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This article by Pat Summers was prepared for the November 22, 2000
edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.
Coming Up: Fresh-Brewed Art
Some artists may disdain exhibiting their work in
cafes and restaurants, but it’s increasingly common — maybe
the number of artists out there keeps growing while the number of
galleries stays relatively static; maybe there’s simply more demand
for art in more venues — gambling palaces to hospital corridors
to, well, coffee houses. Or, artists may regard a "fooderie"
as simply one more "exposure op," where people can see art,
and they can sell it, in a comfortable setting.
But "if you know Princeton, you understand" why Ellie Wyeth
Fox is now exhibiting 30-some pictures at Small World Coffee, on
Street. "Everyone meets at Small World," she goes on, noting
that this is her fourth show at the popular coffee house.
On view through Monday, December 4, Fox’s new mix includes acrylics
on wood, framed gouaches on paper, and two painted-wood trays. Her
subjects include veggies and fruits, animals, landscapes, and still
lifes. But that sounds needlessly dry, prosaic. Say instead that she
has painted mosquitoes cavorting in a field on a cloudy day (No. 7),
great blue herons invading (No. 13), chickens and guinea hens in a
landscape (No. 27), and five pictures of amber-eyed Fern, the family’s
late black Lab, looking contemplative, worried, even beleaguered.
Though the artist says Fern was a challenge to live with, she has
become fine fodder for Fox’s fanciful figurative art.
Fox says she sometimes gives hints in one exhibition about "what’s
coming next." The bet here is that we can look forward to a
series," along the lines of the celebrated "Helga
produced by Fox’s "very distant" relation, Andrew Wyeth. No
supposedly-surprised family here, however, unless you ask Hewitt,
the family’s Jack Russell-Norfolk Terrier mix, how he feels about
the posthumous upstaging and the prospect of Fern immortalized.
Her two-week artist’s residency in Vermont last summer yielded Fox’s
large vegetable paintings on view at Small World. "I wanted my
work to get freer, and it got bigger," she says. Brilliantly
often with wonderful scarlet veining, these pictures show swiss chard,
with and without kohlrabi; a study of red cabbage; green cabbage with
red peppers and a red onion. Fox’s "Leeks" lie seductively
on a paisley printed scarf. Her still lifes include ornate teapots
and vases, bottles, and patterns — and one subtly UN-still life
(No. 17), in which a fox’s tail, connected of course to a fox’s
is draped onto a table top filled with fruit.
Fox’s landscapes continue to amaze. Although it seems always to be
summer in her pictures, and that’s just fine with me, her skies are
variously vibrant blue, or blue with memorable puffy white clouds,
or grayly-cloudy — as dark as her world gets. And even then, the
grassy meadows and fields below her skies are ever-green. The
mosquitoes mentioned earlier are sizable yet wispy, with an
featheriness; the red bug making a getaway from the herons is outsize;
the chickens and guinea hens alternate in an appealing pattern of
white with polka dots.
"I like to have people look at it, maybe smile at it, and wonder
about the story," Fox says of her work. For this narrative-based
reason, she calls herself an illustrator — a word she thinks also
better suggests her commission work: house portraits, and painted
floor mats, fire screens, and furniture. She illustrated "New
Jersey, A Guide to the State" (Rutgers University Press), which
was recently re-released with additional images, and John McPhee’s
story collection, "Irons in the Fire," whose title story and
images appeared in the New Yorker.
In a joint show two years ago at the Chapin School, Fox and Clem
noted area photographer and woodworker, teamed up with his furniture
designs and her painted furniture, her paintings on wood and his
found-wood insects. Fox sells her own line of hand-painted cards and
placemats from her studio and at Micawber Books on Nassau Street.
She is currently preparing illustrations for a projected Korean
that would feature cultural traditions as well as recipes.
It had to be a seminal event: one day Ellie Wyeth’s mother started
painting the kitchen table — first white, then a floral design.
Fox remembers thinking, "Oh, look, she’s painting on the
Did we mention that her mother was an elementary school art teacher
at the time? Her father was a long-time editor in the trade department
of then-Harper & Row, and Ellie, born in the 1950’s in Mount Kisco,
New York, grew up with a brother and sister, now an actor who trains
executives and a PR rep in the publishing field, respectively. "We
always drew," she says.
And since all this now has to do with Princeton, and art and business
here, we should mention that the artist is married to Logan Fox,
of Micawber Books. The two grew up in the same area — he even
came to her third birthday party — and his father was also an
editor, though with Random House. "Incredibly supportive,"
Logan Fox gave her a new studio last Christmas, converting their large
garage into the much-needed space for making and storing art.
Fox studied in New York City, taking classes at the Art Students
the School of Visual Arts, and Parsons School of Design. Before moving
to Princeton in 1981, when she began operating on a commission basis,
she had designed flyers and posters for an actors’ studio and
her own line of greeting cards. While working around the schedules
of her three sons, Sam, Luke, and Avery, for about 20 years, she
an ability to look at things through children’s eyes — and some
good titles her kids thought up for her.
Jessica Durrie, co-founder and owner of Small World
Coffee since December, 1993, says the main reason for art on the walls
is to keep it interesting and fresh for customers, about half of whom
come in every day. "I don’t know all their names, but I know what
they drink," she says. She works out ways to keep the service
line moving quickly so the press of patrons inside the door does not
mean a long wait. A big part of her role in the business is keeping
employees happy so they in turn keep customers happy. And she handles
"I must respond to it personally on some level," she says.
Citing the example of a mother and daughter who made art and exhibited
together, muting the generation gap, she says, "Sometimes the
story behind a person is as important as the art that’s created."
Although her mother was an artist, she is modest about her own art
expertise, informally screening prospective exhibitors and booking
some of them for month-long shows. Not only modest, she is also
Small World takes no commission on art sales.
Durrie, a native Californian who attended the Cornell Hotel-Restaurant
School, grew up overseas, living in Italy and Brazil, where the
cultures" caused her to become "obsessed with finding a town
that needed a coffee house." In December, 1993, she and her
Brant Cosaboom, opened Small World Coffee. Now, she says, the place
attracts a wide mix of patrons including university professors holding
study sessions and creative writing students in search of local color.
All generations, too — for instance, Fox mentions her three
sons and their friends as patrons, and Durrie knows of a group of
mature sketchers — including a few artists and an art museum
— who meet there once a week to capture the faces and body
of those around them.
"We’re great supporters of independent stores," Ellie Wyeth
Fox says of Small World. With Micawber Books in her own family, she
knows the benefits of business helping business. For Small World,
it’s regular infusions of enjoyable current art; for artists, it’s
a congenial spot with high visibility. But the rest of us are the
biggest winners: We can have a cuppa and have a look at the same time.
Really a case of win-win-win.
— Pat Summers
609-924-4377. Exhibition continues through Monday, December 4. Open
Monday through Thursday, 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday and Saturday,
6:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday, 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Nassau Street, 609-921-6748. "Old Traditions, New Beginnings,"
a major exhibition celebrating 250 years of Princeton Jewish history,
jointly presented and exhibited at the Jewish Center of Princeton.
This is the first-ever exhibit on the history of Princeton’s Jewish
community, scheduled to coincide with the Jewish Center’s 50th
Topics addressed include early arrivals, family life, social
work and business pursuits, religious traditions, and anti-Semitism.
Dining room exhibit of works by Pennsylvania resident artist Susan
Ketcham. She has been an instructor at the Doylestown Art League Day
Workshops and a member of the Doylestown Art League. Her solo exhibits
have been in Doylestown, Phillips Mill, and Philadelphia. Part of
the proceeds benefit the Medical Center. On view 8 a.m. to 7 p.m daily
to January 18.
Library Place, 609-497-7990. "Witnessing to the Word," a group
show featuring the work of sculptor Patrick Birge, potter Patrick
Caughy, and painter Patrick Ellis. The artists met through a
of theological schools. Gallery talk and reception is Monday, December
4, at 4:30 p.m., for the show that continues to January 5. Gallery
hours are Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Saturday to 4:30
p.m.; Sunday, 2 to 9:30 p.m.
the Photograph," as exhibition that explores the relationship
between survival and photography, featuring works by Thomas Barrow,
Uta Barth, Gregory Crewdson, Walker Evans, Roger Fenton, Emmet Gowin,
Eikoh Hosoe, Richard Misrach, Fazal Sheikh, and others, to November
19. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.;
Sunday 1 to 5 p.m. Free tours of the collection are every Saturday
at 2 p.m.
Also, "Contemporary Photographs," to January 7; "Dutch
Drawings in the Golden Age, an exhibition of Old Master drawings,
to January 7; "American Drawings from Copley to O’Keeffe," to
December 30. And "Material Language: Small-Scale Sculpture after
1950," an exhibition that complements the newly-dedicated Richard
Serra sculpture on the university campus, selected from the permanent
collection by professors Peter Bunnell and Hal Foster, and museum
director Susan Taylor. Artists include Alexander Calder and Kenneth
Snelson, Leo Steppat, Jasper Johns, Barry Bertoia, Poly Bury, Anthony
Caro, George Segal, Jonathan Shahn, Claes Oldenburg, and Christopher
Wilmarth; to December 30. On extended view in the Bowen Gallery,
Serra’s "Weight and Measure" etchings.
Library, 609-258-5049. "Art Deco Paris: 1900-1925," a portrait
of the spirited, affluent Parisian society through the printmaking
technique known as "pochoir." The show features 100 color
prints, including a folio by Matisse, reflecting the era of jazz,
tango, high fashion, and modern art. The prints, featuring vibrant
colors and flamboyant designs, are from the collection of Mitchell
Wolfson Jr. On view to April 8, 2001.
The Graduate School continues its centennial observance with the
"A Community of Scholars: Graduate Education at Princeton,"
an exhibition of more than 100 photographs, documents, and artifacts
that chronicle the evolution of graduate studies. To April 8.
"What a Combo!," a shared show by Mel Leipzig and Vince
Leipzig is a professor of art at Mercer County Community College and
his paintings are in collections at the New Jersey State Museum, Yale
Art Gallery, Newark Public Library, and the White House Collection.
Ceglia is retired from 28 years teaching at MCCC and Trenton Junior
College; his paintings can be found at Penn State University, James
A. Michener Art Museum, and Educational Testing Service. To January
A husband and wife exhibition of recent sculpture by Joseph Menna
with paintings and hand-painted furniture by Julianna
Gallery hours are Monday to Thursday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. To December
Joseph Menna will show several small cast bronze and modeled plastic
sculptures representing mythological and literary characters, as well
as a 30-foot monument to American folk hero, John Henry. Menna has
his B.F.A. in sculpture from the University of the Arts, an M.F.A.
from New York Academy of Art, with post-graduate studies at the
State Academy of Decorative Art and Design in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Born and educated in Russia, this is Julianna Molchanova-Menna’s first
U.S. exhibit. Three painting will be shown as a tryptic representing
earth, sea, and sky. She studied at the Art College of the City of
Chelyabinsk and pursued graduate studies at the Russian State Academy
of Decorative Art in St. Petersburg.
609-586-0616. Fall-Winter Exhibition. In the Domestic Arts Building:
"James Dinerstein: New Sculpture," recent works in cast
"Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture."
Show continues to April 8. Open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to
9 p.m., year round; Sunday is Members Day. Adult admission is $4
through Thursday; $7 Friday and Saturday; and $10 Sunday. Annual
start at $45.
609-292-6464. "Click! The Marvelous in American Vernacular
an exhibit of found photographs offering a diversity of American
ranging from quirky snapshots to haunting photographic documents.
Curated by Donald Lokuta of Kean University, Robert Yoskowitz of Union
College, and the museum’s assistant curator Margaret O’Reilly, the
show explores how great works of art influenced everyday photography.
Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.; Sunday
noon to 5 p.m. Closed Monday and state holidays. To December 31.
Dating from the mid-19th to mid-20th centuries, the 90 "ordinary
photographs of ordinary people" featured in this exhibition were
found in shoe boxes at flea markets and yard sales or retrieved. Taken
by anonymous photographers, their power may be the result of a lucky
accident or of inspired planning that is reminiscent of such photo
masters as Man Ray, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and Diane Arbus. Found
photographs have become a hot new collectible in the art world.
Also: "Dinosaurs, Ammonites & Asteroids," to January 21."
"Woven by Tradition and Design: A Selection of American Indian
Weavings, Textiles and Baskets from the New Jersey State Museum
to December 31; "Recreating Flowers: The Glass Wonders of Paul
J. Stankard," to January 7.
On extended view: "New Jersey Ceramics, Silver, Glass and
"New Jersey’s Native Americans: The Archaeological Record;"
"Delaware Indians of New Jersey;" "The Sisler Collection
of North American Mammals;" "Of Rock and Fire; New Jersey
and the Great Ice Age;" "Dinosaur Turnpike: Treks through
New Jersey’s Piedmont;" "Amber: the Legendary Resin;"
and "Washington Crossing the Delaware."
609-695-0061. "19th to 21st Century Landscapes: From Artists
in the Metropolitan Museum to the Undiscovered." Plus work by
gallery artists. Gallery hours are Wednesday to Saturday, 10 a.m.
to 5 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. To November 30.
609-298-6970. Holiday show features works by gallery artists Hanneke
de Neve, Ken McIndoe, Thomas Kelly, and others. Gallery hours are
Thursday through Saturday, 4 to 8 p.m. To December 31.
"Now and Then," a retrospective survey of two- and
art by Christina Craig. The artist recently retired following a
teaching career during which she taught for 29 years at College of
New Jersey. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, noon to 3 p.m.;
Thursday 7 to 9 p.m.; and Sunday, 1 to 3 p.m. To December 13.
"Silver & Gold," a holiday show featuring work on family and
angelic themes by Christine Parson, Brian Cezario, and Eric Gibbons.
Gallery hours are Wednesdays from 4 to 9 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m.
to 3 p.m. To December 20.
609-620-6026. In the Hutchins Rotunda: "Classical Inspiration:
Lawrenceville Parents Collect." In the Hutchins Gallery, the
Faculty Exhibition by Jamie Greenfield, Allen Fitzpatrick, Brian
Andy Franz, Leonid Siveriver, William Vandever, Amanda Eckert, and
Ed Stehle. Gallery hours are Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.;
except Wednesday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to noon. To December 6.
West Windsor, 609-586-4800, ext. 3589. "Absolute Music," a
shared show of recent works by artist Jordin Isip and multi-media
sculptor Helena Lukasova. Gallery hours are Tuesday to Thursday, 11
a.m. to 3 p.m.; and Thursday evenings from 6 to 8 p.m. To December
Lukasova, a native of Brno, Czech Republic, says her work attempts
to "explore the relationship between these two worlds: the mortal
and the eternal, the lost and found, the known but invisible, dead
yet alive." Currently in the certification program at the Johnson
Atelier, she completed her M.F.A. in sculpture at the Academy of Fine
Arts and Design in Bratislava, Slovakia. Her commissions include
and Roman style mosaic floors in Italy, a bronze fountain in her
Isip, a New York City native living in Brooklyn, is not only a
painter, but also an internationally-known illustrator. The
works of this Rhode Island School of Design graduate are often seen
in publications ranging from the New York Times and Time Magazine
to Entertainment Weekly and the Village Voice. Isips work has also
been exhibited throughout the United States and Canada, and was
earlier this year in an exhibition in Rome, Italy. In addition to
pursuing his own art work, Isip also teaches at the Tyler School of
Art in Philadelphia and the School of Visual Arts in New York City.
"Digital Photography," an exhibition featuring more than 30
works by photographer Harry Rubel and lawyer Steve Richman. After
45 years in the profession, Rubel’s new work includes abstraction,
landscapes, and canal images. Richman is a member of the Princeton
Photography Club working with digital material to create surreal
Both have photos of area landmarks as well as everyday objects. To
Road, 609-921-3272. In the Main Gallery: "To Each Her Oeuvre,"
a group show by the Cycles Group, 16 contemporary women artists from
north and central New Jersey who have been meeting and exhibiting
together for two years; to December 2. In the Professional Artists’
Gallery upstairs, a shared show featuring "Watercolor Views"
by Gloria Wiernick and "Page I Series," woodblock prints by
Idaherma Williams; to November 30. Tuesday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 3
p.m.; Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m.
Branch Station, 908-725-2110. A national group show, "Art as
juried by Christine Holzer, on view through December 29. Also, Nicole
Maynard-Sahar’s show of recent prints; to November 25. Gallery hours
are Wednesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday, 1 to 4
609-896-5168. "Joan Wortis: A Textile Journey Through Asia and
Monoprint Collages," featuring Asian textiles from the artist’s
collection and her own monoprints. Lore Lindenfeld curated the exhibit
that runs to December 2. Gallery hours are Monday to Thursday, 2 to
8 p.m.; Friday to Sunday, 2 to 5 p.m.
609-895-7307. A new series of oil on paper and mixed-media paintings
by Wanda Blake, a professional artist living in Morris County who
studied at Newark’s School of Fine and Industrial Arts. Curated by
Gary Snyder Fine Art, gallery hours are Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to
5 p.m. To January 26.
A shared show featuring industrial landscapes and figure paintings
by Marc Reed and interiors and street scenes by Ruth Laks. Gallery
hours are Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. To December
609-773-0881. The area artists’ organization opens a new permanent
gallery home in the historic mill. Show features works by Marie Finn,
Peter Defiris, George Hanover, Nina Bolfing, Nancy Shill, Nancy K.
Anderson, Edie Sharp, and Ty Hodanish. Thursdays through Sunday, noon
to 6 p.m. To November 30.
"Barry Snyder," an exhibition of paintings, drawings, and
sculpture. Thursday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.. To December 4.
Holiday show features watercolors by Lucy Graves McVicker and casein
paintings by Katherine Steele Renninger. Gallery hours are Wednesday
to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. To January 14.
"The moods of nature have always been my primary concert,"
says watercolorist McVicker, who pursued graduate studies at Pratt
Institute and at Rutgers. Her works are in corporate collections that
include Bristol-Myers Squibb and Johnson & Johnson. Renninger, a
of Moore College of Art, is known for her paintings that offer
carefully crafted glimpses of Victorian architecture and artifacts.
609-397-4978. "Kentemperere 2000," artist and curator Malcolm
Bray’s annual show of innovative contemporary painting and sculpture
by 14 artists. Exhibitors include Jacques Fabert, Pat Martin, Barry
Snyder, Rachel Bliss, Diane Levell, Michael Hale, Stacie Speer-Scott,
Virgil Sova, Dolores Poacillo, Sandra Flood, Annelies van Dommelen,
and Tom Birkner. Above the antique showroom, the show is open every
day, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., to December 31.
609-397-3349. "L’Origine du Monde," mural-size oils on linen
by Illia Barger that depict luscious fruits. A student at Bennington
College and at Cooper Union, Barger has participated in more than
a dozen exhibitions in New York, Bucks County, and Connecticut. Daily,
10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. To November 27.
732-846-5777. "Herend: Hungarian Porcelain at its Finest,"
an exhibition of hand-painted porcelain pieces created since the
founding in 1839. Museum hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to
4 p.m.; and Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m. Show runs to February 25. $5 donation.
215-340-9800. The Lenfest Exhibition of Pennsylvania Impressionism.
Marguerite and Gerry Lenfest bequeathed 59 paintings that tell the
story of the renowned art colony, centered in New Hope, in the early
20th Century. Museum hours Tuesday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.;
Saturday & Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Wednesday evenings to 9
p.m. To February 11. Museum admission $5 adults; $1.50 students.
Also, "In Line with Al Hirschfeld," a retrospective
Hirschfeld’s life, career, and the history of the performing arts.
Exhibit, with accompanying lecture, tour, and film series, runs
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