June 1, 2022

Dube, Schoenitz Paintings In “Color Play Times Two”

“NEWLY HATCHED”: This mixed media work by Ilene Dube is featured in “Color Play Times Two,” her joint exhibition with Karen Schoenitz, on view June 12 through August 20 at Merwick Care & Rehabilitation Center in Plainsboro. An opening reception is on Wednesday, June 15 from 5 to 7 p.m.

West Windsor Arts, in partnership with Merwick Care & Rehabilitation Center, presents “Color Play Times Two,” a two-person exhibit of paintings by Ilene Dube and Karen Schoenitz on view June 12 through August 20. An opening reception with refreshments will be held on Wednesday, June 15 at 5 p.m.

Dube and Schoenitz met through West Windsor Arts in 2009 when the nonprofit was operating as an arts council without walls. Dube, then president of the board of trustees and chair of the exhibition committee, had been organizing a plein air painting day at the West Windsor Farmers Market. Schoenitz learned about it through local media but, unavailable on the scheduled date, contacted Dube about how else she might participate. Dube, impressed with Schoenitz’s enthusiasm, added another day to the “paint out” and recruited Schoenitz for the exhibition committee and the board. Both artists live and work in West Windsor and remain active on the West Windsor Arts Advisory Council.

The soon-to-become friends discovered they share interests in the outdoors, owls, and gardening with native plants, among other things (Schoenitz raises chickens; Dube eats eggs). Over the years, the artists have studied different art-making processes together at West Windsor Arts, the Arts Council of Princeton, and Peters Valley School of Craft. Schoenitz and Dube have exhibited alongside each other at HoBART: Art in the Native Landscape; Roosevelt Assifa Space; the Gallery at Mercer County Community College; West Windsor Arts, and the Arts Council of Princeton.

While the artists work in different styles, processes, and media, “Color Play Times Two” brings together their playful exploration of color, shape, and line. Schoenitz will feature new abstract work in oil and cold wax with many layers built up on cradle panels. Dube will be showing a body of work created during the pandemic that remains optimistic about the future; she hopes to lift the spirits of Merwick residents and gallery viewers alike.

Both artists invite the viewers to interpret the paintings in their own way.

“ROAD WORK”: This oil and cold wax piece by Karen Schoenitz is part of “Color Play Times Two,” her two-person exhibit with Ilene Dube, on view by appointment June 12 through August 20 at Merwick Care & Rehabilitation Center in Plainsboro.

Dube’s artwork has been exhibited at Phillips Mill, Grounds For Sculpture student exhibition, Monmouth Museum, the Gallery at Mercer County Community College, Ellarslie Not-Quite-Open, Arts Council of Princeton, ArtJam, West Windsor Arts Council, Plainsboro Library, WOW Gallery, Hopewell Bistro, Northfield Bank, Artworks Trenton, and ArtsBridge, and is in the private collections of Joyce and J. Seward Johnson Jr., Libby Ramage, Heather Barros, the estate of Priscilla Algava, and others. She won the Mercer County Purchase Award in 2014 and has won awards from the Plainsboro Library Gallery and Mercer County Senior Art Exhibition. She is also a writer, producer, and curator.

Schoenitz received her BFA from Moore College of Art & Design where she studied painting and drawing. Her work is primarily abstract and focuses on process and exploration of material. She has exhibited in various local shows and received a Mercer County Culture and Heritage Purchase Award in 2021. She also holds an MS from Drexel University in arts administration and helps nonprofits advance their mission.

Merwick Care & Rehabilitation Center is located at 100 Plainsboro Road, Plainsboro. West Windsor Arts formed a partnership with Merwick Care & Rehabilitation Center in March 2022 to exhibit the work of its artists members. The gallery is open to the public only for the opening reception and by appointment. For gallery appointments or information, email ilene.dube@gmail.com or kschoenitz@gmail.com.