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
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
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
— F.R. Rivera
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
The Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition in New Hope
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
needs. Call Catherine Giordano at 732-329-1150 ext. 203 for
Men Mentoring Men
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
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
Corrections or additions?
This page is published by PrincetonInfo.com
— the web site for U.S. 1 Newspaper in Princeton, New Jersey.