February 15, 2023

“DIVA 3”: African mask-making in celebration of Black History Month is among the upcoming workshops at the Trenton City Museum at Ellarslie Mansion in Cadwalader Park, Trenton. (Art by Janis Purcell)

Kids and adults alike are invited to get creative with workshops at Trenton City Museum at Ellarslie Mansion. The February and March lineup features African mask-making in celebration of Black History Month, a fun way to make a chunky blanket without knitting needles, and a four-part series in which iPhone users will take their iPhone photography and editing skills to the next level. Participants will find plenty of parking adjacent to the museum’s building.

African Mask-Making: A Workshop for Kids and Families — Celebrate Black History Month at Trenton City Museum with a hands-on workshop to make your own traditional-style African mask on Saturday, February 18 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Free admission; materials and snacks provided. Supported in part by a grant from the Trenton Arts Fund of Princeton Area Community Foundation.  more

SUMMER ART CAMPS: The Center for Contemporary Art in Bedminster offers weekly in-person camps for children ages 5-15 from June 15 through September 1. All sessions are led by professional and creative teaching artists.

Registration is underway for Summer Art Camps at The Center for Contemporary Art in Bedminster. Eleven weekly in-person Summer Art Camps, from June 19–September 1, are offered for children ages 5-15. The Center’s Summer Art Camps are designed to stimulate creative expression through projects and fun activities that change each week. All sessions are led by professional and creative teaching artists. Small classes, social distancing, daily sanitizing, and other protocols are in place and enforced to keep children safe.

Each week children ages 5-8 and 9-11 will spend the morning exploring drawing, painting, collage and other mixed media projects, and pottery in the ceramics studio. In the afternoon, campers ages 9-11 will explore a wide range of subjects in depth such as drawing, painting, pottery, upcycled art, cartooning, manga/anime and more.

Teens ages 12-15 may choose to spend their mornings or afternoons in an intensive art camp studying a single subject.

The Center will also offer camps for children with autism spectrum disorder and other special needs on Saturdays from June 24-July 29.

The Center for Contemporary Art is located at 2020 Burnt Mills Road in Bedminster. For more information or to register, visit ccabedminster.org or call (908) 234-2345.

“PORTRAIT OF A DREAMER”: This painting by Delia McHugh of Central Bucks High School West was awarded Best in Show at the “10th Annual Youth Art Exhibition” at Phillips’ Mill in New Hope, Pa. The exhibition runs through February 19.

The Phillips’ Mill Community Association recognized student award winners at the “10th Annual Youth Art Exhibition” Awards Ceremony in its historic Mill in New Hope, Pa., surrounded by 140 works of art by students from area high schools. The show runs through Sunday, February 19.

Kenoka Wagner, a prolific artist and owner of the 2nd Floor Art Gallery in Revere, Pa., was the juror of awards selection for this year’s show.  A mixed media artist, painter, printmaker and sculptor, Wagner said, “There were so many amazing, inspired works in this year’s ‘Youth Art Exhibition at Phillips’ Mill.’ I wish I could have given them all awards.”

Wagner selected awards in five categories with digital art making a debut this year: Painting, Works on Paper, 3-Dimensional Art, Photography (film and digital), and Digital Art (excluding photography). 

Best in Show honors went to Delia McHugh from Central Bucks High School West for her painting, Portrait of a Dreamer. Wagner said he selected the piece for “its unteachable sensitivity, originality in the use of materials, conveyance of theme, and overall presentation.” more

“WASHITALES”: An exhibition by visual artist Kyoko Ibe is on display in the Hurley Gallery at Princeton University’s Lewis Center for the Arts through March 5. An artists’ talk and book launch is on February 23 at 6 p.m. (Photo by Jon Sweeney)

The Lewis Center for the Arts’ Programs in Theater and Visual Arts at Princeton University, in collaboration with the Department of Art and Archaeology, now presents “Washitales,” an exhibition of work made from traditional Japanese washi paper by renowned visual artist Kyoko Ibe. The exhibition is on view through March 5 in the Hurley Gallery at the Lewis Arts complex on the Princeton campus and is presented in conjunction with the Lewis Center’s theatrical presentation of Felon: An American Washi Tale by Freedom Reads founder, lawyer, and poet Reginald Dwayne Betts, with development and direction by Elise Thoron, on March 2 through 4. Additional events including a book launch of Ibe and Thoron’s The Way of Washi Tales and artists’ talk are planned as part of Ibe’s residency. The exhibition is free and open to the public with no tickets required; performances of Felon require tickets through McCarter Theatre Center.

The set for Felon is designed and created by Ibe from 1,000 squares of “prison paper” that papermaker Ruth Lignen constructed from the clothes of men Betts first met serving time together in prison. Ibe also incorporated letters from men Betts had lived with in prison, friends who were still locked up and with whom he corresponded, helping them find freedom through parole. The paper kites  — “kites” is a slang moniker for letters received from family while in prison —  hang suspended from floor to ceiling in various groupings around the spare stage set. The “Washitales” exhibition in the Hurley Gallery includes work related to the theatrical set for Felon along with other works created by Ibe building on traditional techniques for Japanese hand papermaking. more

February 8, 2023

By Stuart Mitchner

In a November 2022 essay posted on nautil.us, Santa Fe Institute President David Krakauer refers to SFI member Cormac McCarthy’s “subterranean connections” to James Agee, author of Let Us Now Praise Famous Men (1941), “a book that we keep in our library and that Cormac retrieves from time to time to remind us of the intimate connections between language and image, indigence and character, and the multifarious beauty found far from so-called civilized spotlights.” 

I found the phrase “subterranean connections” interesting in relation to the richness of McCarthy’s prose, most recently the striking one-page prologue to The Passenger/Stella Maris (Knopf 2022), now available as a two-volume set. It was while rereading the bravura passage describing Alicia Western’s body hanging among the winter trees that I first noticed intimations of Agee’s prose presence, particularly in lines such as “her hands turned slightly outward like those of certain ecumenical statues whose attitude asks that their history be considered.”

The “multifarious beauty” of Let Us Now Praise Famous Men is reflected in a sharecropper’s mirror in one of the homes Agee and the photographer Walker Evan visited in 1936: “The mirror is so far corrupted that it is rashed with gray, iridescent in parts, and in all its reflections a deeply sad thin zinc-to-platinum, giving to its framings an almost incalculably ancient, sweet, frail, and piteous beauty, such as may be seen in tintypes of family groups among studio furnishings or heard in nearly exhausted jazz records made by very young, insane, devout men who were soon to destroy themselves, in New Orleans, in the early nineteen twenties.”

McCarthy’s prologue to The Passenger ends as the hunter who discovers the body “looked up into those cold enameled eyes glinting blue in the weak winter light. She had tied her dress with a red sash so that she’d be found. Some bit of color in the scrupulous desolation.” more

By Nancy Plum

Tis the season to hear amazing pianists and the Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat Major of Johannes Brahms. In January, New Jersey Symphony presented Daniil Trifonov playing this work and next week, Philadelphia Orchestra brings the same concerto to the Kimmel Center stage. Princeton Symphony Orchestra brought its interpretation of Brahms’ majestic concerto to Richardson Auditorium this past weekend, featuring pianist Inon Barnatan, a longtime friend of the PSO. Led by Music Director Rossen Milanov, Saturday night’s performance (the concert was repeated Sunday afternoon) brought the Princeton Symphony Orchestra instrumentalists and Barnatan to the Richardson stage for an evening of 19th-century Viennese elegance and drama.

To warm up the audience for the Brahms concerto, the Orchestra presented a work composed in 2020 but influenced by a predecessor to Brahms. Fate runs through some of Ludwig van Beethoven’s most significant works, and American composer Carlos Simon drew from an 1815 journal entry of Beethoven for his one-movement Fate Now Conquers. Simon also derived musical structure for this piece from the second movement of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 in A Major, creating musical gestures capturing the “unpredictable ways of fate.”

Beginning with fierce playing from the flutes, Fate Now Conquers was Beethoven-esque in its drama, rhythmically led by consistently strong playing by timpanist Jeremy Levine. Carlos Simon packed a great deal of musical action into the five-minute work, and conductor Milanov kept the Orchestra players moving the music forward, complemented by an elegant cello solo from Alistair MacRae.

Princeton Symphony Orchestra returned to Simon’s source material with their gracefully dramatic performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 in A Major. Conducting from memory, Milanov built the drama well throughout the four-movement work while maintaining a Viennese lilt. Accents and sforzandi in the strings were always exact, and the overall instrumental palette was consistently light, even when at full strength. The overriding theme of this performance was joy as Milanov used dynamic contrasts, gradual crescendos and Beethoven’s abrupt silences to augment the lean and crisp orchestral playing. Pastoral wind solos were heard through all four movements, including from oboist Lillian Copeland, clarinetist Pascal Archer, flutist Catherine Gregory, and bassoonist Brad Balliett.  more

“BETWEEN TWO KNEES”: Performances are underway for “Between Two Knees.” Written by The 1491s, and directed by Eric Ting, the play runs through February 12 at McCarter’s Matthews Theatre. Above: Cast members Shyla Lefner, left, and Shaun Taylor-Corbett, behind Justin Gauthier, in a scene that takes the sketch comedy-based play from history to science fantasy. (Photo by T. Charles Erickson)

By Donald H. Sanborn III

Between Two Knees depicts the brutal history of centuries-long oppression that Native Americans have received at the hands of the U.S. The painful subject matter ostensibly is presented as a story about a single family and its descendants — but it is projected through an idiosyncratic prism that blends sketch comedy, historical drama, and even science fantasy.

Oregon Shakespeare Festival (which commissioned the work through its American Revolutions initiative) premiered the play in 2019. A 2022 production at Yale Repertory Theatre followed. The play currently is being presented at McCarter.

Between Two Knees is written by The 1491s, an Intertribal sketch comedy troupe whose YouTube videos showcase work that their website describes as “satirical and absurd comedy.” The 1491s are Dallas Goldtooth, Sterlin Harjo, Migizi Pensoneau, Ryan RedCorn, and Bobby Wilson. All five members are involved in Hulu’s award-winning series Reservation Dogs.

Eric Ting directs the colorful and energetic — at times frenetic — production. The framework of a revue is filled with a Cirque du Soleil aesthetic, blended with non-literal storytelling and fidgety pacing that echoes the style of filmmaker Baz Luhrmann (particularly in Moulin Rouge!).

Racist stereotypes that are perpetuated via popular media — including theater — are a key target of satire. Scenic Designer Regina Garcia surrounds the stage with images such as the mascot of the Chicago Blackhawks; and the Land O’Lakes “butter maiden,” whose chest is covered by a dartboard. more

FESTIVAL PLANS: Metropolitan Opera baritone Will Liverman, who just won a Grammy Award, is among the performers coming to the 2023 Princeton Festival on the grounds of Morven. (Photo by Adam Ewing)

The Princeton Symphony Orchestra (PSO) has announced plans for the 2023 Princeton Festival, the majority of which takes place June 9-25 in the tented pavilion built seasonally on the grounds of Morven Museum & Garden.

Events range from a Rossini’s opera The Barber of Seville to independent tributes honoring Aretha Franklin and Harvey Milk, one of the first openly gay elected officials in the U.S., plus orchestral concerts, chamber music and dance, a Juneteenth celebration, a Family Day, and performances by ensembles and three 2023 Grammy Award winners.

We wanted to create a Festival that was fun, yet relevant — connecting with new audiences through music, dance, and theater — proving that age-old art forms can be fresh and full of meaning for today’s arts lovers,” said Music Director Rossen Milanov.

Milanov conducts the opera, which is sung in the original Italian with English subtitles, and starring Festival opera veterans Kelly Guerra as Rosina and Nicholas Nestorak as Count Almaviva. Anchoring the Festival is Andrew Lippa’s theatrical oratorio I Am Harvey Milk, which celebrates the life of the first openly gay man to hold public office in California. Lippa, the show’s creator, will conduct, and Adam Kantor and Scarlett Strallen sing the roles of Harvey and Soprano, respectively.  more

VERSATILE VOCALIZING: Moira Smiley brings her music to Christ Congregation Church in a concert presented by the Princeton Folk Music Society on February 17.

On Friday, February 17 at 8 p.m., singer, composer, and multi-instrumentalist Moira Smiley will perform at Christ Congregation Church, 50 Walnut Lane. The concert is presented by the Princeton Folk Music Society.

Smiley draws on many different song traditions including Appalachian, Celtic, early music, eastern European, shape-note singing, classical song, and jazz. She plays banjo, accordion, piano, and body percussion. Smiley has toured globally and is known for composing and performing with vocal ensembles, but her solo performances have a character of their own.

Tickets are $5-$25. Visit princetonfolk.org.

The indie-folk duo Damsel comes to Princeton Makes in Princeton Shopping Center on Sunday, February 19 at 4 p.m., for the “Java Jam” coffeehouse. Beth Meyers, left, combines her vocalizing with playing viola and ukulele, while Monica Mugan, right, sings and plays guitar and ukulele. The two integrate their background as classical chamber musicians with folk music leanings to create an intricate instrumental sound around tight vocal harmonies. Admission is free.

Trio Brillante will perform music for flute, oboe, and piano by composers of Black and Hispanic heritage on Sunday, February 12, 3 p.m., at St. Bartholomew Lutheran Church, 1746 South Clinton Avenue in Trenton.

Katherine McClure, flute; Melissa Bohl, oboe; and Esma Pasic-Filipovic, piano, met teaching at Westminster Conservatory, where they performed as a faculty ensemble for many years. McClure and Bohl are members of the Capital Philharmonic New Jersey, which is sponsoring the event.

McClure began her career in Paris and is now an active chamber and orchestral player in the tri-state area. As principal flutist she performs with the Strauss Symphony of America, the Riverside Symphonia, and New York-based Lyons Chamber Players. In addition, she plays flute and piccolo with the Capital Philharmonic of New Jersey, the American Repertory Ballet Orchestra, Bay Atlantic Symphony, and Vox Amadeus of Philadelphia, among other regional groups. McClure teaches flute at Westminster Conservatory and the Lawrenceville School and maintains a private studio in Kingston. On the lighter side, she has toured with the Irish Tenors, Patti Lupone, Lee Ann Rimes, Linda Ronstadt, and, most recently, with Marie Osmond in Atlantic City. more

R&B TRIO: Boyz II Men, the best-selling rhythm and blues group of all time, comes to the State Theatre New Jersey on Friday, February 10 at 8 p.m.

State Theatre New Jersey presents Boyz II Men on Friday, February 10 at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $59-$234.

Boyz II Men redefined popular R&B, winning four Grammy Awards, nine American Music Awards, nine Soul Train Awards, three Billboard Awards, a 2011 MOBO Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and a Casino Entertainment Award for their residency at the Mirage Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, which launched in 2013.

The trio has sold 64 million albums and continues to craft new albums. Past hits include: “End of the Road,” “I’ll Make Love to You,” “One Sweet Day,” “Motownphilly,” and many others.

In 2011, Boyz II Men marked their 20th anniversary by releasing a landmark album, fittingly titled Twenty. The album contains the group’s first original material in nearly a decade as well as a dozen remastered classic hits.

State Theatre New Jersey is at 15 Livingston Avenue. Visit stnj.org for tickets.

“STORM COMING”: This painting is part of “Paintings and Sculptures by Leroy Johnson,” on view at The Gallery at Mercer County Community College through March 24. The public is invited to an opening reception on February 8 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Communications Building on Mercer County Community College’s West Windsor campus.

The Gallery at Mercer County Community College now presents “Paintings and Sculptures by Leroy Johnson.”  The exhibition is on view through March 24, with an opening reception on February 8 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

The Gallery is located on the College’s West Windsor campus at 1200 Old Trenton Road in the Communications Building. It is open Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Wednesday from 12 to 7 p.m.

Johnson, who passed away in 2022, was born in 1937 in the Eastwick community of Southwest Philadelphia. He was a self-proclaimed “urban expressionist” whose work was shaped by African American history and life in the inner city. Largely self-taught, Johnson sought to create mixed media through painting, collage, and assemblage sculpture within the “Arte Povera” movement — an Italian art movement from the late 1960s to 1970s whose artists explored a range of unconventional processes and non-traditional “everyday” materials. more

“15/38/27”: This work by Katie Truck is featured in “Where Color Meets Memory,” an exhibition of pantyhose and wire sculpture by Truk and collaged paintings by Dolores Poacelli, on view February 11 through March 11 at the Arts Council of Princeton. An opening reception is on Saturday, February 11 from 3-5 p.m.

The Arts Council of Princeton (ACP) will show “Where Color Meets Memory,” an exhibition of collaged paintings and atmospheric sculpture by artists Dolores Poacelli and Katie Truk, February 11 through March 11 in the Arts Council’s Taplin Gallery. The public is invited to an opening reception on Saturday, February 11 from 3-5 p.m.

Poacelli and Truk have an intuitive relationship to color and form while applying metaphors of human emotions. Brilliant colors cascade through their pieces, charging their compositions and rejecting static confines of interior space.

Poacelli’s collaged paintings are pools of energetic colors and anthropomorphic shapes that rhythmically dance from foreground to background in rich textured atmospheres.  more

“OPALESCENT WATERS”: This work by Charles Miller is part of “New Year, New Art,” on view February 11 through March 5 at Gallery 14 Fine Art Photography in Hopewell. A Meet the Artists reception is on February 12 from 1 to 3 p.m.

Gallery 14 Fine Art Photography in Hopewell kicks off its spring season of exhibits with a members exhibition of new works and favorite pieces on view February 11 through March 5.  In “New Year, New Art,” each member will be showing a selection of work in an eclectic show that highlights the diversity of photography and styles.

A Meet the Artists event is on Sunday, February 12 from 1 to 3 p.m.

“Midway through the season we want to show off what the members have to offer,”  said Philip “Dutch” Bagley, gallery president. “With both longtime members and new members, we look forward to bringing the community an exciting array of photographic fine art.”  more

“UNTITLED PORTRAIT #16”: This 2020 work by Barbara Bullock is part of “Our His-story Month,” on view through February 26 at the Dupree Gallery in Lambertville. A reception is on February 11 from 5 to 8 p.m.

For Black History Month, the Dupree Gallery in Lambertville presents “Our His-story Month,” is on view through February 26. A reception is on February 11 from 5 to 8 p.m.

This exhibition showcases the importance of Black voices in the art world, institutions, and society as a whole. The artwork on display is from a range of Black artists from local and national communities. Dupree Gallery is a Black-owned business founded by artist James E. Dupree, a native of Philadelphia. It has locations in both Philadelphia and Lambertville.

“There is an excellent quality, diversity, and range of artists exhibiting in this show,” said Dupree. “They are all a variety of emerging, established, and master artists. I want the legacy I established in my 50 years in Philadelphia to resonate here in Lambertville, and to continue building upon my legacy in the fourth quarter of my life.”  more

“RESTING GODDESS”: This work by Alia Bensliman is featured in “From North Africa to North America,” on view in the Hutchins Galleries at The Lawrenceville School through April 8. An opening reception is on February 16 at 6:30 p.m.

“From North Africa to North America,” a solo exhibition of works by Alia Bensliman, is on view in the Hutchins Galleries at The Lawrenceville School through April 8. An opening reception is on Thursday, February 16 at 6:30 p.m.

In the exhibition, Bensliman shares with viewers her journey as a Tunisian artist who moved from “a fairly homogenous culture to the very diverse and heterogenous melting pot that is the U.S.” She said this move opened her eyes to new cultures, to different philosophies and views. It also allowed her to learn new techniques and methods. It gave her a feeling of freedom to spread her wings as an artist, to develop her skills, and have a deeper understanding of herself and others.

The Lawrenceville School is located at 2500 Main Street in Lawrenceville. Visit lawrenceville.org for gallery hours. For more information about Bensliman, visit aliabenslimanart.com.

Paintings by artist Cliff Tisdell honoring Southern writer Carson McCullers are on exhibit at Labyrinth Books, 122 Nassau Street, through February 28. Labyrinth owner Dorothea von Moltke and Tisdell, shown here, hope to stir interest in McCullers’ work with young readers who may not be familiar with her.

February 1, 2023

By Stuart Mitchner

I was planning on writing about a woman for 50 years. I will never be competent enough to do so, but at some point you have to try.

—Cormac McCarthy, 2009

he’s in love with his sister and she’s dead.

—from The Passenger/Stella Maris

Cormac McCarthy’s two-volume novel The Passenger/Stella Maris (Knopf 2022) begins with the woman he had planned to write about for half a century.

It had snowed lightly in the night and her frozen hair was gold and crystalline and her eyes were frozen cold and hard as stones. One of her yellow boots had fallen off and stood in the snow beneath her. The shape of her coat lay dusted in the snow where she’d dropped it and she wore only a white dress and she hung among the bare gray poles of the winter trees with her head bowed and her hands turned slightly outward like those of certain ecumenical statues whose attitude asks that their history be considered….”

The one-page prologue is printed in italics, as are all the first nine of 10 numbered, self-contained chapters of The Passenger devoted to Alicia Western and the theater of her psychosis. Her older brother Bobby’s adventures and misadventures a decade later are recounted in the interspersed unnumbered chapters (including the 10th and last), all printed in standard type, albeit with the author’s characteristic disregard of conventional punctuation. more

“BETWEEN TWO KNEES”: McCarter Theatre Center presents “Between Two Knees.” Written by The 1491s, and directed by Eric Ting, the play runs through February 12 at McCarter’s Matthews Theatre. Above, back row (from left): Justin Gauthier, James Ryen (behind the parasol), Shaun Taylor-Corbett, Rachel Crowl, Wotko Long, and Jennifer Bobiwash. Front row: Derek Garza and Shyla Lefner. (Photo by T. Charles Erickson)

By Donald H. Sanborn III

“That was like three plays in one act,” Larry, portrayed by Justin “Jud” Gauthier, quips at the end of the first act of Between Two Knees. The play started performances January 31 at McCarter.

A January 26 “Director’s Cut” offers a glimpse into the rehearsal process (as the production entered tech week). A bright red curtain; Regina Garcia’s scenery; and Elizabeth Harper’s unabashedly, artfully gaudy lighting suggest that theater itself — especially from Vaudeville to the mid-20th century — will be satirized.

As a perk of membership at McCarter, the audience is given an opportunity to watch a brief excerpt until the actors are dismissed for a break. Subsequently, McCarter’s Director of Artistic Initiatives Julie Felise Dubiner co-hosts a discussion and Q&A with Director of Production Dixie Uffelman.

Written by the Intertribal sketch comedy troupe The 1491s, Between Two Knees blends Native American history with humor that multiple cast and production team members liken to that of Mel Brooks. Eric Ting directs the production. more

THE MACHINE: The quartet performs the music of Pink Floyd at the State Theatre New Jersey on February 4.

State Theatre New Jersey presents “The Machine Performs Pink Floyd” on Saturday, February 4 at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $29-$59.

The Machine, a quartet based in New York, has been extending the musical legacy of Pink Floyd for over 30 years. The group does a mix of Pink Floyd’s extensive 16-album repertoire, complete with faithful renditions of popular hits as well as obscure gems. 

The Machine explores collective improvisation rivaling that of an early 1970s Pink Floyd, while their use of expanded theatrical elements and elaborate stage displays and lighting continues The Floyd spirit of the 1980s. The band is also known for re-creating entire albums as a part of their show, accepting requests from fans, and for taking an A–Z approach in which one song is played for every letter of the alphabet.   more

“AN ETERNAL MOMENT”: Nature photographs by Lu Zheng will be on view at the Plainsboro Public Library February 4 through February 25. An opening reception is on Saturday, February 4 from 12 to 1 p.m.

The Plainsboro Public Library will host an opening reception for artist and photographer Lu Zheng on February 4 from 12 to 1 p.m. During the event Lu will discuss her nature photographs, which she says capture “endless time in an eternal moment.” The theme of the show, which will remain at the library through February 25, is “An Eternal Moment.”

Born in Xinjiang, China, Zheng moved to the United States in 1995. In 2001, she traveled in Europe and says she became fascinated with the “astoundingly beautiful landscapes and the power of Mother Nature to provide boundless imagery.” In November 2005, her first exhibition of her photographs, “Grateful Moments,” took place at the Asian Cultural Center in Edison, NJ.

Since then, she has exhibited at a number of venues in both China and the U.S., including Princeton University, the Xinjiang Arts Academy, and the Culture and Art Museum in Xinjiang. In February 2012, she had a solo exhibit at the Plainsboro Library. She has published two photo albums, both entitled Eternal Moments. more

“BLACK BUTTERFLY #2”: This work by Terrance Cummings is part of “Manifesting Love: Prints and Poetry” on view at the Princeton Public Library through March 25. Cummings will discuss the inspiration and technique behind the works in the exhibit during a talk on Wednesday, February 8 at 7 p.m.

“Manifesting Love: Prints and Poetry,” an exhibit of the works of artist Terrance Cummings accompanied by poems by Sonia Sanchez, is on view in the Reading Room on the second floor of Princeton Public Library through March 25.

Cummings is an award-winning designer, illustrator, author, and teacher. He is a graduate of the High School of Music & Art in New York and received a BFA from Parsons School of Design. He has worked with many major book publishers, and his work is in private collections.

Cummings will discuss the inspiration and technique behind the works in the exhibit during a talk on Wednesday, February 8, at 7 p.m. in the library’s Newsroom. He will also discuss how he gained permission from Sanchez — the award-winning poet, writer, and professor — to pair the prints in this exhibit with her poems and haiku. A reception in the Reading Room will follow. more

Andrea Thompson

While most high school students choose a general academic path and others are being recruited for athletics, students in the arts face different and very specific requirements when applying to the art program or college of their dreams. Musicians and dancers must audition. Artists must create and present a portfolio. And in the background, parents may be worrying and wondering how their children will make a living.

If pursuing art in college is a topic of conversation in your household, consider “Art as a Life & Career Path,” Phillips’ Mill’s special presentation by Andrea Thompson, arts education manager of the Michener Art Museum, on Sunday, February 5 from 2- 3:30 pm. Thompson holds a master’s degree in art education from Penn State University, is an honors graduate from Moore College of Art and Design, and holds a bachelor’s degree in art education with a focus on sculpture. She has been with the Michener Art Museum since 2014.

Thompson, who has worked with students for many years, will discuss the excitement and challenges of this path and address the following topics: The myth of the starving artist: Can working artists make a living?; Career avenues: Non-traditional and other career paths artists can pursue; Pursuing art in college: The challenges and differences inherent in the application process; and Opportunities for students at the Michener Art Museum. more

PRINCETON SKETCHBOOK CLUB: ACP’s Princeton Sketchbook Club Library showcases hundreds of diverse sketchbooks completed by local and nationwide participants. The public is invited to an opening celebration on Saturday, February 11 from 3-5 p.m.

In September 2022, the Arts Council of Princeton (ACP) announced a community-wide project that would supply blank 5”x8” sketchbooks to anyone interested in participating in a new artistic endeavor, the Princeton Sketchbook Club. By mid-December, 300 sketchbooks were picked up by locals and sent across the country to be filled with doodles, poetry, collage, or whichever medium the recipient chose to fill its pages.

On Saturday, February 11 from 3-5 p.m., the entire collection of sketchbooks will be displayed together for the first time in a new Sketchbook Library at the Arts Council. The public is invited to peruse the variety and inspiring display of the creative community.

Like many ACP projects, the Sketchbook Club was open to artists of all ages and skill levels.

“Folks were writing to tell us that the Sketchbook Club was their first foray into making art, or that it was a welcome return to a forgotten practice,” said Sketchbook Club organizer and ACP Programming/Marketing Manager Melissa Kuscin. “At the same time, experienced artists were taking part alongside them. That juxtaposition is at the heart of the club, and made our time sketching together or sharing on Instagram so special. The only rule is that there were no rules: if you could dream it up, it could go in your sketchbook.” more