Art in Town

Campus Arts

Area Museums

Art by the River

Art In Trenton

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This article by Pat Summers was prepared for the July 17, 2002 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

In the Galleries

A-tisket, a-tasket, a green and yellow basket."

If that musical nursery rhyme sums up basketry for you, trip over

to the Stony Brook Gallery, where nearly 90 hand-woven baskets are

displayed, none of them green and yellow. Together, they have a powerful

and pleasing impact. Individually, many of them have surprising uses

and fascinating origins.

And most of this lore springs from the exhibition’s curator, Martha

Mulford-Dreswick, who makes baskets herself, teaches basket weaving,

and talks about it all in a lively and informed way. Dreswick drew

from eight past and present basket weaving students and her own work

for the show at the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association that

runs through Saturday, August 17. Dreswick is also teaching two day-long

workshops during the show’s run, the next one scheduled for Saturday,

July 20.

The gallery, part of the Buttinger Nature Center’s multi-purpose room,

if filled with baskets, most are in shades of brown, often verging

toward darks. Some include hand-dyed parts, commonly green or blue,

and a few have canvas, or "webbing" straps and trim. Almost

all are made of wood strips, most with red or white oak handles. And

that’s where the similarities end.

Within the range of both traditional and decidedly non-traditional

basket uses — think of our CDs, mail, and newspapers — there’s

a great deal of individuality and versatility here. Barbara Rosati,

for instance, embellishes the lid of her large brown ash basket with

"Mohawk curls" that Dreswick says are "strictly cosmetic."

Competing with Shaker basket makers, Mohawk Indians had devised these

curls to make their baskets more attractive.

Lynn Ebling’s "Melon Basket" is appealingly shaped like a

large cantaloupe, and like Carol Nofziger and Barbara Bradsell, she

has produced a "traditional bun basket," hers very intricately

worked in multi-tones and textures. Named for what it resembles, not

what it might hold, this gracefully rounded basket with a center divide

goes by various names around the country; Dreswick says that "buttocks

basket" is only one of them.

Probably the most open-weave style is illustrated in Harriet Stuart’s

"Shaker Cheese Basket," a shallow, rounded piece facilitating

air circulation. Emilia Tosic-DiSanto is one of those who shows her

version of a "Cat Head Basket," which Dreswick says is a Shaker

style whose bottom shape suggests a cat’s head in silhouette.

Helen Schwartz has a dozen baskets on display, including a couple

made with coated newspaper strips and one — the only piece here

not made of wood or wood-derivative — woven from speaker wire.

Schwartz also employs decorative black beads and comparatively bright

colors. Ireen Miller’s three entries all bear "Nantucket"

names: an oval tray and two lidded baskets.

The perfect seasonal basket, Dreswick’s own "Flower Gathering

Basket with White Oak Handles," a shallow, curvy, oblong affair,

seems the perfect vessel for blooms of many colors. Without a single

stem in sight, it nevertheless suggests sunbonnets, white eyelet pinafores

over gingham, and sweet summer scents.

Dreswick often makes sizable baskets, such as her capacious storage

and toy containers. Her "Hickory Bass Bark Fruit Basket" also

illustrates why some baskets can become family heirlooms. So strong

is the hickory wood — so briefly malleable, so quickly rock-like

— that a basket must be made within 12 hours of cutting down the

tree. After that, "You could run over it with a truck and not

be able to break it," says Dreswick, recounting the frantic haste

she remembers from one experience of hickory basket-making.

If you harvest your own wood and carve your handles, you’re a "basket-maker,"

she says, while "basket weavers" are those who work through

the process of producing baskets from materials provided by others.

And that can be complicated enough: it starts at the bottom, with

either a flat wood base or a woven one (as with the cat head basket),

and moves up, until the rim can be lashed onto the top of the basket.

Stony Brook’s "gallery" consists of the walls and open spaces

of a large room filled with tables and chairs — an area that’s

also used for staff training and workshops, besides housing "Sally,"

an active red-eared turtle, in a tub of water. Be forewarned: it can

be a frightfully hot and humid place in the summer. There is no air

conditioning and during a visit in early July, three open windows

produced no moving air to speak of. Such a climate can give new meaning

to the notions of being a "basket case" and "going to

hell in a hand basket." But if you want to see these estimable

baskets, my best advice is to dress lightly and carry a big flask.

— Pat Summers

A Gathering of Baskets, Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed,

31 Titus Mill Road, Pennington, 609-737-7592. Day-long basket weaving

workshop taught by Martha Mulford Dreswick, curator of the current

exhibition, "A Gathering of Baskets." Preregister, $65. Galley

hours are Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., for the exhibit that

runs to August 17. Saturday, July 20, 9:30 a.m.

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Art in Town

Marsha Child Contemporary, 220 Alexander Street, 609-497-7330.

"Enigmas," the annual summer group exhibition of paintings,

drawings, sculpture, and prints by an international stable of artists.

Show highlights artists who have joined the gallery over the past

six months, a group that includes Ruslan Vashkevich, Piet Peere, and

Manuela Holban. Gallery hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 10:30 a.m.

to 5:30 p.m. To July 26.

Historical Society of Princeton, Bainbridge House, 158

Nassau Street, 609-921-6748. "From Tow Path to Bike Path: Princeton

and the Delaware and Raritan Canal," an exhibition that looks

at the history and creation of the canal, the life of death of its

workers, and more recent environmental and preservation issues. Open

Tuesday to Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. Show runs to March, 2003. Free.

SweeTree Gallery, 286 Alexander Street, 609-934-8665.

Family an exhibition featuring Sara and Nicole Funke and their grandfather,

sculptor and retired DuPont research chemist Robert F. Drury. Twins

Sara and Nicole Funke were born in East Windsor in 1979 and have lived

in the area all their lives. "Funke Fantasies" is the subtitle

of the show featuring paintings of dreams and imaginative fantasies

of mermaids, dragons, and unicorns. Gallery hours Friday and Saturday,

1 to 6 pm, and "by chance or by appointment."

Triumph Brewing Company, 138 Nassau Street, 609-924-7855.

Jazz and celebrity paintings by James Lucas of Cranbury. Opening reception

is Tuesday, July 9, from 6 to 9 p.m., for the show that runs to September


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Campus Arts

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

Deities, and Sages in Chinese Painting," to September 29. "The

Peter C. Bunnell Collection," to September 1. "American Drawings

and Watercolors: Gifts of Leonard L. Milberg," a collection of

23 works on paper, to July 21. "Japanese Woodblock Prints,"

a 16-print survey from Suzuki Harunobu (1725) to Hiroshige (1850s),

to September 1. "Guardians of the Tomb: Spirit Beasts in Tang

Dynasty China," to September 1. Open Tuesday through Saturday,

10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday 1 to 5 p.m. Free highlights tours every

Saturday at 2 p.m.

Firestone Library, Milberg Gallery, Princeton University,

609-258-3184. "Heroic Pastorals: Images of the American Landscape."

Gallery hours are Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday and

Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.

Rider University Art Gallery, Student Center, Route 206,

Lawrenceville, 609-896-5168. Annual exhibition of works by Rider students

in all mediums. Gallery hours are Monday to Thursday, 2 to 8 p.m.;

Friday to Sunday, 2 to 5 p.m. To August 11.

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Area Museums

American Hungarian Foundation Museum, 300 Somerset Street,

New Brunswick, 732-846-5777. "From the Old World to the New World,"

an exhibit of recent additions to the museum collection featuring

works by nine Hungarian Americans, all of whom emigrated to the U.S.

between 1920 and 1957. Artists are Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Bertha and

Elena De Hellenbranth, Sandor Sugor, Emil Kelemen, Willy Pogany, Tibor

Gergely, Zoltan Poharnok, and Vicent Korda; to April, 2003. Museum

hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Sunday, 1 to

4 p.m. $5 donation.

Cornelius Low House Museum, 1225 River Road, Piscataway,

732-745-4177. "Uncommon Clay: New Jersey’s Architectural Terra

Cotta Industry," an exhibition of artifacts and written and oral

histories of New Jersey’s once booming architectural ceramics industry.

Open Tuesday through Friday, 1 to 4 p.m.; and Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m.

On view to May 30, 2003.

Ellarslie, Trenton City Museum, Cadwalader Park, 609-989-3632.

TAWA Invitational 1, selected by Donna Gustafson of the Hunterdon

Museum of Art. Selected artists are Gail Bracegirdle, Diana Kurz,

Diane Levell, Diane Pastore, and Sarah Stengle. Museum hours are Tuesday

through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m. To July 28.

Hunterdon Museum of Art, Lower Center Street, Clinton,

908-735-8415. "Post-Systemic Art," current trends in geometric

abstraction. Also, "Meghan Wood: Recent Sculpture," constructions

in fabric, buttons, and thread. Tuesday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

To September 15.

Michener Art Museum, 138 South Pine Street, Doylestown,

215-340-9800. "Michael A. Smith: Landscapes," an exhibition

of 13 works from the recent acquisition of 40 prints by the self-taught

Bucks County photographer. 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. $6 adult; $3 student. To October 6.

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

609-292-6464. "River of Leisure: Recreation Along the Delaware,"

to November 3. "Cruising Down the Delaware: Natural History You

Can See," an introduction to New Jersey’s natural features by

way of the historic waterway, to November 10. Museum hours are Tuesday

through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.; Sunday noon to 5 p.m.

Also: "American Indians as Artists: The Beginnings of the State

Museum’s Ethnographic Collection," to September 15. "A Decade

of Collecting, Part 1," to January 5.

On extended view: "Art by African-Americans: A Selection from

the Collection;" "New Jersey’s Native Americans: The Archaeological

Record"; "Delaware Indians of New Jersey"; "The Sisler

Collection of North American Mammals"; "Of Rock and Fire";

"Neptune’s Architects"; "The Modernists"; "New

Jersey Ceramics, Silver, Glass and Iron;" "Historical Archaeology

of Colonial New Jersey;" "Painting of Washington Crossing

the Delaware."

New Jersey State Museum, Department of State, 225

West State Street, Trenton, 609-292-6464. "A Decade of Collecting,"

works from the museum’s archaeological, ethnographic, and natural

history collections. Open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., to

January 5, 2003.

Zimmerli Art Museum, George and Hamilton streets, New

Brunswick, 732-932-7237. "India: Contemporary Art From Northeastern

Private Collections," the largest exhibition of its kind to be

held in an American museum. Show features more than 100 works from

20 collections, with an emphasis on the post-independence era, 1947

to the present. Museum hours are Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to

4:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. Admission $3 adults;

under 18 free; museum is open free to the public on the first Sunday

of every month. To July 31.

Also, "In Context: Patterns in Contemporary Printmaking;"

"The Baltics: Nonconformist and Modernist Art During the Soviet

Era," the first major survey of modernist art produced in Estonia,

Latvia, and Lithuania during the post-Soviet period; "Efim Ladyzhensky;"

and "By All Means: Materials and Mood in Picture Book Illustrations."

All to July 31.

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Art by the River

Artists’ Gallery, 32 Coryell Street, Lambertville, 609-397-4588.

"Black, White, and Color" digital drawings and photographs

by Alan J. Klawans; plus "D.C. Sketches" by B.A. Keogh. Friday,

Saturday, and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. To August 4.

Atelier Gallery, 108 Harrison Street, Frenchtown, 908-996-9992.

"Outside In," an exhibit of recent landscape paintings by

Robert MaGaw and Mike Filipiak. Gallery is open Thursday to Sunday,

noon to 5 p.m. To August 12.

Coryell Gallery, 8 Coryell Street, Lambertville, 609-397-0804.

Annual summer group show highlights works by the nationally-recognized

Trenton-born artist and muralist Charles William Ward (1900-1962).

More than two dozen artists represented in the show that runs to September

8. Wednesday to Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.

Greene and Greene Gallery, 32 Bridge Street, Lambertville,

609-397-7774. Discoveries Exhibition featuring 100 jewelry pieces.

Monday to Friday, noon to 5 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to

6 p.m. To September 2.

In Rare Form Gallery, 14 Church Street, Lambertville,

609-397-1006. Paintings by Ed Adams and ceramics by Reinaldo Sanguino.

Thursday through Monday, noon to 5 p.m. To August 31.

jFour, Sweet Art Gallery, 18 Mechanic Street, New

Hope. New and collaborative works by Ursula Klostermyer, Toshiko Nishikawa,

Margo Noisten, and Emily Townsend. To July 31.

Louisa Melrose Gallery, 41 Bridge Street, Frenchtown,

908-996-1470. "Abstractions and Reflections," a group show

including Ed Baumlin, W. Carl Burger, Sonya Kuhfahl, Nadine and Nancy

Synnestvedt, and Barbara White. Wednesday & Thursday, 11 a.m. to 5

p.m.; Friday & Saturday, noon to 6 p.m.; and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.

To September 18.

Studio 233, 233 North Union Street, Lambertville, 609-397-0818.

"Boxes and Light," collaborative works by Jim Webb and Annelies

van Dommelen. Wednesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday 1 to

5 p.m. To July 31.

Area Galleries

Doral Forrestal, Gratella Restaurant, 100 College Road

East, Plainsboro, 609-452-7800. Solo exhibition or paintings and prints

by Plainsboro resident Donna Senopoulos. Through August 30.

Gallery 14, 14 Mercer Street, Hopewell, 609-333-8511.

"Markings" by DF Connors, and "Orchids" by Heinz Gartlgruber.

Gallery hours are Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, 1 to 5

p.m. Shows on view to July 21.

Hopewell Frame Shop, 24 West Broad Street, Hopewell, 609-466-0817.

"Watercolor Anarchy," an exhibition by Gail Bracegirdle

and students. Open Tuesday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday,

9 a.m. to 3 p.m. To August 17.

Montgomery Center for the Arts, 1860 House, 124 Montgomery

Road, 609-921-3272. "Hot Stuff and Cool Jazz," a Creative

Artist Guild exhibit that celebrates the scents, sounds, sights, desires,

passions, and memories of summertime. Participating members of the

guild include Jane Adriance, Susan Antin, Hetty Baiz, Dorothy Bissell,

Helen Gallagher, Connie Gray, Carol Hanson, Mary Kramarenko, Darlene

Prestbo, and Seow-Chu See. Tuesdays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 3

p.m.; Sundays 1 to 4 p.m. To July 23.

Morpeth Gallery, 43 West Broad Street, Hopewell, 609-333-9393.

A shared show of watercolors by Lambertville’s Barbara Osterman and

oil paintings by Pat Martin. Open Wednesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to

6 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. to July 20.

Parachute Modern Art Gallery, 10 South Pennsylvania Avenue,

Suite 208, Morrisville, 215-295-8444. Taylor Photo Corporate Exhibition,

work by William Taylor and staff members of Taylor Photo in Princeton.

Parachute is an artist-run gallery featuring innovative art in all

media. Gallery hours are Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday,

1 to 5 p.m. To July 20.

Printmaking Council of New Jersey, 440 River Road, North

Branch Station, 908-725-2110. "Artist to Artist: Berlin to New

Jersey," works by more than 25 artists of the 12 Months/12 Originals

Printmaking Collective of Berlin, Germany, and the Printmaking Council.

Wednesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday, 1 to 4 p.m.

To July 20.

West Windsor Library, North Post Road, 609-799-0462. Exhibit

of nature photography by Andrew Chen. Born in Hong Kong, Chen is a

self-taught photographer works in the pharmaceutical industry and

lives in Montgomery. To July 31.

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Art In Trenton

Extension Gallery, 60 Sculptors Way, Mercerville, 609-890-7777.

Sculpture by Rafia Mahli, now completing a two-year apprenticeship

at the Johnson Atelier. Monday to Thursday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Show

runs to August 1.

Mahli says her artwork is born of a process of constant questioning,

investigation, and experimentation. This situation often results in

a feeling of being literally "split" with multiple voices

to mediate. Mahli believes that art is an ideal forum in which to

speak of this universal condition.

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