Corrections or additions?
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
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
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,
It has been two years since Knowlton has been able to visit the
nation of Zimbabwe in southern Africa, but her friends and colleagues
among the Shona people there have enabled her to keep her import
"In this high tech world, the artists bring their work to my
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
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 movement for democratic change and international pressure
continues to grow, so I am certainly hopeful that political
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
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,
workshops, exhibitions, and symposia. Many of the first generation
never left the country. But the younger artists realize that to
to internationally, they must compete with sculptors the world
"This has meant a renaissance in terms of a fresher more
approach to their work," she continues, "which is more
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
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
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
generation artist Dominic Benhura, who has become a dominant figure
in the art world. He has had one-man exhibitions in many international
The show will also feature new works by Colleen Madamombe, a
artist in her late 30s. Specializing in figure studies of
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
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
— Nicole Plett
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.
to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sundays, noon to 5 p.m., to June 8.
"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.
"Past Made Present: Paintings of Ilona Zaremba," solo exhibit
by the Polish native now living in Canada. Her richly textured
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.
"Chickens to Go," hand-made chickens by artist Maria del
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
and Saturdays, 1 to 6 p.m. To May 24.
"Princeton Impressions," an exhibition and sale of
oil paintings by Olga Holroyd. To July 6.
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.
609-252-6275. "Outsider Art: The Inner Worlds of Self-Taught
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.
Watercolors by Pennington artist Pamela Warner Miller. Part of the
proceeds benefit the medical center. To July 16.
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
"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 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
Open Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m. To
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
aging and mortality. On view to July 27.
The newly named RF Gallery, formerly known as the Rhinehart Fischer
Gallery, features solo show by Bucks County artist John McDowell
"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
His subjects include paintings that tell a story and images of some
of Trenton’s oldest buildings.
"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,
and gum bichromate. Gallery hours are Friday, Saturday, and Sunday,
11 a.m. to 6 p.m. To June 1.
609-773-0881. Monthly show features George Golia, photographs; Beth
Pituch, abstract works in encaustic, wax, and oils; Jim Lucas,
portraits in acrylic; Cathy DeChico, acrylic paintings; Janet
watercolors; and Judith Hoctor, jewelry. To May 31.
"Seasons," a solo show by landscape artist Robert MaGaw. Open
Thursday to Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. To June 23.
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.
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.
Main Street, Lambertville, 609-397-9022. "Awaiting Spring,"
invitational group show. Open Friday to Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. To
Street, 609-397-0275. "ABC Reunion Show" with work by 13
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
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
To May 31.
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.
Watercolors by Sandra Nusblatt. To June 28.
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.
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.
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.
215-340-9800. "Japanese Prints from the Michener Collection,"
a selection of more than 40 ukiyo-e prints by some of the
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
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
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.
Brunswick, 732-932-7237. "George Segal: Sculpture, Paintings,
and Drawings from the Artist’s Studio," a major traveling
to May 26. Also: "June Wayne: Selected Graphics, 1950 to
celebrating Wayne’s recent appointment as a research professor at
Rutgers and the establishment of the June Wayne Study Center and
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
Corrections or additions?
This page is published by PrincetonInfo.com
— the web site for U.S. 1 Newspaper in Princeton, New Jersey.