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Sondra Sherman: Found Subjects

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Julia Newberry's Diary, 2010, steel, sterling silver, nail polish, Book: 8 X 5.5 X 1 in., Brooch: 3.75 X 2.75 X .5 in.

You can't judge a book by its cover, especially if Sondra Sherman has worked on it.

Sherman uses the books in her sizeable library to inspire a piece of jewelry she creates. She cuts hollows into the pages and places a unique piece of jewelry inspired by each book into that empty space. For instance, "Julia Newberry's Diary," contains a stunning brooch nestled within the hollowed out pages of the fluorescent pink, gold imprinted tome that served as its inspiration.

Viewers can discover Sherman's work in her solo exhibition "Found Objects" which will run at the Hunterdon Art Museum from Jan. 12 to March 9.

Books in the exhibition rest on white-washed oddly proportioned library lecterns, evoking the atmosphere of a rare book room, or, in its disarrayed floor plan- perhaps more like a group of people milling about at a party. Each item of jewelry becomes a singular piece of art that is enhanced as a "found subject" because it responds to the metaphors suggested by the vintage books.

The tables and books complete each piece as a contemplative object when not being worn and propose an expanded context for interpretation distinctive from conventional jewelry contexts. As jewelry, books, quasi furniture, quasi library lecterns, and quasi pedestals, they refer to personal and domestic spaces, and the imaginary worlds of authors and artworks.

"All jewelry becomes a form or element of portraiture, and in 'Found Subjects' the book and jewelry piece came to reflect the imaginary reader, author or wearer," she said.

But her inspiration also presented its challenges. "What 'seemed like a good idea at the time' turned into..."What was I thinking?" I have continually followed curiosity, and sought new challenges over multiple series of work, but responding to individual books of varied character in a form particular to each came to feel like slightly schizophrenic creative acrobatics. I could have made a series of works for each book," Sherman said.

Sherman collected old books intending to read them, but later decided to reorganize her library according to color. "This 'Pantone-ian' organization was a late-night inspiration as I observed the visual noise of the bookshelves might be quieted down if color order ruled over subject or title," Sherman notes. After this reorganization, "binding color, typeface and imprints entered my awareness, creating a sort of poetry in combination with odd phrases of title. I then began to collect books with no intent to read them, only for how a cover or title resonated with me, and maybe on occasion, to enhance a color field in my bookshelf composition."

Sherman is Associate Professor of Art - Jewelry and Metalwork at San Diego State University. She was born in Philadelphia and attended Tyler School of Art at Temple University before receiving her MFA from the Akademie der Bildenden Kunste in Munich, Germany.

Sherman has been the recipient of numerous awards including a Tiffany Foundation Emerging Artists Fellowship and a Fulbright grant. Her work is in the permanent collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Arts and Design, the Racine Art Museum, the Renwick Gallery-National Museum of American Art of the Smithsonian Institution, the Rhode Island School of Design Museum, and the City Museum of Turnov, Czech Republic.



Mia Brownell: Delightful, Delicious, Disgusting

Mia Brownell: Delightful, Delicious, Disgusting

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Mia Brownell, Still Life with Catch, 2008, oil on canvas, 30X36 in., courtesy of the artist and J. Cacciola gallery.

It's delightful, it's delicious, it's . . . disgusting?

Mia Brownell's solo exhibition at the Hunterdon Art Museum features luminous oil paintings of fruits or meats often entwined with what resembles helixes of DNA. With extraordinary technique she creates imagery reminiscent of the Old Dutch Masters still lifes paired with contemporary scientific modeling.

But Brownell's still lifes are anything but still.

Pears, plucked chickens, protein strains and human organs often appear to be spinning and swirling against stark white or brooding black backgrounds to lend added dimension and an enhanced sense of motion.

The exhibition, titled "Mia Brownell: Delightful, Delicious, Disgusting," opens Sunday, Jan. 12 and runs until March 9.

"The Hunterdon Art Museum's focus on new and innovative work that generates dialogue and ideas fits perfectly with Ms. Brownell's paintings, which deserve to be seen by a broad public," said Marjorie Frankel Nathanson, executive director of the Museum.

A native of Chicago, Brownell's paintings can be found in private, corporate and public art collections including Wellington Management, Fidelity investments and the National Academy of Sciences. Her paintings have been included in group exhibitions worldwide. She teaches painting and drawing at Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven.
Art historian and critic Donald Kuspit of Stony Brook University once said Brownell's works "give one hope for the future of art. They show that painting is far from dead, and that beauty is still possible in art, and can still be discovered in nature."



Judith and Tom Neugebauer: Jewelry and Ceramics Runs Until Jan. 14

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Tom Neugebauer, Intersections, 2013, wheel thrown clay, raku-fired; tape resist designs 18 in. h x 13 in. w. Collection of Bryan Lees and Paula Whitlock.

Husband and wife artists Judith and Tom Neugebauer have inspired each other's work for years, but their current exhibition at the Hunterdon Art Museum is the first time their art has appeared together.

"Judith and Tom Neugebauer: Jewelry and Ceramics" runs until Jan. 5, 2014, and one can detect how they influence each other when viewing their work side by side. In particular, the cross influence is noticeable in Tom's larger abstract clay and metal sculptures. The sweeping lines of the metal are reminiscent of the swirling designs of Judith's jewelry.

"Since our studios are in a converted dairy barn, we very often do consult with each other on design concepts," Judith said.

For several years Judith studied ceramics with Tom and that aesthetic clearly influenced her design approach. In turn, Tom briefly explored working in the jewelry studio, which led to his using gold leaf in several of his pieces.

Judith also relies upon her previous career in classical ballet and theater for inspiration when creating her unique jewelry designs.

"The many years I spent as a dancer have given me an awareness of form, line and movement," she said. "The graceful lines of the body in movement are translated in designs."

Judith began making jewelry when she retired from the stage. She enrolled in a jewelry-making class and discovered an innate talent for it. Within a year she was selling earrings, necklaces, pins and bracelets to stores in northern and central New Jersey.

"My work is individually hand-fabricated using sterling silver with an overlay of 23-karat gold leaf," Judith said. "Many pieces also incorporate freshwater pearls and Australian boulder opals set in 22-karat gold. Fold-formed as well as die-formed hollow elements create visual depth, yet the overall concern with lightness and movement remain central to my approach."

Tom discovered ceramics while searching for a creative outlet to counterbalance the stress of teaching in an inner city school. He took a pottery class and found his bliss. Within two years he was teaching clay and setting up a studio in lower Manhattan.

Many of Tom's works contain classical references ranging from Native American to Asian ceramics. While texturing emphasizes the softness of the clay and brings the surface to life, there's a touch of serendipity involved in the final outcome due to the spontaneous effects fire will have on clay.

"Each piece develops its own unique look," Tom said. "You influence the results; you don't control it."

Tom's work has been exhibited widely in galleries and art shows nationwide. He has been a ceramics instructor at the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey in Summit since 1981. In addition, he conducts workshops in Raku and special pit-firing techniques throughout the year at his studio in Milford, Pa. You can discover more of his work at www.tomneugebauer.com.

Judith's work is widely exhibited and collected, having been featured in fine craft galleries, museum stores and juried exhibitions throughout the United States for nearly 30 years. She was selected to participate in the 1999 Smithsonian Craft Show in Washington, D.C. and as a juror for the prestigious American Crafts Council shows in Baltimore. Her website is www.judithneugebauer.com.

"Although, for many years we both exhibited at the American Craft Council shows, this is the first time we have had our work on exhibition together and we are very excited to have this opportunity," Judith said.



Santiago Cohen: Ex-Vida Project

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When Santiago Cohen wanted to tell his two children the story of his life - as a Jew growing up in Mexico, and as a Mexican starting a career and family in New York - he decided to paint it.

When finished, he had 1,150 oil paintings completed in ex-voto style: a narrative form of painting, usually featuring religious imagery, found by the thousands throughout Mexico. Roughly half of the paintings spanning Cohen's life will fill the first-floor gallery of the Hunterdon Art Museum beginning Sept. 22. The opening reception for Cohen's "Ex-Vida Project" is Sunday, Sept. 29 from 2 to 4 p.m. Cohen will discuss his work during the reception, which is free and open to all.

Cohen said he began the project shortly after his son went to college in 2006.

People who emigrate from one country to another carry the roots of their origin while trying to build new experiences in their adopted homeland, Cohen said.

"In a way I have to explain to my children that half of my life was created in a different reality," Cohen said. "They already heard a lot of stories, and they had to deal with funny accents and costumes. I wanted to explain to them what made their mom and I decide to leave everything behind to start a different life here. They live in a new world, but their parents had to live in both."

The "Ex-Vida Project" is divided into several sections of vignettes, collectively illustrating Cohen's journey through life. Sections detail Cohen's family life in Mexico, his decision to move to the United States and find work as an artist in New York, and about having and raising children. The stories are sometimes funny, sometimes sad, sometimes controversial. Cohen moves through these illustrations trying to understand the world around him and his place in it.

One story covered in depth in this exhibition details Cohen's first efforts to find work in New York. A Greek newspaper hired him as an art director. Immediately upon settling behind his drafting board, a man began bossing him around, treating him like a go-fer and demanding he fetch him coffee. Santiago complied hastily, figuring he'd better please his new boss. Eventually he discovered the man was actually his assistant.

Cohen was fired after working on one issue. Later he latched onto a position at High Times magazine, where he helped create a popular cartoon about cockroaches.

Cohen doesn't shy away from difficult subjects. He shares the trauma of coping with his father's fatal car accident following an acrimonious parting from Mexico. He deals with the horror of robbers attacking him and his wife while camping on a beach one night, the husband and wife sprinting across the sand to elude further harm.

"As I was painting frame by frame I started to remember the details of what happened - how they had cut open our tent and pointed a gun at us," Cohen said.

This happened on several occasions: While painting, forgotten details from his past would spring to life.

"Sometimes when I was painting my siblings, I would remember their clothes and other things like that. When you're trying to put it in a painting, you have to think of these things but normally you don't need to remember. Why do you need to remember visual details from your life? It's . . . it's a crazy project."

So how -- and when -- does it all end?

"Recently I thought that's it," Cohen said. "I have to finish. I can't go on forever."
Cohen reaches for one of his ubiquitous stacks of paintings, shuffling through it until he finds a specific section. "These are the last paintings I did, and they're all silent (without written descriptions). There are about 20 of them."

Cohen ended the series at a point when his children developed a sense of wherewithal about the world around them.

"I decided to stop at the point when my kids had a conscience because I don't want to impose my memories into their lives," Cohen said. "They should know what I think of my life, but I should not get into their own lives and memories because they have to build their own."

Cohen's career highlights include working for several major newspapers, designing Christmas cards for the Museum of Modern Art and illustrating children's books. He has also worked in television creating animation for 24 Troubles the Cat shorts produced by the Cartoon Network and the Children's Television Workshop. He has received numerous awards, including an Emmy for How Do You Spell God?, and Emmy and Peabody awards for his work on the HBO special Goodnight Moon and Other Sleepytime Tales.

Cohen to Teach at HAM

Cohen will teach three classes at the Hunterdon Art Museum this fall. For more information and to register for these classes, visit: www.hunterdonartmuseum.org or call 908-735-8415.

On Friday, Oct. 4 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Cohen will lead a "Famous Artist Friday: Story Time and Drawing" class for children ages 2 to 5. Cost is $5. Space is limited; call the Museum to reserve a space.

"Illustrate with Artist Santiago Cohen" will run for two Saturdays, Nov. 9 and 16, from 1:30 -- 4:30 p.m. for children ages 9-12. Tuition is $70 or $60 for members.

Cohen and artist Lena Shiffman will teach a weekend workshop for adults on "Book Illustration with Professional Illustrators," on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 2 and 3 from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuition is $210, or $190 for members.



John Anderson: Large Works

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John Anderson loves a good storm. Heavy rain, lots of wind. Something to really shake the branches out of the trees and send them crashing to the earth.

Once Mother Nature finishes her work, the New Jersey-based sculptor begins his. He heads outside to search for the perfect branches for his next creation.

"I have an idea of what I'm looking for, and then I go out and get that type of wood," Anderson says.

He carries the wood home, strips the bark and carves the limbs into cylinder shapes of varying sizes. Anderson uses metal cables to string the wood together. These cables are attached to metal plates that hang from the ceiling. Heavy chains help support the hanging sculptures.

Anderson's mammoth structures will hang from the ceilings of the Hunterdon Art Museum this fall. His solo exhibition "John Anderson: Large Works" opens Sept. 22, running until Jan. 5, 2014, with the opening reception scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 29, from 2 to 4 p.m. The reception is free for all, and refreshments will be served.

The octogenarian artist recounted his career recently as he stepped carefully along the slim, serpentine pathways that wind around his massive creations, which are easily imagined as toys or wind chimes for dinosaurs.

Surrounded by so much wood, one isn't surprised to learn Anderson began as a logger, working in Seattle until winter's worst forced him indoors. When that happened, Anderson went to art school. He went on to study at the Art Center School in Los Angeles and later at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. "I got to know some real artists while I was in New York," he says. "It made a difference."

Following a stint in the Korean War, Anderson traveled to Mexico, later heading to Norway after becoming a double Guggenheim winner. He collected wood for his work during his travels, which in those days were carved sculptures of tool-like objects. The work caught the attention of Allan Stone Gallery in 1962; it offered him a solo exhibition. Since, the New York City gallery has featured him in 13 solo exhibitions.

Around the dawning of the 21st century, Anderson shifted his focus to the large-scale sculptures the Museum will feature. Columnists reflecting on Anderson's sculptures have been drawn to the work's "muscular beauty," how the "cylindrical forms create the effect of something fluid, perhaps a waterfall of wood," or that "some sections retain the anatomy of a branch and resemble the articulations of vertebrae; others are planed in ways that recall intricate hands and bones."

Anderson found a unique location to house his creations and his family: a century-old former brick elementary school. Large open classrooms where children sat in rows of wooden desks now contain his massive sculptures, rows of limbs and sticks connected by cables.

"We bought the school house in 1967," Anderson explains from a second-story classroom. "The school district had consolidated, so this was an abandoned structure that had been vandalized. It was just the perfect place for a poor artist to come along when it was up for sale."

This exhibition, Anderson's first solo exhibition in New Jersey, will include his most recent work in photography, where he takes various small objects, photographs them on glass plates and creates large poster-sized images.



Ahni Kruger: Tempered Chaos

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"Ahni Kruger: Tempered Chaos" Opens at Hunterdon Art Museum

Sept. 24, 2013 (Clinton, NJ) -- Ahni Kruger describes herself as a "bit of a whirling dervish," and one needs only to view her solo exhibition at the Hunterdon Art Museum to catch a bit of her energy.

"In all my work there is a strong compositional current of opposing forces, a sense of barely contained exuberance and abundance - no doubt derived from years as a plein air (open air) painter," Kruger said. "It also reflects my life a little . . . and relates to trying to keep a lid on a little too much energy."

"Ahni Kruger: Tempered Chaos" runs at the Museum until Nov. 10. Kruger was selected for this solo show after submitting work for the 2012 Members Exhibition.

Each painting in this exhibition begins with an underlying tapestry pattern from Giotto's Franciscan Cycle, a 13th-century painting of St. Francis, the patron saint of the environment.

The selection of St. Francis is no accident, given Kruger's recurring use of environmental entropy as one theme in her work. Kruger grew up in a very environmentally conscious family, which included a father who is a master gardener and a sister who worked for the National Park Service. She remembers hearing about the 1969 fire on the Cuyahoga River near Cleveland, Ohio, and how it disturbed her. (An oil slick on the river - polluted from decades of industrial waste - caught fire on a Sunday morning in June 1969.)

"I used to have nightmares about what was happening to our planet," Kruger said. "I distinctly remember one - about the time of the moon landing - where we were driving on the highway to see my grandparents, and we were told to get out of our cars and say goodbye because there was no more oxygen."

In this exhibition, a more recent natural disaster - Hurricane Sandy - served as the impetus for her print "Coastal Disturbance."

"Before the storm hit, I prepared a bunch of etching plates with aquatint thinking that we'd probably be without power for some time," Kruger said. "Turned out to be 14 days without power or running water . . . I actually spent a lot of time in the studio because we could not get out for a while, and when we did, there were just more situations where people had no power! If you look closely, you can see that the pattern is all tumbly and tortured, as if it were in the midst of that crazy storm. That night was so bizarre with all the cracking trees and screaming wind--when I opened the door around midnight, I could smell salty sea air ... and we are 40 miles from the ocean!"

The exhibition includes painting from her "Metaphysical Experiment" series, which seeks to reflect the experience of our daily attempts at self-discipline while being bombarded by a random cacophony of information.

Ellen Siegel, curator of this exhibition, says she was eager to see more of Kruger's work following last year's Members Exhibition.

"After looking at her work, it became clear there was a consistent theme," Siegel said. "The thread that held them together was pattern - flora, sea creatures, insect life, ancient architecture, chain mail. I was seduced by those patterns."

Kruger, who lectures at Drew University and has an MFA from Montclair State University, hopes viewers will discover and appreciate those patterns within the chaos. "I hope this exhibition will get others to think about how we cope with situations that unnerve or overwhelm us . . . maybe we can all seek the solace of familiar patterns as a way to put fears and concerns into some semblance of order," Kruger said. "It would be satisfying if viewers could lose themselves in the patterns a little and see where they 'go rogue,' and then stand back to see how they all work together as a whole."



2013 Members Exhibition

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The 2013 Members Exhibition opens Sept. 22 and runs until Jan. 5, 2014.



Katherine Daniels: Paradise Pieces

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Paradise Pieces: Heavenly Blossom, 2010, beaded wire, dimensions variable, courtesy of the artist.


Katherine Daniels paints without paint.

The New York city-based artist creates elaborate works of art with beads, relying upon her formal training in painting for inspiration with color and composition. "A great deal of my work is three-dimensional painting, especially with this particular exhibition, Paradise Pieces," Daniels said.

"Katherine Daniels: Paradise Pieces" runs at the Museum through Sunday, Sept. 8. The opening reception, which is free and open to all, will be held Sunday, July 14 from 1 to 3 p.m.

The 20 colorful beaded sculptures comprising Paradise Pieces will hang high from the Museum walls, forming an ethereal garden surrounded by ascending beaded white vines. The 3D quality of Daniels' art affords Museum visitors the feeling of being immersed in the work. "You enter the room and feel like you're in the middle of the picture," Daniels said, explaining what she hopes visitors will experience from the exhibition. "It's a piece of paradise, and dreamlike."

Daniels' years working at the Metropolitan Museum of Art surrounded by Asian and Islamic art deeply influenced her work. And, while they may sound like tongue twisters, the names of Daniels' beaded sculptures are terms associated with heaven in different religions and paradise in different languages: Akanistha Arrangement (heaven in Tibetan Buddhism) and Swarga Loka (the Hindi name for heaven), for instance.

"The titles derived from words for paradise and heaven from many languages and religions are contemplation on how this idea extends deeply into human history and broadly across many cultures and religions," Daniels noted. "These paradisiacal gardens represent the human need to counter our acts of destruction by creating and cultivating beauty."

Her work is very labor intensive, as she builds dense compositions by stringing each bead onto a wire and then weaving the strips into a whole intricate form. One particularly large piece took about two years to finish.

Daniels grew up in Huntington, West Virginia. Bad at sports and dyslexic, Daniels was encouraged by her parents to pursue her love for art. She studied painting at the Rhode Island School of Design and later earned a Master's Degree in painting from Johnson State College in Vermont.

Daniels won the 2012 Claire Weiss Emerging Artist Award. During the past two years, she has created six public art installations including ones at Joyce Kilmer Park and St. Nicholas Park. But perhaps her most challenging outdoor piece was her first: An installation woven into a 700-foot-long chain link fence in the Wall Street District in the biting January cold. Daniels will create her first outdoor beaded installation after work on the Hunterdon Art Museum's new terrace is completed.



HAM Faculty Shows Off Talents at New Exhibition

The Hunterdon Art Museum faculty will showcase their diverse talents in oil and acrylic painting, ceramics, monoprints and more at an exhibition running at the Hunterdon Art Museum until Sept. 8.

"The Hunterdon Art Museum's mission, to connect people with contemporary art, craft, and design in ways that educate, challenge, and inspire is perhaps best exemplified by the Museum's faculty," said Marjorie Frankel Nathanson, executive director of the Museum. "Whether teaching a child's first art class or a workshop to accomplished artists who wish to learn a specific technique, our faculty excels. We're proud to highlight their work in this exhibition."

More than 30 artists who teach on-site in the Museum's studios or off-site in area schools, juvenile justice facilities or other community programs were invited to participate in the exhibition. Christopher Koep, an artist and associate professor at Raritan Valley Community College, served as juror, selecting the work appearing in the exhibition.

"The exhibition highlights the incredible talent of the artists teaching at HAM," said April Anderson, education coordinator at the Museum. "After viewing the exhibition, we hope people will be inspired to learn from these talented teachers and will enroll in a class or workshop."

Artists participating in the faculty exhibition are: Joe Agabiti, April Anderson, Indira Bailey, Doug Baron, Jennifer Brazel, Leah Cahill, Maureen Chatfield, Kimberly Chiefer, Bruce Dehnert, Sarah DeWire, Kulvinder Kaur Dhew, Duffy Dillinger, Andrea Gianchiglia, Tricia Hurley, Anne Kullaf, Catherine Kumar, Suzanne LeGrand, Jessica Lenard, Donna Lish, Cara London, Bill Macholdt, Nancy Miller, Bascha Mon, Joanna Platt, James Pruznick, Judith Shevell, Lena Shiffman, Ann Tsubota, and Charles David Viera.



Nature's Mark: Printing on Fiber

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Wendeanne Ke'aka Stitt, Niho Mano II : To you Año Nuevo Great White, 2012, artist made kapa cloth, machine pieced machine and hand quilted, hand dyed with California black walnut hulls, 33 X 35 inches. Courtesy of Gravers Lane Gallery. Photo: Thomas Burke.

The summer edition of Fiber Arts Now magazine features our "Nature's Mark: Printing on Fiber" exhibition which runs until Sept. 8. Read all about the exhibition, then stop by and see it for yourself!



In Motion: Videos by Noah Klersfeld

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Noah Klersfeld, LSC (chain-link fence, pedestrians, vehicles) 2011, Video still, variable dimensions, Courtesy of the artist.


Visitors to downtown Clinton and the Hunterdon Art Museum are familiar with the nearby truss bridge which has spanned the south branch of the Raritan River for the past 143 years.

But now they'll be able to see the Lowthorp Truss Bridge inside the Museum and from the unique perspective of video artist Noah Klersfeld. Klersfeld has a talent for shooting images of familiar sites and, by compressing time and space, altering the familiar into something quite different. His work will be displayed in a solo exhibition titled "In Motion: Videos by Noah Klersfeld" at the Hunterdon Art Museum beginning Sunday, May 19.

To film the bridge, Klersfeld angled his camera down and shot the corrugated steel at deck level in a way that enabled cars to flow between the camera and the deck.
"You're seeing cars between me and the bridge," Klersfeld said. "My technique is to utilize every single shape as its own video layer so I draw out and separate every single shape."

Klersfeld painstakingly cut apart and played with the timing of the footage he shot at the bridge. "I'm shooting one static image - the bridge - and subdividing all the pieces and shattering it temporally," Klersfeld said. "I don't fabricate anything. If the image doesn't move, it looks the same, and if it does move it reorganizes itself. On the bridge you end up seeing random swatches of colors which are the doors of the cars passing by."

Klersfeld's interest in video art began as an offshoot of his career as an architect. The artist attended the Rhode Island School of Design, where students are encouraged to combine architecture with media classes. After graduating, Klersfeld found what he describes as a "standard corporate architecture job that I didn't like very much." He left that position and later became an associate partner at Manhattan-based Guy Nordenson and Associates Structural Engineers, but continued taking side art projects to stretch his imagination.

"I picked up video as a way to continue to think about architecture," he said. "I started shooting some videos that dealt with space a bit, and thinking about multiple cameras and synchronization. I started writing multiple screen pieces that would synchronize with one another, and that started to feel like I was getting back into planning again, which is architectural. An architectural building also tells its own story: It has a narrative, but it's also material and spatial and temporal."

The flurry of inspiration to squeeze time into space in a video image began for Klersfeld one snowy afternoon. He was staring out his studio window at a brick wall - what he terms the "classic New York City view" - during a torrential snowstorm, watching how the snowflakes' motion affected the view of the pattern of the bricks on the building.

"It was the first time I really saw motion and geometry on top of one another," Klersfeld said. He filmed the image and subdivided it brick by brick and then shifted the timing. The end result is a brick wall that doesn't appear different, but the snow is moving in different directions on every brick.

The process altered how Klersfeld measured and saw motion. While shooting this video, he began seeing the bricks as a quarter of a second or how much time it would take for a person or image to pass by those bricks. "It's as though I'm trying to turn space into time."

Viewers can also see how patterns will affect a video in another piece in the exhibition titled "LSC." For this video, Klersfeld filmed pedestrians and cars from the opposite side of a chain-link fence near the World Trade Center memorial site. By compressing time and space, the viewer sees a colorful rhythm of images through the fence links.

The Museum exhibition, "In Motion: Videos by Noah Klersfeld," will also feature two videos from his "Passive-Aggressive Series." Klersfeld shot random footage of activity on a busy Manhattan street or a subway car and afterwards added voice-over directions to the people in the videos. His entertaining commands make it appear as though he's directing a double-decker tour bus, pedestrians waving at his camera and whatever else passes by either of the three cameras he has focused on the intersection.

With this exhibition, three video projectors will be placed on low pedestals to encourage Museum visitors to pass in front of the screen and become a part of the action.

Special Video Class

Noah Klersfeld, along with producer Jim Pruznick, will be teaching an "Intro to Film and Video" class at our children's Summer Camp from July 8-12. Children, ages 12 to 15, can learn the basic elements of film and video. To enroll, call the Museum at 908-735-8415.



Assunta Sera: Strong Attraction

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Assunta Sera, Globular Clusters, 2012, Oil stick and vine charcoal on prepared paper, 42 x 102 inches, Courtesy of the artist. Photo by Shannon Leslie.


Assunta Sera's ascent to painting stars and supernovae started not in open fields or an observatory, but in one of the world's busiest transportation hubs: New York City's Grand Central Station.

Sera, whose solo exhibition "Strong Attraction" opens at the Hunterdon Art Museum May 19, recalls first stepping into the main concourse of Grand Central Station when she was nine years old. Her family had just emigrated from Italy en route to Michigan. Years later, the budding artist returned to the terminal on her way to earning a Masters' in Fine Art from New York University, and was entranced. She later worked on a series of paintings about Grand Central, which must have pleased the eyes of someone in the Mass Transit authority because Sera was selected to create a painting of the recently renovated station to be used as a poster.

"The painting is representational," Sera said. "It has an inclusion of the celestial star ceiling and a young girl staring at its magnificence in the foreground." The original painting hangs in the MTA director's office.

About a dozen years ago, Sera's art literally left the station, and she began seeking new frontiers. She devoured books on art and science, including The Tao of Physics, in a search for universal meaning and imagination.

"It was exciting and mysterious," Sera said. Along her journey, she saw Passport to the Universe at the Museum of Natural History's Hayden Planetarium, and the voyage from Earth to the edge of the observable universe piqued her interest. "I knew I had found what I had been looking for," Sera said.

The results of her artistic journey can be viewed, for instance, in "Globular Clusters," which will be part of the "Strong Attraction" exhibition. The piece is a large paper drawing, inspired by matter that gathers into a cluster. Supernovae explode, pushing matter everywhere, and once it settles, attraction begins. "Matter agglomerates in space," Sera said, discussing the work. "Movement through space and time in a cosmic void set the framework for attracting, creating and destroying."

Through swirling forms, Sera asks viewers to see the universe as an abstract, ever-moving pattern that continues beyond visible borders.

Sera creates her work using oil sticks, preferring to draw with them and to mix different sized portions of oil stick and galkyd lite (a fast-drying, low-viscosity fluid). She'll mix multiple colors until arriving at a desired hue. "I always work with paper or canvas hanging on a studio wall, unless I'm working at home on a small drawing," Sera said. "Paint is applied with a brush or directly with the oil stick. I love the luminosity and translucency of color mixed with wax."

The opening reception for "Strong Attraction," which is free to all, will be Sunday, May 19 from 2 to 4 p.m. The exhibition closes June 30.

"Making marks on paper or canvas through an intuitive approach guides me to follow my interests and discover the known and the unknown," Sera said. "Drawing and painting is my joy."



Spring 2013 Exhibitions at the Museum

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Carol Rosen, Facing the Executioner, 2012, Digital print. 36 x 29 in., photo by Parklane Photo.


Carol Rosen: Journey Into Darkness

If there's one thing Carol Rosen knows for certain it's this: if her artwork doesn't disturb people, deeply, she hasn't done her job.

Rosen takes photographic images of the Holocaust - images that seem so familiar -- and creates photo collages that are fresh, tough and challenging.

The exhibition, "Carol Rosen: Journey Into Darkness," opens Sunday, March 17, with a reception from 2 to 4 p.m. It runs until May 12, and guided tours are available for adults and children in grades 7 and up. To arrange a tour, call the Museum at 908-735-8415.

"We have all seen photographs of concentration camp survivors, emaciated skeletons bleakly staring at their rescuers, too deprived of humanity to realize that they -- the lucky ones -- are about to be freed," said Hildreth York, curator of the exhibition.

"Photographs become visual icons and through repetition and the passage of time may lose their ability to capture our emotions. The unexpected juxtaposition of collaged images in Rosen's compositions reveals the creative manipulation of subject matter . . . The intention is not to illustrate a narrative or to please us, but to force us to see, feel and reflect," York said.

These images remind us that art can go beyond being pretty and pleasant; it can be upsetting and have a powerful effect on the viewer.

"I remember this one time we were going out to dinner with this couple. They came to our house, and the fellow wanted to see my studio. He was this big, beefy guy who looked like he could floor anybody. So he goes upstairs, and it must have been the shortest studio visit I've ever had: It lasted about 15 seconds. Later at dinner he said it was depressing, and I said if it wasn't depressing, then I've failed," Rosen said.

In addition to the photo collages, the exhibition features sculptures, triptychs, large digital images, two books from her "Holocaust Series," and poems written by those impacted by the Holocaust.

Rosen's own journey into the darkness of the Holocaust - when roughly six million men, women and children were slaughtered by a systematic, brutal Nazi regime -- began as a child. Her mother visited Germany just before the onset of World War II to help family members resettle to the United States. As the war raged, her mother worked for the U.S. government as a translator of German prisoner-of-war mail, which made her privy to information not disclosed to the public about the persecution of Jews in Europe.

"While she never spoke of this to me when I was a child, I became aware of some specific events she knew about and of the trauma she experienced as I grew up," Rosen said.

A visit to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem, and several concentration camps more than 16 years ago greatly impacted her artwork. She began taking pictures of an exhibition at the memorial of documentary photographs of the Holocaust, and it unleashed a creative response which later became a series of photo collages.

"When I got home from this particular trip I had a ton of prints and just started playing with them, and the images just seemed to want to come together," Rosen said. She intended to make one or two collages; instead a series of 21 books evolved.

These aren't the typical books you leaf through at your local library. They're 20 pages each. Each page feels almost like skin, and is translucent, a quality Rosen likes because "it takes the images to another place and makes it more mysterious."
Over time, Rosen incorporated large-image digital prints and black granite tablets as mediums to translate her work. The content and context of the images have also changed over time, Rosen said.

"The images have become more intimate and focus on fewer forms," Rosen said. "Also a desire to use a more hands-on approach led to experimentation with paint and brush adding a more expressive element. Individual prints may now include unretouched and painterly images side by side, juxtaposing the more realistic image with the more expressive."

What motivates Rosen to work with these traumatic and painful images? "I have a need to do them," she said. "In the process I'm trying to preserve our memory of the experience. Hopefully, we'll learn something from it, though I'm not optimistic."
Rosen's work has been featured in solo exhibitions at Rutgers University, the New Jersey State Museum, Tel Aviv University and elsewhere. Her book series is represented in the collections of more than 30 major institutions, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, Yale University, the Victoria and Albert Museum, Tel Aviv University, Simon Wiesenthal Center, Williams College Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art.


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Michelle Stuhl, Stone Series / black, 2008, Oil, encaustic on canvas, 30 X 30 in., courtesy of the artist.

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Howard Werner, Silky Oak Vessel, n.d., oak, 8 X 20 X53 in., courtesy of the artist.

Michelle Stuhl / Howard Werner

An excerpt from our exhibition wall text, written by show curators Hildreth York and Ingrid Renard: "Although the work of Howard Werner and Michelle Stuhl differs, each is imbued with a passion for nature, design and the craft of medium and technique. Howard Werner initiates his massive sculptural forms with a chainsaw. His strokes have both the strength and subtlety of the brushstrokes of Michelle Stuhl's two-dimensional work. For each of these artists the work is a process of assimilation of what is seen, felt and understood. They are "yin" and "yang," a study in compatible contrasts.



Winter 2013 Exhibitions at the Museum

The Hunterdon Art Museum's Winter Exhibitions feature artists from as far away as Japan and as nearby as Princeton. These exhibitions open this weekend and run until March 10.

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Mei-ling Hom, Cloud Bend, 2012, 3.5 X 4.75 X 3.5, Ceramic, gesso, graphite; hand built.

East & West Clay Works. Featured in the Museum's Main Gallery, this exhibition will showcase the works of 26 artists from Japan, South Korea and the United States. The East & West Ceramics Association was formed more than a dozen years ago by South Korean Professor Gil Hong Han. While a visiting instructor at Long Island University, he traveled around the northeastern U.S. sharing his dream of creating a multinational group of ceramic artists. Soon the dream took wing and within a year, artists from Japan, South Korea, and the United States worked together to create an exhibition in New York City. The artists who comprise the East & West may struggle to understand each other when they speak, but when it comes to working with clay, their ability to communicate is effortless.


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Frank Magalhaes, Rebirth, 2012, 40 x 30 in., photograph on satin fabric


Movis: HAM and Eggs. One day while contemplating a theme idea for their exhibition here, a Movis member was looking at a Hunterdon Art Museum postcard and noticed our initials: H.A.M. Deciding that nothing goes better with ham than eggs, the members of this Princeton-based group got cracking. Through the use of photography, knitting, music and other visual arts, Movis created an egg-themed exhibition. Movis formed in 2006 when four artists bumped into each other at lunch. The group quickly doubled, and two years later they created their first exhibition at Rutgers University.


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Kulvinder Kaur Dhew, Beijing Elevator, 2008, 40 X 40 inches, charcoal on archival paper


Kulvinder Kaur Dhew: Torrent. Kulvinder Kaur Dhew's charcoal-on-paper works may be the closest viewers can get to feeling the beauty, power and darkness of a storm without actually experiencing gusting winds and torrential rains. Dhew's atmospheric compositions, currently on exhibition in the Hunterdon Art Museum's River Gallery, explore the turbulent interplay of sky, earth and wind. By using various gradations of gray to black, she creates compelling environments that are both reflective and ominous.




Fall 2012 Exhibitions

Disparate Roots: Contemporary Collage
September 25, 2012 - January 6, 2013

Click here to learn more


2012 Members Exhibition
September 25, 2012 - January 6, 2013

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Ghost of a Dream
September 25, 2012 - January 6, 2013

Click here to learn more


Member Highlight -
Edward Evans : Reality Frames Imagination

November 18, 2012 - January 6, 2013

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Jan Huling: Beaded Sculpture
September 25, 2012 - January 6, 2013

Click here to learn more



Disparate Roots: Contemporary Collage

The Hunterdon Art Museum's new fall exhibition, "Disparate Roots: Contemporary Collage," features seven contemporary artists and their unique approach to collage. The works differ dramatically in size, from the small detailed landscapes of Casey Ruble to the massive photography collage that span two walls by Jennifer Williams, and in the materials employed, from the 19th century letters found by Leslie Hirst to the 1930s Spanish handwriting books used by Tamar Cohen.

"The exhibition offers a way of showing the process of collage and how it inspires contemporary artists," said Tara Riley Chazen, guest curator for the Disparate Roots exhibition.

Here's a look at the artists and the works they're exhibiting:

Leslie Hirst:

Leslie Hirst has an apt way of describing the delicate process by which she creates her intricate artwork.

"It's like making paintings out of snow," she says.

In one piece, Hirst uses hand-written 19th century letters, handmade lace and current telephone directory pages to form individual characters spelling the title of the work: L O N E.

L O N E was inspired by graffiti she spied from a train window while traveling from Venice to Florence, Italy. "I was watching the graffiti going by and I started making sketches," Hirst said. "The word L O N E appears exactly as I saw it painted: from the space between the letters to the angle of the letters."

Hirst's works and installations are noted for their meticulous accumulation of fragile, ephemeral objects which she organizes into fantastic compositions and constructions. "The processes that I employ for collecting and codifying these relics are as much a part of the finished work as the materials themselves, therefore acting as markers of time," Hirst notes. "My compositions often emphasize organic growth patterns or spiritual configurations that function as a foil for the temporal quality of the materials."

L O N E is part of Hirst's current work, "The Graffiti Project," which examines the way in which the visible word is woven into the social context of society. "My interest lies in both the visual and metaphorical connection between words and lace," she notes. "Words, like lace, are often used to conceal or contort, rather than to reveal - like a veil."




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Raven Schlossberg, A Moonlight Apparition, 2008, acrylic and ink on fabric with paper collage on birch panel, 52 X 50 inches

Raven Schlossberg:

Raven Schlossberg's work is fueled by the desire to explore the physical spaces we move through in our daily lives, in reality and in our dreams. She is interested in how we collect our memories and how these memories show up through the objects we acquire and in the spaces where we live. Her work in this exhibition includes collaged ideas of domestic realities and idealized images of nature that can only thrive in the lush environs of one's imagination. She has a deep fascination with rediscovering lost images and those things that have fallen between the cracks.

In her work "A Moonlight Apparition," the New York-based artist adds images of discarded yard-sale items against a backdrop of homes bathed in moonlight to resurrect childhood memories.

"The work, Schlossberg said, aims "to evoke childhood memories - personal but universal - to trigger memories. It's complex because you see something different each time you look at it." The individual discarded items appear to come to life in the moonlight.

Schlossberg has amassed an extensive collection of more than 10,000 magazines including a wide array of home design, gardening and architecture publications. "I started when I was around three years old," Schlossberg said. "My room was filled with magazines and books. I was an only child and I learned how to entertain myself."

Schlossberg will have a solo exhibition of her work in February 2013 at the Pavel Zoubok Gallery in New York City.




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Casey Ruble, Motel, 2011, paper collage, 5 13/16 x 7 15/16 inches

Casey Ruble:

Casey Ruble's cut-out paper collages depict seemingly innocuous landscapes that mask a sense of tension and foreboding, as if a violent narrative lurks just beneath the surface. Ruble's collages are influenced by true-crime television, 1970s documentary photography, Minimalist literature including the writings of Raymond Carver, and Truman Capote's "In Cold Blood."

Ruble's decision a few years ago to move from Brooklyn to the outskirts of Hunterdon County also greatly influenced her work. A number of her collages, including several on display in this exhibition, employ Hunterdon County as a backdrop.

Ruble bases her work on real imagery whether from the world around her or from photographs in books, magazines or online. However, she will selectively omit or add details to create a landscape that is fictional yet fact based.

"What to add or take out is a gut feeling in many cases," Ruble said." One of the great things about working with collage is if I feel there's some element like a leafless tree in someone's yard that evokes a certain feeling, I can remove other elements in the scene - like a jungle gym or an evergreen tree -- that might be interfering with that. By removing those things, I can create a larger impact that enables the detail to have a greater role to play in the piece." Ruble also noted that she will sometimes add elements to a scene to help the viewer share the feelings she experienced at a particular place.

One can also detect the importance of color, material and scale in her work. Palettes that combine discordance and harmony reflect an underlying, yet palpable, tone of anxiety. Ruble said when she started depicting rural scenes in Hunterdon County she would use certain color combinations to create a certain mood. "In the current work it's not immediately apparent that sky is not a real color that could possibly exist," she said.

For instance, in the work Sunday Afternoon, police cars sit under a yellow- green sky. "It doesn't appear off when you look at the piece, but it is," Ruble said. "I think subconsciously you recognize it's off, and that helps create that unsettling feeling that something has happened or is about to happen."




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Tamar Cohen, Carole Gray, 2008, silkscreen on vintage books, 37 X 38.5

Tamar Cohen:

New York-based artist Tamar Cohen derives inspiration from a variety of sources, among them German painter Kurt Schwitters, cartoon icon Fred Flintstone, polka dots and all shades of green. Cohen's work reflects this intersection of the sublime and the banal.

"Two lifelong obsessions drive my work," Cohen said. "One is my love for polka dots. I've also always been a collector of books and paper. I came from a family of collectors so I always say it's a genetic thing."

Six years ago, Cohen started silk screening and quickly began incorporating items from her collection into her work. "I often say I paint with paper because these all happen slowly," she said. "I put things together very loosely and I silk screen on top of things."

Cohen's use of collage and silk screen create a dynamic visual world of layered contrasts. She finds this palette of visual obsessions inspiring in many ways, as it lets her explore the relationship between high and low, order and chaos, the abstracted and the everyday.

For "Have a Party" and "Carole Gray," both currently on display at the Museum, Cohen was drawn to using old yellowed paper from children's books, celebrity magazines from Great Britain and 1930s handwriting books from Spain. Cohen says her decisions on what to include in a piece are based on a wide range of criteria, including content, style, color, scale and basic intuition.

"In my work, I like to layer different colors and obscure things and make new shapes with the dots," Cohen said. She begins with a visually dense background collage, and then uses dots and a layering of ink to alternately highlight and conceal the visual content. Her method establishes a dialogue between the foreground and background by fostering a complex and ambiguous sense of space.


Jennifer Williams:

Jennifer Williams creates photo collages that document what we often miss or forget in the process of going from past to present. Her site-responsive work explores how the architecture of the structures that surround us is adapted or dismantled over time. For the "Disparate Roots: Contemporary Collage" exhibition, Williams has used the architecture of the Museum as her inspiration, photographing the unique facets of the building where its history as a working mill intersects with the structural changes that have allowed it to evolve into a Museum.

"I wanted to highlight the remnants of the building's past use," Williams said.

Williams says the use of photography in her work is cumulative; she employs archival and current self-generated images to build large-scale collage-type forms. She uses photography not so much as to stop time, but to control the flow of time passing.

Previously, this New York-based artist has had her work on exhibition at the Silvereye Center for Photography in Pittsburgh, the Homefront Gallery in New York and at Brown University.

The "Disparate Roots: Contemporary Collage" exhibition runs until Jan. 6, 2013. Other fall exhibitions at the Hunterdon Art Museum are: "Ghost of a Dream: Sky's the Limit," "Jan Huling: Beaded Sculpture" and the 2012 "Members Exhibition."


Megan Greene:

Megan Greene's inspiration for her latest work is taken from books about old Hollywood, 1970s children's games and 19th-century prints.

The Chicago-based artist is "interested in the awkwardness of the body - human or animal - as it is dislocated from its purpose and natural gravity." The figures in her work are often rendered unknowable by her collage technique leaving the viewer with an event or place devoid of the emotion and spirit that the human form usually conveys.

Her work has been featured at solo exhibitions in New York City, Buffalo and Toronto.




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Maritta Tapanainen, Mesmer, 2007, paper collage, 17 x 23

Maritta Tapanainen:

In Maritta Tapanainen's collages, one can detect mechanical, scientific and botanical images found in early 20th century medical and scientific textbooks. Tapanainen, a native of Finland, is drawn to the flaws that occurred in the printing process during that era that lend an unintended uniqueness to machine-made drawings.

While her collages employ a somber palette of black, white or tea-stained tones, they buzz with energy. When engaged with her work, the viewer is drawn to detail and a willingness to join the artist in her exploration of a realm where psychology, science and organic matter freely co-exist.

Tapanainen currently resides in California. She has exhibited extensively in the United States since the early 1990s, and has had three solo exhibitions at Pavel Zoubok Gallery in New York City.



2012 Members Exhibition

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Kiyomi Baird, Philosopher's Mountain, 2011, monotype, 38 X 26

Click here to download the details about our annual Member's exhibition.
The annual Members Exhibition will showcase the talents of more than 30 artists who support the Hunterdon Art Museum and are part of the Museum's community. This year, over 50 artists submitted entries to Juror Kristen Accola for consideration in this year's exhibition. The exhibition will feature works in mixed media, painting, sculpture, ceramics and fiber art. "The Members Exhibition is an important tradition," said Marjorie Frankel Nathanson, executive director at HAM. "We are fortunate to have so many gifted artists as Members."

LIST OF ACCEPTED ARTISTS
Susan Amann
Kiyomi Baird
Zena Broomer
Jacqueline Clipsham
Michael Cooper
Buel Ecker
Nancy Ennis
Edward Evans
Vivian Fishbone
Faith Frankel
Rita Herzfeld
William Hubscher
Ahni Kruger
Marla Lipkin
Donna Lish
Cara London
Maria Lupo
John Madden
Dave Magyar
Ruth Bauer Neustadter
Joann Pellegrino
Joyce Pommer
Kimberly Robertson
Judith Shevell
Blanche Somer
Taesik Song
Elena Stokes
Shirley Supp
Ray Yaros



Ghost of a Dream

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Ghost of a Dream, Sky's the Limit, 2010, discarded lottery tickets on panel with UV coat, 48 X 550

Artists Adam Eckstrom and Lauren Was show how one man's junk can be two artists' treasure by creating wondrous works of art from discarded lottery and scratch ticket and other popular culture detritus. The pair creates sculptures and installations that embody people's hopes and dreams for luxury, opulence or the perfect love. The work is visually stunning, while offering a clever critique on society's fascination with instant gratification and the quick fix. Sky's The Limit, made from discarded lottery tickets, is a large scale work that typifies Ghost of a Dream's technique of transforming detritus into a beautifully patterned, elaborate work of art. Ghost of a Dream's works have been shown at solo and group exhibitions in Bologna, London, Beijing, Berlin, Copenhagen, Basel and New York.



Edward Evans: Reality Frames Imagination

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Edward Evans, Spreading Out, Acrylic on linen, 54 X 68

Edward Evans' paintings often mystify his audience. Sometimes they see his images as folds, creases or crumpled paper. Sometimes they see an image of a landscape. They wonder whether his paintings are photographs of fabric, metal or paper.
And they wonder how he did it.

Evans' work has been exhibited in past Hunterdon Art Museum Members Exhibitions and last year he was selected for a solo show. Titled "Edward Evans: Reality Frames Imagination," the exhibition now open in the Museum's River Gallery gives viewers the opportunity to further explore Evans' unique style.

Largely out of a desire for speed and efficiency, Evans began using an airbrush more than 40 years ago. At that time the artist was painting cityscapes that emphasized the pulsating effect of multiple dark windows in light colored buildings. These paintings were created by precisely drawing small rectangular shapes with a straight edge and pencil and then carefully painting within the ruled lines with small sable brushes and black paint. This approach to painting was very time consuming.

"I became impatient," Evans said. "I thought, 'Heck, a man walked on the moon while I was carefully painting tiny shapes by hand. There had to be a better way to do this." Armed with masking tape and cans of spray paint used for touching up automobile scratches, Edwards increased his speed while discovering a vibrancy of color in his paintings. But new problems arose.

"This went well until the paint started to crack," Evans said. "Also the fumes and dust were bad so I painted outdoors. The paint dust was killing the plants around me." A large spray gun and air compressor were next, but those too had drawbacks. Finally, in an art supply store one day he happened upon an airbrush, and has painted with it since.

"When I first showed these paintings, people did not know what they were," he said. "Many insisted they were photographs or were done by some photographic process."
Evans said he found the airbrush to be an effective tool for creating gradual transitions for illusionist effects and a strong quality of light and color. The translucency achieved by spraying thin layers allows the white of the canvas to show through even many layers of paint, resulting in a glow that cannot be achieved through a brush or conventional glazing techniques.

Evans' paintings have diverse influences: places he's visited, memories, non-visual experiences or other art.

"I am influenced by what I see around me, by moods that I experience and by other art," Evans said. "I like traveling because visiting a place as an outsider allows me to see with fresh unconditioned eyes, like the eyes of a child. I observe things that locals miss as they go about their daily activities. I don't set out to paint a specific place or wall or scene. My approach is highly intuitive. I begin by applying large areas of color that suggest to me what to do next."

Evans also has an interest in the work of the old masters, and in particular, the way they painted drapery. "I have always been impressed by the incredible skill with which the old masters painted their illusions -- especially the draped cloth of old religious paintings," Evans said.

Evans taught art at Southwest Minnesota State University for more than 30 years before moving to Stroudsburg, Pa. with his wife Connie. After relocating, the couple opened Gallery 705, which specializes in solo and group exhibitions of paintings, drawings, sculpture and prints by modern and contemporary artists.

"When we moved to Stroudsburg from Minnesota, I felt like one thing I would miss would be introducing the works of artists who people in the area were not familiar with," Evans said.

His work has been exhibited throughout Europe, Asia and North America. Most recently, he's had solo exhibitions at Galleria Polid'arte in Spoleto, Italy; Franklin 54 Gallery in New York City and Galleria Narciso in Rome.

Marjorie Frankel Nathanson, executive director at the Museum, said the Member Highlight exhibition is a unique opportunity for visitors to continue their exploration of Evans's work on a larger scale.

"Several years ago, the Art Museum began to award one of the artists in the annual Members Exhibition a solo show that would take place the next year," Nathanson said. "We love the idea of giving back and highlighting terrific work in a one-person show. For several years, Edward Evans' paintings have appeared in the Members Exhibition and received a lot of attention from our audience. Questions about how they are made are constantly asked. This is an opportunity for viewers to see more of his extraordinary work and study his unique techniques. We are thrilled to have this show and share with our audience Evans' work."

"Edward Evans: Reality Frames Imagination" will be on exhibition until Jan. 6, 2013.



Jan Huling: Beaded Sculpture

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Jan Huling, Pony, 2006, mixed media/glued beads, 9.5 X 8 X 3.5, photo by Phil Huling

Jan Huling creates three-dimensional works of art by covering found objects with beads and other objects arranged in colorful patterns. Huling's beadwork is quite diverse, spanning from a beaded kazoo to entire table tops. She draws deep inspiration from her fascination with indigenous or popular culture and world religions. By juxtaposing religious and political icons with an eclectic assortment of objects, she challenges the viewer to consider common images within an altered context. Her work has been featured at New York City's Lyon's Wier Gallery, the Duane Reed Gallery in St. Louis and the Morgan Contemporary Glass Gallery in Pittsburgh. She was also a featured artist at SOFA.



Summer 2012 Exhibitions

Nancy Cohen: Precarious Exchange
June 10, 2012 - September 9, 2012

Click here to learn more


Bill Macholdt: Thinking in Form
June 10, 2012 - September 9, 2012

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Works on Paper:
Celebrating the Hunterdon Art Museum's Collection

June 10, 2012 - September 9, 2012



Bill Macholdt: Thinking in Form

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Bill Macholdt, Tantric Jive, 2009, Photo: Craig Phillips


Bill Macholdt's stoneware objects reflect his interest in form. His work is often monochromatic, as a means to focus the viewer's engagement with the object primarily on its form. Many of his pieces include metallic lusters, which Macholdt uses as a means to enhance the preciousness of the object.

For his exhibition at the Hunterdon Art Museum, Macholdt will show high-fire and Raku work. His work reflects his artistic influences as well as the influence of his work in the environmental field. He cites as one of his earliest artistic influences the late Toshiko Takaezu and a chance visit he had to her studio when he was just four years old. In addition, he draws a connection between the organic forms he creates and the study of nature's ecosystems that comprise his work as an environmental consultant.

Bill Macholdt was born and raised in Hunterdon County, New Jersey. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Environmental Science from East Stroudsbourg University and Master's Degree of Fine Arts from Bennington College in Vermont. Macholdt is employed full time as an environmental consultant and is also an adjunct professor currently teaching ceramics in the Visual and Performing Arts Department at Raritan Valley Community College in Somerset County, New Jersey. His ceramic work has been included in exhibitions at the Newark Museum and various other galleries throughout the region. In addition, he has been included in several group exhibitions at the Hunterdon Art Museum in the past.

"Thinking in Form" is co-curated by Hildreth York and Ingrid Renard.



Nancy Cohen: Precarious Exchange

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Nancy Cohen, P(n,k) [Combinatoric], 2010, Photo: Edward Fausty

Nancy Cohen creates forms that embody opposing forces. Her sculptures, comprised of glass, resin, handmade paper, wax, metal, and other found objects, are rooted in nature and in the world around us. By using materials as diverse as cement, glass and transulscent cords, for example, Cohen explores such opposing themes as fear and desire, and weight and lightness.

For her exhibition at the Hunterdon Art Museum, Cohen will show several new works. Her sculpture "Metamorphic Traces" (2012) reflects her interest in how objects appear when they are under water. Installed on the wall, the delicate wire framework holds together glass shapes of various sizes and colors, reminiscent of the fleeting glimpses one gets of objects under water.

"Imperfect Image" (2012) is a glass piece comprised of two mirroring forms. To create this piece, Cohen used a chisel to carve into a log. She then poured hot glass into the log, let it solidify, and removed the glass sculpture. The result is glass that is not perfectly clear; remnants of the original wood form remain rendering a glass piece that, at first glance, looks as if it may have been fabricated in some other material.

For a work produced as part of an earlier series of work, "In Pulverem" (2010), Cohen uses a shopping cart she found in a neighborhood near her home. She dismantled it, removing the actual cart, and covered the remaining "skeleton" in cement. Working in glass, she cast objects that seem to drape, like fabric tea towels, over the rungs of the cart. These glass objects serve no purpose, yet they are endowed with a personal significance. This work was a direct response to the increase in homelessness that Cohen has witnessed around her home, while, at the same time, it reflects the fragility of human existence.

A catalog for this exhibition and the related solo exhibition, Nancy Cohen: By Feel , at the Accola Griefen Gallery (May 18th - June 23rd, 2012) is available. The catalog contains a new essay by critic and curator, Jill Conner.

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Nancy Cohen, P(n,k) [Combinatoric], detail, 2010, Photo: Edward Fausty


Nancy Cohen's work is included in many public and private collections. In 2011, she was artist-in-residence at the prestigious Pilchuck Glass School in Standwood, Washington. She has received grants and fellowships from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Yaddo, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and Rutgers Center for Innovative Print and Paper, among many others. She studied at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, received her Master of Fine Arts from Columbia University and her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Rochester Institute of Technology. She will exhibit at the Accola Griefen Gallery in New York City from May 18 through June 23, 2012. Nancy Cohen is represented by Accola Griefen Gallery in New York City.



Spring 2012 Exhibitions

FRAGMENTED: Astrid Bowlby, Sebastian Rug,
Christopher Skura, Ben Butler

February 5, 2012 - June 3, 2012

Click here to learn more


Yeon Jin Kim: Spaceship Grocery Store
April 1, 2012 - June 3, 2012

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Kirsten Hassenfeld: Cabin Fever
April 1, 2012-June 3, 2012

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Yeon Jin Kim: Spaceship Grocery Store

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Yeon Jin Kim, video still from Spaceship Grocery Store, 2011. Courtesy of the artist.


With an intricately fabricated paper diorama and a video camera, Korean born artist Yeon Jin Kim takes the viewer on an animated voyage through her dreams. To create her videos, Kim merges the traditional techniques of drawing and sculpture with the contemporary technologies of film, animation and video. Kim's hand-drawn scroll drawings, often measuring up to 300 feet long, are heavily detailed worlds, with backgrounds drawn in graphite setting the scene for elaborate paper sculptural models. Using simple string, she animates the models as if they were marionettes, moving them through the crafted environment. While the models are animated, she films the movements in a single take. The incredible complexity of the drawn work yields an almost childlike animation in the final form.

Kim's work illustrates her dreamed visions. In her work, a character can walk through a European capital, an American suburb and a leafy jungle within moments. She states, "Often catalyzed by dreams, the drawings and models depict animals, humans, architecture and landscapes in mildly hallucinogenic, charged atmospheres which derive from the intensely rendered imagery created through thousands of hours of drawing."

Citing the influences of Hitchcock, Kafka and Carrol, as well as Charles Darwin, Kim infuses aliens and animals with human desires and experiences, setting them in environments that are at once familiar and completely foreign. In "Spaceship Grocery Store", an alien goes about his daily business, witnessing events that we, the viewers, recognize from our own world: cruelty, militarism and repression. It's as if to say no matter how far you run, you can't escape your problems.

As a nod to both Carrol and Darwin, "Spaceship Grocery Store" opens with a giant venus fly trap. Kim has infused the plant with human characteristics, while, at the same time, pointing out the extraordinary inventiveness that can be found in nature. Kim's affection for Darwin is evident through much of her work and not only in Kim's subject matter. Her 2012 work "Zoonomia" borrows its title from Erasmus Darwin's (Charles' grandfather) two-volume book of the same name.

ABOUT THE ARTIST
Yeon Jin Kim was born in Seoul in 1978. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture from Seoul National University and her Masters in Fine Arts in Combined Media from Hunter College, New York in 2008. She has participated in numerous group shows and was part of the Artist-in-Residence Program at the Henry Street Settlement in New York City from 2010-2011. Among other awards and residencies, Kim was awarded a Residency Fellowship at Yaddo in 2009 and nominated for a Rema Hort Mann Foundation grant in 2008.



Kirsten Hassenfeld: Cabin Fever

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Kirsten Hassenfeld, Star Upon Star, 2011. Courtesy Peter Mendenhall Gallery, Los Angeles

Kirsten Hassenfeld makes extraordinary sculpture and collage with ordinary materials. She carefully saves odds and ends from her daily life, such as bottle caps, thread spools, envelopes and wrapping paper and incorporates them into complex works of art that defy expectations. In her hands, these items become multi-faceted chandeliers, highly detailed architectural forms, and abstract three-dimensional sculptures that illuminate dark rooms, often inviting the viewer to enter a private space, and, at the same, recall the vernacular handicrafts of the original American settlers.

Over the years, the main ingredient in Hassenfeld's work has evolved from primarily paper to recycled every day materials, a reflection of her concern about waste and conservation in today's society. With reference to traditional household chores that kept generations of Americans solvent, she quilts, sews, weaves, canes and patches these cast-off materials into spectacular assemblages. The result is an intricately constructed wall piece that is reminiscent of handwoven objects found in early colonial households.

Given the 19th century architecture of the Hunterdon Art Museum, it is particularly apt for Hassenfeld to make her solo museum debut within its walls. While preparing for her exhibition, Hassenfeld reflected on the households that were established in this country as the pioneers headed west. In her mind, this expansion marked "the beginning of the end" for the untouched land, and she concentrates on the era when this land was first populated by non-indigenous groups. The title of the exhibition, Cabin Fever, refers to both the feverish pace of work for these early settlers, as well as to actual fever, hardship and isolation of these early years.

Kirsten Hassenfeld is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, where she received her Bachelor's Degree in Fine Art. She attended the prestigious Skowhegan School of Painting and Scultpure in 1997 and received her Master's Degree in Fine Arts from the University of Arizona, Tuscon.

She has had several solo shows, most recently at Peter Mendenhall Gallery in Los Angeles, Brown University, Smack Mellon Gallery, Brooklyn and Bellwether Gallery, New York City. She has been included in group shows a The Hudson River Museum, NY; The Brooklyn Museum, NY; and, The Jewish Museum, NY, among others. This is her first solo Museum show. The show is organized by Hunterdon Art Museum Director of Exhibitions Jonathan Greene.

RELATED EDUCATION AND PUBLIC PROGRAMS
There will be a talk with the artist on Sunday, April 1 from 1pm-1:30pm.

Kirsten Hassenfeld will lead a class for kids ages 5 - 14. Kids can join the artist to learn how to make beautiful geometric structures from paper. After a brief tour of the art in Hassenfeld's solo show, children will create their own sculptures inspired by the artist's innovative use of mixed media and recycled paper. Students will use simple materials and techiniques to create three-dimensional, gem-shaped sculptures that can be attached together to create complex shapes resulting in an object that resembles stained glass! All materials will be provided. The class takes place on the last day of the exhibition, Sunday June 3 from 1:30pm - 3:30pm. Tuition is $27.



Winter 2012 Exhibitions

Elizabeth Gilfilen: No longer, no later
February 5, 2012 - March 25, 2012

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Nathan Skiles: The Clockmaker's Apprentice
January 22, 2012-March 25, 2012

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Elizabeth Gilfilen: No longer, no later


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Elizabeth Gilfilen, Navel Shed, 2011, Oil on canvas, Courtesy of the artist


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Elizabeth Gilfilen, Cusp, 2012, Oil on canvas, Courtesy of the artist


To Elizabeth Gilfilen, the blank canvas is an urgent lure. She doesn't want to begin; she has to begin. Gilfilen starts her paintings by setting up an atmospheric color that defines the mood of the work. Without a defined palette for each piece, she reacts to the fields of color as she works and selectively integrates new hues that expand on the expected potential color combinations. Gilfilen uses color to provoke our private discomforts and public visual pleasures. Her paintings share a sense of urgency, a result of her style of creating art that reflects her openness to chance and accident.

The title of the show -- No longer, no later -- refers to the artist's process of creating her paintings. Each work is the result of a combination of elements: color, time and motion. When these parts come together, and the work is complete, it's as if a fruit has ripened on its vine. It's time for the painting to leave the studio and be seen. It can stay in the studio no longer, and there is no better time than the present for the piece to be seen.

All four of the works in the show evoke this feeling of urgency. Gilfilen lays paint on the canvas to draw the viewer in. The bulk of the activity occurs near the center of the painting, as in Navel Shed (2011) and Flush (2011). Primarily red, these paintings, completed in late 2011, are viscous and fluid.

In her newest piece, Cusp (2012), Gilfilen lessens the amount of paint on the canvas, switching her focus instead to the negative space left in the work. The paint is applied less thickly than in Navel Shed and Flush, and the viewer can see the brush motions more clearly.

In all her work, Gilfilen's interest in spatial complexity and layering is apparent. Her generous use of negative space serves to enhance the raw power that comes from the core of the painting. While the activity within Gilfilen's paintings can be fierce and active, a closer look reveals great restraint and a very concise, specific set of visual cues that she uses to create these abstract representations. Her paintings can appear volatile and deliberate at the same time and piecing that puzzle together results in paintings that are anything but arbitrary.

One of Gilfilen's earliest memories of art making was making a little book about the story of the chicken and the egg and which came first. For her, painting is much like that age-old question in that she continually questions where the impulse to paint comes from. Does it come from something that she saw or felt that needs to be represented in a creative form or does the actual process of painting create the impulse? In Gilfilen's case, it doesn't matter which came first because the inspiration to paint is embedded within her and remains the driving force in her ongoing exigency to create art. No longer, no later is an apt and poignant description of Elizabeth Gilfilen's process.

Elizabeth Gilfilen was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Cincinnati and her Masters of Fine Arts from Virginia Commonwealth University. She recently finished a residency at the Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation and has participated in exhibitions at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, Connecticut and The Bronx Museum of Art. She spent five years living in Jersey City, New Jersey and she now lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.


RELATED EDUCATION AND PUBLIC PROGRAMS
Elizabeth Gilfilen and Director of Exhibitions Jonathan Greene will talk about her work and exhibition on Saturday, March 3, 2012 from 2pm-3pm.

Elizabeth will also lead a class for adults titled "Leaping Past Limits in Paint". Using oil paint, acrylic or watercolor materials, students will embark on completing a series of six to eight paintings over four weeks. Beginning with an initial composition derived from found images or observation, students will be encouraged to push subsequent work further using a range of formal and experimental painting strategies. Students will explore how the first "seed" painting can be more deeply expanded upon through collage, manipulation of materials or an integration of found visual fragments and they will be introduced to the variety of techniques that contemporary painters use to get past their comfort zones!

The class will take place on Saturdays from 11am to 1:30pm, starting on February 25 and ending March 17. Tuition for the class is $120 ($100 for Museum members) and materials are included. Painters of all levels are welcome.



FRAGMENTED: Astrid Bowlby, Sebastian Rug, Christopher Skura, Ben Butler


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Astrid Bowlby, 12.16.07 (chrysanthemums floating), 2007. Ink on paper. Courtesy of Gallery Joe, Philadelphia


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Ben Butler, Invention #50 (detail), 2010, ink on paper. Courtesy of the artist and Coleman Burke Gallery


Fragmented explores how all four of the artists presented create art work that is the result of extremely labor intensive processes. The end result of the effort is art that is solid, yet fragile; if one piece or thread was moved or removed, the entire structure would collapse.

Each piece in the show is constructed of repeating parts. In some works, such as Sebastian Rug's drawings, it is a repetition of the same or similar marks. In others, such as those by Christopher Skura, the repeating parts are the layers of drawing, rather than the marks themselves. They are all assembled piece by piece, whether drawn on paper or constructed from wood.

Astrid Bowlby grows her drawings through a slow and meticulous process. She is focused on building a surface and often it is this surface that offers to her a pattern; a pattern that she continues, until the passage of time and the darkness of the work tells her to stop. Astrid Bowlby finds her influences for drawing in disparate sources: geological patterns of growth, embroidery, knitting and weaving. Bowlby lives and works in Philadelphia, PA.

Ben Butler creates organic drawings and sculpture by allowing his process to develop incrementally. The drawings are woven together with a fluidity that allows the amorphous shape to grow into something spectacular, but not necessarily identifiable. Butler's sculptures encompass the same process, but involve the actual work of building as he uses the smaller elements to substantiate and invigorate the final work of art. Butler lets his work reveal itself to the viewer in time, just as he lets his form reveal itself through his process. Ben Butler lives and works in Memphis, TN.

Sebastian Rug delicately constructs intertwined frameworks that appear to float on the surface. A complex combination of texture and proportion, Rug's drawings invite the viewer in to closely examine the execution of his marks. This magnified view shows just how interlaced the complete work is and from this, the potential fragmentation can be seen readily. Although tightly bound, the slightest cut or break would seem to unravel the complicated drawing into one line, the line where Rug likely began this journey. Sebastian Rug lives and works in Leipzig, Germany.

Christopher Skura creates systems. Systems thrive or fail based on the connectedness of its parts and Skura's work is no different. Although improvised and free at their inception, his drawings evolve into technological and biological architecture through his ability to make contrasting elements work together seamlessly. Christopher Skura takes the viewer on a behind-the-scenes voyage through a complex imaginative system of shape, theory and color. He lives and works in New York, NY.

Fragmented is an embodiment of repetition, detail and interconnectivity. These four artists share the unique obsession with creating a picture by developing an ongoing correlation between its smaller sections. Upon close inspection of the work in Fragmented, the viewer can quickly see how it would be impossible to remove just a section of the image without completely dismantling the entire work. This is where the dynamic lies: these images are strong because of their connections, but one disruption in any of these artist's processes would leave the overall work fragmented.



Nathan Skiles: The Clockmaker's Apprentice

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Golem #1, foam rubber, 2011. Courtesy of the artist

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Golem #14, foam rubber, 2011. Courtesy of the artist

Nathan Skiles combines recognizable iconography, such as woodworking and drafting tools, with cuckoo clocks and birdhouses to directly influence our traditional perceptions. With his innovative use of foam rubber as the only material in his works, Skiles tricks the eye and confuses our sense of immediate recognition, further challenging the viewer to look beyond the obvious and discover the detailed and meticulous process to which he is attached.

For his exhibition at the Museum, Skiles has installed 100 never-before-seen pieces throughout the first floor. He embraces the unique architecture of the first floor gallery, painstakingly creating an experience in which viewers can participate. Some of the pieces are tucked away in hard-to-find places. Others are grouped together in families created in the method of Frankenstein -- three clocks, each divided into three sections, and each section combined with sections of the two others to create a completely new object.

The Clockmaker's Apprentice is an effort in duality. Entering the gallery, it's hard to decide if you have walked into a clockmaker's workshop that has been taken over by a crazed scientist, or a historical tribal mask exhibition.

The exhibition is the culmination of a partnership of abnormal architectural elements with the creative construction of Dr. Frankenstein. These beautifully grotesque amalgamations involve themselves in a narrative that focuses on the strange and often stressful relationship between a creator and his work.

It's hard to resist reaching up to touch the clocks, testing the artist's statement that the sole material used is foam rubber. To satisfy that curiosity, we've placed a box filled with sample pieces just outside the entrance the gallery. Feel free to take a sample, look for others like it throughout the exhibition, and take the sample home with your memories of the visit.



Fall 2011 Exhibitions

2011 Members Exhibition
October 2, 2011- January 7, 2012

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Leslie Pontz: Shaping Space
October 2, 2011- January 15, 2012

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Ann Tsubota: A Passion for Clay
December 4, 2011 - January 29, 2012

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Deconstructing Nature
Chris Ballantyne, Gregory Euclide, Kim Keever, Dean Monogenis, Voshardt / Humphrey

October 2, 2011- January 29, 2012

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Ann Tsubota: A Passion for Clay

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Ann Tsubota, Rococo, 2000, Raku, 11 1/4 x 6 1/2 inches, Collection of the artist, Photo by Craig Phillips


Ann Tsubota: A Passion for Clay, includes diverse groups of work by this well-known ceramic artist. Ann Tsubota is the Chairperson of the Department of Visual and Performing Arts at Raritan Valley Community College, NJ. She is an honored and respected teacher, known for her high standards, and has sent many ceramic artists out into the art world. Tsubota is represented by galleries in New York and New Jersey; her work has been shown in numerous exhibitions from the 1970s to the present day. She holds an M.F.A. from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, where she had the opportunity to study and work with Ka Kwong Hui, an esteemed and innovative ceramic artist.

Ann Tsubota works in several clay materials: raku, stoneware and porcelain, and does low-and high-fire reduction in her studio kiln. A master of ceramic technique, she takes particular interest in investigating surface and glaze possibilities, often using traditional functional vessel forms for inventive and unexpected treatment and motifs. The surface becomes a skin for richly varied drawings, paintings, incision and relief. Tsubota's interests in history, politics and the contemporary world are reflected in the texts and images found on her vessels. Literature and poetry have frequently been inspiration for themes and series. Ann Tsubota's work is informed by her extensive knowledge of the ceramic traditions of many ancient and modern societies. Viewers may recognize this artist's sometimes witty response to venerated forms and shapes, as well as her deeply serious concern with today's issues.

In conjunction with this exhibition, the Museum's education department will offer a workshop titled Form & Surface: Ceramics Workshop with Ann Tsubota. This two-day workshop taught by Ann Tsubota is offered in partnership with Raritan Valley Community College and will take place at RVCC on January 8 from 10 am to 3 pm and on January 15 from 10 am to 1 pm. The focus of the class will be handbuilding and glazing. Tuition is $155 or $135 for museum members (plus $30 clay and firing fee).

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Ann Tsubota, Shadow Map: Gagarin, Shepard, Glenn, 2011, Raku, Collection of Eileen Abel and Bill Luyster, Photo by Craig Phillips



2011 Members Exhibition

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Amy Becker, Carny Series: Viking, 2008, Archival Pigment Inkjet, 14 x 11 inches, Courtesy of the artist

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Craig Matthews, Black & Blonde, 2009, Fiber, 43 x 42 inches, Courtesy of the artist

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Edward Evans, Disseminating, 2010, Acrylic on linen, 54 x 68 inches, Courtesy of the artist



Leslie Pontz: Shaping Space

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Floating (Basket), 2011, monofilament, silk, thread, iron, 69 1/2x 15 1/2 x 13 1/2 inches, courtesy of the artist


The art of Leslie Pontz clearly transcends the traditional boundaries of fiber art. This artist pursues dichotomies in her sculpture with materials that, by nature, are usually antithetical. Pontz works with crochet and other fiber techniques on silk, monofilament and metal wire. In the artist's own words, she has been intrigued by "elements that are far more exciting existing together than independently." Contrasts of texture and color in environments she has experienced have had a strong impact on her art, as has her awareness of the interaction of light and form in penetrable structures. Bodies of work have thoughtfully investigated these oppositions until they are resolved in multi-dimensional sculptures.

Many of the artist's works are suspended with metal attachments and hooks that allow gravity to shape sack-like containers. Openwork crocheted "sacks" frequently hold objects of contrasting texture, color and density; cores of wood are wrapped in multiple layers of metal wire. The tensile strength of silk and filament evokes a visceral response; we sense the holding power of structures that appear fragile but are surprisingly strong. Some expand gracefully in space while others are shaped by what they contain. Metal attachments appear aged by time and use, but many have been fabricated for specific pieces and their patinas created by the artist.

The body of work in this exhibition reflects a very reasoned, personal approach to color; several sculptures have a pale translucency, a quiet, meditative quality. Pontz uses a slightly coarse silk thread along with colorless monofilament for many of the pieces. No dyes have been used: color on some is introduced by crocheting a polyester thread along with the monofilament. The artist has deliberately used the natural color of silk and linen and the neutral color of filament to focus our response on form.

The title of the exhibition tells us what it is about: space, surrounded by varied hanging and resting shapes that respond to their internal and external environments. We are invited into a gentle, unexpectedly subtle organization of space, shape, weight, and the volume of air contained and displaced as it flows through the work.

Support in part provided by the Bloomingdale's Fund of the Macy's Foundation.

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Collapsed Basket 1 (detail), 2010, Monofilament, silk, iron, 13 3/4 x 14 x 4 inches, courtesy of the artist



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Seed Pod 2, 2010, Crocheted wire, wood, paint iron, 39 1/2 x 33 1/2 x 18 inches, courtesy of the artist

 



Deconstructing Nature

Chris Ballantyne, Gregory Euclide, Kim Keever, Dean Monogenis, Voshardt / Humphrey

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Gregory Euclide, Capture #1, 2009, Acrylic paint, paper, paint can, pencil, pine needles, moss, sedum, sponge, stone, 11 x 13 x 16 in., Collection of Deborah and Peter Smith

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Kim Keever, Summer: Blue, Yellow and Gray, 2004, C-print, 51 1/8 x 68 1/8 in., Edition 1/3, Courtesy Kinz + Tillou Fine Art

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Chris Ballantyne, Pool Overgrown, 2010, Acrylic on panel, 36 x 48 in., Courtesy Steven Zevitas Gallery


Deconstructing Nature is a contemporary interpretation of the modern landscape. By examining the essential qualities of nature through an updated lens, new possibilities emerge. The contemporary landscape is less concerned with a strict portrayal of a beach or a mountain and more concerned with a narrative about nature, regardless of the format. Deconstructing Nature features five artists; all with unique points of view on what happens when nature is dissected in order to return it in a different form.

The artists in Deconstructing Nature share an interest in nature, but take distinct approaches to capturing it in their work. Chris Ballantyne fuses nature and suburban development in his paintings, finding unusual ways to make these two adversaries interact gracefully. Gregory Euclide uses landscape as a springboard to ethereal and delicate dioramas that befuddle the mind with their complexity. Kim Keever incorporates cotton, twigs, plaster, rocks and pigment to make environments that are submerged in water and then photographed, revealing fictitious landscapes never before seen. Dean Monogenis updates the traditional landscape by including architectural elements in his paintings that comment on the fast-paced need for urban growth, which often intersects with nature. The videos of Robyn Voshardt and Sven Humphrey provide a new commentary on environmentalism while questioning whether the pursuit of the sublime in nature is still able to elicit a visceral response.

Sometimes the need to know how something works requires that it be taken apart and examined before putting it back together. When it comes to nature and specifically to the landscape in art, the artists in Deconstructing Nature have begun this process. With great deference to the phenomenon that is nature, these artists have reconstructed landscapes in ways that are visually more challenging, as well as more representative of what nature means to them. While their work varies in medium and context, it is linked by familiar content that is made new by the artists' singular perspectives. The artists in Deconstructing Nature have developed their own narratives that bring the viewer to a new place; a place they are unable to find in our natural world.



Summer 2011 Exhibitions

Kiyomi Baird: Spheres
October 2, 2011- November 27, 2011

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Up & Coming:
New Printmakers Make their Mark

June 19 - September 18, 2011

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Art of Adornment: Studio Jewelry
June 19 - September 18, 2011

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Kiyomi Baird: Spheres

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Kiyomi Baird, Autumnal, 2011, Mixed media and oil on canvas, 48 x 108 inches (triptych), Courtesy of the artist

Kiyomi Baird uses basic geometric forms to express her perceptions of the fundamental nature of physical matter and spiritual being. These forms, often circles and spheres, are given texture and color to create spaces that seek to reflect the cosmos. Spheres is an artistic manifestation of Baird's inner journey through the vastness that encompasses this physical and spiritual embodiment.

Kiyomi Baird began her interest in the elements of matter after first looking through an electron microscope into the invisible universe of atomic particles. She then combined this scientific interest with spiritual reflection shaped by her Japanese ancestry and Buddhist upbringing to start an artistic process that continues to enlighten her. After living most of her life in the United States and Berlin, Baird moved to Tokyo and found a connection with Japanese culture and aesthetics that she had not previously recognized. This newly found cultural duality created an inner tension that drives her to create visual expressions of harmony and balance.

Autumnal and Renewal are representations of this cultural duality. Autumnal is dark and celestial, an indication of deep space and an enigmatic world. Renewal is refreshing and delivers a sense of regeneration through its varied textures and colors. Together these works form the yin and yang of Kiyomi Baird. They are opposite forces, but when seen together they complement each other and give rise to a more powerful dynamic.

Kiyomi Baird seeks to open the viewer's understanding through her paintings. The themes of harmony and balance graciously interact with the subjects of chaos and struggle creating a context for Baird to transform the viewer's own feelings and insights. Spheres is not just a celestial meditation, it is a personal journey to a meaningful consciousness.



Up & Coming: New Printmakers Make their Mark

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Helen Popinchalk, Night Vision, 2009, Silkscreen (hand-cut rubylith stencils) on paper, 20 x 48 inches, Courtesy of the artist


The Hunterdon Art Museum continues its long history of supporting and promoting contemporary printmakers with this second invitational show of prints by MFA candidates and recent graduates. We invited East Coast art schools with MFA printmaking programs to nominate up and coming printmakers, and from these nominees we selected twelve talented artists. Participating schools are: The LeRoy Neiman Center for Print Studies, Columbia University; University of Massachusetts | Dartmouth; Montclair State University; Pratt Institute; The University of the Arts; University of Pennsylvania; and Virginia Commonwealth University, School of the Arts. Works chosen for the exhibition utilize traditional techniques such as woodcut and silkscreen, as well as current advances in digital technology that create prints. The show includes two- and three-dimensional objects, artist books and mixed media installations that expand the conventional boundaries of printmaking and identify some innovative trends in contemporary art.

If there is a common thread connecting these diverse works it may be ingenuity. Many of the artists look beyond traditional printmaking materials and methods, incorporating other media and processes to create contemporary works of art. From Christi Birchfield's use of flowers as a pigment to Donna Globus' art of storytelling through offset printed sheets and books to Rhys Himsworth's reconfiguration of a cardiograph as a printmaking device; these artists have developed their own unique techniques while maintaining the very ideals of making prints. Evolving technologies let the artists expand their printmaking practice, but their attention to the history of this art form allows for a fluid transformation and rich results.

Some of these artists have transcended a boundary in printmaking by making the act or result of their process interactive. Bonnie Kaye Whitfield's printed letters, left for someone to pick up, result in anonymous engagement. The use of multiple processes is also prevalent amongst these artists as seen in the work of Vaidehi Kinkhabwala who turns the ordinary form of a dress into a multi-layered printmaking experience. By rethinking how to use traditional techniques to create innovative work, these artists have begun the long journey of making a mark.

"Making a mark" is both an activity and an outcome. When we speak of mark making as an artistic endeavor we refer to an essential gesture; for an artist, making a mark is an act of creativity. Additionally, the expression "to make one's mark" means to achieve distinction or make a name for oneself. Both meanings are relevant for the emerging artists in this exhibition. While the mark they will leave on contemporary art is yet to be determined, each has made an indelible mark on this exhibition.

Read this article on nj.com about Up and Coming.

Read this article on mycentraljersey.com about Up and Coming.

This exhibition is funded in part by the International Fine Print Dealers Association.


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Mandy Dunn Sampson, Mismemory, 2010, Screenprinted quilt, 44 x 54 inches, Courtesy of the artist

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Robert Rhee (in collaboration with Alison Guidry), Stagings of the Mass Dream; By the Lake, 2010, CMYK silkscreen print on paper, 22 x 27 inches, Courtesy of the artists

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Susan Dreifuss, Only Exception, 2009, Woodblock print, 24 x 38 inches, Courtesy of the artist




Art of Adornment: Studio Jewelry

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Jill Baker Gower, Aphrodisiac Rose Pomander, 2006, Pewter, sterling silver, feather boa, vial of rose oil, Courtesy of the artist


Art of Adornment: Studio Jewelry features the work of thirteen artists who create jewelry that is part of an ongoing trend to marry precious with non-precious materials. Merging the timeless with the fleeting, the precious with the ordinary, their work combines gems and metals with materials found in nature, the environment and industry.

Formally trained in design and fabrication, the artists in this exhibition are grounded in the history of jewelry and its purposes. Their work represents their individual searches for an aesthetic that speaks to their chosen materials and craftsmanship. Tina Rath works with precious gems and fur, materials associated with privilege, but while the gems are stable and everlasting, the fur is fragile. Kiwon Wang mixes ageless pearls with paper, a product prone to aging and fraying. Man-made materials, old and new, get new life in the hands of Susanne Klemm and Jill Baker Gower.

Jewelry has long signaled status and wealth. Traditionally, social value could be attained only if the materials themselves were enduring, making possible heirlooms that passed from generation to generation. Although their appearance and craft could change over time, it was the precious gem or metal that gave it value.

Although mainstream jewelry designers still trade on the notion that 'a diamond is forever', the 20th century saw a shift in this approach. Studio jewelry, influenced by the Arts and Crafts Movement, redefined value as resting in the aesthetic and skill of the maker rather than the value of the materials. This shift opened the door to any material that caught the fancy of the artist.

This juxtaposition of precious, long-lasting materials and non-traditional, ephemeral elements may suggest a playful or irreverent critique of our understanding of value, challenging the consumer to reconsider the meaning of jewelry and our understanding of the relationship between value and timelessness. Appearance can be greatly enhanced by beautiful objects and therein, lies the Art of Adornment.

Read this article on mycentraljersey.com about Art of Adornment.

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Tina Rath, Untitled, 2009, African blackwood, smoky quartz, mink, paint, white tail deer rosette, sterling silver, Courtesy Sienna Gallery

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Kiwon Wang, Erotica P #17, 2009, NY Times, sterling silver, pearl, Kamasutra illustration book, lacquer, Courtesy of the artist, Photo credit: James Beards

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Sarah Abramson, Palimpsest 9, 2010, Copper, vitreous enamel, sterling silver, stainless steel, Courtesy Gallery Loupe



Spring 2011 Exhibitions

Edward Fausty:
Next Frontier, The Land and the Night Sky

April 10 - June 12, 2011

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Claybodies: Reinterpreting the Figure
February 27 - June 12, 2011

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Sarah Stengle: Useless Tools
February 27 - June 12, 2011

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Sarah Stengle: Useless Tools

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Object to Read Your Letters, 2010, Wool, lampwork glass nipples

While most of us see tools as implements that help us accomplish manual tasks, artist Sarah Stengle transforms them into mysterious objects fraught with psychological tension. Her project, Useless Tools, comprises an artist book and a series of sculptural objects described and illustrated in the book. Formatted like an instruction manual, the book describes various "anxious occasions" and imagines tools to handle them. The "tools" are displayed in cases like artifacts in a natural history museum. While they may resemble hand tools, they could never function as such. Instead they become Surrealist sculptures, inhabiting the realm of the subconscious--the props of dreams and nightmares, or fairy tales gone awry.

Stengle provides tools that reveal the intentions of others, make you invisible or turn you to stone, watch over you, or even restore virginity. The artist is inventive in her use of everyday objects to help solve anxiety, combining such elements as found utensils, tool fragments, animal horns and antlers, stone, wood, metal and wool. Her incorporation of glass taxidermy eyes provides the hyper-vigilance necessary for survival and helps protect against any lurking "evil eye."

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Tool for Looking at Dead Dogs, 2009, Wood, glass cat eyes, vintage tool handle, dark green paint


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Tool for Existing beyond Paper, 2010, Chrome-plated architectural fitting, glass coyote eyes, machined brass fitting, antique wood handle


For the book, Useless Tools, Stengle employed a "tête-bêche" binding, in which two separate texts are joined together, but inverted head to tail--one beginning at the front of the book, and the other at the back. After writing short descriptive entries on individual tools, the artist collaborated with author Michael Joseph, who is a rare books librarian at Rutgers University. His written responses to Stengle's original entries form the basis of a revised and annotated version of the text, situated at the "back" of the book. The resulting dialogue between Stengle and Joseph is transcendent, moving beyond a discussion of tools.

The true value of these non-functioning tools is their ability to remind us of our actual, if unacknowledged needs. While we may never find ourselves fleeing hunters in the forest or turning to stone, we still face challenges that cause us to crave the appropriate tools. How often have we fantasized about becoming invisible or having eyes in the backs of our heads? Who wouldn't love to reconnect with a lost childhood pet? And what would it mean if we had tools to protect us from evil, or heal our devastating wounds? While arguably worthless as tools, they are meaningful as art objects, helping us address our unspoken fears, longings, and memories. With this provocative work Sarah Stengle demonstrates that useless tools can be powerful objects.



Claybodies: Reinterpreting the Figure

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Click here for a cinematic tour of our Claybodies exhibit.

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Etta Winigrad, Wolf Cry, 2002, clay, smoked, 23 1/2 x 34 x 10 in.


The extraordinary flourishing of ceramic art today in all its manifestations raises interesting speculation about what has propelled this rejuvenation of an ancient art form. There has never been an actual hiatus in the history and use of clay as art-making material, and the imaging of the body, as old as man's prehistory, has always been replete with references to the physical, spiritual, psychological and iconic significance of the human form. Clay, however, demands direct involvement of the shaper's hands, unlike other modes of sculpture where tools, whether simple or complex, must mediate between the artist and the work. Perhaps in an era defined by technology it is deeply satisfying to be so connected to a material which is essentially earth.

It is reassuring and stimulating to note that the artists in this exhibition create sculpture as variable in concept and process as any other contemporary art form. Claybodies has tried to stay relatively close to the human figure in the art selected. The human body, so mobile in life, becomes immobilized in fired clay as ceramic. Unfired clay, however, malleable and capable of both additive and subtractive manipulation, allows the sculptor to explore infinite variations of form and surface. Unlike other sculptural materials, clay and glazes can be in solid or liquid form, as well as somewhere between, depending on their physical and chemical state. It is the heat of the kiln that ultimately makes them solid and durable.

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Rob Kirsch, Nursery 2008, Glazed earthenware, 22 x 13 x 14 in.


Within the thematic parameters of "the figure," the work in Claybodies is individualistic and idiosyncratic. Some are sculptures of entire bodies; others use a part of the body--often, but not inevitably--the head, to essentialize the human presence. Surface textures may be gritty or smooth; some retain the matte, earthen colors of clay while others present colorful glazed surfaces and elaborate detailed imagery. All require extraordinary technical skill and personal vision for the artist to realize his or her response to this complicated body we all share.

Claybodies: Reinterpreting the Figure will explore the diverse ways in which artists interpret the human body in fired clay. Within the thematic parameters of "the figure," the work in Claybodies is individualistic and idiosyncratic. Some are sculptures of entire bodies; others use a part of the body--often, but not inevitably--the head, to essentialize the human presence. The exhibition will show 14 artists whose work ranges from traditional representation to semi-abstract and examines the context, content and personal style of each artist. Artists in the show are Adrian Arleo, Tom Bartel, Paola Borgatta, Bruce Dehnert, Judy Fox, Mary Frank, Sergei Isupov, Robert Kirsch, Judy Moonelis, Mike Prather, Akio Takamori, Viola Frey, Kukuli Velarde, and Etta Winigrad.

Read an article from New Ceramics about Claybodies: Reinterpreting the Figure.


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Tom Bartel, Blue Fertility Figure, 2010, ceramic, 20 x 12 x 10 in.


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Bruce Dehnert, Ishmael Sent Away, 2010, earthenware, steel, glazes, sandblasted, 72 x 37 x 12 in.



Winter 2011 Exhibitions

Marzie Nejad: Mindscapes
January 23 - April 3, 2011

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Marzie Nejad: Mindscapes

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A Pale Blue Day, 2007, oil on canvas, 24" x 24"


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Flying Cactus, 1989, oil on canvas, 36" x 36"


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To the Meadow, 2009, oil on canvas, 36" x 48"


Marzie Nejad's "mindscapes" are mysterious paintings that illustrate the land-scape of the imagination. The unexpected and seemingly impossible scenes that unfold in these paintings require the viewer to suspend reality and enter the irrational world of dreams. Here, a flowering cactus flies like a rocket, a road cascades from a woman's knitting needles, a Tehran doorway is transported to the Great Wall of China, an island floats in the sky.

Much of Nejad's striking imagery emerges from her unconscious mind during early morning reveries. These waking dreams--a mix of memories, fantasies, wishes and fears--provide the subject matter for her paintings. Like a photographer traversing the landscape of the subconscious, she takes snap-shots of the scenes she imagines and records them on canvas. Nejad's mind-scapes depict beautiful yet haunting places that often seem remote or inaccessible. A palpable sense of longing pervades many of the paintings, their spaces inhabited by solitary figures.

A self-taught artist who paints intuitively, Nejad was born and raised in Iran. Although she is a natural storyteller with a compelling story of her own, she does not directly recount it in her paintings. Instead, she creates enigmatic scenes and fragments of stories that are evocative rather than explicit. Combining aspects of Symbolism and Surrealism, her paintings express universal ideas filtered through her own imagination and artistic vision.

While cultural signs and symbols vary, the search for meaning is an essential human pursuit. The artist--who has always had a strong connection to mysticism--has been a lifelong seeker of beauty and truth, spiritually as well as artistically. Perhaps that is why the mindscapes of Marzie Nejad fascinate the eye while speaking the language of the soul.



Fall Exhibitions 2010

Pamela Becker: Patterns and Constructs
October 3 - January 16, 2011

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Urmila Mohan: Moving Home
October 3 - December 5, 2010

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2010 Members Exhibition
October 3, 2010 - January 9, 2011

Fire Works
October 3, 2010 - February 13, 2011

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John Ripton
December 12, 2010 - February 13, 2011

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Edward Fausty: Next Frontier, The Land and the Night Sky

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Shack, Mt. Wilson Astronomical Observatory, CA, 2010


Next Frontier: The Land and the Night Sky is an homage to Edward Fausty's lifelong relationship with the stars. As a child, Fausty was an avid stargazer who learned to create photographs through his telescope. However, it was not until 2008 that, through a fusion of technological advancements in the world of digital cameras and a continued relationship with the night, Fausty discovered that he could convey what the night sky looked and felt like to him, in photographic form.

Edward Fausty shot this series of photographs in the darkness of night, but light is actually why he takes pictures. "If the light isn't beautiful, I don't see a picture," Fausty states. Without ever using his own light source, he relies on ambient light or existing artificial light from nearby streets or structures to create these vibrant and serene portraits of the night sky and its surrounding elements.

In Shack, Mt. Wilson Astronomical Observatory, CA, Fausty captures an otherworldly vision of beauty. A small shack sits at the forefront of a vast and seemingly never-ending universe; the last bastion to view eternity. In Solar telescope at Mt. Wilson Observatory, CA, only a small structure intercepts our view of the entire sky. This one inanimate object, however, creates a galactic effect; a new planet, lonely in the vastness of space. The land and the night sky work in unison for Fausty to create the next frontier - a complex amalgamation of actuality and fantasy, transfixed simultaneously with nature and architecture.

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Tree Figure, Bedford, NY, 2008

Nature and architecture serve as the supporting cast for the night sky. Hills, trees and lawns provide a horizon line traversing the sky, letting its stars take over the picture's apex. Residential buildings represent a feeling of home, while industrial structures are visions of the future. Fausty wonders if we will colonize space in the same way we have colonized Earth.

Edward Fausty sees us as small parts of a very large unknown, a small island in a great sea. A subtle gaze into space serves as a reminder that we are just a miniscule part of the universe. His photographs take the loneliest hours of the night and transform them into supernatural environments, which make us wonder what is beyond the next frontier - what is beyond the land and the night sky.

Edward Fausty received his BFA from Cooper Union School of Art in New York, NY and his MFA from Yale School of Art in New Haven, CT. He lives and works in Union City, NJ.

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Solar telescope at Mt. Wilson Observatory, CA, 2010



John Ripton


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Cave Painting, Chelsea, 2010, Inkjet print on archival paper, 16 X 12 inches


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Paris in SoHo, SoHo, 2008, Inkjet print on archival paper, 16 X 12 inches


Art detritus is urban street art that is both intentional and unintentional, emerging from the interplay of largely anonymous artists, vandals, public officials, entrepreneurs, local weather, and neglect. A disintegrating wall, a foreclosed property, a plywood construction fence, a sidewalk, an old door, a street sign, trashcan, or unclean window becomes canvas on which layers of personal messages and public notices, artistic design, vandalism, commercial icons, random stickers, and other elements add to the ongoing history of dilapidation and gentrification, destruction and construction of urban space and culture.

In the interplay of all these elements, including weather conditions and the state of maintenance of the physical space, a complex creative process evolves. The figurative deteriorates into the abstract and the abstract materializes into the figurative. The singular artistic design becomes politicized by elements subsequently added. Commercial symbols become highly ironic and complex. Public street signs and eviction notices become purveyors of anarchic messages. Scratches and reflections on a dirty window become modern art.

In my photographs I try to capture the essence of the artistic serendipity and complexity of art detritus. I have given the name "detritus" to this art form not in the sense that the term often denotes culturally but in the biological meaning of detritus as something wearing away or disintegrating, like desiccated leaves at the end of summer, that become fertile soil for new growth and inspiration.

John Ripton



Pamela Becker: Patterns and Constructs

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Tan & black, 2000, linen thread, reed

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A deep autumnal tone from the series A year on the river, 2005, fabric, acrylic paint, ribbon, linen & cotton thread


The art of Pamela Becker is imbued with a passion for pattern and structure. This exhibition includes selections from a body of textile and fiber arts spanning several decades and several mediums.

Pamela Becker's art is inspired by landscapes that have been part of her life. The natural world and the built environment are alluded to in color references, patterns of motifs, and the materials the artist employs. A Year on the river documents an imaginary trip on a mythical river to its confluence with the sea. The panels are examples of Becker's unique, ingenious engineering of cloth structures.

These fabric constructs speak to innate properties of cloth. Their layers are designed to fall open and drape slightly when unfolded and hung. Raw edges reference the woven structure of textile. Repeated motifs, done by hand, are subtly varied. A surprise is to realize that Becker's patterned, painted fabric constructs exemplify venerable traditions of domestic handwork: sewing, embroidery, piecing and appliqué.

Concurrent with work in fabric, Pamela Becker has created a series of baskets using the wrapped coil technique. In this ancient basket-making color and design are built into the basket form as it grows. The work can be slow and demanding, requiring patience and artistry. The titles of some baskets remind us that they are responses to colors and stimuli of places known to the artist. The artist considers the baskets as boundaries of form and color separating inner and outer space.
Hildreth York, Curator



Fire Works

L. C. Armstrong, Davide Cantoni, Pritika Chowdhry, Jim Dingilian, Rosemarie Fiore, Abby Leigh, Karen Margolis, Dana Melamed, Jihyun Park, Rasika Reddy, Donna Ruff, and Rob Tarbell


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Jim Dingilian, Lowland, 2010, smoke inside empty glass bottle, 7 7/8 x 3 3/4 x 1 5/8 inches, Courtesy of McKenzie Fine Art

The thirteen artists in Fire Works harness the potentially destructive power of fire to create works of great beauty and intensity. Some of them use fire as a subtractive force, burning through paper or objects, creating by erasure. Others use fire to alter materials--melting, fusing or making indelible marks. Still others capture smoke on paper, metal or glass, allowing the carbon to mark the surfaces directly. Employing candles, blowtorches, wood-burning tools, bomb fuses, incense sticks, fire, soldering irons, sunlight, and even fireworks as tools and methods for making art, these artists strike a delicate balance between risk and control, destruction and creation. The results, while often surprising, are always impressive.

There is precedence for the use of fire in art, with a handful of 20th century avant-garde artists exploring unorthodox methods. Wolfgang Paalen was a Surrealist who developed a technique for painting with smoke known as fumage. Alberto Burri, a self-taught Italian artist, worked with a variety of non-traditional materials and began to burn his wood and burlap "paintings" in the 1950s, calling the technique combustione. By the late 1950s French artist Yves Klein was making "Fire Paintings" by aiming a flame-thrower at composition boards. Like the artists in Fire Works, they were attracted by the spontaneous element of chance, discovering a dynamic tension in the fine line between chaos and control.

Judy Chicago experimented in the late 1960s with smoke and fireworks for large-scale outdoor performance pieces she called Atmospheres. Ana Mendieta's transitory Silueta series from the 1970s often involved the ritualistic use of fire as a source of exorcism or purification. For John Baldessari's seminal Cremation Project of 1970, the artist cremated nearly all the paintings he had created between 1953 and 1966 and baked cookies with some of the ashes. These artists all recognized the inherent performance aspect of working with fire--an idea that influenced such subsequent developments as performance art, happenings and conceptual art. Performance is an implicit element for all of the works in this exhibition; several of the artists document their activities with photography and video.

Of the four elements--fire, water, earth and air--fire is the only one that is always actively transformative. Unchecked, fire indiscriminately consumes, leaving only ashes in its wake. Yet while burning and scorching can cause indelible scars, a wisp of disappearing smoke is perhaps the ultimate symbol of ephemerality. The artists of Fire Works explore this dichotomy between the permanent and the transient, the material and the immaterial, and in the process create compelling works of art.


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Karen Margolis, Too close to..., watercolor, gouache, graphite, map fragments, thread on handmade Abaca paper, 14 x 11 inches (each)


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Jihyun Park, Nam Dae Mun, 2010, Burned incense holes on rice paper mounted on scroll, 56 x 81 in image, 84 x 81 in scroll, Courtesy of Gana Art, New York



Urmila Mohan: Moving Home

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Moving Home, Urmila Mohan's installation for the Hunterdon Art Museum, explores her ongoing interest in the relationship between identity and material culture. Mohan takes the ubiquitous Styrofoam packing peanut as a starting point for the exhibition and uses it as a central motif to provide both imagery and meaning. By fashioning packing peanuts out of clay, a breakable material, she subverts their intended usefulness and makes them symbols of fragility.

Working at The Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia, Mohan also created fabrics and wallpaper that incorporate the image of the packing peanut into a camouflage pattern. She uses these materials to transform the gallery into a domestic space. A matching "traveler's suit" hangs in the room, suggesting the missing human presence that is required to complete the idea of home.

Upholstery, curtains, wallpaper, and clothing offer protection to the furniture, windows, walls and people they cover; they can also hide or obscure identity or express personal style. In a way they function like a second skin. Ironically, while these textiles metaphorically "wrap" objects and bodies in packing peanuts, they are ultimately no more effective a protection than Mohan's ceramic packing peanuts, further underscoring the fragility of people and their possessions.

The meaning of the word "home" is heavily weighted, and highly personal. When we refer to "home" we often mean our place of origin, yet we also use the same word to describe the place where we reside. The objects we choose to decorate and fill our homes connect us to our memories, ideas and yearnings for home. Material culture not only signifies personal identity, it also provides valuable links to a larger collective experience, even when those links are broken.

What happens when we leave one place for another? How do we create a home? What do the things we take with us, and the things we leave behind reveal about us? And while we take precautions with our breakable possessions, can we ever really protect ourselves? In Moving Home, Urmila Mohan has created a safe haven in which to ponder these questions.

Mary Birmingham



Summer Exhibitions 2010

Botanica

May 23, 2010 - September 12, 2010

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Katherine Mangiardi: Reflected Absence

May 23, 2010 - September 12, 2010

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Botanica

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Portia Munson, Balloon Gooseneck, 2003, pigmented ink on rag paper, 60 x 44 inches, courtesy of PPOW Gallery


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Linda Brooks Hirschman, Peony "tooth fairy", felt, yarn, wire, polymer clay, wet felted, wrapped, hand sewn, 23 x 23 x 23 inches, courtesy of the artist


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Cassandra C. Jones, Rara Avis Wallpaper #2, 2007, wallpapered panel, 53 x 53 inches, courtesy of Baer Ridgway Exhibitions, San Francisco (detail)


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Asuka Hishiki, Ex-model -A Portrait of heirloom tomato, watercolor on paper, 12 x 12 inches, courtesy of the artist



Katherine Mangiardi: Reflected Absence

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Katherine Mangiardi, Emily, 2010, C-print


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Katherine Mangiardi, Mary, 2010, C-print


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Katherine Mangiardi, Sarah, 2010, C-print

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Katherine Mangiardi: Reflected Absence
http://vimeo.com/14737409



Spring Exhibitions 2010

Upcycling Sound:

Interactive Sculpture by Gary DiBenedetto

February 7, 2010 - May 16, 2010

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Bette Blank: Icons and True Confessions

March 28 , 2010 - May 16, 2010

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The Marvelous Art of Jack Kirby

March 28 , 2010 - May 16, 2010

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The Marvelous Art of Jack Kirby

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Jack Kirby (1917-1994) is among the greatest of comic book artists, his career of nearly six decades spanning the history of the genre. Born Jacob Kurtzberg, he was raised on Manhattan's lower east side, and later changed his name to Jack Kirby. A prolific and driven artist, Kirby worked for various comic book publishers, most notably Marvel and DC Comics, and had a part in creating a host of memorable characters. Working with Joe Simon during the 1940s he developed romance comics and originated Captain America; his later collaboration with Stan Lee produced the Fantastic Four, Thor, the Incredible Hulk, X-Men, and the Silver Surfer, among others. Many of his creations are beloved heroes who remain popular culture icons.

The Marvelous Art of Jack Kirby presents original pre-press drawings from a sampling of Kirby's many publications. These drawings, originally rendered in pencil by Jack Kirby, were inked and lettered by other artists before publication. Colorists added hand coloring to photocopies of the drawings in preparation for printing.

Late in his career, Kirby was so revered by his peers that other artists were sometimes reluctant to ink over his drawings. The latest work in the exhibition, DC Comics Presents, #84, p. 15, 1985, is an example that also offers insight into the production process. In this case the inker placed the original drawing on a light box and traced over the pencil lines on a separate sheet of paper. Kirby's original drawing is preserved unaltered on the left, with the new inked and lettered version on the right.

Kirby's versatility and skill enabled him to create a broad range of comics, from romance, western, war, and crime to superheroes and villains. A brilliant and original storyteller, Jack Kirby's imaginative vision and innovative style earned him the designation, "King of the Comics."



Bette Blank: Icons, Idols and True Confessions

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Sushi Palace II, 2007, oil on linen

Bette Blank's lively and often humorous work reflects her unique vision. Drawing images and inspiration from popular culture and everyday life, the artist invites viewers to see the world through her eyes. She melds iconic figures and objects with the people, places and things she observes in her own life, integrating the famous with the familiar. In Marilyn Refrigerator the movie star's photograph is stuck to the door of the artist's refrigerator, which is filled to the brim with popular brands of food; this painting exemplifies her uncanny ability to personalize popular culture.

Blank has a limitless imagination. She makes it seem completely plausible that Queen Elizabeth and Condoleezza Rice would shop for the perfect shoe in a suburban Bonwit Teller, or that Frida Kahlo would eat at Blank's favorite sushi restaurant. In the world that her paintings depict, established icons and idols all seem friendlier, even vulnerable, and so much more approachable. We can imagine ourselves having a conversation with Blank's Marilyn Monroe, Sigmund Freud or Prince Charles because she makes them convincingly human--one of "us" instead of "them."

Consumer products like automobiles, kitchen appliances, clothing, shoes, drugs and cosmetics provide equally worthy subjects for Bette Blank. She enshrines a vintage radio by painting its portrait in Radio (Frequency Modulation). Blank has recently been fabricating three-dimensional versions of these objects, such as the contents of her medicine chest. (Look closely and you may find Freud's Prozac hidden among Blank's own prescriptions and cosmetics.) A rhinestone-encrusted skull pays a tongue-in-cheek homage to the artist, Damien Hirst.

A pink Cadillac is both a well-known symbol of luxury and the ultimate "girl" car, while a Harley-Davidson motorcycle embodies speed, risk, and the open road and is the definitive macho machine. Blank associates both icons with popular songs, incorporating the lyrics of "Pink Cadillac" and "Born To Be Wild" into the backgrounds of the respective paintings. This inventive use of words lends a fresh perspective to her recognizable subject matter. Sigmund Freud is surrounded by his theories, Marilyn Monroe sings "Happy Birthday, Mr. President," and Rocket Man includes facts about the moon, as well as lines from popular songs and nursery rhymes.

As a visual artist Bette Blank is consistently attracted by color and repetition, and she uses these qualities to animate her paintings. Additionally, she seeks emotional resonance with her subjects, forging personal connections with them. This emotional connectivity further enlivens her work and creates powerful new connections with her viewers.

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Pink Cadillac, 2008, Private Collection, Wyoming

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Marilyn, 2010, Courtesy of Adam Baumgold Gallery

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Shoe Salon, 2006, Courtesy of Adam Baumgold Gallery

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San Remo, Day, 2006, oil on linen



Winter 2009 Exhibitions

Knitted, Knotted, Netted
October 11, 2009 - January 24, 2010
Supported by The Coby Foundation, Ltd.

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2009 Members Exhibition
October 11, 2009 - January 25, 2010

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Michelle Loughlin: Water falls.
November 29, 2009 - January 24, 2010

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The Influence of a Teacher
Four Artists who Studied with Toshiko Takaezu
Bill Baumbach, Don Fletcher, Dan Massad & John Mosler

December 6, 2009 - March 21, 2010

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Hanna Von Goeler:

The Currency of an Altered State

This exhibition is funded in part by a grant from
The Bloomingdale's Fund of the Macy's Foundation.

February 7, 2010 - March 21, 2010

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Hanna Von Goeler: The Currency of an Altered State

This exhibition is funded in part by a grant from The Bloomingdale's Fund of the Macy's Foundation.

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In this site-specific installation Hanna von Goeler has used simple objects to explore complex questions about currency. Defined as a circulating medium of exchange, currency flows and circulates like water. Currency is all about exchange--of ideas, ethics, and culture, as well as goods and services. As an artist, von Goeler's medium of exchange--her currency--is drawing and painting, as well as ideas. Her ongoing series of small paintings on one-dollar bills addresses this concept in provocative ways. She explains, "I have been making my own currency for more than a decade and a half, chronicling not only my relationship and struggle with money, but exploring ethical, political, and aesthetic questions surrounding currency."

Von Goeler has placed several hundred of these altered bills around the gallery walls, arranged in a pattern that suggests the flow of a river current. Because the bills were created over an extended period, they also form a kind of timeline, highlighting personal moments, as well as economic trends and political events including the recently altered state of our global economy.

At the center of the exhibition is a 13-foot canoe that von Goeler covered with beads, transforming it into a totemic object that "floats" through the River Gallery. The canoe references the Museum's site on the south branch of the Raritan River, implying a connection to the area's early Native American inhabitants who might have traveled by canoe and used beads for trade. Von Goeler sees the Museum's location as a constantly evolving site, layered in its own history and existing in an altered state. It has been a point of agricultural, industrial and most recently, cultural exchange, in its metamorphosis from mill to museum.

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Upcycling Sound: Interactive Sculpture by Gary DiBenedetto

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Work Bench Drills and Wheel, 2009, found objects, wood, brass, steel, audio technology

Gary DiBenedetto is an electro-acoustic composer and sculptor who specializes in interactive multi-media installations. DiBenedetto combines such seemingly disparate elements as antique tool and machine parts with computerized audio components to create sound-generating sculptures. Blending recycled found objects with cutting-edge audio technology, he builds a virtual bridge between the past and the present.

The sculptures in this exhibition have moving components that can be manipulated to produce sound. These manually driven sound generators function as "instruments" that can be "played" by museum visitors. Digital audio processing amplifies the sound, and in some cases distorts it. The resulting sounds--some ambient, and some audible through speakers or individual headphones--transform the gallery into a multi-layered acoustic environment. As spectators explore and operate these sculptures, they participate in a communal orchestration of electro-acoustic music.

Some of DiBenedetto's sculptures are simply repurposed objects--an antique pinball machine or a wooden clothes wringer--that have been wired for sound. Others incorporate such elements as Victorian buttons and marbles, glass bottles and antique bells that move and collide to generate sounds. DiBenedetto also uses antique domestic tools and machines like a clothes agitator, cherry-stoner, apple-peeler and several butter churns to make interesting composite works. He constructed a workbench with five separate sound-producing stations. Many of the sculptures utilize wheels, pulleys, spools and gears that spin, their rhythmic circular motion creating not only sound, but also a graceful geometry of form.

The word "upcycling" was coined by William McDonaugh and Michael Braugart in their book on ecologically intelligent design, Cradle to Cradle. Simply put, upcycling is the practice of taking something that is disposable and transforming it into something of greater use and value. In this exhibition DiBenedetto has cobbled together a multi-layered visual patchwork of objects that also functions as a sonic collage. Collecting the ordinary noises made by ordinary objects, he transforms them into electro-acoustic music--a true upcycling of sound.

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Fifteen Words a Minute, 2007, found objects, wood, steel, audio technology

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Around and Around She Goes, Where She Stops Nobody Knows, 2007, found objects, wood, steel, audio technology



Michelle Loughlin: Water falls.

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Water falls. is a site-specific interactive installation. Growing up in New Jersey, Loughlin has been a frequent visitor to Clinton, drawn in part by her fascination with the 200-foot long waterfall next to the Museum. Inspired by this and other waterfalls, she made gestural drawings that she translated into three-dimensional knitted forms using silver synthetic fibers and an industrial knitting machine. Stitched together, these cascading forms transform the inside of the Museum's River Gallery and mimic the action of the water outside.

With this project, Loughlin aims to probe an iconic image -- one associated with the unspoiled and pristine aspects of Nature-and present a more honest portrayal. By stitching a variety of found objects into the flowing forms of Water falls.--water bottles, latex gloves, coffee cup lids--she references the detritus that is an all too familiar element of most natural settings.

Her purposeful choice of a synthetic material to replicate the "natural" beauty of the waterfall further highlights the dichotomy between the artificial and the natural. Even the most remote and "unspoiled" places reveal the presence of Man; as Loughlin aptly points out, the man-made and the natural are no longer separate.



The Influence of a Teacher

Four Artists who Studied with Toshiko Takaezu
Bill Baumbach, Don Fletcher, Dan Massad, & John Mosler

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Bill Baumbach, La Cape, 2008, stoneware, 53 x 15 x 14 in.

The Influence of a Teacher: Four Artists who Studied with Toshiko Takaezu includes work from four of Toshiko Takaezu's former Princeton University students, Bill Baumbach, Don Fletcher, Dan Massad, and John Mosler. In the decades since they graduated from Princeton, all four have remained close to Toshiko and have made art at her home and her studio in Quakertown, New Jersey. As curator, Toshiko Takaezu selected the work for this exhibition.

Bill Baumbach is a sculptor who creates totemic forms. His glazes wash over each piece and produce veiled layers that bring to mind landscapes and Abstract Expressionism. Don Fletcher's sculptures recall Neolithic monuments. His vertical and disc-shaped clay forms with earth-colored glazes have surfaces that are notched or marked, perhaps suggesting objects or rituals from some distant time. Dan Massad works in pastel. His meticulously detailed drawings have sometimes focused on Toshiko's bowls, her front steps or garden. John Mosler's interest in the human figure is the starting point for sculptures that capture movement in their curved planes. While these sculptures stand alone, he views them as maquettes for large-scale pieces.

As one of the most influential ceramic artists of the twentieth century, Toshiko Takaezu has many legacies. Her signature work, the closed form, brought ceramics from the world of utilitarian vessels into the realm of sculpture. Her art is in the collections of major museums, and on any given day, visitors to museums throughout the world, have the good fortune of seeing her beautifully glazed ceramic work. She has exhibited widely, has been the subject of numerous solo shows, and has received honors that include the Gold Medal Award from the American Craft Council and honorary doctorates from universities, including Princeton. This exhibition; however, gives the viewer a glimpse of a more private legacy, the legacy of a teacher.

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John Mosler, Oya, 2009, stoneware, 36 1/2 x 18 1/2 x 12 1/2 in.

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Don Fletcher, Untitled, 2009, stoneware, 14 x 14 x 6 in.

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Dan Massad, Study for Leal Souvenir, 2001, pastel on paper, 14 1/4 x 13 1/4 in.



Fall 2009 Exhibitions

Holli Schorno: Collecting Samples
October 11 - November 29, 2009

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Laura McClanahan: Planktonic Constructs
Member Highlight
October 11 - November 22, 2009

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Holli Schorno: Collecting Samples

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Hideout, 2008, Book cuttings on rag paper, 23" x 15"

Holli Schorno assembles innovative collages with book cuttings. Using fragments from discarded textbooks, instructional manuals, topographical maps, and scientific journals, she constructs fantastical objects that sprawl over landscapes or float through space. Varying the scale of the works, the artist offers both expansive and intimate views of the worlds she creates.

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January 15, 2018, 2009, Book cuttings on paper, 6" X 17"

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Signal Hill, 2008, Book cuttings on paper, 80" x 60"



Knitted, Knotted, Netted


Karen Ciaramella, Abigail Doan, Pat Hickman, Kazue Honma, Ed Bing Lee, Norma Minkowitz, Ruth Marshall, Leslie Pontz, Ann Coddington Rast, Hisako Sekijima, Noriko Takamiya, and Carol Westfall


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Abigail Doan, Knitted Flotsam 01, 2009, Crocheted, twined, handspun and recycled fiber, string, balloon, paper, 12" x 7" x 6", courtesy of the artist

Supported by The Coby Foundation, Ltd.

Knitted, Knotted, Netted provides an opportunity to sample some recent art made with knitting, knotting and netting. These techniques with ancient lineages have had a resurgence in the art world through the creativity and ingenuity of contemporary artists. Each of these methods involves the looping of a thread or cord; this differentiates them from braiding and weaving, in which elements may interlace but not necessarily loop through each other.

Two-and three-dimensional artworks use not only plant and animal materials but also industrial and synthetic materials, creating looped structures never envisioned in earlier contexts. Such work is innovative and surprising, inspiring to practitioners of textile and fiber arts and intriguing to a broader audience. Among the artists in this exhibition are several celebrated practitioners whose work explores the fluid boundary between the traditionally defined categories of "art" and "craft."

Artists: Karen Ciaramella, Abigail Doan, Pat Hickman, Kazue Honma, Ed Bing Lee, Norma Minkowitz, Ruth Marshall, Leslie Pontz, Ann Coddington Rast, Hisako Sekijima, Noriko Takamiya, and Carol Westfall

Read what the New York Times has to say about Knitted, Knotted, Netted.

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Pat Hickman, Vesicle, 1999, Gut (hog casings), 29" x 13" x 10", Courtesy of the artists

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Ruth Marshall, Ivy the Snow Leopard, 2006, Yarn, glass eyes, tapestry canvas, metal grommets, nails, bamboo frame, 87 ½" x 66" (frame variable), Courtesy of Dam, Stuhltrager Gallery

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Leslie Pontz, Cactus Flower #1, 2006, Crocheted wire, thread, iron, 102" x 24" x 12", Courtesy of the artist and Snyderman-Works Galleries



2009 Members Exhibition


Kiyomi Baird, Berendina Buist, Andrew Dalpe, Joann Doneen, Edward Evans, Brian Goings, Nikolai Houston, E. Jan Kounitz, Catherine LeCleire, Vikki Michalios, Urmila Mohan, Pat Feeney Murrell, Mark Sharrock, Laurinda Stockwell, Shirley Supp, Mallory Weston, Kimberly Witham, and Katherine Yvinskas


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Berendina Buist, Revenge is wrong: eye for a tooth, 2009, Acrylic, wood, plastic eye, 1 1/2" x 1 1/2"

All members of the Hunterdon Art Museum are invited each year to submit work to our Members Exhibition. This year's juror was Ann Aptaker, Curator of Exhibitions at the Morris Museum.

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Mallory Weston, Survival Bag, 2008, Brass, sterling silver, cotton, thread, 11" x 8" x 1 1/2"

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Urmila Mohan, Apotheosis, 2008, Clay, paint, found objects, 72" x 18" x 18"



Laura McClanahan: Planktonic Constructs


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Laura McClanahan, Haematococcus Pluvialis, 2008, color photogram, 12" x 12"

Laura McClanahan: Planktonic Constructs is the Museum's first Member Highlight Exhibition. This solo show is awarded to an artist selected from the Annual Members Exhibition.

Planktonic Constructs features color photograms and video abstractions inspired by different species of plankton. Using her darkroom enlarger as a microscope, and glass objects to represent microorganisms, the artist creates pictures that resemble various protists, plankton, diatoms and jellyfish. She invites the viewer into a constructed world entirely of her own making that convincingly replicates a scientific investigation. Two intriguing videos transform live jellyfish into a mesmerizing kaleidoscopic panorama. These works reflect McClanahan's interest in probing life's origins. The ambiguity of her mysterious forms challenges us to ponder similar questions.

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Laura McClanahan, Linuche Unguiculata, 2008, color photogram, 12" x 12"

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Laura McClanahan, Solenosphaera Familiaris, 2009, color photogram, 12" x 12"



Summer 2009 Exhibitions

Up and Coming:

New Printmakers Make Their Mark

June 14, 2009 - September 13, 2009

Learn more about this exhibition


Marion Held: Sculpture
June 28, 2009 - September 13, 2009

Learn more about this exhibition

Click here to read the New York Times review of the Marion Held exhibition.


Barbara Schulman: Fiber Art
June 28, 2009 - September 13, 2009

Learn more about this exhibition




Up and Coming: New Printmakers Make Their Mark

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Ivanco Talevski, Self Portrait, 2009, Etching, drypoint

The Hunterdon Art Museum continues its long history of supporting and promoting contemporary printmakers with this invitational show of prints by MFA candidates and recent graduates. We invited eleven East Coast art schools to nominate up and coming printmakers, and from these nominees we selected twenty-two talented artists. Participating schools are: The LeRoy Neiman Center for Print Studies, Columbia University; Cornell University, College of Architecture, Art & Planning; Hunter College of the City University of New York; Pratt Institute; Rhode Island School of Design; Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey; Syracuse University; Tyler School of Art; The University of the Arts; University of Pennsylvania; and Virginia Commonwealth University, School of the Arts. Works chosen for the exhibition utilize traditional techniques such as etching, woodcut, silkscreen and lithography, as well as current advances in digital technology. The show includes two- and three-dimensional objects, handmade paper, artist books, and mixed media installations that expand the conventional boundaries of printmaking, and identify innovative trends in contemporary art.

Click here to read the New York Times' review of Up and Coming : New Printmakers Make Their Mark

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Andy Kozlowski, The Ambassador (Is There Anyone Else Out Here?), 2008, Serigraph

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Noah Breuer, Superior Airpower Pinwheel 3, 2009, Lithograph, silkscreen and collage on board see it in motion!



Marion Held: Sculpture

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Material Traces, 2008

Working in disparate materials such as rubber, clay, metal, and resin, as well as found objects, the core of Marion Held's work has remained remarkably consistent. It references the passage of time, with skeletal structures reminiscent of archeological sites suggesting the distant past. Worn childhood furniture and objects from contemporary life evoke the more immediate past.

Whether she uses actual objects or illumination and shadow as expressive vehicles, mystery permeates Ms. Held's work. Often elegiac in tone, it suggests memory and loss, as well as fertility.

Click here to read the New York Times' review of Marion Held: Material Traces.

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Material Traces, 2008, detail

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Material Traces, 2008



Barbara Schulman: Fiber Art

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Barbara Schulman creates both two- and three-dimensional works of art that surprise the viewer with their inclusions of unusual content. Although a weaver for many years, Schulman turned to techniques and materials that allowed more personal freedom of expression. However, her love of pattern and structure, key components of weaving, continue to influence her work. Along with hand and machine embroidery, this artist also uses credit card fragments, commercial fabric labels, embroidered patches and deconstructed text. Schulman's work in unexpected materials may sometimes be construed as commentary on society's consumerism.

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Spring 2009 Exhibitions

Phyllis Carlin
April 5, 2009 - June 21, 2009

Learn more about this exhibition


Valeri Larko: Urban Landscapes
April 5, 2009 - June 21, 2009

Learn more about this exhibition


Cutters
February 8, 2009 - June 7, 2009

Learn more about this exhibition



Winter 2009 Exhibitions

Chotsani Elaine Dean
February 8, 2009 - March 29, 2009

Learn more about this exhibition


Amy Wilson:
"There are always such beautiful things..."

January 10 - March 29, 2009

Learn more about this exhibition



2008 Fall Exhibitions

Material Color
October 5, 2008 - January 31, 2009

Learn more about this exhibition


Walter Chandoha:1940's New York
November 23, 2008 - January 31, 2009

Learn more about this exhibition


Hank Murta Adams: Sculpture
October 5, 2008 - January 4, 2009

Learn more about this exhibition


Members Exhibition
October 5, 2008 - January 4, 2009

Learn more about this exhibition


Curt Ikens: A New Season
October 5, 2008 - November 16, 2008

Learn more about this exhibition



Summer 2008 Exhibitions


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The 52nd Annual National Juried Print Exhibition
6/22 - 9/7/08

Learn more about this exhibition



sprawl

The House That
Sprawl Built

6/22 - 9/7/08

Learn more about this exhibition



lisa dahl : no place like home

Lisa Dahl:
No Place Like Home

6/22 - 9/7/08

Learn more about this exhibition




Faces and Figures:
People form the Permanent Collection

6/22 - 9/7/08

Learn more about this exhibition




Phyllis Carlin

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In the 1980s, after decades of working as a scenic designer, Phyllis Carlin made a bold decision. She noted, "Finally I decided to take the risk of giving up work... to concentrate all my energy on being an artist. That was an enormous decision for me to make ....But it is something I know I just have to do, something I look forward to doing every day..."

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As a scenic designer, Carlin had been one of a few women and the youngest person to pass the exam for entry into the United Scenic Artists Union. She had worked at the Metropolitan Opera, at TV studios, and for films. Annie Hall, The Turning Point, Matilda, and The Verdict are some of the films for which she had designed and painted scenery.

Transitioning from scenic designer to artist, Carlin compiled a list of art and artists that gave her "courage" and "trigger(ed) something inside". The list included ancient Egyptian figures, a Greek kouros, Giotto, Joseph Cornell, Ida Applebroog, and others. The list is wide ranging, reflecting her interests in historic and contemporary art. These sources have influenced her work throughout her career.

The current exhibition includes paintings, ceramics and mixed media pieces from the 1980s through 2008.



Valeri Larko: Urban Landscapes

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Valeri Larko's urban landscape paintings reflect her ongoing fascination with abandoned spaces and overlooked areas on the fringes of the city. Through her investigation of this subject matter, the artist explores the effects man has on the environment. Often juxtaposing the pastoral with the industrial, Larko finds both beauty and pathos at the intersection of urban culture and nature.

A native and long-time resident of New Jersey, Larko has deep personal and professional roots in the state. While attending art school in New Jersey she began painting plein air landscapes and soon turned to the industrial settings in and around the city for her subject matter. She worked outdoors, experimenting with panoramic views of industrial parks and close up "portraits" of tanks and machinery. The artist's early encounters with New Jersey's urban landscape solidified a relationship with this subject matter and sparked ideas that continue to inspire her. Relocating to New Rochelle, NY several years ago expanded her geographical reach, and her recent work encompasses the waterways, bridges, highways, warehouses, factories, power lines, and machinery found along the edges of Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx.

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Although the locations have changed, Larko has never altered her method of painting directly from the sites that attract her. All her paintings are created on location, an approach that enables her to form relationships with both the environment and its inhabitants. Informed by encounters with people she meets while on location, Larko considers the process of painting to be as important as the final work.

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Each of her paintings has a unique story--one that only reveals itself to the artist gradually, day by day, through patient and faithful observation. Sometimes taking months to complete, her eloquent paintings capture the strange beauty and quiet nobility of these often overlooked urban landscapes.



Cutters

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Cutters presents artists who alter objects and surfaces to enhance their visual and symbolic meanings. They use knives, scissors, scalpels, razors, hole punches, lasers, jigsaws, shredders and even plasma cutters on a variety of materials. Exploring formal and conceptual issues, the works in the exhibition comprise a wide range of media, incorporating painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, video and installation. The thread that connects this diverse group of artists is the transformative quality of their work. The artists in the exhibition are Jaq Belcher, Louise Despont, Brian Dettmer, Kate Dodd, Michelle Forsyth, Beth Gilfilen, Cal Lane, Marco Maggi, Eva Mantell, Aric Obrosey, Mia Pearlman, Casey Ruble, Hunter Stabler, Merle Temkin, Auguste Rhonda Tymeson, Carlo Vialu, Paul Villinski, and Thomas Weaver.

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Chotsani Elaine Dean

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Clay Quilts/Post-Emancipation is both the artist's homage to her African American ancestry as well as a highly original statement in ceramic art. Chotsani Elaine Dean's background and training as a painter and ceramic artist imbue her tiles with color and texture achieved through deep knowledge of the complexities of clay, glazes, and the transformation that occurs through firing. The clay quilts become durable works of art, loving and respectful commentaries on art forms that in some cases have fortunately survived adversity, in others are situated in memory and tradition. The quilts have been reconceived as contemporary ceramic art through the exploration and creativity of a gifted artist.

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Amy Wilson: "There are always such beautiful things..."

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Jersey City artist Amy Wilson's watercolor drawings feature a cast of child-like female characters who communicate their thoughts, fears, hopes and dreams through diaristic text. Often deeply personal, the work touches on the inner life of the artist while addressing broader cultural ideas about femininity, art, science, and politics. In some instances the drawings become three-dimensional with the incorporation of cut-outs and pop-up constructions.

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Walter Chandoha : 1940s New York

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Walter Chandoha has had a long and successful career as a freelance photographer specializing in horticulture and animals. His photographs have appeared on over three hundred magazine covers and in thousands of advertisements; his illustrated articles on animals and gardens have been published in numerous books and magazines. He is the author or illustrator of twenty-six books, including How to Shoot and Sell Animal Photos.

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The vintage black and white photographs in this exhibition were taken while Chandoha was a student at New York University's Stern School of Business in the late 1940s. Equipped with an inquiring eye, a keen sense of observation and a Rolleiflex camera, the young photographer wandered the city streets in search of a subject. The resulting photographs captured the changing scale and pace of New York City in the years following World War II. Many of these pictures showcase people moving through the city--on foot, in automobiles, trains and even boats. Some of them depict quiet moments of solitude in the midst of hustle and bustle. All of Chandoha's photographs provide a nostalgic glimpse of New York in the 1940s and offer new perspectives on the city we see today.

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Material Color

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Peter Fox, detail Royaume, 2008

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Leslie Wayne, Mondo Mondo, 2008

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Omar Chacon, Untitled Painting #177, 2008

Material Color showcases some of the innovative ways artists are handling paint today. The twenty artists in this exhibition apply oil, acrylic, encaustic and other pigments to a variety of surfaces using conventional, as well as unexpected methods. With eye droppers, plastic bottles, turkey basters, palette knives (and sometimes even brushes,) they drip, splash, pour, squeeze, squirt and layer their colors, balancing chance and discipline. Several of them peel off dried paint from one surface and transfer it to another, while others model and mold pigment into freestanding three-dimensional shapes. All of these techniques result in colorful, voluptuous surfaces that seduce our eyes and almost beg to be touched. With their layered surfaces or heavy impasto, the works in Material Color blur the boundaries between painting and sculpture, and seem to transform themselves into three-dimensional objects.

Participating artists are: Cecilia Biagini, Alana Bograd, Ivana Brenner, Omar Chacon, Carlos Estrada-Vega, Peter Fox, Vincent Hamel, Gregg Hill, Wil Jansen, Vadim Katznelson, Lori Kirkbride, Kathleen Kucka, James Lecce, Markus Linnenbrink, Joanne Mattera, Carolanna Parlato, Paul Russo, Robert Sagerman, Louise P. Sloane, and Leslie Wayne.



Hank Murta Adams: Sculpture

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Making sculpture can, if desired, be collaborative, but working in glass is particularly intense and requires the cooperation of a team. Hank Murta Adams has a rich history of illuminating and sharing innovative approaches with residents at Wheaton Arts where he is Studio Creative Director, and in many universities and workshops.

Adams disarms our usual expectations of sculpture. Traditional assumptions about form and content appropriate to glass and metal are subverted. The artist's exploration of qualities inherent in the materials results in art with a fresh and quirky honesty.

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"Produce," an installation, also references found objects, subjecting them to a variety of processes. While forms retain their objective identity, they simultaneously become integral partners in acts of technical wizardry; splashing, flowing liquid becomes rigid--ét voilà, glass! A myriad of these pieces on a twenty-two foot surface presents a marketplace of surprises, sometimes glittery, sandy or scorched--unexpected transmutations of familiar "produce" or discarded relics of another time. This is far removed from a discreet gallery arrangement of art objects and more like the jumble of human existence.

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The "Ocupatto" series, with its recycled metal detritus of daily use, might be considered a visual commentary about our wasteful consumerism. Yet the pieces are also playful manifestations of the art of blown glass--but blown into empty tomato or kerosene cans from which grotesque heads emerge.

Cast pieces, heads, animals, objects, for which Adams has long been known, are raw and expressive. Light and color diffuse through them; wire elements spring from their grainy surfaces. Varied inclusions, protrusions and additions are visual explications of their titles and identities.

Hank Adams' sculpture is an ongoing experiment and adventure, conceptually, formally, and technically. It resonates with wit and irony as the artist explores the porous boundary between art and life.



2008 Members Exhibition

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left: John Spears, Untitled, 2008; right Donna Lish, Cohesion, 2008.

Twenty-three artists who are members of the Hunterdon Art Museum exhibit work in the 2008 Members Exhibition. Douglas Ferrari, founder and Executive Director of the Shore Institute of the Contemporary Arts (SICA) in Long Branch, New Jersey, was the juror for this year's exhibition. Selected artists are Peter Arakawa, Wally Barnette, Berendina Buist, Leigh Orner- Carnese, Jacqueline Ann Clipsham, Michael Cooper, Buel Ecker, amy Evans, Charles Hanson, Rita Herzfeld, Roz Hollander, Betty Jacobsen, Donna L. Lish, Laura W. McClanahan, Lucy Metskill, Longia Miller, James Mullen, Marta Schee, John Spears, Laurinda Stockwell, Shirley Supp, Michael Wiley, and Etta Winigrad.



Curt Ikens: A New Season

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Curt Ikens has always been interested in the inevitable deterioration of materials and information. He is intrigued with the idea that artists consistently try to create works that will outlast them; subsequently, art objects and art history play a central role in his work. Often referencing the work of other artists, he uses printed promotional items such as exhibition catalogs and announcement cards as raw materials.

Ikens also considers the exhibition space a stage for conversations about art, and often incorporates the space in his work. In this installation, both the architecture of the River Gallery and the exterior environment are critical elements. Using steam-bent wood stained to resemble the Museum's floorboards, Ikens has constructed a tree that appears to grow from the gallery floor. A carpet of leaves die-cut from previous Hunterdon Art Museum show cards and catalogs blankets the ground, while the leaves on the tree are fashioned from cards representing the current exhibitions. Timed to coincide with the changing fall foliage, this site-specific installation addresses the repetitive cycles in both nature and the art world. At this interesting intersection of nature and culture, Ikens reminds us that art--like life--has ongoing rhythms, with each new art season unfolding almost as reliably as the turning leaves.



The 52nd Annual National Juried Print Exhibition

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Christopher Lesnewski
Untitled
(detail), 2002
mixed media print
Collection Hunderton Art Museum



The 52nd Annual National Juried Print Exhibition showcases two and three dimensional prints using traditional print media, computer, or experimental techniques by artists from across the United States. The 2008 juror is Kathleen Goncharov, Director of the Brodsky Center for Innovative Editions at Mason Gross School of the Arts


The winners of the 2008 prizes are:

Tom Baker
Bad Weather, 2007
Relief and silkscreen
6 3/4 x 6 3/4 inches
James R. and Anne Steele Marsh Memorial Prize

Evan Lindquist
Departures, 2007
Burin engraving
12 x 8 inches
and
Succession, 2007
Burin engraving
12 x 9 inches
Johnson & Johnson Purchase Prize

Ross Racine
Subdivision: Greenfield Lakes, 2008
Digital drawing (inkjet print)
20 1/2 x 15 3/8 inches
Hunterdon Art Museum Purchase Prize
Johnson & Johnson Purchase Prize


Jon Rappleye
Jabberway
Lithograph
20 1/4 x 30 inches
Brodsky Center Residency Prize

Angela Young
Identity, 2008
Stone lithograph
23 x 30 inches
Lynd Ward Memorial Prize



The House That Sprawl Built

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Owen Kanzler
New Neighborhood
Manalapan, NJ, 2001
chromagenic print

In the decades following World War Two the single-family suburban house emerged as a central component of the American Dream. The rapid development of mass-produced affordable housing created new suburbs and contributed to the phenomenon known as suburban sprawl.

The House that Sprawl Built presents the work of ten artists who incorporate ideas and images of suburban houses. Some of the work seems almost documentary, displaying repetitive sprawling neighborhoods. Other work is satirical, poking fun and implicitly criticizing the houses we build and the neighborhoods we create. Several artists put a surreal spin on the subdivision house, melting, mutating, or shrinking it. Still others create houses and neighborhoods that can only exist in the imagination or more recently, in cyber-space.

Many Americans engage in a "love-hate" relationship with the suburbs, their feelings ranging from nostalgia for an idyllic past and a growing dread of overcrowding, overdevelopment, loss of open spaces and dwindling resources. These ten artists explore this complex relationship by helping us see the places we call home in new and provocative ways.

Participating artists: Bill Amundson, Darlene Charneco, Julia Fullerton-Batten, Owen Kanzler, John Kirchner, Steve Lambert, Brian Loughlin, Robert Selwyn, Becky Suss, J. G. Zimmerman



Lisa Dahl: No Place Like Home

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Lisa Dahl
Sub-Prime
2008
mixed media installation (detail)

In a multi-media installation Lisa Dahl uses the suburban home to investigate the American Dream and its associated trappings. Having grown up in the suburbs of several cities throughout the country, and having been a resident of New York City for over a decade, she combines the vantage point of an outsider with an insider's intimate knowledge. Working with a variety of media - painting, photography, video, sculpture - Dahl's art often uses a large dose of playfulness and humor as it undermines the home's traditional sense of being a place of safety and security.



Faces and Figures: People from the Permanent Collection

Faces and Figures represents a variety of human forms and faces found in the Museum's permanent collection. Each work considers the human figure in its own way, and provides an opportunity to display a wide variety of media and styles. Faces and Figures showcases the diversity of printmaking techniques found in the Museum's collection, and the ways in which the representation of the human form is altered and energized by the artists' techniques. Each work reflects not only the personality of its subject, but of the artist as well.

The Hunterdon Art Museum was founded as a community art center created by and intended for the people of Clinton and the surrounding region. From the beginning, the Museum has accumulated as many people and personalities in its collection as the community it serves. The Hunterdon Art Museum's permanent collection has grown over the years to include the work of many well-known American artists as well as fine examples of work acquired through its Annual National Juried Print Exhibition. Several of these prints have not been included in a show of works from the Museum's permanent collection for some time, making this exhibition an opportunity to once again provide a voice to Hunterdon Art Museum's colorful characters, as well as the artists who created them.




2008 Spring Exhibitions


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Emil Lukas:
Moderate Climate and the Bitter Bison

5/10/08 - 6/15/08

Jim Toia, Curator


Learn more about this exhibition



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ken ross: where men hide
4/6/08 - 5/4/08

Ellen Siegel, Curator


Learn more about this exhibition




Emil Lukas: Moderate Climate and the Bitter Bison

Moderate Climate and the Bitter Bison, an exhibition of paintings by Emil Lukas, will be on display at the Hunterdon Museum of Art in Clinton, NJ from May 10 to June 15, 2008. Two groups of paintings on opposite walls form a cohesive installation in the Museum's River Gallery. Using non-traditional materials, Lukas makes enigmatic objects that create a mysterious effect for the viewer, an experience that further unfolds with the process of extended observation. As the viewer progresses into the gallery space and examines the paintings at closer range, the process and materials become more apparent--the tense, angular lines of color reveal themselves to be taut layers of thread, their shallow three-dimensionality suggesting fields of much greater depth. These works reveal as much about the process of seeing as they do about the process of making art.


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5/10/08 - 6/15/08
Emil Lukas: Moderate Climate and the Bitter Bison
Jim Toia, Curator
Opening Reception, Sunday May 18, 2-4
Artist Talk 3pm





2008 Spring Exhibitions


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UNcommon clay
4/6/08 - 6/15/08

Hildreth York, Curator
Ingrid Renard, Assistant Curator


Learn more about this exhibition



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close encounters:
The Art of Bonnie Berkowitz

4/6/08 - 6/15/08

Mary Birmingham, Curator


Learn more about this exhibition




Ken Ross


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Waldy's Workbench, 2008
Pigmented inkjet print
16 x 20 in.


These striking black and white photographs take the viewer on a tour of various places and spaces--the basements, garages and attics--where men retreat to get away from it all. Ken Ross creates telling portraits in the absence of his subjects by recording men's most private sanctums. His photographs are at once muscular and tender, a tribute to the essential nature of men. This revealing exhibition by the New Jersey based photographer will undoubtedly strike a familiar cord with men as well as women. Ross's photographs also provided the inspiration for Where Men Hide (Columbia University Press, 2006), a collaborative work with James Twitchell.







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Rick's Basement Office, 2008
Pigmented inket print
20 x 24 in.



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Duck Blind, 2008
Pigmented inkjet print
8 x 10 in.



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Pop-Pop's Pegboard, 2008
Pigmented inkjet print
24 x 30 in.



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Chick's, 2008
Pigmented inkjet print
24 x 30 in.



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Al's Car Barn, 2008
Pigmented inkjet print
24 x 30 in.



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Shannon's Fly & Tackle, 2008
Pigmented inkjet print
16 x 20 in.



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Dad's Recliner, 2008
Pigmented inkjet print
20 x 24 in.



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Lap Dance Room, 2008
Pigmented inkjet print
20 x 24 in.



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Dick's Train Room, 2008
Pigmented inkjet print
20 x 24 in.



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Matt's Room, 2008
Pigmented inkjet print
16 x 20 in.



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Deer and Beer, 2008
Pigmented inkjet print
16 x 20 in.



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Dick's Tools, 2008
Pigmented inkjet print
20 x 24 in.




Ken Ross: Artist's Statement

The idea for Where Men Hide was initiated a number of years ago when my then ten-year-old son suggested we set up a basement shop for our Scout projects. This seemed like a pretty good idea, and as we began planning, I thought it might be wise to visit the home shops of some friends to check out their set ups.

My family and I live in Mountainville, a tiny village of 19th century houses in northern Hunterdon County. Most of the residents have converted their barns or carriage houses to alternative uses. So to visit our first home shop we walked down the road to a neighbor's place. The owner was a middle-aged elementary school teacher who was highly regarded as a scoutmaster and woodsman. His shop was devoted to his real passion--restoring antique canoes. The place was amazing, a living testament to function and form, with a vintage pin-up overseeing the whole works.

Matt and I took home lots of great ideas for our shop that day and I got the notion that "guy places" might make an interesting series of pictures. I returned a couple of days later, and after a few false starts eventually came away with what I wanted. I have been working on and off on this project ever since.

The series had grown to forty or so images, ranging from a home slaughterhouse to my Dad's recliner, when I got a call from Jim Twitchell, and Where Men Hide was born.

My original title for this series was "Men's Rooms." This phrase still accurately describes the subjects of my pictures. The places are all exclusively male in function, sometimes private yet often communal, and they are surely visited as it becomes necessary.

Ken Ross, 2008



Ken Ross: Curator's Statement

In the past a man's home was his castle; not anymore. In the contemporary home even the man's study has been turned into the family room. Women now take the responsibility for the decoration and upkeep of the home, and we do it to our standards. So where do men go to get away from us?

About ten years ago I was talking with Ken Ross about a series of photographs that he was making. He called them "Men's Rooms." They chronicled those exclusive places where men went to be alone--dark, secretive, rooms, purpose specific, no "girls" allowed. The gate crashing voyeur in me was hooked. I wanted a glimpse into their world.

James Twitchell, professor of English and advertising at the University of Florida was having his hair cut when he picked up a March 1999 issue of Esquire magazine. The headline read, "Where We Go: Portraits of the Places Men without Women Inhabit." It caught his imagination. He and Ken Ross forged a collaboration that culminated in the book Where Men Hide, published in 2006 by Columbia Press. The subject matter was extended to include places where men congregate, but when I made my selections for this exhibition I found myself mostly drawn to those solitary rooms.

Ken Ross is not only a talented visual artist, but also a gifted story teller. He takes his photographs on film, scans the negatives, and does digital darkroom manipulation. The results are rich tones and complex values, teasing and tempting the border without ever dipping into the muddy. The rooms are brooding and dingy. The whiff of citrus cleaner or the roar of a vacuum cleaner has never invaded these spaces. The photographs narrate the stories of his subjects and serve as portraits of the men even in their absence from the image.

We women thought we knew these men. Through Ken Ross' work we learn we only knew them in our world, not theirs.

Ellen Siegel, Curator



Uncommon Clay


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Ruth Borgenicht
Forrestal Village: Brown Tree
(detail), 2007
salt-fired stoneware
Photo: Joseph Painter



Clay is ubiquitous. If you gathered it all up and spread it evenly over the surface of the earth like peanut butter, you would create a mud layer a mile in thickness.

Suzanne Staubach in Clay (NY: Berkley Books, 2005) p. xi

The artists in this exhibition have each found a way to make clay, one of the most ancient and common materials known to artists, "uncommon." The malleability of unfired clay offers infinite shaping possibilities. Its transformation through fire creates one of the world's most durable materials. Each of these artists is a master of the medium and the many physical, technical and chemical processes that turn earth into art. Yet what they share, aside from the fact that all are New Jerseyans, is their "uncommoness," the distinct personality of each artist's body of work. That all are residents of this State is deliberate on our part, and reflects the Hunterdon Museum's intention to highlight and bring to attention examples of outstanding creativity in our midst. Each of the artists has an impressive resume of prestigious exhibitions; all have made their knowledge and talents available through teaching and workshops.

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Bennett Bean
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Jim Jansma

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Ruth Borgenicht
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Taesik Song

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Ka Kwong Hui
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Mikhail Zakin



Close Encounters: The Art of Bonnie Berkowitz


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Bard, 2005
Hand/rod table top puppet
Japanese and Czech beads, fabric, paper clay, paper, pigments


Bonnie Berkowitz discusses this work: "As the Bard took shape, I was influenced by the news of the war in Iraq. The idea of false reporting and censorship of the soldiers' deaths led me to give the Bard a golden pen. As in the past, Bards went to war and reported the historical events of war. So, the Bard's persona and story were created."





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Beaded Prince, 2005
Marionette
Fabric, metallic embroidery floss, glass beads, paper clay, pigments, paper

All puppets tell stories; Berkowitz's puppets literally embody their stories, often in their very guts. The poem embedded in the Beaded Prince is aptly called "We Carry Our Stories With Us." In it she poses the question "How many words can a heart hold before the book flies open?"


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Four Answers, 1999
Book bracelet
Czech glass beads, fabric, cotton cathedral beads, metallic thread
Collection of Arlan and Bruce Kardon



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Levite's Daughter, 2000
Book shoe
Japanese and Czech glass beads, leather, fabric



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Miriam's Glove, 2003
Paper, pigments, glass beads, thread


This work was inspired by the story of Miriam, a Biblical prophet who kept the Israelites alive in the desert with water from a miraculous well. The beads that flow like water through Miriam's glove represent the creativity flowing through the artist's hands.


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Mother's Milk: Book Bra II, 2006
Fabric, wire, Japanese and Czech glass beads, embroidery floss




Bonnie Berkowitz: Curator's Statement

Fiber artist Bonnie Berkowitz uses beading and stitching to transform ordinary objects into exquisite works of art. Her handmade books, garments, pillows, jewelry and puppets also tell stories, their richly embellished surfaces concealing poetic narratives. By stitching words directly into her art Berkowitz mirrors the way stories are embedded or even hidden within the individual psyche.

Her meticulously crafted works and seductive surfaces invite the viewer to take a second, closer look. Berkowitz explains: "When a pillow, a puppet, a book, a shoe or a garment becomes other than ordinary, when its surface becomes unfamiliar and invites closer examination, it is then that craft elevates the simple, familiar life experiences and adds wonder, joy and a longing to connect and touch, to know something more than only surface offers." This desire to go beneath the surface may explain the artist's fascination with concealing words within her objects.

Since her early childhood Berkowitz has been a storyteller, and as an artist she has found diverse and original ways to incorporate her stories into her art. Books, miniature theaters and puppets are natural vehicles for narrative, but Berkowitz also works in unexpected places. Sometimes she stitches poems directly onto surfaces, integrating the words into the decoration. Other times she conceals small books or scrolls within objects, often in the form of accordion "pages" that literally unfold before the viewer.

These transformed objects are loaded with meaning, both personal and universal. The observer who takes time to look beyond the surface is rewarded with an intimate connection to the work and its meaning. Such a close encounter with the art of Bonnie Berkowitz is internalized and carried by the viewer, where it continues to resonate.

Mary Birmingham
Curator



2008 Winter Exhibitions



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1/13/08 - 3/30/08
Cuba: Artists Experience Their Country
Kristen Accola, Curator
Opening Reception, Sunday January 13, 2-4
Panel Discussion 4pm





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1/13/08 - 3/30/08
Nancy Moore Bess: Extraordinary Baskets
Hildreth York, Curator
Opening Reception, Sunday January 13, 2-4
See Education Department listings for workshop by artist



Nancy Moore Bess: Extraordinary Baskets is funded by a generous grant from The Coby Foundation.



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