Art in Town

Art On Campus

Art In Trenton

In the Workplace

Art by the River

Other Museums

Corrections or additions?

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

because

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

Witherspoon

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

"Fern

series," along the lines of the celebrated "Helga

pictures,"

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

detailed,

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

shadow,

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

cavorting

mosquitoes mentioned earlier are sizable yet wispy, with an

Art-Deco-style

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

Fiori,

noted area photographer and woodworker, teamed up with his furniture

designs and her painted furniture, her paintings on wood and his

whimsical

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

cookbook

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

table."

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,

co-owner

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

League,

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

developed

her own line of greeting cards. While working around the schedules

of her three sons, Sam, Luke, and Avery, for about 20 years, she

gained

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

the art.

"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

generous:

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

"cafe

cultures" caused her to become "obsessed with finding a town

that needed a coffee house." In December, 1993, she and her

husband,

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

teenage

sons and their friends as patrons, and Durrie knows of a group of

mature sketchers — including a few artists and an art museum

docent

— who meet there once a week to capture the faces and body

language

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

Ellie Fox, Small World Coffee, 14 Witherspoon

Street,

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.

Top Of Page
Art in Town

Historical Society of Princeton, Bainbridge House, 158

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

anniversary.

Topics addressed include early arrivals, family life, social

organizations,

work and business pursuits, religious traditions, and anti-Semitism.

Medical Center at Princeton, 253 Witherspoon Street,

609-497-4192.

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.

Princeton Theological Seminary, Erdman Hall Gallery, 20

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

consortium

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.

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Art On Campus

Art Museum, Princeton University, 609-258-3788.

"Surviving

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,

Richard

Serra’s "Weight and Measure" etchings.

Princeton University, Milberg Gallery, Firestone

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.

Firestone Library, Princeton University, 609-258-3184.

The Graduate School continues its centennial observance with the

exhibition

"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.

Top Of Page
Art In Trenton

Ellarslie, Trenton City Museum, Cadwalader Park,

609-989-3632.

"What a Combo!," a shared show by Mel Leipzig and Vince

Ceglia.

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

7.

Extension Gallery, 60 Ward Avenue, Mercerville,

609-890-7777.

A husband and wife exhibition of recent sculpture by Joseph Menna

with paintings and hand-painted furniture by Julianna

Molchanova-Menna.

Gallery hours are Monday to Thursday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. To December

14.

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

Russian

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.

Grounds for Sculpture, 18 Fairgrounds Road, Hamilton,

609-586-0616. Fall-Winter Exhibition. In the Domestic Arts Building:

"James Dinerstein: New Sculpture," recent works in cast

bronze;

"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

Tuesday

through Thursday; $7 Friday and Saturday; and $10 Sunday. Annual

memberships

start at $45.

New Jersey State Museum, 205 West State Street, Trenton,

609-292-6464. "Click! The Marvelous in American Vernacular

Photography,"

an exhibit of found photographs offering a diversity of American

images

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

Collections,"

to December 31; "Recreating Flowers: The Glass Wonders of Paul

J. Stankard," to January 7.

On extended view: "New Jersey Ceramics, Silver, Glass and

Iron;"

"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."

Rhinehart-Fischer Gallery, 46 West Lafayette, Trenton,

609-695-0061. "19th to 21st Century Landscapes: From Artists

Represented

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.

Area Galleries

The Artful Deposit, 201 Farnsworth Avenue, Bordentown,

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.

College of New Jersey, Art Gallery, Holman Hall,

609-771-2198.

"Now and Then," a retrospective survey of two- and

three-dimensional

art by Christina Craig. The artist recently retired following a

35-year

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.

Firehouse Gallery, 8 Walnut Street, Bordentown,

609-298-3742.

"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.

Lawrenceville School, Gruss Center of Visual Arts,

Lawrenceville,

609-620-6026. In the Hutchins Rotunda: "Classical Inspiration:

Lawrenceville Parents Collect." In the Hutchins Gallery, the

Annual

Faculty Exhibition by Jamie Greenfield, Allen Fitzpatrick, Brian

Daniell,

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.

Gallery at Mercer County College, Communications Center,

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

21.

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

frescos

and Roman style mosaic floors in Italy, a bronze fountain in her

hometown.

Isip, a New York City native living in Brooklyn, is not only a

mixed-media

painter, but also an internationally-known illustrator. The

distinctive

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

featured

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.

Plainsboro Public Library, 641 Plainsboro Road,

609-275-2897.

"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

images.

Both have photos of area landmarks as well as everyday objects. To

November 30.

Montgomery Cultural Center, 1860 House, 124 Montgomery

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.

Printmaking Council of New Jersey, 440 River Road, North

Branch Station, 908-725-2110. A national group show, "Art as

Healing,"

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

p.m.

Rider University Art Gallery, Student Center,

Lawrenceville,

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.

Top Of Page
In the Workplace

Stark & Stark, 993 Lenox Drive, Building Two,

Lawrenceville,

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.

Top Of Page
Art by the River

Artists’ Gallery, 32 Coryell Street, Lambertville,

609-397-4588.

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

3.

Artsbridge Gallery, Prallsville Mills, Route 28,

Stockton,

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.

Atelier Gallery, 108 Harrison Street, Frenchtown,

908-996-9992.

"Barry Snyder," an exhibition of paintings, drawings, and

sculpture. Thursday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.. To December 4.

Coryell Gallery, 8 Coryell Street, Lambertville,

609-397-0804.

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

graduate

of Moore College of Art, is known for her paintings that offer

intimate,

carefully crafted glimpses of Victorian architecture and artifacts.

Old English Pine, 202 North Union Street, Lambertville,

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.

Riverrun Gallery, 287 South Main Street, Lambertville,

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.

Top Of Page
Other Museums

American Hungarian Museum, 300 Somerset Street, New

Brunswick,

732-846-5777. "Herend: Hungarian Porcelain at its Finest,"

an exhibition of hand-painted porcelain pieces created since the

company’s

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.

James A. Michener Art Museum, 138 South Pine Street,

Doylestown,

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

documenting

Hirschfeld’s life, career, and the history of the performing arts.

Exhibit, with accompanying lecture, tour, and film series, runs

through

February 11.


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