Art in Town

Campus Arts

Art In Trenton

Art by the River

Area Museums

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This article by Nicole Plett was prepared for the January 22, 2003 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

In the Galleries

For some of us raised back in the 20th century, the

very sight of luscious-hued silks and cotton floss and exotic fabrics

makes us want to thread a needle and get to work. The Gallery at

Bristol-Myers

Squibb opened its 2003 exhibition season last week with "Hidden

Threads," a group show of textile art by six New Jersey artists,

and the show simply pulsates with color, vigor, and craftsmanship.

Soyoo Park Caltabiano, Nancy Staub Laughlin, Patricia Malarcher, Joy

Saville, Armando Sosa, and Erma Martin Yost, are the featured artists

in a show that curator Kate Somers was selected as an antidote to

the winter doldrums. "Hidden Threads" remains on view in the

corporate gallery through March 16.

Fabric in all its guises has long represented a woman’s creative

territory

(or ghetto, depending on your point of view). Yet in our post-Claes

Oldenburg world, the separation is no longer quite as rigid. Here

weaver Armando Sosa fulfills his role as the single male textile

artist

in the company of five women. A more significant distinction, however,

is the way "Hidden Threads" comprises both art that originated

in threads and textiles and art that has been translated from another

medium into textiles.

Unlike much art displayed on a two-dimensional surface, textile art

has an inherently three-dimensional personality. This derives from

the abundant textures of the materials employed, the peaks and valleys

of the seams of construction, and the accumulated layers of

embellishing

embroidery and applique. And there’s the tactile appeal and cloth,

quilt, and weaving; against all gallery conduct, these delicate works

seem to cry out to be caressed.

Weaving, tapestry weaving, needlepoint, pieced work, textile collage,

and quilted digital prints are all represented. Hardly concealed is

the skillful craft, commitment, time, and effort required for this

art form. Viewers will be hard-pressed to decide which among this

group could possibly be the most labor intensive of these exacting,

hands-on arts.

Patricia Malarcher’s "Dalai Series" of 2001, comprises 12

nine-inch-square textile elements, each encased in a Plexiglas box,

which are arrayed in three horizontal rows. Her notes indicate that

the work was inspired by memory — an odd meeting of ideas about

landlocked Mongolia during a sea-side artist’s residency on Long Beach

Island in 2001.

The work is notable for its color, bold geometry, striking symmetry,

and plethora of design elements which are tied, stitched, folded,

rolled, knotted, and sewn. Her symbolic imagery, presented in a

graduated

palette of dazzling hues and metallics, is further embellished with

beads, each carrying an individual letter, which spells out more

imagistic

terms: "shell," "beach," "water,"

"ocean."

The artist’s notes indicate that some of the elements of the

compositional

elements are remnants of Buddhist prayer cloths from Mongolia wrapped

around seashells. And the series’ progression of color, from deep

blues to lighter, more yellow tones, "reflects chromatic shifts

in the water, sky, and grasses" of the respective landscapes.

Joy Saville is also not a translator. The Princeton artist’s complex,

fragmented abstract pictures in cotton, linen, and silk have become

well known in the area. She describes her process as

"visceral;"

her aim is to capture a real moment she has experienced in space and

time into an expressionistic statement in color and texture. The show

includes her largest, mind-boggling creations, five-foot square

pictures

that move, change, and transform depending on the viewer’s distance

from its myriad tiny elements. Also on exhibit is a more contained

series of 28-inch square works from 1994 entitled "The Four

Seasons

that somehow enables us to get close enough to comprehend "the

lay of the land." Saville is makes the most of her fabrics’ capacity

to absorb and reflect light. When called for, she adds modern metallic

fabrics to her palette of smooth cottons, radiant silks, and nubby

linens.

Artist Armando Sosa, born and raised in the highlands of Guatemala,

is the son and nephew of weavers and has been involved in the craft

since boyhood. Now a virtuoso on the loom, his elegand wall hangings,

reminiscent of Asian scrolls, entail pictorial motifs from Mayan

sculpture

and drawing, European jacquard loom patterns, and Victorian

decoration.

Though they appear quite sedate, the weavings hold more emotional

content than is readily apparent. At the opening reception, Sosa

related

the autobiographical nature of one particularly engaging work

embellished

with a central panel and an image of a little boy in a cowboy hat

holding, at the end of a long, long string, a beautiful multi-colored

kite. The kite, he remembers, was made for him by his father. And

the rows of decorative elements along the top half of the weaving

depict the golden fireworks, statues of the Virgin Mary, and

traditional

Mayan dancers all of which met on the plaza of his home town.

Erma Martin Yost, an artist and art teacher from Jersey City, is

represented

by three strong works from her "Domestic Allegories" series

in which the decorative pleasures of the medium are reinforced by

witty and insightful subjects. Through the miracles of modern

technology,

Yost she fuses gorgeous figures by Renaissance fresco painters with

signal trappings of ordinary 20th-century women’s lives: the kitchen

colander, the cheese grater, the Singer sewing machine. These digital

collages are transferred onto fabric through heat process and

embellished

through needlework, another tribute to the "domestic saints"

that are her true subject.

"Hidden Threads" also features works by two painters who make

brave attempts to interpret their imagery into another medium with

only mixed results.

Soyoo Park Caltabiano has translated two watercolors — "Korean

Dancers" and "Modern Dancers" — into tapestry

weavings,

exhibited here alongside the originals. And while "Modern

Dancers"

is an impressive, dynamic weaving in its own right, neither weaving

succeeds in replicating or communicating the dynamism and joy of the

paintings.

Nancy Laughlin, who has six sets of works on exhibit, is noted in

the region for her big bold pastels on paper. These pastels, such

as "Candy Stripe and Kiwi" (1993), are tremendously appealing

for the way the artist creates unimagined forms and textures in the

pastel medium. Creating still life arrangements of fruit, together

with landscape photographs in tanks of water, Laughlin produces new

photographs which she translates into pastel drawings. The result

is a bold decorative statement that shimmers with sensuality and

mystery

not often associated with pastel.

Yet Laughlin’s pastels, so commanding in their silky soft contours,

feathered edges, and bracing blended colors, seem to lose much in

the translation to needlepoint. In fact the small "textile"

versions, exhibited side-by-side with the originals, seem suffocating

in their gridded vision, stiff, labored contours, and nubby surfaces

that have little connection to their free-spirited, underwater

inspirations.

— Nicole Plett

Hidden Threads, Gallery at Bristol-Myers Squibb, Route

206, Lawrenceville, 609-252-6275. A show of textile art by Soyoo Park

Caltabiano, Nancy Staub Laughlin, Patricia Malarcher, Joy Saville,

Armando Sosa, and Erma Martin Yost. Open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m.

to 5 p.m.; weekends, 1 to 5 p.m. Gallery will be closed on Presidents’

Day, Monday, February 17. Show runs to March 16.

Top Of Page
Art in Town

Chapin School, 4101 Princeton Pike, 609-924-7206. "At

Last,

Memory Yields," an exhibition of photography and mixed-media works

by artist and architect Christopher Becker. Open by appointment during

school hours. To February 7.

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 on the history

and creation of the canal, the life of death of its workers, and

recent

environmental and preservation issues. Open Tuesday to Sunday, noon

to 4 p.m.; through March.

Medical Center at Princeton, 253 Witherspoon Street,

609-497-4000.

Traditional and contemporary Chinese paintings by Seow-Chu See. A

member of the Garden State Watercolor Society, her work has been shown

in group and solo exhibits throughout the area. To March 19.

Princeton Jewish Center, 435 Nassau Street, 609-921-0100.

Landscapes

and floral works in watercolors, acrylic, and pastel by Phyllis

Lifschutz.

Open Monday to Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday and Sunday, 9 a.m.

to 3 p.m. Closed Saturdays. To January 26.

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Campus Arts

Princeton University Art Museum, 609-258-3788.

"Selected

Photographs from the Peter C. Bunnell Collection" (extended)

through

February 3. "The Arts of Asia: Works in the Permanent

Collection"

to June 30. 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.

Milberg Gallery, Firestone Library, Princeton University,

609-258-3184.

"Unseen Hands: Women Printers, Binders, and Book Designers,"

a Milberg Gallery exhibition curated by Rebecca Warren Davidson. To

March 30.

Bernstein Gallery, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson

School,

609-258-1651. Photographs by Larry Fink that highlight the Robert

Wood Johnson Foundation’s Community Health Leadership Program. Created

to recognize contributions of unsung health leaders across the country

to community health and health care, the show features Arlene

Goldsmith

of New Alternatives for Children and Reverend Kenneth Robinson M.D.

of St. Andrew African Methodist Episcopal Church. Open Monday to

Friday,

9 a.m. to 5 p.m. To January 24.

Princeton Theological Seminary, Erdman Hall Gallery, 20

Library

Place, 609-497-7990. "Pentimenti: A Decade of Paintings,"

an exhibition of magic realist works by Eileen Kennedy-Dyne inspired

by illuminated manuscripts of the 13th and 14th centuries. Open Monday

to Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Sunday 2 to 8 p.m. To January

24.

"Even though my style is undeniably linear, my work plays games

with space," says the artist. "I put figures and objects into

spaces that might suffocate a live person, leaving them barely room

to breathe."

Gallery at Mercer County College, Communications Center,

West

Windsor, 609-586-4800, ext. 3589. "Organics," a shared show

of recent works by Illia Barger and Jim Toia. Barger is showing her

luminous, large scale paintings of the interiors of various fruit.

Toia is exhibiting sculptures and prints influenced by his study of

mushrooms. The artists, who have never met before, will also create

a collaborative installation in the gallery. Gallery hours Tuesday

to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Wednesday evenings 6 to 8 p.m.;

Thursday

evenings 7 to 9 p.m. To February 20.

"Although Barger and Toia use vastly different media in creating

their art," says curator Tricia Fagan, "they share an

intellectual

curiosity, an artistic elegance, a serious playfulness, and a deeply

personal relationship to nature and the environment. These

characteristics

are much present in their work, which engages the viewer on a very

immediate level, then continues to draw you in."

Zimmerli Art Museum, George and Hamilton streets, New

Brunswick,

732-932-7237. Exhibitions include: "Paul Signac: A Collection

of Watercolors and Drawings"; to January 19. "Russian Cover

Design, 1920s to 1930s: The Graphic Face of the Post-Revolutionary

and Stalinist Periods"; to March 30. "Sergei Paradjanov Off

Camera: Collages, Assemblages, and Objects," to March 16.

Open Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Saturday and

Sunday,

noon to 5 p.m. Spotlight tours every Sunday at 2 and 3 p.m. Admission

$3 adults; under 18 free; and free on the first Sunday of every month.

Top Of Page
Art In Trenton

Ellarslie, Trenton City Museum, Cadwalader Park,

609-989-3632.

Three-man show features woodcuts and intaglio prints by Wendell

Brooks,

and sculpture by Johnson Atelier staff member Michael Gyampo, and

his son, Michael Gyampo Jr. Open Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3

p.m.; Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m. To February 23. @LT = Extension

Gallery ,

60 Sculptors Way, Mercerville, 609-890-7777. "Something Old,

Something

New," an exhibition of bronze sculpture by Doug DeGaetano. Opening

reception is Saturday, January 18 for show that runs to February 6.

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

6.

Grounds for Sculpture, 18 Fairgrounds Road, Hamilton,

609-586-0616.

Fall/Winter Exhibition. In the Museum, new work by glass artist Dale

Chihuly, to April 6. In the Domestic Arts Building "Focus on

Sculpture

2003," an annual juried exhibition of photographs by amateur

photographers.

Juror is Hope R. Proper of the Perkins Center for the Arts. On view

to April 6. Also sculpture by Doug DeGaetano, to February 6.

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. Individual memberships start

at $55.

The Urban Word, 449 South Broad, Trenton, 609-989-7777.

Solo

show by pop artist Karey Maurice and his exhibit of art from the

1980s,

including works on paper and canvas. To January 31.

Area Galleries

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

Shared

show features "Along China’s Silk Road" by David H. Miller,

and "October in Provence" by Ingeborg Snipes. Open Saturday

and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m., and by appointment. To February 9.

Hopewell Frame Shop, 24 West Broad Street, Hopewell,

609-466-0817.

Wildlife and nature photographs by Andrew Chen, a veteran nature

photographer

whose work has been published in "North American Birds." On

view to February 23. Free.

The Magic Moon Cafe & Junktiques, 9 North Main Street,

Pennington,

609-730-1010. Princeton artist Sergio Bonotto exhibits recent pen

and ink and watercolor prints of scenes in Princeton, Hopewell, and

Montgomery. Open Tuesday to Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; Thursday

5:30 to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. To January

31. Free.

Montgomery Center for the Arts, 1860 House, 124 Montgomery

Road,

Skillman, 609-921-3272. Princeton Photography Club’s second annual

juried exhibit of color and black and white photography. Subject

matter

includes classic, landscapes, portraits, and abstract. On view

Tuesdays

through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Sundays, 1 to 4 p.m. To

January

26.

Plainsboro Public Library, Plainsboro Road, 609-275-2897.

Exhibit

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

self-taught

photographer works in pharmaceuticals. To February 8.

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

Paintings

by Chinese artist Zheng Bixin. The 22 pieces of art for sale to

benefit

the West Windsor Arts Council’s community arts center in the former

Princeton Junction firehouse. To January 30.

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Art by the River

Artists’ Gallery, 32 Coryell Street, Lambertville,

609-397-4588.

Co-op gallery begins the new year with a show of small works of art

by all members. Paintings, drawings, sculptures, prints, and other

gift items are featured. Gallery hours are Friday, Saturday, and

Sunday,

11 a.m. to 6 p.m. To February 2.

Artsbridge Gallery, Canal Studios, 243 North Union Street,

Lambertville,

609-773-0881. Monthly group show features celebrity portraits by James

Lucas. Open Thursday to Sunday, noon to 6 p.m., to January 31.

Bell’s Tavern, 183 North Union Street, Lambertville,

609-397-2226.

"Simple Pleasures," a solo exhibition of etchings, engravings,

watercolor illustrations, pen and ink and tile by Carol Chernack.

Dinner served Monday through Thursday from 6 to 9:30 p.m. Fridays

and Saturdays to 10 p.m. Open Sundays, 5 to 9 p.m. To February 22.

Gratz Gallery, 30 West Bridge Street, New Hope,

215-862-4300.

Exhibition of new oils by Jan Lipes of Solebury. Gallery hours are

Wednesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 6 p.m. To

February 9.

Louisa Melrose Gallery, 41 Bridge Street, Frenchtown,

908-996-1470.

Holiday invitational show of gallery artists including Ed Baumlin,

Ed Bronstein, W. Carl Burger, Christian Corey, Nessa Grainger, Carol

Ross, Rhoda Yanow, and Frank Zuccarelli. Open Wednesday & Thursday,

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

noon to 5 p.m. To January 30.

Papier Sun Art Gallery, 39 North Main Street,

Lambertville,

609-397-9022. "Inverted Year: Winter Landscape Paintings of the

Delaware Valley." Susan Twardus, curator and contributing artist,

says the same light and scenery that drew the painters of the New

Hope art colony a century ago, continue to inspire. To January 31.

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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,"

recent additions to the collection featuring works by nine Hungarian

Americans who 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

Vincent

Korda. Museum hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and

Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m. $5 donation. Through April.

East Jersey Olde Towne Village, 1050 River Road,

Piscataway,

732-745-3030. National touring exhibit, "Preserving Memory:

America’s

Monumental Legacy," telling the stories behind America’s outdoor

sculptures.

Michener Art Museum, 138 South Pine Street, Doylestown,

215-340-9800.

"Randall Exon: A Quiet Light," a solo show by the

Philadelphia-area

painter and Swarthmore College professor; to April 27. "Retreating

to Ideal Environments," works from the New Hope colony by Daniel

Garber, Fern Coppedge, Robert Spencer, and others; to February 2.

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. Admission $6 adults; $3

students and children.

New Jersey Museum of Agriculture, College Farm Road and Route

1, North Brunswick, 732-249-2077. "Barnscapes: The Changing Face

of Agriculture in New Jersey," photographs of New Jersey barns

and farmlands, with 42 images by New Jersey landscape photographer

Louise Rosskam. To January 17. $4 adults, $2 children.


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