For area residents the sculptures of Seward Johnson are a familiar presence — after all they can be found in many communities around the region.
In many ways the works are an extension of Grounds For Sculpture’s “Seward Johnson: The Retrospective,” on view through Sunday, September 21.
While one can get a list of what is being shown at the park, the following serves as a quick self-guide to Johnson’s public sculptures, which serve as a taste of what awaits a visitor to the retrospective.
Ewing: “Life at a Proper Distance” and “No Mommy, That One” (New Jersey Library for the Blind, 2300 Stuyvesant Avenue).
Hamilton: “Confirming Predictions” (in front of municipal building on Greenwood Avenue); “Lunchbreak” (Veterans Park near Kuser Road); “Frustration” AKA “Hostage Observers” (Veterans Park near Klockner Road); “No Mommy, That One!” and “Bunnies Don’t Bite” (Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital); “Out to Lunch” (in front of Hamilton Township Library on Samuel Alito Drive); and the hitchhiker with a Grounds For Sculpture sign on Nottingham Way near Sculptor’s Way.
And on the Hamilton roadways leading from Route 295 to Grounds For Sculpture — called Art Along the Way — the following works are on view: the trio of 20-foot-tall figures based on a series of dance paintings by Pierre-Auguste Renoir:”A Turn of the Century,” “Time For Fun,” and “Whispering Close” (Sloan Avenue at Hamilton Train Station); the trio of 20-foot-tall musicians, “Los Mariachis” (Sloan Avenue at Hamilton Train Station); “Tooth” and “Comprehension” (Sloan Avenue and across from station); the 25-foot sculpture based on Grant Wood’s “American Gothic” painting: “God Bless America” (Sloan Avenue and Klockner Road); “It’s So Tall!” (the companion piece to “God Bless America”); “First Ride” (Klockner Road at East State Street); “Mr. Rat” (on Sculptor’s Way across from the entrance to Rat’s Restaurant).
Lawrence: “Adventure” (entrance sign at Eggerts Crossing Village, 175 Johnson Avenue).
Plainsboro: “Thank you, Dear,” entrance to Medical Arts Pavilion, University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro (UMCPP).
Princeton: “Christ” (Trinity Church on Nassau Street); “Newspaper Reader” (at Princeton Battle Monument park on Bayard Lane); and “Out to Lunch” (Nassau Street at Palmer Square); “Fishing” (Princeton Community Park).
Trenton: “The Briefing,” “First Case,” “On the Bench,” and (a work currently on display at GFS) “The Winner” (at the Hughes Justice Complex, 25 Market Street).
Other works — including “Spring” in front of the East Brunswick Library and “Magic Fountain” at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick — can be seen in towns from Hackensack to Atlantic City, making the current Johnson retrospective a regional and statewide celebration of the familiar.