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This article was published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on November 17, 1999. All rights reserved.
Portrait of a Newly Minted Artist
She speaks of her work with the fervor of the person
who has landed her dream job. Which is exactly what has happened,
finally, with fiber artist Carol Sara Schepps. Until a few years ago
— or May 20, 1993, to be exact — she was doing what she had
done for almost 20 years: designing and making custom clothing. When
one day she realized she was tremendously unhappy at this, she gave
herself permission to stop, immediately.
There’s no enthusiasm like that of a newly-minted artist doing what
she loves to do. Schepps enjoys all she does in her new career —
things like framing and taking photos of her work — and she is
learning to do still more, such as transporting pieces, and reaching
out to other artists for practical advice and support. Her exuberance,
and artistry, are on view in her exhibit, "Fabrications,"
at Doral Forrestal, Princeton, until January 3. An artist’s reception
is Sunday, November 21, 4:30 to 6 p.m.
Some time after dropping out of clothes-making, Schepps visited a
juried exhibition sponsored by Quilt San Diego, an organization dedicated
to quiltmaking as a fine art form. At once, she knew this was what
she wanted to do, and she set her sights on having her work accepted
in the next show, two years away. Then she set out to learn all about
the process, and proving to be a prophet with honor in her own country,
she was represented in "Visions," Quilt San Diego’s bi-annual
juried exhibition in 1998. Her art quilt, "Hammers," was one
of 80 finalists out of 900 entries. Last May, Schepps showed her work
at Snyderman/The Works Gallery, in Philadelphia.
Nearly 20 in number, Schepps’ works at the Forrestal are both abstract
and figurative — from landscapes to still lifes to a Cadillac.
She says she does whatever suits her fancy at a given time. Some pieces
are mounted on silk and handsomely framed, while others hang free
and look more like quilts — but like no quilt you ever saw before.
A sunset scene includes an appliqued sun that is then repeated in
watery reflections. The still life "Glassware" incorporates
an overlay of chiffon that effectively darkens the fabric shade under
it. Schepps’ "Perfume Bottles" are brilliantly prismatic,
suggesting in a way the provocative scents they may contain. And the
Cadillac? She saw a stylish image of one and thought it would be fun
to execute in cloth.
Whether "pictorial" or abstract, all these works include surface
stitching in myriad patterns — straight lines and curving curlicues
of all sorts that complement the shape of the fabric piece or of neighboring
colors. This stitching is Schepps’ final, finesse step. Some fabric
is left unstitched, except for its invisible connection to nearby
Not just because one of them is the largest piece in the show, but
because they suggest so much, Schepps’ abstract circle series are
particularly appealing. Any of them would win this viewer’s "If
I could have any one work in this show, this would be it" prize.
"Circles within circles" (within squares), are vivid and varied
reminders of the power of color in its myriad combinations. Although
Schepps has executed these circle pieces in a range of sizes, they
all sing the same siren song.
Early in the show sequence are a few irregularly shaped abstract works
in signature colors. Noting she can’t live with these bright hues
exclusively, the artist points out an occasional muted piece —
a vase of flowers in earth tones, or a study of glassware in shades
of gray and black. She is also showing two different takes on groups
of paint brushes: one in faceted black, white, and grays, and the
other, multi-colored. In both cases, fittingly, the brush bristles
are actually painted in.
The influence of her art training is evident in Schepps’ "Fabrications,"
and that, combined with her sewing machine savvy, conveys a spirit
of utter derring-do. When asked if she makes preparatory shape or
tonal sketches for her abstracts, she laughs merrily before describing
her piece-by-piece approach. The landscapes usually are preceded by
drawings with color notations.
A native of Morristown, where she was born in 1953, Schepps started
at Hofstra University as a math major — a nod to her father, a
Bell Labs engineer — and in 1976, she earned her BFA from Pratt
Institute. Schepps lives in Princeton Junction with her husband, Jonathan,
a Sarnoff engineer, and their two teenage children. In a recent feat
close to home, she designed costumes for the West Windsor-Plainsboro
High School marching band and made the drum majors’ uniforms.
Over the years, different areas of the Doral Forrestal site have been
used for art display — currently it’s back in the east lobby.
So now, a few of Schepps’ vivid abstract pieces serve as beacons for
the unfolding exhibition, brightening the quiet brick walls while
they’re at it. Art becomes the Forrestal.
— Pat Summers
100 College Road East, 609-452-7800. Artist’s reception for "Fabrications."
To January 3. Free. Sunday, November 21, 4:30 to 6 p.m.
"Collecting the World," Mollie Murphy’s mixed-media installation
show. To December 12. Gallery hours are Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to
"A Moment in Time," an international group exhibition of new
works by gallery artists includes Georges Mazilu. To December 5. Gallery
hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
watercolors by the Russian-born illustrator Gennady Spirin from his
new picture book, "Jack and the Beanstalk," re-told by Princeton
author Ann Beneduce. To November 30. Gallery hours are Tuesday to
Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and by appointment.
Pastels art show by Kathy Shumway-Tunney, to November 18. In the Merwick
Unit Library, landscapes and house portraits by Betty Hirschmann,
to December 9. Part of proceeds benefit the medical center. Open 8
a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.
Showing works by area artists 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. Also posters and limited edition etchings, lithographs, and
serigraphs. Hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Thursday
to 9 p.m.; and Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Road, 609-924-6700. Lore Lindenfeld’s, "A Journey in Fiber Art:
Design at Black Mountain College and Beyond." A small retrospective
that spans four phases of the fiber artist’s career: from design and
color studies for courses taught by Josef and Anni Albers at Black
Mountain College to Lindenfeld’s work in the fashion industry. More
recent works include woven wall pieces and multimedia fiber compositions.
To November 19.
"In Ascension," a show of recent paintings by Kevin Patrick
Kelly, to December 5.
1200 Stuart Road, 609-921-2330. "Mysteries," an exhibition
of sculpture by Peter E. Smith tracing his artistic odyssey through
the Mediterranean world. As part of the gallery theme of the millennium,
Smith’s sculptures in marble, limestone, wood, gold, and terra cotta
evoke the distant past. To CKTK.
Thomas George, a recent series of abstactions in oil and watercolor.
To November 20. Gallery hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to
5 p.m. Website at http://www.wmgallery.com.
Lear’s Greece," an exhibition of watercolors, sketchings, and
letters from the Gennadius Library of the American School of Classical
Studies in Athens, Greece. Also "The Trappings of Gentility: 19th-Century
British Art at Princeton." Both shows to January 2. Also, "Contemporary
Photographs, new acquisitions and photographs from the permanent collection;
to January 9. 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. Collections
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 20th-century
outdoor sculpture, with works by such modern masters as Henry Moore,
Alexander Calder, Pablo Picasso, and George Segal located throughout
"Art Faculty Biennial," group show featuring the works of
26 faculty artists. Media include painting, drawing, photography,
sculpture, glass, wood, and electronic imaging. To December 14. Gallery
is open Monday and Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Tuesday through Thursday,
9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m. to noon.
"Mercer County Photography Exhibition," an all-county show
juried by Susan Fenton. To December 8. Gallery hours are Monday through
Friday, noon to 3 p.m.; Thursday 7 to 9 p.m.; and Sunday, 1 to 3 p.m.
Described as a "must see" exhibition, the show comprises 40
pieces by 29 artists, selected from a total of 180 works submitted.
Selections include silver prints, color, hand-tinted black and white,
Polariod, photocollage, books, and digital transfer. Award-winning
artists include Emerald Ong, best in show, and Stuart Goldstein, Princeton
Photography Club award. Other winners: Christopher DeLisle, Amanda
Eckert, Beth Gross, Paul Kallich, Judith Kennerk, and Laurie VanSant.
West Windsor, 609-586-4800. "Odd Bedfellows," an exhibition
of paneled painting collage constructions by Ani Rosskam, whose sources
include primitive art and African artifacts. To December 15. Gallery
hours are Monday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and Wednesday evenings
from 6 to 8 p.m.
A resident of Roosevelt, Rosskam has won three artist’s fellowships
from the New Jersey Council for the Arts. "My work is a play on
the abstract relationship between found objects, painting, and the
resulting dynamic when they are combined," she says. "As I
build layer upon layer, the significance of the piece finally emerges."
609-620-6026. "Camera Work: Photographs by William Vandever."
To December 15. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to
noon, and 1 to 4:30 p.m.; except Wednesday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to
noon. Gallery is closed for fall break November 19 to 28.
Philadelphia sculptor Nena Bryans, an inaugural show in the remodeled
art gallery at the Erdman Hall Conference Center. Titled "Giving
Shape to Faith," her exhibit of 14 works continues to December
6. Exhibit hours are Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Saturdays
to 5:30 p.m., and Sundays 2 to 9:30 p.m.
"Louis Finkelstein, Paintings 1971 to 1999," a retrospective
show by the veteran artist and art educator. To December 12. Gallery
hours are Monday to Thursday, 2 to 8 p.m.; Friday to Sunday, 2 to
Born in New York in 1923, Finkelstein studied at Cooper Union, the
Art Students’ League, and Brooklyn Museum Art School. An instructor
at Yale University, Philadelphia School of Art, and Queens College,
he has also had his writings published in Artforum, Art News, and
the Magazine of Art.
"My involvement in painting is in the exploration of painting
language, not simply in making products," says Finkelstein. "I
think the whole question of what painting is and can be is a very
open one, and more than anything else, that’s what I would like the
viewer to get."
show featuring Tim Trelease and his Weird Mole series; Deirdre McGrail
and her film "Rabbitman"; mixed-media works by Catherine Robohm
Watkins; and paintings by gallery curator Ken Weathersby. Show runs
to December 3. The gallery is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
"Partners," an exhibition of paintings and sculptures by Chrisa
Craig and Charles Kumnick, partners and members of the College of
New Jersey art faculty. In the upstairs galleries, a juried show,
"The Best of Mercer County High Schools." Both shows continue
to January 2. Museum hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to
3 p.m.; Sunday 2 to 4 p.m.
"As partners, we enjoy sharing many things," write artists
Craig and Kumnick, "a barn building that houses each of our studios,
a comfortable if slightly eccentric living space, a love of animals,
of food, teaching art, and each other."
60 Ward Avenue, Mercerville, 609-890-7777. "Recent Work,"
an exhibition of sculpture and jewelry by Dana Stewart and jewelry
objects in gold, silver, and precious gems by Jacqueline ter Kuile.
Show runs to December 9. Gallery hours are Monday to Thursday, 10
a.m. to 4 p.m.
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 continue
to April 16, 2000. Gallery hours are Friday through Sunday, 10 a.m.
to 4 p.m.
New additions to the 22-acre landscaped sculpture park include works
by Michele Oka Doner, David Hostetler, J. Seward Johnson Jr., Francisco
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 the newly-renovated Domestic Arts Building.
609-292-6464. "New Jersey, A Sense of Place," the 30th anniversary
Garden State Watercolor Society show, juried by Leah Sloshberg, director
of New Jersey State Museum, and Margaret O’Reilly, assistant curator
of fine arts. The Dagmar Trebble Memorial Award goes to Elizabeth
Lombardi for her painting, "Cecelia: Telling the Story." To
January 2. Museum hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.;
Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.
Also, "The Modernists," an exhibition of gems from the permanent
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."
Alan Taback’s "Dance Rhythms," a series of paintings based
on music and dance. The Trenton-based artist has been painting and
exhibiting for the past 20 years.
at Bristol-Myers Squibb , Route 206, Lawrenceville, 609-252-6275.
An exhibition marking the centenary of the publication of Freud’s
"The Interpretation of Dreams," featuring stills from dream
sequences in 20th-century films and an hour-long video of the film
clips. The show links the 1899 Freud publication with another key
event of the 1890s, the invention of movies. To December 12.
Throughout the 20th century, filmmakers have claimed that their medium
is best able to present the symbolic distortions and displacements
of time and place that characterize dreams. Viewed in darkness, both
film and dreams appear in the "theater of the night." Highlighted
films include Buster Keaton’s "Sherlock Jr.," Bunel’s "Un
Chien Andalou," and Hitchcock’s "Spellbound." Gallery
hours are Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday to 7 p.m.;
weekends, 1 to 5 p.m.
609-921-9000. In the Conant Gallery Lounge B: Gary Peterson and Roger
LaPelle, oil paintings, to November 19. In the Brodsky Gallery of
the Chauncey Conference Center, charcoal drawings by Alexandra Sax,
to November 29. Exhibits are open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
732-524-3698. "Work from the Art Centre of New Jersey," a
group show of oils, watercolors, pastels and acrylics, to November
30. In the New Jersey Artist Series, "Post-Industrial Paintings"
by Tim Gaydos depicting abandoned factories and other once-vibrant
symbols of human endeavor. To December 14. Free by appointment.
609-987-3200. "The American Indian Artists’ Exhibition," a
group show that continues to November 29. Exhibition is open daily,
9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Free.
Street, New Brunswick, 732-846-5777. "The Hungarian Spark in America,"
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.
Brunswick, 732-932-7237. "A Sense of Wonder: African Art from
the Faletti Family Collection." Show features 80 works, dating
from the 15th to early 20th century, presenting an overview of the
variety of style and sensibility in African art. To November 24. Museum
hours are Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Saturday and
Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.
Also on exhibit: "Sources of Japonism: Japanese Woodblock Prints
from the David and Ruth Eisenberg Collection"; and "Let’s
Go: On the Move with Children’s Book Illustration." Both shows
to November 24.
"Fabrications," an exhibition of fabric art by Carol Sara
Schepps. To January 3.
A graduate of Pratt Institute, Schepps has been working with fabric
art since 1996. "With textiles and thread as my medium, I have
merged my love of fabric, color, and graphic design," says Schepps.
"My artwork examines the lights, reflection, and complex elements
that comprise otherwise common objects." Her subjects include
"59 Caddy," which features the back end of the popular car,
and "Circles." Schepps’ work has been shown in Philadelphia,
San Diego, and Houston, as was featured in the recent book, "Visions:
The gallery celebrates its fourth year and a new exhibition season
featuring 12 gallery co-op members presenting shows that change monthly.
Working with owner Eric Gibbons are curators and artists Beverly Fredericks
and Lana Bernard-Toniolio.
Other co-op members are Maura Carey, Sarah Bernotas, Richard Gerster,
Robert Sinkus, Mike Pacitti, Michael Bergman, Jane Lawrence, Charlotte
Jacks, Dorothy Amsden, Carmen Johnson, John Wilson, and Bob Gherardi.
Gallery hours are 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.
Drive, Jamesburg, 732-521-0070. "Favorite Things," an exhibition
of watercolors by Joanne Augustine and Barbara G. Watts, both of whom
work with subjects from nature. To January 4.
Road, 609-921-3272. "Iron and Ink," an exhibit and sale of
contemporary art from Africa by Kwela Crafts, to December 31. In the
Upstairs Gallery, "Impressions of Nature," new works in watercolor
by Elizabeth Roedell and Gloria Wiernik, to November 30. Gallery hours
are Tuesdays to Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
"American West," an exhibition of 36 new oil paintings by
Robert Beck chronicling his recent journey from Colorado to Canada,
and from the Western Range to the Rockies. To November 20. Gallery
hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, non to 3
Beck, who lives in Lumberville, was recently recognized by the Michener
Museum in Doylestown where he was one of four contemporary artists
of the region featured in the "1999 Bucks County Invitational."
Avenue, Pennington, 609-730-0746. "Ten Styles," a multi-media
art show by the Art Group. Artists include Adams, Berkowsky, Betz,
Stang Harr, Kaplan, Kogan, Koppel, Mandelbaum, Post, and Wiernik.
Visitor hours are Monday to Friday, 4 to 9 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m.
to 4 p.m., and Sunday, 2 to 5 p.m.
908-725-2110. "Viewing Contemporary Culture," a national juried
exhibition of prints and photographs. In the library gallery, works
by Philadelphia artist Kelli Costa. Both shows to November 30. Gallery
hours are Wednesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday, 1
to 4 p.m.
609-737-7592. "Vanishing Landscape," an exhibit of oil pastel
and watercolor studies of the region’s fast-disappearing natural landscape
by Dorothy Bissell. To January 8.
A world traveler, Bissell has captured a variety of landscapes around
the globe, but continues to find inspiration in the landscape closest
to home. Her semi-abstract, sweeping renditions of the natural world
are widely shown and collected. She is represented by Jack Koeppel
of the Queenstown Gallery, Pennington.
609-799-0462. In the Lobby gallery, an exhibition of recent paintings
by Zakia Aziz Sayed, one of Bangladesh’s best-known artists. Show
continues to November 30.
A shared exhibition of representational riverscapes and still life
in oils by Leonard Restivo, and impressionist oils, or "cerebral
mosaics," by Don Jordan. To December 5. Gallery hours are Friday,
Saturday, and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
609-397-2226. "Painterly Impressions," an exhibition of watercolors
by Chinese-American artist Oliver Tang, inspired by recent visits
to Venice, Alaska, and the Jersey shore. To December 3.
609-397-2300. Charles Fazzino, whimsical three-dimensional paper constructions
on subjects that include New York, Philadelphia, sports, and the law.
To December 26. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Sunday, noon to
Figurative and landscape paintings in oil by Helen Meyers and David
J. Dincher. To December 30.
609-397-4978. "Safety in Numbers," Malcolm Bray’s fifth annual
eclectic group show of innovative painting and sculpture that includes
works by Myles Cavanaugh, Annelies van Dommelen, Gareth Evans, Chad
Cortez Everett, Diane Levell, Virgil Sova, Alan Taback, Stacie Speer-Scott,
and Ron Wyffels. To December 31. Open every day, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Burlington, 609-386-4773. "Wildfowl Decoy Exhibit" by master
Burlington carver Jess Heisler (1891-1943), whose best work ranks
among the finest of the Delaware River school of carving, and works
by his friend and pupil John Marinkos (1915-1999). To January 9. Hours
are Monday to Thursday, 1 to 4 p.m.; and Sunday, 2 to 4 p.m.
908-735-8415. "Mud Like a Blessing: Elemental Clay Sculpture,"
featuring works by Peter Callas, Sara D’Alessandro, Shellie Jacobson,
Jim Jansma, and Lauren Silver. To January 9. Gallery hours are Tuesday
to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Guest curator for the show is Michele Mercadal whose concept and title
was inspired by a phrase from a poem by Mary Oliver. "The sculpture
in this exhibit conveys the honoring of clay as a material and the
organic process by which it becomes a sculptural form," says Mercadal.
"The forms carry a contemplative feeling and convey the mysteries
and secrets of combining earth and fire."
215-345-0210. "Edward Hicks Country," a companion to the Philadelphia
Museum of Art comprehensive exhibit on Edward Hicks, a show on the
professional and spiritual environment in which the lifelong Bucks
County artist worked. Three related displays explore the 19th-century
craft of ornamental painting, the Quaker meetinghouse environment,
and the iconography of the Society of Friends. To January 3. $5 adult;
$1.50 youth. Museum hours are Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.;
Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.; and Tuesday evening to 9 p.m.
215-340-9800. "Intimate Vistas: The Poetic Landscapes of William
Langson Lathrop," a major retrospective of more than 50 works
spanning a 50-year career, from 1884 to 1939. Curated by Brian Peterson,
it is one of the Michener’s ambitious scholarly undertakings to date.
To January 9. $5 adults; $1.50 students; children free. Museum hours
are Tuesday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Wednesday evenings to
9 p.m.; Saturday & Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Website: http://www.michenerartmuseum.org.
For a 30-year period, from the late 1890s through the 1920s, Lathrop
was known as one of the nation’s premier landscape painters, prominently
association with the Tonalist movement. Essaying to convey the many
and varied moods of nature, the Tonalists often employed a darker
palette than their Impressionist colleagues, and painting in their
Also, "Celebration of American Art" features "An Edward
Hicks Sampler," featuring an 1837 version of "Peaceable Kingdom"
and "The Landing of Columbus." Also, "Picturing Washington:
Icons and Images of America’s Founding Father"; both to January
Also "From Soup Cans to Nuts," an exhibition of prints by
Andy Warhol, on loan from the Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh. The artist,
who died in 1987, is best known for his flamboyant, multiple silkscreen
prints that explore icons of popular culture from the famous soup
to Marilyn Monroe and Jackie Kennedy. To November 21.
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