Art in Town

Also On View

Art On Campus

Art in the Workplace

Art In Trenton

To the North

Other Museums

Art by the River

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Published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on February 16, 2000. All rights


In the Galleries: Eleanor Burnette

The opportunity to jump into the art world came at

early age for Eleanor Burnette. As a seventh grade public school


in Chicago, she was selected for a Saturday art curriculum for gifted

children at the prestigious Art Institute of Chicago. For two years

she traveled to the museum alone — her first real taste of


— for lectures, projects, and hands-on study in the museum


Although back then art was just one of many competing interests, it

eventually became a central part of Burnette’s life.

A solo exhibition of Burnette’s sculpture and works on paper, a show

that covers four different cycles of her work, from figurative bronze

sculpted figures of the late 1980s to her most recent dynamic abstract

studies on paper, is on view at the Gallery at Merrill Lynch Financial

Center to April 27. Burnette gives a gallery talk on her work on


February 18, at 4:30 p.m.

Burnette’s work has been exhibited extensively, at juried exhibitions

that include the Mercer County Artists Annual and the Ellarslie Open,

at a solo exhibition at the Johnson & Johnson Corporate Gallery in

New Brunswick in 1991, and at a 20-year retrospective at Mercer County

College in 1997. Her works are included in the Janssen Pharmaceutica

Collection and various private collections.

"I was never encouraged to seek art as a profession, but I was

never discouraged either," says Burnette, who area book lovers

may know at her "day job" at Micawber Books on Nassau Street,

where she has provided well-informed assistance, off and on,


the 1980s and ’90s. After a stint at the Institute for Advanced Study,

she left the area for a time to live and work in Rhode Island, but

returned three years ago.

Born and raised in Chicago, her father was a businessman who, early

on, owned a popular nightclub on the South Side of Chicago. Later

he went into sales. Her mother, who had managed a top-flight


eventually gave that up for the household, Eleanor, and her two


As a child she enjoyed math (especially geometry) and science, as

well as languages. She was thinking pre-med when she went off to


but did not complete any academic training until her own son went

off to kindergarten. (He is now married and works for Airtouch, a

major telecommunications firm.) She graduated in fine arts at Chicago

State University in 1976 as an adult learner.

Burnette, who never took a traditional sculpture class

as an undergraduate, came to the medium through a ceramics course.

"I had a wrist injury that prevented me from learning to throw,

so I had to do hand-building instead. I remember so vividly the work

I wanted, stretching the clay medium to build forms. My instructor

told me, `You are a sculptor.’ She saw that was a possible direction

for me. It didn’t get clear to me until much later."

Arriving on the East Coast with her family in 1978, she spent one

semester at the New School in New York with Chaim Gross in a figure

modeling class. She then was accepted as an apprentice at the Johnson

Atelier Technical Institute of Sculpture, where she learned


and bronze casting from 1978 to 1980.

Complex but sturdy structures are the focus of Burnette’s abstract

and figurative work. Both sculpture and works on paper establish


and window-like vistas.

"I am an experimenter. I am spontaneous," she says. "I

don’t tend to do maquettes or drawings. I tend to start from an idea

I have in mind and go with what interests me."

In 1994 Burnette decided she wanted to study for an MFA, and the


year she moved to Rhode Island "to put myself in the way of


at her preferred school, the Rhode Island School of Design. She spent

18 months there, and although she did not enter the graduate program,

her work was exhibited at the Virginia Lynch Gallery, one of the


top galleries.

It was at this time that Burnette found herself driving a


rented truck through a major snowstorm from Rhode Island to Mercer

County College to deliver her work for her 20-year retrospective show.

This proved a new turning point as the show was so well-received by

both the college and art community that she left with "the germ

of the idea of moving back."

Returning to the area three years ago, she re-joined the Micawber

staff. and found ample, affordable space in the renovated structure

that was once the Corona Cigar Factory in Trenton.

Burnette says art and a day job — be it at Micawber Books or


— are not mutually exclusive. "In a pragmatic way, Micawber

gives me the capability of making art. There’s also a kinship with

the humanities that a bookstore provides. From the start, I felt


to the art section. This was my community," she says.

"All aspects of my life are part of my art life. You don’t just

do the art, you have other responsibilities and relationships and

connections. It’s a matter of the whole view, of balancing each aspect

so they support each other."

— Nicole Plett

Eleanor Burnette, Merrill Lynch Financial Center,

800 Scudders Mill Road, Plainsboro, 609-282-3401. Gallery talk in

conjunction with a solo exhibition that remains on view to April 27.

Free. Friday, February 18, 4:30 p.m.

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Art in Town

Arts Council of Princeton, 102 Witherspoon Street,


In the WPA gallery, the ceramic work of Zac Adams, "The Sum of

Its Parts." To February 25. Gallery hours are Monday to Friday,

9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Pringle International Art, 8 Chambers Street,


"International Print Show" with abstract collographs by Brenda

Hartill, wood engravings by Peter Lazarov, and figurative etchings

by Max Werner. Gallery hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5

p.m. To February 26.

Stuart Country Day School, Norbert Considine Gallery,

1200 Stuart Road, 609-921-2330. Faculty exhibition features


Deborah Land, printmaker Madelaine Shellaby, and painter Mary Vaughan

in a group exhibition, "Outlook: Views of Nature." To February


Williams Gallery, 8 Chambers Street, 609-921-1142.


Art and Technology in the 21st Century: Leaders of Innovation,"

featuring artists George Cramer, Susumu Endo, and Roman Verostko.

To February 26. Gallery hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to

5 p.m.

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Also On View

The Artful Deposit, 201 Farnsworth Avenue, Bordentown,

609-298-6970. Hanneke de Neve’s "Love & Romance," an


of expressive works in oil, gouache, monotype, fiber, and collage.

To March 15. Gallery hours are Thursday through Saturday, 4 to 9 p.m.

Lawrenceville School, Gruss Center of Visual Arts,


609-620-6026. "The Hand of Man: Prehistoric Cave Art," an

exhibit of silkscreen prints by Douglas Mazonowicz. To February 29.

Montgomery Cultural Center, 1860 House, 124 Montgomery

Road, 609-921-3272. "Out of the Blue," an exhibition of


by the physically challenged artists working with Artistic Realization

Technologies’ artist Tim Lefens. To February 26. Tuesdays to


10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Morpeth Gallery, 18 North Main Street, Pennington,


Recent paintings by Tomi Urayama. Floral and other natural motifs

are prominent in Uraya’s work, revealing her training as a kimono

painter in Japan. Her latest series is thematically linked by a


element surrounded by flowing fabric. To February 26. Gallery hours

are Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Plainsboro Public Library, 641 Plainsboro Road,


"Through the Eye of a Needle: The Lap Quilts of Mo Fleming."

In her quilting, Fleming, former chair of Plainsboro’s Human Relations

Committee, continues a family tradition that spans generations. To

February 29.

Rider University Art Gallery, Lawrenceville, 609-895-5464.

"Grinding the Wind," an exhibition of kinetic sculpture of

Philadelphia artist Alison Kuby Netz, curated by James Dickinson,

Rider professor of sociology. Gallery hours are Monday to Thursday,

2 to 8 p.m.; Friday to Sunday, 2 to 5 p.m. To March 4.

Stony Brook Millstone Watershed, 31 Titus Mill Road,


609-737-7592. "Small Works of Nature," a juried group show

on natural themes. To March 25.

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Art On Campus

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


Contemporary Art by African-American Artists," works in all media

drawn primarily from the permanent collection. The paintings, prints,

photographs, and sculpture by such contemporary black artists as


Basquiat, Mark Bradford, Robert Colescott, Sam Gilliam, Lyle Ashton

Harris, Margo Humphrey, Jacob Lawrence, Adrian Piper, Lorna Simpson,

and Carrie Mae Weems. Two of the photographers represented, Accra

Shepp and Carla Williams, are Princeton graduates. To March 5.

Also "Transfer: Large Format Prints of the 1960s and 1970s"

to April 2. 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.

Bernstein Gallery, Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton


609-258-4790. Princeton Photography Club, an exhibition of more than

60 color and black and white prints by 18 area photographers, members

of the club founded in 1983. To February 26.

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Art in the Workplace

Capital Health System, Mercer Campus, 446 Bellevue Avenue,

Trenton, 609-394-4121. A group show featuring the works of the art

faculty of Trenton public schools. Show continues to March 2.

Sarnoff Corporation, 201 Washington Road, 609-734-3178.

A photography series by Sarnoff staff member Colleen Marks Schlaffer

that feature the American flag in eye-catching and surprising


Weekdays, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., to February 18.

"For four years I’ve been taking pictures of the patriotic,


and sometimes silly things Americans do to display our flag,"

says Schlaffer. "In other countries people don’t display their

flags in the personal ways we do. They mostly hang their flags on

official buildings. I’m trying to show how, in a truly democratic

way, the American flag belongs to the American people."

Stark & Stark, 993 Lenox Drive, Building 2, Lawrenceville,

609-895-7307. "Looking at the World: Work by Barry Snyder and

William H. Selesnick." To March 10. Exhibit is open Monday to

Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Summit Bancorp Gallery, 301 Carnegie Center at Route 1,

609-799-6706. The fourth annual group show curated by DeLann Gallery,

Plainsboro. More than 90 works by African-American artists as well

as black artists from origins as diverse as Haiti, Ghana, and Uganda,

are featured in media that include oil, acrylic, photography,


and ceramics. Also, art and artifacts from the African continent.

To April 7. Exhibition is open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

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Art In Trenton

Ellarslie, Trenton City Museum, Cadwalader Park,


"Picture Trenton," a major exhibition of art in all media

with views of Trenton as the subject, co-sponsored with Artsbridge,

Artworks, and TAWA. To February 20. Museum hours are Tuesday through

Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Sunday 2 to 4 p.m.

Extension Gallery, 60 Ward Avenue, Mercerville,


"Transcendence," an exhibition of recent works by Puerto Rican

sculptor Castanera. On view is a series of bronze and clay sculptures

that map his artistic journey, dedicated to his mother who died when

he was four years old. He is a staff member of the Johnson Atelier

Technical Institute of Sculpture. Gallery hours are Monday to


10 a.m. to 4 p.m. To March 2.

Castanera’s work embodies his exploration of an afterlife. His art

masquerades the tragedy of death by enticing the senses with beautiful

forms that intrigue the living. His elegant and primitive designs

are influenced by Egyptian, Greek, and prehistoric art, as well as

Gothic, Art Deco, African, and Indian sculpture.

Grounds for Sculpture, 18 Fairgrounds Road, Hamilton,

609-586-0616. Fall-Winter Exhibition. In the Museum and Domestic Arts

Building, "Beverly Pepper," one-artist show. On the mezzanine,

a thematic photography show, "Focus on Sculpture." Shows


to April 16. Gallery hours are Thursday through Saturday, 10 a.m.

to 4 p.m., and by appointment.

New additions to the 22-acre landscaped sculpture park include works

by Michele Oka Doner, David Hostetler, J. Seward Johnson Jr.,


Leiro, John Martini, and Joseph Menna. The park is on the former state

fairgrounds site, with indoor exhibitions in the glass-walled, 10,000

square foot museum, and renovated Domestic Arts Building.

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

609-292-6464. "Unseen Treasures: Imperial Russia and the New


an exhibit of historic treasures of the Russian empire. The dazzling

collection of 300 art objects and artifacts from Russian’s famed State

Historical Museum and State Archive is displayed in five historical

settings. Show remains on view through April 16. Admission $10 adults;

$8.50 seniors and students; $6 children. Advance ticket purchase at

800-766-6048 or online at Exhibit is

open Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m. to

6 p.m. Closed Christmas and New Year’s Day.

The dazzling collection of over 300 art objects and artifacts from

Russia’s famed State Historical Museum and the State Archive are being

seen for the first time outside the Russian Museum since its recently

completed 10-year renovation.

The exhibition takes the visitor on a unique journey beginning with

the formation of the Russian American Company in 1799 and spanning

a period of 200 years and 6,000 miles. From the Imperial Court of

St. Petersburg through the Russian winter in Siberia to the New World

of Alaska and Northern California and back to Moscow for the


of Alexander II, the exhibit tells an adventurous story of heroism,

romance, and spiritual enlightenment through the experiences of real

people who shaped Russian-American relations in the 18th and 19th


Also, "Making Our Own Way: Celebrating the Spirit", an exhibit

of 20 works by the Ebony Rainbow Quilters of South Jersey, to April

2. On extended view: "Dinosaur Turnpike: Treks through New


Piedmont"; "Amber: The Legendary Resin"; "The Moon:

Fact & Fiction."

Rhinehart-Fischer Gallery, 46 West Lafayette, Trenton,

609-695-0061. New work by Afi Toro, Michel Mockers, Anna Neis, Igor

Naskolov, Joseph Menna, Idaherma Williams, Anne Boysen, Ruth Laks,

Susan Weiss, Thom Reaves, Susan Tang & Harry Georgeson, to March 5.

Gallery hours are Wednesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday,

noon to 5 p.m.

Top Of Page
To the North

Museum of the American Hungarian Foundation, 300 Somerset

Street, New Brunswick, 732-846-5777. "The Hungarian Spark in


an exhibit highlighting Hungarian contributions to the arts, sciences,

humanities, commerce, religious and civic life in America. Extended

to February 27. Museum hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4

p.m.; Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m. $3 donation. Museum hours are Tuesday to

Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m. $3 donation.

Raritan Valley College, Route 28, North Branch,


"A Drop in the Bucket," a group exhibition featuring large

installation works by Ann Tsubota, Don Kennell, Bill Macholdt, Sam

Larson, and Peter Duffin on a millennial theme. The show is


by a digital music composition by Gary Di Benedetto titled "A

Drop in the Bucket." To February 24. Gallery is open Monday, 3

to 8 p.m.; Tuesday and Thursday, noon to 3 p.m.; and Wednesday,

1 to 8 p.m.

Collaborators Ann Tsubota and Don Kennell have created a piece that

includes 1,000 porcelain bowls, each numbered with a year.


are five large hammers made by Don Kennell. Both elements allude to

the idea of work, civilization, and human endeavor.

Zimmerli Art Museum, George and Hamilton streets, New

Brunswick, 732-932-7237. "The Enduring Figure, 1890s to 1970s:

Sixteen Sculptures from the National Association of Women


Show continues to March 12 when the museum closes for renovation,

through mid-October. Museum hours are Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m.

to 4:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. Free.

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Other Museums

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


215-340-9800. "The Jazz Age in Paris, 1914 to 1940," a


exhibit from the Smithsonian that describes the heady expatriate scene

in Paris between the wars. To April 2. Also, "Let Children Be

Children: Lewis Hine’s Crusade Against Child Labor," an exhibition

of historic photographs from the early 20th century, to February 27.

Website: Museum

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

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. $5 adults; $1.50 students; children free.

Also on view, an exhibition of figurative outdoor sculpture by


artist Barry Johnston, to March 5; and "Recent Gifts: 19th and

20th-Century Photographs from Alexander Novak and Family," to

February 27.

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Art by the River

Coryell Gallery, 8 Coryell Street, Lambertville,


The 20th annual juried exhibition, "Lambertville and the


Area," sponsored by the Lambertville Historical Society.


include Robert Beck, Barbara G. Watts, Bryan Fisher, Tom Chesar,


Augustine, and Robert Sakson. Juror was artist Pat Martin. To March

19. Gallery is open Wednesday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Howard Mann Art Center, 45 North Main Street,


609-397-2300. A show of Charles Fazzino’s whimsical, three-dimensional

paper constructions on big subjects that include New York,


sports, and the law. To February 28. Open Wednesday through Sunday,

noon to 5 p.m.

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