Art in Town

Art in the Workplace

Art In Trenton

Art by the River

Area Museums

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This article by Nicole Plett was prepared for the May 21, 2003

edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

Shona Art in the Galleries

As organizers and volunteers put the final touches

to Princeton’s 12th annual show and sale of stone sculpture from

Zimbabwe,

the signs are everywhere that this art is flourishing. Polished stone

figures of women, children, families, birds, and animals crowd the

small donated gallery space on Palmer Square. And as curator Peggy

Knowlton tells it, despite that nation’s hardships, these African

sculptors are willing to do what it takes to refine their art and

make their mark on the international art arena.

Stone Sculpture from Zimbabwe, an exhibition and sale to benefit

HomeFront,

opens at 41 Palmer Square West with a reception, Thursday, May 22,

from 5 to 8:30 p.m. More than 500 works will be on view and available

for purchase at prices that range from $80 to $10,000. The show is

open every day through Sunday, June 8.

"This art is flourishing," says Knowlton in a phone interview

from her home-based business across the Delaware in Point Pleasant,

Pennsylvania.

It has been two years since Knowlton has been able to visit the

troubled

nation of Zimbabwe in southern Africa, but her friends and colleagues

among the Shona people there have enabled her to keep her import

business

going.

"In this high tech world, the artists bring their work to my

friends,

and they E-mail me pictures of the work. I take a look, perhaps ask

some questions, and then they can purchase the works and ship them

to me," she says.

An art that has been growing and evolving over the past 20 years,

these stone sculptures are entirely carved by hand. The first

generation

sculptors also extracted their own stone from the mountains.

"Today these artists say, `I am a Shona, but I am not a Shona

sculptor. They want to be known and ranked as international sculptors.

They do not want their work pigeonholed. It just doesn’t work any

longer. Not for this group," she says.

Life expectancy in Zimbabwe is short, and Knowlton notes

that many first and second-generation Shona artists have died over

the past year. Despite the troubled times, Knowlton is hopeful for

the future.

"The movement for democratic change and international pressure

continues to grow, so I am certainly hopeful that political

circumstances

will improve," she says. "And the movement has awakened an

amazing creativity in the Shona people. A host of new artists are

attracting international acclaim with their original approaches to

their material and subject matter."

The first generation of Shona stone sculptors had little or no

knowledge

or experience of the world beyond Zimbabwe. Today’s young artists

are traveling and entering arts competitions. Several sculptors have

recently won top awards in China, Sweden, and the Netherlands.

"I think because of the changes in Zimbabwe, the new generation

of artists have been traveling throughout the world since 2001,

attending

workshops, exhibitions, and symposia. Many of the first generation

never left the country. But the younger artists realize that to

succeed

to internationally, they must compete with sculptors the world

over."

"This has meant a renaissance in terms of a fresher more

innovative

approach to their work," she continues, "which is more

whimsical

than the first generation. There is still in the work of the young

artists that convergence of spiritual beliefs, but in addition to

that they have added new techniques and methods."

Whereas the older generation mined their own stone, the younger

generation

has searched out new stone in Zimbabwe which they may have brought

to their home studios by others. "Many of the older pieces were

dark, but today’s sculptors have found opalstone, which comes in a

myriad of greens, as well as indigenous cobalt in deep reds and

greens."

Another new stone is lepidolite that occurs in hues of light heather

purple to pink and milky white, some shot with sparkling mica.

Featured in this year’s exhibit are three new works by the noted

younger

generation artist Dominic Benhura, who has become a dominant figure

in the art world. He has had one-man exhibitions in many international

venues.

The show will also feature new works by Colleen Madamombe, a

well-liked

artist in her late 30s. Specializing in figure studies of

"chunky"

women, she was one of the first to contrast polished areas of stone

with areas rich in texture.

"People love her all over the world, and her work continues to

be popular," says Knowlton. The new piece "Ready to Dance"

is full of character, its whimsical title matched by movement and

motion of the woman who raises her hand as if to an escort. Knowlton

notes that all aspects of womanhood are represented in Madamombe’s

work — love, pride, energy, strength, and humor.

Another rising star is Picket Mazhindu who has exhibited

internationally

for the past four years. Speaking of his featured work, "Elegant

Rainbird," Knowlton describes how his work has a contemporary

look yet retains strong ties to ancestral spirit beliefs.

"As he told me, a sculpture such as the `Rainbird’ reflects the

yearning of the soul to break free. Family is still the cornerstone

of this society," says Knowlton. "The influence of the old

is still there. But it has been taken in a dramatic new

direction."

— Nicole Plett

Stone Sculpture from Zimbabwe, HomeFront, 41 Palmer

Square West, 609-989-9417. Opening reception for the annual show and

sale to benefit area homeless families. The show is open daily through

June 8. Thursday, May 22, 5 to 8:30 p.m.

Exhibit hours are Monday to Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.;

Thursday

to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sundays, noon to 5 p.m., to June 8.

Top Of Page
Art in Town

Arts Council of Princeton, 102 Witherspoon Street,

609-924-8777.

"Joie de Vivre," a shared show by Susanne Pitak Davis and

Fay Sciarra. Open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to May 30. Davis

hosts gallery visitors on Saturday, May 24, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Marsha Child Contemporary, 220 Alexander Street,

609-497-7330.

"Past Made Present: Paintings of Ilona Zaremba," solo exhibit

by the Polish native now living in Canada. Her richly textured

mixed-media

compositions are included in many corporate and private collections,

including that of actor Steve Martin. Open Tuesday to Saturday, 10:30

a.m. to 5:30 p.m. To May 26.

SweeTree Gallery, 286 Alexander Street, 609-934-8665.

"Chickens to Go," hand-made chickens by artist Maria del

Fabro.

Her chickens come out of handwork traditions passed down to her from

her Italian ancestors; they are made of wool, cotton and other natural

fabrics. Also on exhibit, "Art from the Caribbean." Open

Fridays

and Saturdays, 1 to 6 p.m. To May 24.

Triumph Brewing Company, 138 Nassau Street, 609-924-7855.

"Princeton Impressions," an exhibition and sale of

impressionist

oil paintings by Olga Holroyd. To July 6.

Top Of Page
Art in the Workplace

Abud Family Foundation for the Arts, 3100 Princeton Pike,

Building 4, third floor, Lawrenceville, 609-896-0732. Solo show

of paintings by Vladimir Grigorovich, a Russian-born artist now living

and working in Port Murray, New Jersey. Open Thursday, Friday, and

Saturday, 3 to 6 p.m. Grigorovich will be present each Saturday during

the show, which runs to June 28.

Gallery at Bristol-Myers Squibb, Route 206,

Lawrenceville,

609-252-6275. "Outsider Art: The Inner Worlds of Self-Taught

Artists,"

an exhibit of 75 works by 30 international artists referred to as

self-taught, visionary, and intuitive. Open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m.

to 5 p.m.; weekends, 1 to 5 p.m. To June 15.

Medical Center at Princeton, 253 Witherspoon Street,

609-497-4000.

Watercolors by Pennington artist Pamela Warner Miller. Part of the

proceeds benefit the medical center. To July 16.

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Art In Trenton

Grounds for Sculpture, 18 Fairgrounds Road, Hamilton,

609-586-0616. Spring Exhibition features a new outdoor addition by

Rhea Zinman. In the Domestic Arts Building, Zigi Ben-Haim "Journey

With Me" and a show of sculptures and paintings by Illya Kagan.

Extended through spring, the exhibit of glass art by Dale Chihuly.

Admission $4 to $10. Open Tuesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. To

July 13.

Extension Gallery, 60 Sculptors Way, Mercerville,

609-890-7777.

"Animism," an exhibit of sculptures of dancers by Philadelphia

artist by Clifford Ward. Open Monday to Thursday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

To May 29.

Ellarslie, Trenton City Museum, Cadwalader Park,

609-989-3632.

Ellarslie Open XXI, the annual juried show. Distinguished juror Robert

Sakson selected 85 works by 72 artists from the 310 entries submitted.

Awards in painting, sculpture, printmaking, mixed-media, and

photography.

Open Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m. To

June 15.

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

609-292-6464. "Taking It Personally: Selected Paintings 1962 to

2003" by Paul Matthews continues in the museum’s Cityside Gallery.

These large-scale figurative oils address issues of time and

transience,

aging and mortality. On view to July 27.

RF Gallery, 46 West Lafayette, Trenton, 609-695-0061.

The newly named RF Gallery, formerly known as the Rhinehart Fischer

Gallery, features solo show by Bucks County artist John McDowell

Williams,

"The Graceful Simplicity of Life." More than 60 works are

featured. Open Wednesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. To June 20.

Influenced by Edward Hopper, Winslow Homer, and the folksy style of

Norman Rockwell, Williams describes his painting style as simply

"impressionistic."

His subjects include paintings that tell a story and images of some

of Trenton’s oldest buildings.

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Art by the River

Artists’ Gallery, 32 Coryell Street, Lambertville,

609-397-4588.

"Mythical Gardens," an exhibition by landscape photographer

Sandra C. Davis featuring imagery of historic stone architecture and

ruins from ancients and Renaissance Italy. Davis creates her images

in historic non-silver printmaking techniques such as palladium,

cyanotype,

and gum bichromate. Gallery hours are Friday, Saturday, and Sunday,

11 a.m. to 6 p.m. To June 1.

Artsbridge, Canal Studios, 243 North Union Street,

Lambertville,

609-773-0881. Monthly show features George Golia, photographs; Beth

Pituch, abstract works in encaustic, wax, and oils; Jim Lucas,

celebrity

portraits in acrylic; Cathy DeChico, acrylic paintings; Janet

Waronker,

watercolors; and Judith Hoctor, jewelry. To May 31.

Atelier Gallery, 108 Harrison Street, Frenchtown,

908-996-9992.

"Seasons," a solo show by landscape artist Robert MaGaw. Open

Thursday to Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. To June 23.

Coryell Gallery, 8 Coryell Street, Lambertville,

609-397-0804.

Annual spring exhibition featuring watercolors, oils, and mixed-media

by W. Carl Burger, and oil paintings by Colette Sexton. Gallery hours

are Wednesday to Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. To June 1.

Louisa Melrose Gallery, 41 Bridge Street, Frenchtown,

908-996-1470. "Passionately Pastel" invitational show brings

together 13 signature members of the Pastel Society of America, each

with technical virtuosity, many exhibiting in Frenchtown for the first

time. Open Tuesday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., to May 26.

Awaiting Spring, Papier Sun Art Gallery, 39 North

Main Street, Lambertville, 609-397-9022. "Awaiting Spring,"

invitational group show. Open Friday to Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. To

June 1.

Peggy Lewis Gallery, Lambertville Public Library, 6 Lilly

Street, 609-397-0275. "ABC Reunion Show" with work by 13

gallery

alumnae. Group includes Bett Augenblick, Pete Beister, Ryan Brown,

Merle Citron, Corey Dale, NcKinsey Kerr, Michael Lewis, Peggy Lewis,

and Peter Petraglia. Gallery hours are Monday to Thursday, 1 to 9

p.m.; Friday 1 to 5 p.m.; and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. To June

13.

Area Galleries

Family Framers, 15 East Railroad Avenue, Jamesburg,

732-605-7900.

Paintings and pastels by Helen Post. A graduate of Pratt Institute

and Rutgers, artist and educator Post has works in the collections

of Bristol-Myers Squibb, Johnson & Johnson, and many private

collections.

To May 31.

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

Shared show features "Transformations" by Rhoda Kassof-Isaac

and "Windows and Reflections" by Frank Magalhaes. Gallery

hours are Saturday and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m., and by appointment.

To May 25.

Hopewell Frame Shop, 24 West Broad Street, Hopewell,

609-466-0817.

Watercolors by Sandra Nusblatt. To June 28.

Montgomery Center for the Arts, 124 Montgomery Road,

Skillman,

609-921-3272. The 34th annual Garden State Watercolor Society members

juried exhibition and sale. Jurors are Judy Antonelli and Herbert

Appleson. To June 1. Open Tuesday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and

Sunday 1 to 4 p.m.

Morpeth Gallery, 43 West Broad Street, Hopewell,

609-333-9393.

Wildlife benefit show features art with animal imagery by Susan Howard

and Rachel Bliss, both graduates of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine

Art. Part of proceeds benefit the Mercer County Wildlife Center in

Titusville. Gallery is open Wednesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.;

Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. To June 30.

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

Pen and ink drawings and calligraphy by Kenneth Kaplowitz, associate

professor of art at the College of New Jersey. To June 7.

"After working each day for a year, I completed 600 pen and ink

drawings. The process was simple. While looking at trees in my back

yard, I allowed my hand to move freely over the drawing surface. In

other words, each brush stroke was drawn without looking at the page

as the image took shape. This was a Zen experience, a result of my

hand’s movement as it traversed the paper. Accident and chance became

my tools," says Kaplowitz.

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Area Museums

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

Doylestown,

215-340-9800. "Japanese Prints from the Michener Collection,"

a selection of more than 40 ukiyo-e prints by some of the

leading

artists of the highly influential school. The show featuring prints

from the Michener Collection of the Honolulu Academy of Arts, and

organized by the Honolulu Academy, is on view to August 31.

Ukiyo-e translates as "a picture of the floating

world,"

and it was the name given to the art documenting urban Japanese life

during the Edo era, from the early 1600s to 1867, notably the

exquisite

woodblock prints that would later influence European artists such

as Toulouse-Lautrec, Degas, and Van Gogh. This exhibition features

works by the leading artists Utagawa Hiroshige and Katsushika Hokusai.

Also "Six Continents of Quilts: The Museum of Arts and Design

Collection," 30 vibrant and colorful quilts by contemporary fabric

artists from New York to Japan to South Africa, on view to July 6.

Summer hours: Tuesday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Wednesday 10

a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday noon to 5 p.m.

Admission $6 adults; $3 students.

Zimmerli Art Museum, George and Hamilton streets, New

Brunswick, 732-932-7237. "George Segal: Sculpture, Paintings,

and Drawings from the Artist’s Studio," a major traveling

exhibition,

to May 26. Also: "June Wayne: Selected Graphics, 1950 to

2000,"

celebrating Wayne’s recent appointment as a research professor at

Rutgers and the establishment of the June Wayne Study Center and

Archive;

to June 29. Open Tuesday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Saturday

and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. Spotlight tours Sundays at 2 and 3 p.m.

Admission $3 adults; under 18 free; and free on the first Sunday of

every month.


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