October 7, 2020

MUSIC ON THE DECK: Members of the American Symphony Orchestra will perform on the Morris Museum’s Upper Parking Deck on Saturday, October 17.

A string quartet featuring members of the American Symphony Orchestra will perform a program of works by Black composers as part of the Morris Museum’s outdoor Lot of Strings Music Festival on October 17 at 6 p.m. The quartet is composed of concertmaster Cyrus Beroukhim, violinist Phillip Payton, principal viola William Frampton, and cellist Alberto Parrini. more

ORCHESTRA ON THE SQUARE: Visitors to Palmer Square on the afternoon of Monday, October 12 will hear some familiar music being played as members of the Princeton Symphony Orchestra’s brass and percussion sections take part in filming some digital content.

The Princeton Symphony Orchestra (PSO) will generate digital content through a planned October 12 film shoot of Aaron Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man in the middle of Palmer Square. The rain date is October 13. more

SCULPTURE PORTRAIT: Sculptor and ceramicist Syd Carpenter investigates issues of identity, memory, and ownership of land through sculpted portraits of African American gardens and farms in “Syd Carpenter: Portraits of Our Places,” on view at the Michener Art Museum October 16 through February 28.

The Michener Art Museum in Doylestown, Pa., will present its newest exhibit, “Syd Carpenter: Portraits of Our Places,” from October 16 through February 28.

This showing of sculptor and ceramicist Syd Carpenter investigates issues of identity, memory, and ownership of land through sculpted portraits of African American gardens and farms. This is the first solo exhibition of Carpenter’s work at the Michener Art Museum.

This exhibition of 11 large-scale pieces highlights Carpenter’s connection between sculpture and the art of gardening. Carpenter, a passionate gardener, has a deep personal connection to farms and gardens that stems from her grandmother Indiana Hutson’s bountiful vegetable garden in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. During WWII, Hutson provided for her family of seven children with the produce grown in her garden. It was in the ornamental garden of her mother Ernestine Carpenter where Carpenter first experienced the satisfaction of tending the land. more

DAY OF THE DEAD: The Arts Council of Princeton (ACP) will celebrate El Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) with socially distanced outdoor workshops beginning October 10 and running through November 7.  Participants will be invited to display their work in ACP’s “Day of the Dead Exhibition” in the Taplin Gallery from November 1-14.

Join the Arts Council of Princeton (ACP) as its celebrates El Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) with socially distanced outdoor workshops beginning October 10.

El Dia de los Muertos is observed in Mexico and throughout the world this time of year, where family and friends gather to remember and honor those who have died. Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars using sugar skulls, marigolds, and favorite foods of the deceased to celebrate their lives.

Workshops will adhere to all mandated guidelines, including proper social distancing, temperature checks, and face masks. Some workshops require a few things brought from home to help ensure safety. The ACP will provide hand sanitizer for frequent use. In the event of inclement weather, workshops will be held in the spacious Solley Theater.

Saturday, October 10 from 3-5 p.m., brings “Papel Picado and Paper Flowers.” The art of cutting paper banners is a true talent in Mexico, traditionally done with chisels. Participants will make the festive tissue paper banners that flutter over every plaza, shop, and doorway during Day of the Dead. Flowers are also a large part of the holiday, gathered in bunches and placed at cemeteries. Learn how to make a bouquet of the brightly colored cempoalxochitl flowers the ACP has used to decorate their altar and the annual festival. more

Graffiti artist Leon “Rain” Rainbow shared his inspiration for his latest artwork during an unveiling and mural signing ceremony on September 21 at the Sprout U School of the Arts in Trenton. Rainbow created the mural to illustrate the blending of art and technology as people adapt to teaching and virtual learning during these challenging times. He was joined by Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora, City Councilwoman Marge Caldwell-Wilson, Sprout U School of the Arts Director Danielle Miller-Winrow and her daughter Chandler (both featured on the mural), students from the school, and members of the community. The project was sponsored by Trenton Downtown Association with funding from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and NJM Insurance Group. (Photo by Matt Pilsner)

PIZZA PERFECTION: “Our aim is to offer the most delicious homestyle food with fresh organic ingredients and the time-honored method of terracotta oven cooking. We are proud to bring our artisanal pizza and specialty dishes to all our customers.” Tino Procaccini, chef/owner of Tino’s Artisan Pizza Co., is shown with one of his signature pizzas in the popular Kingston pizzeria.

By Jean Stratton

Benvenuta! Buon Appetito!

This invitation to enjoy lunch or dinner at Tino’s Artisan Pizza Co. has welcomed customers for the last nine years. Located at 4428 Route 27 (Main Street) in Kingston and initially known as Osteria Procaccini, it introduced many diners to Neopolitan-style pizza, which is cooked in terracotta ovens from Italy at very high temperatures.

“Because of the high heat, up to 800 degrees, the pizza cooks very fast — in 90 seconds, and this brings out the flavor more intensely,” says owner/chef Tino Procaccini.

Offering high quality food has been his focus since 1999, when he and his brother John Procaccini opened La Borgata Ristorante & Pizzeria in the Kingston Mall. Still in college at the time, Tino attended classes every morning, and then spent afternoons and evenings in the kitchen at the restaurant.

The work ethic has always been a very important concept in the Procaccini family, he notes. His parents had come to the U.S. from Italy 48 years ago, and as boys, he and his brother helped out in their father’s landscaping company. more

ON PACE: Eric Robinson, left, battles a foe in action for the Columbus Blue Jackets of the NHL. Former Princeton University men’s hockey star Robinson ’18 tallied seven goals and five assists on 50 regular season games and then added a goal in postseason play as the Blue Jackets topped the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 3-2 in a best-of-five Qualifying Round Series and then lost 4-1 to eventual Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning in an Eastern Conference First Round Series. (Photo provided courtesy of Columbus Blue Jackets)

By Justin Feil

Eric Robinson has gone back to training as he prepares for his third full season of NHL action.

The 2018 Princeton University graduate enters the next few months build-up to training camp with a bigger sense of confidence following an encouraging, albeit unusual, 2019-20 campaign.

“It’s so big in sports and hockey,” said Robinson. “You can feel and it and see it when you’re not confident and you’re playing tight and you’re thinking when you get the puck rather than just playing and reacting. It’s everything. Relaxing a bit and realizing I have a few games under my belt and I belong and can relax and just play. It’s huge for your game. That’s the biggest takeaway going into next year that I can be a little more relaxed and focus on just playing.”

Robinson signed a two-year deal in 2018 with the Columbus Blue Jackets at the close of his senior season with Princeton. He played a game in the 2017-18 season weeks after the end of his college career, then appeared in 13 games in 2018-19 before playing 50 games this season plus his first playoffs.

“It’s something you dream of – first to play in the NHL, and then growing up watching hockey and playing hockey, you know how intense the NHL playoffs are,” said Robinson, a 6’2, 201-pound native of Bellmawr, N.J.

“It was really cool to be a part of it. We wanted to go further and that’s the goal for the future and years to come, to go further and keep experiencing more. It’s a different intensity and every mistake can be costly and every play, you have to be dialed in at a different level.”

Robinson’s speed stands out when he plays, and the Blue Jackets see it as a valuable tool that will only get more dangerous as his shooting and puck-handling develop. He scored his first career playoff goal in the third period of Game 3 in a 3-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning in their Eastern Conference First Round Series. After winning their best-of-five Qualifying Round series over Toronto in five games, Columbus ended up falling 4-1 to the eventual Stanley Cup champion Lightning in the best-of-seven series, the team that they knocked out with a first-round upset a year ago. more

SCORING TOUCH: Princeton Day School girls’ soccer player Jules Romano advances the ball last Thursday as PDS hosted Monroe High in its season opener. Senior midfielder Romano scored a goal as the Panthers fell 3-2 to Monroe. PDS, which defeated Hillsborough 2-0 last Saturday as Romano and classmate Kelly Beal both scored, plays at the Hun School on October 10. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Jules Romano managed a smile despite the fact that her Princeton Day School girls’ soccer team had just lost 3-2 to visiting Monroe last Thursday in its season opener.

“I think it was just good for the team to get out there,” said PDS senior midfielder Romano, reflecting on getting the 2020 campaign underway in the face of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“We had to go a five-week preseason, usually it is only about two-three weeks so it was just keeping our composure and making sure that we stay focused. It was good for the seniors to get out there in our first home game. It didn’t really matter about the result. Honestly, we were just glad to be out there again.”

PDS displayed composure, falling behind 1-0 early in the first half and then battling back from 2-0 and 3-1 deficits in the second half before ultimately succumbing. more

ACTION JAXON: Princeton High quarterback Jaxon Petrone gets ready for a hand off last Friday night as PHS played at Robbinsville in the season opener for both teams. Making his debut as starting QB, Petrone threw a fourth quarter touchdown pass to provide a highlight as the Tigers fell 42-6. PHS hosts Bishop Eustace on October 10 in its home opener. (Photo by Dennis Symons)

By Bill Alden

Jaxon Petrone had reason to be particularly grateful to take the field for the Princeton High football team as it played at Robbinsville last Friday evening in the season opener for both teams.

Having been sidelined all last fall due to injury and with COVID-19 putting the 2020 season in doubt for months, junior quarterback Petrone was thrilled to finally be leading the PHS offense.

“It is a great feeling to be out there, I didn’t know if we were going to be out there or not with the COVID,” said Petrone.

“Coach [Charlie Gallagher] said relish the moment, value it, and just be happy to be out there.”

Facing a tough Robbinsville team coming off a 9-1 season, Petrone and his teammates experienced some tough moments as the Ravens jumped out to a 35-0 lead at halftime on the way to a 42-6 win. more

STICK FIGHT: Stuart Country Day School field hockey player Lily Harlan, left, battles Hun School’s Kayla Hampton for the ball in action last Saturday. Sophomore forward Harlan tallied a goal and an assist to help Stuart prevail 3-0 in the season opener for both teams. On Monday, Harlan chipped in a goal and an assist as Stuart tied Pennington 2-2. The Tartans are slated to play at Bordentown on October 8. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

While the start of the 2020 season was delayed due to concerns over COVID-19, Lily Harlan didn’t waste any time making an impact in her sophomore season for the Stuart Country Day School field hockey team.

With Stuart hosting Hun School last Saturday in the season opener for both teams, star forward Harlan deftly flicked a pass to Morgan John on the post which she banged into the cage to give the Tartans a 1-0 lead just 2:41 into the contest.

For Harlan, getting the assist wasn’t nearly as exciting as just getting out on the field for a game.

“It means so much because honestly I didn’t even think we would get to play again,” said Harlan.

“I thought we would just maybe have practice so it is great getting to play with my team. Everyone is so nice, our coaches are amazing. All of my teammates cheer each other on. It is one of the most encouraging teams you could meet.”

Looking to build on that early tally, Stuart dominated possession over the rest of the first half but had nothing to show for it as the score remained 1-0 at halftime. more

OPEN FIELD RUNNING: Hun School football player Ben Romano races to the end zone last Saturday as Hun defeated the Kiski School (Pa.) 68-0 in its season opener. Junior captain Romano scored two touchdowns in the win, one as a receiver and one after lining up at quarterback. The Raiders are slated to host Paramus Catholic on October 10. (Photo provided courtesy of The Hun School of Princeton)

By Justin Feil

Ben Romano has added leadership this year to the versatility that he brought last year for the Hun School football team.

The junior captain scored two touchdowns – one as a receiver and one after lining up at quarterback – as the Raiders rolled to a 68-0 win over Kiski in their season opener Saturday at Hun.

“I think we played pretty well,” said Romano, who also plays in the Hun defensive backfield.

“We were excited to get out for our first game. We had quarantine and the build-up for that, and our season started later than most private schools because of the rules. We have a lot of new faces and we were excited to get out there. We just tried to get a win and that happened.”

Hun jumped out to a 40-0 lead in the first quarter to start the season with a bang. The Raiders looked fully reloaded in their first game after graduating a significant senior class a year ago. Hun didn’t get a look at this year’s group until preseason began September 14, and it didn’t have a scrimmage to get a sense of how the team would play.

“We knew we had some good players, but we had kids that hadn’t played together,” said Hun head coach Todd Smith.

“It was a lot of new faces whereas last year’s team was a lot of returners and this year’s team is just a lot of new faces that hadn’t played together. We weren’t sure how they were going to gel. Sometimes you need that scrimmage to help get things going. Since we didn’t have that, we were looking forward to seeing how things would come out.”

The offense came out quickly while the defense was dominant right from the outset. The defense’s stinginess set up the offense for multiple scoring opportunities. more

AIMING HIGH: Hun School field hockey player Aimee Millington, left, looks to clear the ball last Saturday against Stuart Country Day in the season opener for both teams. Senior defender Millington helped anchor a scrappy back line as Hun fell 3-0 to Stuart. The Raiders return to action when they play at the Pennington School on October 10. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Although the Hun School field hockey team didn’t get its usual on-field preseason training this year, it still became a tighter group.

Dealing with COVID-19 restrictions, the squad connected over the summer via numerous Zoom meetings.

“It was a great time to really get to know each other and build a culture,” said Hun head coach Tracey Arndt.

“As sad as it was with all of the struggle, it is working through that and letting everybody know that we are all struggling and it is OK to ask for help. We spent a pretty good amount of time together this summer. While we missed a preseason of training, I think we grew in our care for each other. It made us a little stronger and a little more united.”

Finally getting the OK from the school for a 2020 season, Hun started preseason practices on September 14 and brought a grateful spirit to the field.

“Now that we get this opportunity, we are being present and intentional with every practice,” said Arndt.  more

September 30, 2020

The Arts Council of Princeton’s new mural, “Vote,” can be found on the corner of Witherspoon and Spring streets in downtown Princeton.  (Photo by Weronika A. Plohn)

By Donald Gilpin

As election campaigns heat up in the month before the November 3 Election Day, local voting in this mainly vote-by-mail election is beginning this week.

As officials issue ballots and prepare to monitor voting and tally the results, controversies over voting are becoming increasingly intense throughout the country.  With the White House casting doubt on the integrity of the election process, many concerned citizens worry that democracy itself is at stake in the 2020 election.

“Every election is important,” said Chrystal Schivell of the League of Women Voters of the Princeton Area, “but for this one, during a pandemic, the League urges voters to plan now. County clerks and the New Jersey Division of Elections want every vote to count. Voters can help by following instructions and acting promptly.”

Mercer County Clerk Paula Sollami Covello has announced that ballots will be going out this week to all registered Mercer County voters. Sample ballots are available now on the Mercer County Clerk’s website.

“There’s no overstating the importance of this election,” she said in a press release Monday. “The presidency and several congressional seats are up for grabs, but so too are important state and local races.” more

By Donald Gilpin

Princeton University has received widespread support in its recent clash with the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) over its announced investigation of “systemic racism” at the University.

More than 80 college and university leaders signed onto a September 24 letter urging the DOE to drop its civil rights investigation into Princeton University.

The University received a letter on September 16 from the DOE reacting to President Christopher Eisgruber’s September 2 letter to the Princeton community in which he outlined steps the University was taking to address racism at Princeton and beyond, including plans to increase the diversity of the faculty and to make Princeton more welcoming to students of color and other marginalized groups.

The DOE letter alleged that, “based on its admitted racism,” Princeton University had violated federal civil rights law and may have received more than $75 million in federal funding under false pretenses since 2013 when Eisgruber became president. “You admitted Princeton’s educational program is and for decades has been racist,” the DOE wrote.

In his September 2 update to the Princeton community — in the national context of the killings of African Americans by police officers and Black Lives Matter protests throughout the country —Eisgruber pointed out that despite efforts to eradicate it, racism does continue to exist at Princeton and in the larger society, “sometimes by conscious intention, but more often through unexamined assumptions and stereotypes, ignorance or insensitivity, and the systemic legacy of past decisions and policies.” more

By Anne Levin

When Jenny Ludmer first decided to purchase an electric vehicle, her husband was not enthusiastic. “He had a lot of anxiety about it not working, not being reliable, and just not being a good idea,” said Ludmer, who is Sustainable Princeton’s community outreach manager. “Now, we literally fight over the car.”

Ludmer and other proponents of switching gas-powered to electric vehicles will be on hand Friday, October 9 for “EVening at the Princeton Shopping Center, an Electric Vehicle and E-bike Ride & Drive Event,” presented by Sustainable Princeton, the shopping center, and NRG Energy, Inc. The family-friendly gathering, from 4-7 p.m., is designed to demonstrate how making the transition is not only environmentally friendly, but easier than most people think.

“With one third of greenhouse gas emissions coming from transportation, the transition to electric vehicles is a very important way to help combat climate change,” said Molly Jones, Sustainable Princeton’s executive director. “By shifting to an electric vehicle, you make a substantial reduction in your emission footprint.”

Electric cars are “peppy, responsive, and have instant torque — no delay when you step on the pedal,” said Ludmer. “Our car has a range of 150 miles.” more

MUSEUM REIMAGINED: The double-height Grand Hall sits at the heart of the Princeton University Art Museum complex and will function as a lecture hall and performance space. It is also designed to host many of the Museum’s larger events. (Rendering courtesy of Adjaye Associates)

By Anne Levin

When Princeton University Art Museum announced a public webinar that would reveal the design for its new building, Museum Director James Steward knew there would be some interest among patrons and fans of architect Sir David Adjaye, who would be appearing in the virtual event. But he never imagined just how much interest there was.

“We had 2,400 people on Zoom and 5,100 on Facebook Live. It’s crazy,” Steward said a few days after the September 23 event. “There are people in our little world who have been lobbying for this for 30 years. To have that amount of attention, and for the response to be so positive, is just heartwarming. And it’s more than that. ‘Heartwarming’ sounds lukewarm.”

Attendance at the Museum has more than doubled in recent years. Individual events draw large audiences, and there are no social spaces. The collections now number over 110,000 objects, only about two percent of which can be displayed at a time. more

By Anne Levin

A hometown hero of sorts is coming back to Princeton. Taylor “Todd” Marrow III, African American historian, will be the moderator on Tuesday, October 13 for a fundraiser to benefit the Witherspoon-Jackson Historical and Cultural Society.

The Zoom webinar will support the installation of historical plaques that commemorate the history of the neighborhood’s African American community. Marrow, a college professor and the editor of the new book America Awakened, The Anti-Lynching Crusade of Ida B. Wells-Barnett will speak on issues of race. A donation of $20 is required.

The youngest of five, Marrow graduated from Princeton High School in 1990. In an article written by the Rev. Gregory S. Smith of Bethel A.M.E. Church, he is described by his mother, Karen, as “a great kid,” “funny,” and “determined.” Marrow was raised on Birch Avenue in the home where his parents still live today. The family has a longstanding connection to the neighborhood.

“Todd’s paternal grandfather Taylor Andre Marrow Sr.’s parents migrated here from the woods of West Virginia and North Carolina in the early 1920s,” Smith wrote. “Taylor Sr. was raised on John Street. However, in the early 1950s, he along with friends, Hezi Craig and others, built the family home at 112 Birch Avenue on a piece of property that was believed to be a dump.” more

“AN AMAZING GUY”: Dago Villanueva, just promoted to general manger at The Meeting House restaurant, came to the United States from Mexico 20 years ago. He has been in the restaurant business ever since, working his way up from porter to bus boy, to waiter to host, to front-of-the-house manager, and then manager. (Photo courtesy of Dago Villanueva)

By Donald Gilpin

When the pandemic hit New Jersey in March and all non-essential businesses faced a shutdown, Dago Villanueva sat down with Amar Gautam, The Meeting House co-owner, every day, trying to help chart the way forward for the Witherspoon Street restaurant that had opened just four months before.

“We didn’t know week to week if we were going to stay open,” said Gautam.  “But Dago never wavered throughout the pandemic. He was this force of ‘Let’s try,’ ‘Let’s do the best,’ ‘Let’s create a new business model,’ ‘Let’s become a takeout restaurant,’ which we had to do  — and he stayed with us.”

Gautam described how he had met Villaneuva before even buying the restaurant. “He’s a person you see everywhere. I knew him working in restaurants and walking around town,” he said. The previous owner of what used to be Two Sevens Eatery told Gautam, co-owner of The Meeting House with his wife Amanda Maher, that he’d need someone to help run the restaurant and that Villanueva was the right man  — “the best we’ve ever had.” more

By Stuart Mitchner

“Would you really feel any pity if one of those dots stopped moving forever?”

—Harry Lime, in The Third Man (1949)

When President Trump recently spoke about “the very low level of deaths” America could list without those “tremendous death rates in the blue states,” his smoothly offhand tone reminded me of the Ferris wheel scene in The Third Man (1949), a film that, as Roger Ebert put it, “most completely embodies the romance of going to movies.”

In a YouTube minute I’m in Vienna, in a closed car atop the Riesenrad (the Great Wheel) high above the Prater amusement park. The first thing I hear is the smooth, soothing voice of Orson Welles as the black market racketeer man-of-mystery Harry Lime. He’s telling his old friend Holly Martins (Joseph Cotten) to “look down there.” Sliding open the door, he asks, “Would you really feel any pity if one of those dots stopped moving forever? If I offered you twenty thousand pounds for every dot that stopped, would you really, old man, tell me to keep my money, or would you calculate how many dots you could afford to spare? Free of income tax, old man. Free of income tax — the only way you can save money nowadays.”

To look down from the top of the Great Wheel with the door open is like standing on the brink of certain death, and there’s a hint of menace in the quick downward glance Welles fires into the depths after Martins admits that he’s been in touch with police from the British Zone, who do not yet know that the accident that “killed” Harry Lime had been staged, a piece of subterfuge to flummox their investigation. They have proof that Lime has been making a fortune peddling watered down penicillin to local hospitals, where patients have been dying as a result, some of them children with meningitis. The question that prompted Harry’s philosophical disclaimer about the “dots” was “Have you ever seen one of your victims?”

I was around 11 the first time I saw that short, scary, unforgettable scene. As someone whose concept of good and evil hadn’t gotten much beyond Saturday matinee visions of cowboy heroes and villains, this was my “there are stranger things in heaven and earth” moment. I was dealing with the fact that the charming, fascinating rogue, the movie’s secret hero, had been not only blithely uncaringly making money from the deaths of kids my age but was boasting of the financial upside while hinting he might give his old pal a share of the profits.  more

“THE AUTUMN SONGS PROJECT”: Singer Katie Welsh (above) has launched an online series, “Live From My Living Room: The Autumn Songs Project.” This series of performances debuted with “September in the Rain,” and will culminate with a live Zoom Q&A session on November 1. (Photo courtesy of Katie Welsh)

By Donald H. Sanborn III

Singer and scholar Katie Welsh has launched a YouTube series, Live from My Living Room, which begins with the six-part The Autumn Songs Project. Pianist David Pearl is overseeing arrangements and accompanying Welsh (online). A press release describes the series as “a miniature ‘Informative Cabaret’ from Katie’s living room, to yours!”

“With my live performance schedule tentatively on hold during this time, I really wanted to find a way to share the music I love from home … and so Live from My Living Room was born,” Welsh elaborates in an email to this writer. “The series will consist of various ‘projects,’ and I’m starting with The Autumn Songs Project. So, every Friday for the next six weeks, I’ll upload a short YouTube video in which I sing one song about autumn and share a ‘fun fact’ about it — its original context in a musical, a backstory about its creation, [and/or] an insight into the lyrics or music.”

“Each video I upload will be relatively short (4-5 minutes), and while each video will of course be a complete experience on its own, I’m really thinking of each ‘project’ I do as being a cumulative experience,” Welsh adds. “In the case of The Autumn Songs Project I’m hoping that by the end of the six weeks, listeners have not only enjoyed listening to six gorgeous songs about fall, but have also learned a bit about how composers and lyricists have approached writing ‘autumn songs’ and gained some new knowledge about the songs themselves.” more

MUSIC AND NATURE: Cellist Michelle Djokic, the artistic director of Concordia Chamber Players, is featured in an online performance October 4.

In response to the pandemic, the Manzanita Music Collective was formed during the summer. Artistic Director Michelle Djokic invited violinist Edwin Huizinga to become a “quaranteam” with her and explore all of the repertoire for violin and cello.  more

SINGING FOR THE ENVIRONMENT: Renowned tenor Jonathan Tetelman, who grew up in Princeton, is among those taking part in a combined nature documentary and music festival to benefit the Sourland Conservancy. 

On October 10 at 8 p.m., the Sourland Conservancy will present a free, hour-long program combining nature documentary and music festival to raise public awareness and funds to address a serious threat to the Sourlands, the third largest forested area in New Jersey and home to several threatened and endangered species.

“We are losing over 1 million trees. That’s devastating,” said Sourland Conservancy Executive Director Laurie Cleveland. “Over 20 percent of the Sourland trees are ash, the highest concentration in New Jersey, and all these trees will be killed within the next few years by an invasive insect, the emerald ash borer. We are working to develop a reforestation plan in partnership with local, state, and national  organizations that recognize the ecological importance of  the Sourlands — and the impact of ash decline on our forest’s ability to clean our water and air, sequester carbon, and provide critical habitat.”

The Sourland Conservancy’s popular Sourland Mountain Festival was canceled due to COVID-19, so Conservancy staff, volunteers, sponsors, partner organizations, and municipalities and worked together to create a new event to safely engage the community in the effort to restore the forest.  more

SAMPLER ART: The Old Barracks Museum in Trenton now presents an online exhibit featuring samplers made by girls in the 18th and 19th century. The collection can be viewed at barracks.org/samplercollection

The Old Barracks Museum in Trenton has announced the opening of a new online exhibit, “Sampler Collection,” featuring 19 samplers made by girls in the 18th and 19th century. The collection can be viewed at barracks.org/samplercollection

Needlework was an essential part of a young girl’s education during the 18th and 19th centuries. Typically created by girls ranging in age from 8 to 15 and working under the instruction of a teacher, samplers demonstrated the individual’s necessary skills of sewing or mending for their future home life. Depending on the skill and age of the creator, samplers could range from simpler “marker samplers” to embroidery with beautiful landscape subjects resembling paintings. more

“MELLOW YELLOW”: This watercolor by Beatrice Bork, a resident of Hunterdon County, is featured in “In Our Nature,” on view October 8 through November 1 at Artists’ Gallery in Lambertville. 

Artists Beatrice Bork and Joe Kazimierczyk will feature their nature-inspired paintings in the exhibit “In Our Nature,” on view October 8 through November 1 at Artists’ Gallery in Lambertville. 

Bork and Kazimierczyk both draw their inspiration from their outdoor experiences and say it’s simply in their nature to paint what they love. Kazimierczyk, an oil painter, expresses the beauty of the region’s landscapes, forests, and rivers. Bork’s watercolor paintings display a sensitivity to detail and composition, elevated through direct observation and love of her animal subjects. 

Bork, a resident of Hunterdon County, has worked to establish her career within the genre of animal art, focusing on birds. She has received many accolades, including numerous solo and juried exhibitions at regional galleries, various institutions, and museums throughout the U.S. and abroad.

A professional artist for more than 25 years, Bork’s achievements include signature status in the prestigious international group, the Society of Animal Artists (SAA), where her work has been selected for several “Art and the Animal” exhibits, and she was named as one of the recipients of the Don Eckelberry Award for outstanding bird art. Bork has had her work displayed in a variety of publications, and is proud to have had her work acquired by collectors from around the world. 

“NEAR HIGH BRIDGE”: This oil painting by Sourland Mountain resident Joe Kazimierczyk is featured in “In Our Nature,” on view October 8 through November 1 at Artists’ Gallery in Lambertville.   more