Art in Town

Art On Campus

Art In Trenton

Art in the Workplace

To the North

Other Galleries

Art by the River

Corrections or additions?

Author: Pat Summers. Published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on January

19, 2000. All rights reserved.

Kenya’s Moments of Light & Shadow

In Darkness and Light," the theme of Kevin Patrick

Kelly’s solo exhibition at the Arts Council of Princeton, continuing

through Friday, January 28, could also describe the juxtaposition

of his vibrant paintings and assemblages with the gloomy New Jersey

rainy day visible and audible through WPA Gallery windows on the day

I visited. But "Reflections of Kenya" completes the show’s

title — and begins an enjoyable walk through about 20 works by

Kelly, mostly high-colored acrylic paintings, but a few


pieces too, and four preliminary color sketches.

Kelly visited Kenya late last summer, spending about a month in a

town called Maralal, where he lived with missionaries while teaching

painting to children and young adults from the region’s various


He returned with photographs of the landscape, animals, and people

he encountered in Kenya — the "Light" of the title —

and he says "Darkness" refers to the level of despair, a


of pervasive poverty, that he witnessed there.

Who could not love this "Under the Night Sky" scene: three

glow-in-the-dark zebras stand under saw-tooth palm fronds that fringe

a cobalt sky lit with random gold-blob stars, surrounded by bright

yellow banana bunches, surrealistically floating in air and on the

ground. This large painting is surrounded by a border of sienna-toned

wood placed inside the frame. Or "In The Footsteps of Giants,"

a ground of choppy green and blue brush strokes supports pink


with beaks at tree-leaf height, before a purple mountain range and

under an orange sky. Wood-surrounded also, this time in a red-orange

shade, "Footsteps" also illustrates another of Kelly’s


trademarks: text on the surface. In a contrasting shade, one word,

"Risen" appears in the orange sky.

The artist says the text he often includes in his paintings is not

meant to explain it, but to add another dimension. Accordingly, he

would not explain "Risen," wanting each viewer to interpret

it personally in regard to the image. (But it’s very clear that those

birds have, well, risen to reach the foliage. Kelly says he was


to learn that ostriches are so tall — 10 to 15-feet high, so you

could probably also say the birds have risen in his estimation.) In

one of his largest paintings, "A Voice Proclaimed," the words

"You are a glorious crown" appear over a left-to-right cloud

that dominates the canvas.

Blue tree leaves or trunks, purple mountains, orange skies — as

a colorist, Kelly is today’s Fauve, and welcome to him. His paintings

compel attention and suggest both childlike whimsy, in their colors

and simplified shapes, and a serious desire to convey the area of

Kenya and its people that he came to know. A slim photo album on hand

in the Arts Council’s WPA Gallery includes views of warriors in full

regalia whom Kelly encountered, and animals (some in the nearby


National Reserve), ranging from cows to giraffes and lions to zebras.

The net result is highly appealing.

For more conventional subject matter, though still handled with the

same vivacious palette, there’s "The Outward Rising,"


flowers on a yellow ground, then turquoise wood matting inside a


frame. "In the Course of the Day" shows a man, bent under

the burden borne on his back, walking diagonally along a row of banana

trees and away from a white house. On his right are striking,


trees. His crimson neckerchief provides a focal point from which to

roam around the picture.

"Of Vultures and Cows," an ominous-sounding combination, moves

Kelly’s paintings into the realm of collage, and extends out from

the wall in steps, starting with the black frame, than a cobalt


onto which is affixed a painting of trees, one topped with three


silhouettes. Three separate images of cows on white paper over torn

corrugated paper are placed on top of the "vulturescape."

The assemblage titled "Light and Heat" shows in capsule form

the basic means for making both: bunches of twigs. Centered in a white

ladder-like structure climbing the wall is a painting of a native

man, wrapped in deep blue, bending over. Fastened to the ladder above

and below him: a bunch of twigs. "Through Which My Wonder Comes

to Be" is a glass-doored cabinet with three inside shelves


in descending order, an easel with brushes, dried colors, and


paper; a crumpled shirt wholly speckled with multi-colored paint;

a pair of color-coordinated shoes — all evidently the artist’s

well-worn, well-used gear.

Kelly doesn’t paint en plein air, preferring instead

to work from memory, which he says "illuminates the


and makes his work more conceptual than perceptual. Some pictures

are derived from photographs or from his journals. Now a Brother of

the Congregation of the Metuchen Oratory of St. Philip Neri, Kelly

says, "My faith life plays a giant role in my paintings, and


is my ministry. I use it in the community to engage people in the

visual arts. All my paintings are offerings." He also works with

pediatric oncology patients at Robert Wood Johnson Hospital.

Although born in Maryland in the mid-’60s, Kelly grew up in Union

County, New Jersey, the fourth of five children. Neither parent was

artistic — his mother worked in retailing and his father was an

accountant with Western Electric — but they were


supportive of my art work," he recalls, and in their retirement,

became serious foreign-film buffs. Kelly earned a fine arts degree

from the School of Visual Arts, New York, and his younger brother

is a musician.

Always involved with art of some kind, Kelly also has music-making

and puppeteering in his background. He founded, played guitar, and

sang in bands while in high school, and beyond, making acclaimed CDs

and touring the U.S. and Europe with "Chicken Scratch." He

has also worked with the Bread and Puppet Theater of Vermont —

and has taught a few puppetry courses at the Arts Council, where he

has already had one solo show. Kelly fits the profile — emerging

artist, not widely exhibited — for those who show work in the

WPA Gallery, says the Arts Council’s Mark Germond. Besides that, he

adds, Kelly is great with people of all ages. (And shall we add



— Pat Summers

Arts Council of Princeton, 102 Witherspoon Street,


"In Darkness & Light: Reflections of Kenya," recent paintings

by Kevin Patrick Kelly. Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Continues

to January 28.

Top Of Page
Art in Town

The Gallery at Chapin School, 4101 Princeton Pike,


"On the Edge," chrome prints of slot canyons of the Southwest

by Ingeborg Snipes. Open by appointment during school hours, to



"Slot canyons are found in the high desert country," explains

Snipes, whose current work is based on photographs made in northern

Arizona and southern Utah. "Scant rainfall tends to come all at

once, creating flash floods. These course through the narrow canyons,

scouring the sandstone into the unusual shapes depicted."

Lawrenceville School, Gruss Center of Visual Arts,

Lawrenceville, 609-620-6026. "Striving Struggling,"

an exhibition of sculpture and related works by Elice Slafka. To


4. Gallery hours are Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; except

Wednesday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to noon.

Medical Center at Princeton, Witherspoon Street,


In the Merwick unit library: "Paintings of Fred and Jennie


to March 9. Part of proceeds benefit the medical center. Open 8 a.m.

to 7 p.m. daily.

Pringle International Art & Williams Gallery, 8 Chambers

Street, 609-921-9292. "Going Global: Contemporary fine art from

around the world spanning Princeton, New Jersey, to Reykjavik,


Princeton artists include Michael Berger, Jane Eccles, Richard Erdman,

and Robert Sakson; from farther afield, Tanya Kohn, Karolina


Salvatore Magazzini, and Mary Stork. To January 22.

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Art On Campus

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


Large Format Prints of the 1960s and 1970s," continues 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.

The permanent collection features a strong representation of Western

European paintings, old master prints, and original photographs.


of Chinese, Pre-Columbian Mayan, and African art are considered among

the museum’s most impressive. Not housed in the museum but part of

the collection is the John B. Putnam Jr. Memorial Collection of


outdoor sculpture, with works by such modern masters as Henry Moore,

Alexander Calder, Pablo Picasso, and George Segal located throughout

the campus.

Bernstein Gallery, Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton


609-258-4790. "Dreamscapes," an exhibition of paintings

by WWS alumna Alexandra Isaievych. Combining her passion for art with

an interest in public policy and economics, Isaievych has worked on

economic assistance programs in Ukraine, an experience that has


her conviction that "art which provides inspiration for reclaiming

the dignity of the human spirit is as essential as good economic


To January 31.

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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.

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 "The Modernists," an exhibition of gems from the


collection by Charles Demuth, Arthur Dove, Marsden Harley, Georgia

O’Keeffe, Alfred Stieglitz, Helen Torr, and others, to January 23.

"The Regionalists and Precisionists," with works by Thomas

Hart Benton, Charles Burchfield, Stuart Davis, Francis Picabia, and

George Ault, to January 30. On extended view: "Dinosaur Turnpike:

Treks through New Jersey’s Piedmont"; "Amber: The Legendary

Resin"; "The Moon: Fact & Fiction."

Rhinehart-Fischer Gallery, 46 West Lafayette, Trenton,

609-695-0061. "Art from 19th Century to the Present," plus

antiques and interior design. Gallery hours are Wednesday to Saturday,

10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.

Top Of Page
Art in the Workplace

Stark & Stark, 993 Lenox Drive, Building 2,


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.

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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. To January

31. 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.

Rutgers Center for Innovative Print and Paper, Mason Gross

School of the Arts Galleries, Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick,


ext. 838. Annual Fellowship Exhibition continues to February 11. Also,

a retrospective exhibition of works on paper by Juan Sanchez.

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. 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 Galleries

DeLann Gallery, Princeton Meadows Shopping Center,


609-799-6706. "Portraits in Other Objects" by Eric Montoya,

an artist who exhibits in Los Angeles and New York. The show features

oil portraits whose forms are comprised of other narrative elements.

To February 12. Tuesday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Friday, 11

a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Firehouse Gallery, 8 Walnut Street, Bordentown,


The gallery celebrates its fourth year and a new exhibition season

featuring 12 gallery co-op members presenting shows that change


Wednesday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Thursday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.;

and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Hopewell Frame Shop, 24 West Broad Street, Hopewell,


Witty three-dimensional constructions by Ted Crane continues through

February. Crane is a member of the Class of 1945 at Princeton and

a self-trained artist; he is publisher of the Begell House. Tuesday

to Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Main Street Gallery, Montgomery Center, Route 206,

609-683-8092. Featuring color and black-and-white photographs by Harry

Rubel who has been making photographs for 45 years. Also works by

Patrice Sprovieri, Wayne Mathisen, Annelies van Dommelen, and Susan

Setteducato. Also exhibiting Hsu Dan, Tom Chesar, Larry Chestnut,

Calvin Hart, Clem Fiori, Leslie Neumeyer, Leyla Spencer, Janet Landau,

Jacob Landau, Ellyn Gerberding, and Marge Levine. Monday-Friday, 10

a.m. to 6 p.m.; Thursday to 9; Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Montgomery Cultural Center, 1860 House, 124 Montgomery

Road, 609-921-3272. "Out of the Blue," new paintings by the

physically challenged artists working with Artistic Realization


the brainchild of artist Tim Lefens. Begun with students of the


School and Hospital, and now extended to five New Jersey facilities,

the artists use a laser pointer and an able-bodied "tracker"

to apply paint to canvas. The results, writes Susan Abdulezer, are

"canvases from students whose bodies are frozen, but whose minds

are volcanic." To February 26. Gallery hours are Tuesdays to


10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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


215-340-9800. "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:

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.

Top Of Page
Art by the River

Bell’s Union Street Restaurant, 183 North Union,


609-397-2226. Pastel landscapes by Julia Akers Gribbin, to January


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.

Riverbank Arts, 19 Bridge Street, Stockton, 609-397-9330.

Recent work by James Feehan is featured at the gallery that represents

100 area artists. Gallery hours Monday to Wednesday, noon to 5 p.m.;

Thursday & Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Friday & Saturday, 11 a.m.

to 7 p.m. To February 15.

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