view through March 30.

D&R Greenway Land Trust’s Olivia Rainbow Gallery presents Beauty and the Beast — the Fall and Rise of the Raritan River,” fine art photography by Princeton Day School students of Eileen Hohmuth-Lemonick, head of Upper School photography. Focusing on the historic Raritan River, the images are on view through March 30, 2016.

The Beauty section evokes the river’s course through stunningly beautiful New Jersey locations, home to many species of birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and mammals — many threatened and endangered. The “Beast” segment of the exhibit chronicles effects of the river’s use for transportation; as an energy source for crucial industries; and, tragically, receptacle for toxic wastes.

“We have canoed and photographed the Raritan from New Brunswick to Edison,” says Hohmuth-Lemonick. The Raritan is New Jersey’s longest river and includes the state’s largest contiguous stretch of wildlife habitat. D&R Greenway was founded to preserve land adjacent to waterways such as the Raritan River. more

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EVERY FIBER OF MY BEING: Diana Weymar’s “Telegraph Creek: Tanning a Moose Hide” is part of the Arts Council of Princeton’s new exhibition, “Every Fiber of My Being,” on view in the Taplin Gallery, March 5 – April 17.

The Arts Council of Princeton (ACP) presents Every Fiber of My Being, a group exhibition featuring textile and contemporary embroidery. Visitors can expect original works from artists Maira Kalman, Amy Meissner, Cassie Jones, Diana Weymar, Caroline Lathan-Stiefel, Danielle Hogan, and Katie Truk. 

Every Fiber of My Being is curated by the Arts Council’s 2016 Spring Anne Reeves Artist-in-Residence, Diana Weymar. Growing up in the wilderness of British Columbia, Diana learned the importance and practical value of a vivid imagination. In her artwork, she is interested in how to interact with existing materials — photographs, clothing, text — to address issues of storytelling, identity, narrative, and documentation. more

art rev

“London, Waterloo Bridge” by Oskar Kokoschka (1886-1980)

To D.H. Lawrence, who died on March 2,1930 at 45, a “painted landscape is the background with the real subject left out.” It’s also where “the English exist and hold their own.”

Clearly, this is a novelist speaking, as well as a poet, philosopher, essayist in many realms, revolutionary, and a painter for whom landscape is the “background to an intenser vision of life.”

Some Serious Fun

As I make my way to the Princeton University Art Museum, I imagine Lawrence by my side looking the way he did to the doctor he hosted for tea and toast only weeks before he died, “a colorful figure with bright blue coat, red hair and beard and lively blue eyes” who “made the toast himself treating the operation as though it were a serious matter and at the same time great fun” — which is how I’d like to treat the subject of this column and the current exhibit, “Pastures Green & Dark Satanic Mills: The British Passion for Landscape.” more

Anne_BalletWhen Mary Pat Robertson and her husband Michael came from New York City to Princeton in 1980, she thought she’d be retiring from her dance career. But the town, where the Robertsons moved so that he could pursue his doctorate at Princeton University, turned out to have a lot more dance to offer than she expected.

It wasn’t long before Ms. Robertson began teaching at Princeton Ballet School. Six years later, she was named the school’s director. In June, she will step down after 35 years teaching and administrating hundreds of students, some of whom have gone on to professional careers.

“I’ll miss the kids,” she said during a telephone interview last week. “But it’s time. I’ll probably do a little private coaching, and I look forward to getting back to choreography. I’ve been doing a lot of public speaking and I hope to expand that. I’m even contemplating writing a book for parents about what to look for in a ballet school.”

While ballet has played a major role in Ms. Robertson’s long career, contemporary dance has also been a focus. Before becoming the ballet school’s director, she co-founded the company Teamwork Dance and did a lot of freelance dancing and choreography. In New York, she studied the techniques of José Limón, Merce Cunningham, and Martha Graham. more

National Youth Art is celebrated during the month of March. Cranbury school student artists will be featured at the Gourgaud Gallery at Town Hall in Cranbury. The show will run from March 6-25.

Stacey Crannage, art teacher at Cranbury School, has selected art pieces from kindergarten through eighth grade to be showcased. Criteria used for selecting the Gallery artwork included technique, originality, and showcasing the student’s unique strengths and talents. Student artwork will include paintings, drawings, and sculpture, amongst others.  more

February 24, 2016

Battlefield Caption

About 50 members of the Princeton Battlefield Society, meeting Saturday afternoon on the Maxwell Field buffer zone between the main battlefield and the Institute for Advanced Study, vowed to press on with their law suit and other measures planned to halt the Institute’s construction of faculty housing units. Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-Mercer/Hunterdon, in contemporary dress at center) spoke on behalf of the Battlefield Society’s efforts, as did Society President Jerry Hurwitz (standing to Gusciora’s left). 

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BI-LINGUAL MORNING MEETING: In Damaris Rodriguez’s first grade class at Community Park School the dual language immersion program is in full swing, with half the classes conducted in English and half in Spanish and benefits for both native and non-native speakers.

For about 80 kindergarteners and first graders the school year so far at Community Park has provided a different sort of experience from that of past years or that of many of their peers. Those students and their four teachers have been plunged into a dual language immersion program (DLI), learning half the day in Spanish and half the day in English.  more

all in a days work

FROM BROOKLYN TO MT. LUCAS ROAD: Brooklyn-born Grisele Gamboa at her desk at the Pediatric Group on Mt. Lucas Road: “I can’t see myself working anywhere else.” (Photo by Donald Gilpin)

Grisele Gamboa is a medical assistant at The Pediatric Group on Mt. Lucas Road in Princeton. After a series of jobs first in her hometown of Brooklyn, then getting married and moving to New Jersey and working as a paraoptometric assistant for Dr. Charles Allen in Princeton and a brief stint in the corporate world, she decided that nursing would be her future. Starting at The Pediatric Group about four years ago was a big step in that direction. Grisele, age 29, lives in Bridgewater with her husband and two-year-old son and is expecting another child in early May. She hopes to stay with The Pediatric Group forever and plans to earn her RN and possibly nurse practitioner degrees as she juggles her family and career over the next few years. Here, in her own words, Grisele talks about her life in the pediatrician’s office.  more

The Princeton Family YMCA and YWCA, longtime neighbors on Paul Robeson Place, are reorganizing operations to help reduce confusion about which programs and services are held in which facility. Following the recommendations of a task group made up of representatives from both organizations, the YMCA Board of Directors voted unanimously at its January meeting to sign a Letter of Intent with the YWCA to put the changes into effect.

The transition will get underway in June. By September, the YWCA will run services from the Program Building and the Bramwell House, providing the childcare and bilingual nursery school, the Newcomers and Friends Club, robotics, the Breast Cancer Resource Center, dance, English as a Second Language, and the High School Equivalency Training Center. more

Best-selling author Lynn Olson will deliver a lecture on Morven Museum & Garden’s behalf on Sunday, March 6 at 4 p.m. at McCosh 50. “Those Angry Days: The Lindberghs and World War II” is presented in conjunction with Morven’s exhibition “Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh: Couple of an Age.”

The event is free and open to the public. No registration is required but seating is limited to a first come, first serve basis. Doors to McCosh 50 will open at 3 p.m. more

Art Nassau

The Nassau Club will host an exhibition, “Landscapes,” from March 6 to May 1 by Hopewell artist Ken McIndoe. There will be a reception on Sunday, April 3, from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Nassau Club, located at 6 Mercer Street, Princeton. Call (609) 924-0580 for exhibition hours. The show and reception are free and open to the public. The artist has been painting in New Jersey since 1960 and has been teaching a studio class at the Art Students League in New York City since 1981. He was a recipient of two New Jersey State fellowships, has exhibited frequently, and is represented in several private collections. Pictured above is McIndoe’s 22 x 30” oil on canvas titled, “Summer Clouds.”

Art Navajo

The Silva Gallery of Art at the Pennington School is hosting “Project 562: Changing the Way We See Native America,” by portrait photographer and social documentarian Matika Wilbur, until March 9. This photograph features Bahazhoni Tso of the Navajo Nation.

Princeton Theological Seminary’s (PTS) annual Joe R. Engle Organ Concert will be held on Saturday, February 27 at 7 p.m. in Miller Chapel, located on PTS’s Princeton campus. The concert is open to the public and free of charge.

Featuring Jonathan Dimmock, the organist for the San Francisco Symphony, and organist and choir director at St. Ignatius Church and Congregation Sherith Israel (both in San Francisco), as well as the Princeton Seminary Singers and the Nassau Presbyterian Church Adult Choir, the concert will include psalm-based works by J.P. Sweelinck, Felix Mendelssohn, Herbert Howells, Ralph Vaughn Williams, Albert de Kierk, Bert Batter, Cary Ratcliff, and Robert Nicholls.  more

Choral music can be a tough sell, and sometimes it takes a star to bring new audiences into the fold. The Princeton University Glee Club has been a “star” in its own right, and the “Glee Club Presents” series, begun in 2013, has packed venues on and around campus with audiences eager to hear the chorus collaborate with international performers. The University Glee Club presented the fifth concert in this series this past weekend, filling Richardson Auditorium for a joint performance with the renowned vocal ensemble Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Fresh on the heels of the Glee Club’s tour to South Africa, Saturday night’s concert showed the chorus reaching well into its own diversity, as well as the international performing arena.  more

“She’s a gutsy girl,” says Jennifer Jason Leigh. “A little bit of an animal.” Leigh’s talking about Daisy Domergue, the character she plays in Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, a supporting role that has brought her an Oscar nomination, the first of her long career. Even if she wins, it won’t excuse the Academy’s failure 20 years ago to recognize her once-in-a-lifetime performance as Sadie Flood in Georgia (1995), a film written by Leigh’s mother Barbara Turner and directed by Ulu Grosbard.

In a featurette about The Hateful Eight, producer Stacy Sher says of Daisy, “She’ll try anything, she’ll push it all the way, she’s crazy like a fox: you don’t know if you should feel sorry for her, you don’t know if you should despise her.” According to co-star Walton Goggins, “Jennifer just takes it to a place where we’re all looking at each other, did you see that? did you see what she did with that?” more

Theater revWhen Dawn Breaks, an original play created and directed by Princeton University sophomore Nico Krell, is based on 1,001 Nights, but this is an “immersive” theater experience, so you will surely get less, and more, than you expect, as the actors lead you out of your seat, onto the stage, under the stage, into dressing rooms, workroom, hallways, greenroom, lobby, and every corner of the Hamilton Murray Theater.

You will encounter, at least in part, the familiar story of Scheherazade and the brutal King Shahryar, who, in anger at his first wife’s infidelity is determined to marry a new bride each day and execute her at dawn. But after three years, Scheherazade offers herself to the king and tells him a bedtime story so captivating that he decides to postpone the execution so that he can hear the end the next day, and the stories continue for 1,001 nights.

There’s little evidence here of the stories Scheherazade tells — “Aladdin and the Magic Lamp,” “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves,” “The Voyages of Sinbad the Sailor” — that make up the original 1,001 Nights (sometimes called The Arabian Nights), but the story of Scheherazade (Anna Zabel); King Shahryar (Tom Dowling); her sister Dunyazade (Anastasia Repouliou); her father Jafar, who is the king’s vizier (Daniel Krane); the king’s brother Shah Zaman (Jake Hamel); Delilah, the ghost of the king’s former wife (Julia Mosby); and Azraq, a genie (Glenna Yu), is richly developed during the 70-minute production.  more

Screen Shot 2016-02-24 at 8.51.44 AMBella Boutique is here to stay! Opened in April of 2015 in the Princeton Shopping Center, it was an immediate success.

“We have been so busy,” says owner Christina DiDonato. “The customer response has been incredible, and it has definitely exceeded our expectations.”

Co-owner with her husband Adriano DiDonato, who is general manager and buyer at the popular Bon Appetit, also in the Princeton Shopping Center, Ms. DiDonato is very pleased to be in this location. “A big plus at the shopping center is the easy accessibility and very convenient parking for customers.”

It was also very important for Ms. DiDonato to offer a uniquely pleasing environment for her shoppers. The boutique’s setting with stone-paneled walls and mediterranean-style motif, provides a very comfortable sense of space in a relatively small area. The fitting rooms with wrought iron appointments add to the overall charm of the boutique’s inviting atmosphere. more

February 17, 2016

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The Saturday before Valentine’s Day they’re off and running in the 5K Cupid’s Chase sponsored by Community Options. Inc. In this week’s Town Talk, some participants talk about their favorite places to run. (Photo by Charles R. Plohn)

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PASSING ON A LEGACY: Elaine Buck, left, and Beverly Mills, during a Memorial Day service at the Stoutsburg Cemetery, where their ancestors are buried. The women are co-authors of a book detailing the 300-year history of African Americans in the Hopewell Valley, with the cemetery as a focal point. (Photo by John B. Buck)

It happens again and again. When Beverly Mills and Elaine Buck give talks that include information about slavery in New Jersey, people are shocked. The two Mercer County residents, who are collaborating on a book about a historic Hopewell Township cemetery where at least 10 African American Civil War veterans are buried, have given numerous presentations throughout the area on the subject.  more

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Five years ago last month New Jersey enacted the nation’s toughest law against bullying in schools, but enforcement of the law’s requirements and traditional anti-bullying efforts have brought only mixed results in reducing conflict in the school environment, according to Princeton Professor Elizabeth Levy Paluck. The solution, she proposed in a recent article based on a four-year research project, calls for the students themselves, particularly a small group of the most influential students, to take the initiative for intervention.  more

Imagine this — Sophie recently graduated from college, and wants to continue studying in Granada. She took Spanish throughout high school and college, but to apply for a scholarship from a Spanish institution her level of competence must be accredited. Are her AP scores enough?

Anna Alsina Naudi, Lisi Barros-Sehringer and Carmen Santa-Cruz are certified examiners for DELE, the Diploma de Español como Lengua Extranjera, a test that validates competence in Spanish. Furthermore, DELE is recognized worldwide as an accurate indicator of Spanish language proficiency.  more

Damour_StuartPsychologist and author Lisa Damour will discuss her latest book, Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls Through the Seven Transitions Into Adulthood at Stuart Country Day School’s Cor Unum Center on Wednesday, March 2 at 7 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.

“As experts in educating girls, the Stuart faculty and staff are thrilled to bring Dr. Damour to the Princeton community for the fourth time,” said Dr. Patty L. Fagin, head of school at Stuart. “Dr. Damour’s guidance for parents of adolescent girls integrates perfectly with Stuart’s mission to raise confident and committed young women.”

Dr. Michael Thompson, co-author of Raising Cain, praised Untangled as “the best description of the female adolescent journey that I have ever read.”

Damour serves as a faculty associate of the Schubert Center for Child Studies, consults for the Laurel School’s Center for Research on Girls, and is a clinical instructor in the department of psychology at Case Western Reserve University. She also maintains her own private practice and writes the “Adolescence” column for the New York Times’ Motherlode blog. more

Jack and Jill of America, Inc. of Mercer County will hold a bookfair fundraiser at Barnes & Noble in MarketFair Mall, Princeton, on February 21 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. This event is in keeping with the Eastern Region Community Service Thrust: “Feeding the Body and Mind” and focuses specifically on promoting literacy in the community.

The all-day event will feature story time, an arts and crafts table, poetry readings, a scavenger hunt, and more. Snacks, beverages, and cheesecake will be sold in the Barnes & Noble cafe. Purchases in the store and cafe using the promotional code “11795606” will earn store credit for Jack and Jill Mercer County. 100 percent of the earned credit will be used to purchase books for the reading nook Jack and Jill aim to develop at the Every Child Valued Daycare and Afterschool program in Lawrenceville, N.J.  more

Books_EvangelineLawrenceville resident and author of the The Gates of Evangeline (G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 2015), Hester Young will be joining the “Fiction Writing Workshop” at the Lawrence Headquarters Branch of the Mercer County Library System from 10 a.m. to noon on Friday, February 19. She will discuss writing and developing her craft as a published author. She will also give tips on how to develop a plot for aspiring mystery writers.

The workshop will be held at the Lawrence Headquarters Branch of the Mercer County Library System, located at 2751 Brunswick Pike, Lawrenceville. Registration is suggested. For more information about the library’s programs call (609) 989-6920, e-mail lawprogs@mcl.org, or visit www.mcl.org.

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Pinot’s Palett located on 127 Village Blvd. in Forrestal Village will be painting “Poppies à la Van Gogh” on Sunday, February 21 from noon to 3 p.m. The event is a fundraiser for the Princeton Youth Ballet (PYB). In celebration of PYB’s 10th year as the region’s premier pre-professional company, they will be bringing a new ballet, “Cinderella,” to the Princeton High School Performing Arts Center on May 14 and 15. As a not-for-profit organization, they rely on donations and volunteers to help with performance preparation and ongoing annual operational costs. All net proceeds from the event will go to PYB. Please arrive 15 minutes prior to start time. Light refreshments will be served, the event is BYOB.