Art in Town

Campus Arts

Area Galleries

Art by the River

Art In Trenton

Area Museums

Auditions

Participate Please

Corrections or additions?

This review by F.R. Rivera were prepared for the January 14, 2004

issue of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

In Montgomery: Musical Landscapes & More

At the Montgomery Center for the Arts, the annual members’ juried

exhibition, the second of two annual round-ups, is on view through

Sunday, February 1. The center makes its home in the historic 1860

House on Montgomery Road in Skillman. The theme of the first show –

"Visual Feast" – was food and dining, and the show ran from November 7

to 30. From 125 entries for that exhibition, 53 were accepted. The

task of pruning the entries fell to Donna Gustaffson, director of

exhibitions at the Hunterdon Museum of Art.

The juror for the present show, Harry Naar, professor of art and

gallery director at Rider University, served more of a ceremonial

function, somewhat equivalent to validating entry tickets. Thirty-two

pieces are on view; all artists who submitted work were accepted.

Naar’s responsibility as juror began and ended with the awarding of

three prizes to individual works. "Athena Couture" by Marie Sturken

won first place; second prize went to "NY Stories No. 7" by Coleen

Marks; "Untitled" by Marsha Levin-Rojer, one of the five

artists-in-residence at the center, garnered the third prize.

Since becoming the center’s program director in 2001, Nancy Coffee has

made MCA a more visible part of the wider community. It sponsors

classes, exhibitions, and concerts, and coordinates an

artist-in-residence program. Most significantly, it offers rent-free

studio space for one year to working artists in exchange for a

moderate teaching assignment. Many of the exhibitors are students at

the center, whereas others teach painting and drawing there. (There

are no sculptors in this show.) All exhibitors, both students and

teachers, however, are members of the center. The fact that they are

exhibiting together in the annual members’ exhibition accounts for the

uneven quality of the show.

Yet there is no question about the quality of two pieces by veteran

exhibitor Marie Sturken, an artist who can always be counted on to

engage fans. Sturken honed her technical skills at the renowned Dieu

Donne papermaking workshop in New York City. Now she uses paper as

paint. The initially-fluid paper pulp can transport foreign embedded

materials over wide expanses of surface, resulting in a toasted blend

of texture, pattern, and colored fibers. The artist’s continued

strength is her respect for the integrity of these materials.

Sturken is at her best when she is least literal, when she uses

fragments rather than whole images, as in "Domestic Arts 1." In this

work, abstract elements such as circles and lines double unobtrusively

for buttons and threads, smoothly folding into a lush curtain of blue.

On the other hand, the silhouette of an actual pair of scissors

detracts from the lyric effect.

Other works of interest include a trio of shimmering leaves in "Time

to Turn," a watercolor painting by Virginia Swanagan; a clutch of

crooked lamp posts by Rauven Friedman, entitled "Empty Street," in

which the paint medium seems to be milk chocolate; fat ribbons of sky

in Donna Hunsberger’s "Traveling"; an ornamental black cat by Jennifer

Cadoff; and Sally Davidson’s abstract photographic "Homage to

Nine-Eleven." Artists-in residence Lucy Graves McVicker and Helen

Gallagher are, as always, reliably represented.

Most of the artists contributed only one work; none included more than

two; and it is perhaps unfair to evaluate an artist on the basis of so

few pieces. It is, therefore, all the more unexpected to find two

pieces leaping from the playing field like little masterpieces, as is

the case for Levin-Rojer. She shows two memorable bite-sized graphite

drawings. Their scale – just over three inches square – is calibrated

for intimacy.

Levin-Rojer, who is formally trained in mathematics, told me she had

her first brush with image-making in her 20s, when she illustrated a

book on cardio-vascular systems. That experience eventually led her to

the formal study of drawing and painting. After shuttling between

mathematics and art for years, she enrolled as a certificate student

at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA) in 1998, where she

studied with Bruce Samuelson.

Like Kandinsky, who is said to have discovered the purely

non-objective when he saw his own landscape painting turned on its

side, Levin-Rojer says she turned a drawing on edge and discovered

what she calls her "Musical Landscapes."

Works in progress in her studio on the second floor of the 1860 House

are larger, more traditional, and more academic, than those in the

exhibit. There is, for example, a large graphite-on-paper view of a

grove of trees with dense foliage. It is well crafted, but lacks the

fantasy of the smaller pieces exhibited in the gallery. The trees

appear motionless, whereas there is an illusion of movement in the

smaller pieces. Movement is so fleeting, however, that it might be

mistaken for stillness, like droplets of water vaporizing on a hot

grill.

Levin-Rojer’s drawings of abstract shapes are rendered with great

precision. Rather than branches, limbs, and foliage, the artist

creates images of corkscrews, twisters, pods, and curling ribbons –

some riddled with perforations. The viewer has the sense that these

elements are made of paper or stiffened fabric. It is as though each

image were meticulously conjured, then rudely wadded into a ball and

forced into a too-small container.

If these are "musical landscapes," the music begins here, as these

elements seem to decompress, creating little visual ticks as they

disengage. The drawings are done from imagination rather than

observation, although the artist says she was inspired in the 1980s by

Barbara Morgan’s 1941 book of photographs of modern dancer Martha

Graham. Her images have evolved over the years into abstract gestic

forms. "In some of the dances, it’s just extraordinary, she’s totally

encased in fabric. I’m trying to express emotion as she did. These are

my dancers. I wrap them in twisted fabric and she draped her figures

in costumes."

— F.R. Rivera

Annual Juried Members’ Exhibition, Montgomery Center for

the Arts, 124 Montgomery Road, Skillman, 609-921-3272. Juror is Harry

I. Naar, director of the Rider University Art Gallery. The center is

open Tuesday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Sundays from 1 to 4

p.m. Show continues through Sunday, February 1.

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Art in Town

Historical Society of Princeton, Bainbridge House, 158 Nassau Street,

609-921-6748. "Lost Princeton," an exhibit that explores lost

businesses and houses. The historic house also houses a long-term

exhibition about Princeton history highlighting the Native American

occupation, the Revolutionary War, and Princeton in the 19th and 20th

centuries. Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday, noon to 4 p.m.

Admission is free.

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Campus Arts

Princeton University Art Museum, McCosh 50, 609-258-3788. The

permanent collections range from ancient to contemporary art,

concentrating on the Mediterranean regions, Western Europe, China, the

United States, and Latin America. Greek and Roman antiquities. Also

sculpture, metalwork, and stained glass from Medieval Europe and

important examples of Western European paintings from the early

Renaissance through the 19th century. Chinese art – bronzes, tomb

figures, painting, and calligraphy – as well as pre-Columbian art of

the Maya, represent some of the Museum’s greatest strengths. Open

Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday 1 to 5 p.m.

Highlights tours every Saturday at 2 p.m. Free admission.

Bernstein Gallery, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School,

609-258-5566. Exhibition featuring the work of the late Jacob Landau

of Roosevelt, New Jersey. Show features oils, works on paper, and

lithographs. Gallery is open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. To

January 23.

Princeton Theological Seminary, Erdman Hall Gallery, 20 Library Place,

609-497-7990. "Angel in New York" by Russian-born artist Alexander

Anufriev. The artist, who currently lives in Virginia, crafts iconic

pictures of angeles that portray the heavenly beings participating in

the world of human events. Open Monday to Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30

p.m.; Sunday 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. To January 23.

Peddie School, Mariboe Gallery, Peddie School, Hightstown,

609-490-7550. Photographs, lightboxes, and video works by Kym Kulp.

This is the first solo show for the artist who completed her MFA at

Rutgers’ Mason Gross School in 2002. She is director of the Photo Lab

at the Peddie School. Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. To January

30.

Using images filmed mostly underwater, Kulp is interested in the

subterranean and employs it visually as a point for departure into the

ethos of the psyche.

Lawrenceville School, Gruss Center of Visual Arts, Lawrenceville,

609-620-6030. "Polynomiography: Mathematical Art by Bahman Kalantari"

and "Kip Deeds, Paintings." Open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and

Friday, from 9 a.m. to noon, and 1 to 4 p.m.; Open Saturday, 9 a.m. to

noon. Both shows continue to January 24.

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Area Galleries

Gourgaud Gallery, Cranbury Town Hall, Schoolhouse Lane, Cranbury,

609-395-0900. "Pastels, Plus" by Barbara Harding Seibert. Open Monday

to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sundays noon to 3 p.m. To January 29.

Montgomery Center for the Arts, 124 Montgomery Road, Skillman,

609-921-3272. Annual members juried exhibition. Open Tuesday to

Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m. To February 1.

Printmaking Council of New Jersey, 440 River Road, North Branch

Station, 908-725-2110. The 29th annual juried members show, juried by

Curlee Raven Holton of Lafayette College. Prints, photographs, and

alternative print media. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Friday,

11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday, 1 to 4 p.m. To January 24.

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Art by the River

Artsbridge, Canal Studios, 243 North Union Street, Lambertville,

609-773-0881. Group show of photography. Gallery is open Thursday to

Sunday, 12 to 6 p.m. To February 1.

Gratz Gallery, 30 West Bridge Street, New Hope, 215-862-4300. Second

annual exhibition of new oils by Jan Lipes of Solebury. Lipes is an

emergency room doctor who, after the loss of his physical abilities

due to MS, became a painter. Open Wednesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6

p.m.; Sunday, noon to 6 p.m. To February 8.

New Hope Outdoor Sculpture Exhibtion, New Hope, 215-862-3396. The New

Hope Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition continues with works by sculptors

Christoph Spath, Kate Brockman, Rob Ressler, Dana Stewart, Dan Kainz,

and Bob Emser. Host sites include George E. Michael Inc., Union

Square, New Hope Solebury Library, the Wedgwood Inn, New Hope

Historical Society, Golden Door Gallery, and New Hope Mule Barge. Show

continues through April 30.

Riverbank Arts, 19 Bridge Street, Stockton, 609-397-9330. Works in

bronze by sculptor Kate Brockman are featured in a solo show. Born in

Staffordshire, England, Brockman earned her degree from West Chester

University and a certificate from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine

Arts. Her massive, life-size pieces are modeled in clay before being

cast in bronze by the artist. Monday to Wednesday, noon to 5 p.m.;

Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.;

Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. To January 31.

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Art In Trenton

Grounds for Sculpture, 18 Fairgrounds Road, Hamilton, 609-586-0616.

Outdoors, the Fall/Winter Exhibition. In the Domestic Arts Building,

"Amazing Animal Exposition" features works by Botero, Butterfield,

Grausman, Otterness, Petersen, and Woytuk; Outstanding Student

Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Awards Exhibition. Also, "Focus

on Sculpture 2004," an annual juried exhibition of photographs by

amateur photographers. Juror Karen Chigounis selected 33 works for

exhibit from 233 submitted for the show. Also, new additions outdoors

by Seymour Ikenson, Wendy Lehman, Linda M. Ogden, Dorothy Ruddick, and

Autin Wright. Shows on view to April 18.

New hours for 2004: Open Tuesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.,

November to March; open Tuesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., April to

October. Sunday is Members Day (non-members pay $12 per person).

Closed Mondays except Labor Day and Memorial Day. Closed Thanksgiving

Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.

Adult admission is $5 Tuesday to Thursday; $8 Friday and Saturday;

with discounts for students, seniors, and children. Admission $12 per

person on Sundays. Individual memberships start at $70.

The Old Barracks Museum, Barrack Street, Trenton, 609-396-1776.

"Furniture, Curios and Pictures: 100 Years of Collecting by the Old

Barracks," a new display in the exhibit gallery is included in the

tour admission fee. Open every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; the last

tour is at 3:50 p.m.

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Area Museums

American Hungarian Foundation Museum, 300 Somerset Street, New

Brunswick, 732-846-5777. "Everywhere a Foreigner and Yet Nowhere a

Stranger," an exhibition of 19th-century Hungarian Art from the Salgo

Trust for Education. Museum hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to

4 p.m.; and Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m. $5 donation. To April 25.

Hunterdon Museum of Art, 7 Lower Center Street, Clinton, 908-735-8415.

"2004 Members Exhibition" selected by painter Christopher Koep of

RVCC. Also "Surface: Recent Work by Susan Dry Boynton." Museum hours

are Tuesday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. To February 29.

New Jersey State Museum, 205 West State Street, Trenton, 609-292-6464.

Open Tuesday to Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 5

p.m. Closed Mondays and state holidays.

James A. Michener Art Museum, Union Square Complex, Bridge Street, New

Hope, 215-340-9800. New Hope satellite facility opens with the

relocation of the popular, interactive multi-media show, "Creative

Bucks County: A Celebration of Art and Artists," featuring 19th and

20th century painters, writers, composers, and playwrights.

Also on exhibit, "Pennsylvania Impressionists of the New Hope School."

Museum admission $6 adults; $2 youth. Gallery hours (effective to

March 29): Open Thursday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 11

a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Sunday noon to 5 p.m. Closed Monday to Wednesday.

Admission $4.95; discounts for students, seniors, and children.

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

215-340-9800. "Alan Magee: Three Decades of Paintings, Sculpture and

Graphics," a retrospective show curated by Bruce Katsiff and organized

in cooperation with the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland, Maine ($4

additional fee). To January 25. Admission $6 adults; $3 students.

Winter hours: Tuesday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Saturday 10

a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday noon to 5 p.m. Closed Monday. Museum

admission $6 adults; $3 students and children.

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Auditions

Philomusica Choir seeks volunteer singers. Rehearsals are Monday

evenings, Unitarian Society, East Brunswick. Auditions are Monday,

January 19, from 7 to 10 p.m. Call 888-744-5668 for appointment or

visit www.philomusic.org.

Arcadian Chorale seek singers for spring concert, "One Hand, One

Heart," featuring Faure’s "Requiem," Bernsteins’ "Chichester Psalms,"

and choruses from "West Side Story." Auditions are Tuesday, January

20, and Tuesday, January 27, at the First Presbyterian Church,

Matawan. Call Marina Alexander at 732-583-4007 or visit

www.arcadianchorale.org.

Bridge Players seek five men and one woman for a May show.

Auditions are Monday and Tuesday, February 9 and 10, 7 p.m., at Christ

Episcopal Church, 638 Parry Avenue, Palmyra. For information call

Kelly O’Donnell at 609-267-01253 or visit

www.bridgeplayerstheatre.com.

Paper Mill Summer Musical Theater Conservatory has auditions for

aspiring theater artists between the ages of 10 and 18, on Saturdays,

February 7 and 14, Millburn Middle School, Old Short Hills Road,

Millburn. Call 973-379-3636, ext. 2133 for appointment.

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Participate Please

The Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition in New Hope has applications for

the 2004-2005 juried exhibition open to sculptors working in any media

suitable for outdoor exhibition. Deadline for applications is February

20. Works will be on exhibit for approximately 11 months and accepted

artists will be paid a stipend. All works must be available for sale.

More information is at NewHopeArtsInc.org. Applications are also

available at the New Hope Borough Hall, New Hope Visitor’s Center, and

Riverbank Arts in Stockton, or call 215-862-3396.

The West Windsor Arts Council offers "Another Chance to Dance:

African Rhythms and Traditions," a workshop on West African dancing

for women and men from age 10 to adult. The event will be held on

Sunday February 1, from 10 a.m. to noon, at the Princeton Dance and

Theatre Studio, 116 Rockingham Row (Forrestal Village), Plainsboro.

Workshop will be taught by Lamine Thiam, a renowned dancer, drummer,

and teacher from Senegal who is also the choreographer and artistic

director of Bousso Dance Company. Cost for the class is $12 for

students (10-18 yrs); $15 for adults. No previous dance experience is

necessary, though a love for multi-rhythmic, complex, and energetic

dancing is highly recommended. To register, call 609-514-1600.

The Association of Commuting Students at Rider University will host

a crafts fair to aid children with cancer on Saturday, February 7,

from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Cavalla Room of the Bart Luedeke Center

on the Rider campus. Area crafters are invited to sell their wares at

the ACS fair that takes place is conjunction with "Up ’til Dawn," a

national student program to support research and treatment for

children with cancer. Table fees for crafters are $35 & $40. All

proceeds will be donated to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital in

Nashville, Tennessee. Fair coordinator is sophomore Perry Whiteley.

For information call ACS at 609-896-5377.

South Brunswick YMCA offers swim lessons for children with special

needs. Call Catherine Giordano at 732-329-1150 ext. 203 for

information.

Men Mentoring Men has started a new chapter for Hunterdon and Bucks

county residents. M3 provides opportunity for men to discuss

relationships, intimacy, careers, fathering, health, and aging. A $15

donation is requested at each meting. Call 908-707-0774 or visit

www.menmentoringmen.org.

Philomusica Choir offers a sight singing class for adults to

develop or improve their skills. Beginners, as well as those with some

experience, are welcome to register for th professionally taught class

given on Mondays from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Unitarian Society, East

Brunswick. The next eight-week class begins Monday, February 9. Fee of

$170.95 includes textbook. Register by February 2. Questions to

info@philomusic.org or 888-744-5668. Website: www.philomusic.org


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