Campus Arts

Area Galleries

Art by the River

Area Museums

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This article by F.R. Rivera was prepared for the August 13, 2003 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

TAWA Tests Digital Media

The ranks of the Trenton Artists Workshop Association,

or TAWA as it is now known, have grown significantly since the cooperative

was first established in 1979. To this day, the organization remains

a loose coalition of independents, an association of convenience;

soldiers attired in no particular uniform and combative only against

the enemies of art.

TAWA’s leading lights and the group’s officers meet the second Monday

of each month at Joe’s Mill Hill Saloon in Trenton. They also participate

in an annual juried show, TAWA at Ellarslie, where they take their

lumps from a different exhibition guest juror each year. Some walk

away with a juror’s award, while the works of others may never make

it onto the gallery walls.

Despite the change in the identity of the juror, the TAWA exhibit

does not change much from year to year. This year’s juror is E. Carmen

Ramos, the assistant curator for cultural engagement at the Newark

Museum. Ramos, who is completing her doctoral studies in Latin American

art at the University of Chicago, has a taste for contemporary Caribbean

and African-American art. Perhaps she hoped to create a multicultural

empowerment expo south of Newark; if so, with TAWA’s regular members

she found herself unable to pull it off.

Each year TAWA’s juried shows are dominated by the same artists, many

of whom are locked into styles that seem resistant to change. The

best clue to Ramos’s point of view emerges in her choice of juror’s

awards. These went to works by Connie Gray, Bill Hogan, Don Jordan,

Michelle Soslau, and Maggie Zullinger. Her Best in Show award went

to Eric Kunsman’s "Light Source," an Iris giclee (pronounced

"zheeclay") print.

This review is not a lament against stability or artistic maturity.

Artists arrive at maturity over time; and we would place the average

age of TAWA member-exhibitors in their mid-40s. Most have arrived

at the settled imagery and media that bring depth and resonance to

a body of work. Grouping their work together, however, and despite

the juror’s efforts to shape a point of view, this annual roundup

tends to have a predictable look.

Of course, the artists differ in many ways. They work in a wide variety

of styles and media, and Ramos writes in the show catalogue that theirs

is an "impressive diversity." Together, however, they have

a signature look spelled "T-A-W-A." TAWA at Ellarslie is not

a bad show; it is — if anything — a reliably good show, but

it is a "comfortable" good show. It lacks the edginess and

innovation that are hallmarks of some other artist co-ops in central

New Jersey and across the river in New Hope.

"Once a TAWA member always a TAWA member," one artist told

me recently. "I may lapse, but I always go back." Such loyalty

is typical, and explains why the same artists exhibit repeatedly.

New members trickle in from time to time; and when they are good,

they give the exhibition a needed bump up. One such new member, the

Best in Show winner, must get credit for raising the level of the

exhibition this year.

A member of TAWA for less than a year, Kunsman exhibits three extraordinary

photographs, shot traditionally with a 35-mm camera, but printed digitally.

Despite the fact that he himself is an accomplished printer, Kunsman

says he has "not set foot in a darkroom for three years."

He uses the computer to create the enhancements that traditional darkroom

chemistry once provided.

The output from high-resolution printers like Epson and Iris may be

digital, but these convey the texture and warmth of old analog prints.

While Kunsman is comfortable with technology, and loves the fact that

the paper and inks are archival, his is an artist’s eye.

Kunsman began drawing and painting when he was in third

grade — the same year he started to help his roofer father in

the industrial rust belt in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. He did not acquire

a camera until his senior year in high school. Two black-and-white

prints "Bethlehem Steel" and "Rochester Quarry" are

eerily cinematic, as though the camera hesitated before moving slowly

in another direction. The two sites are unpeopled; and there is almost

a Hitchcock-like sense of expectancy about them.

"Light Source," the work that Ramos named "Best in Show,"

is a color print, produced digitally from a scan of an original photograph

and printed digitally on fine art paper. An abandoned room with the

menacing feel of an assassin’s hideaway coaxes a massive shaft of

buttery, liquid light into its interior. Finely-calibrated grays and

blacks give way to molten whiteness studded with faint pinks. Kunsman

explains that he created the piece with a drag-shutter, moving his

camera diagonally, forcing the window to expose in multiple halos

of light. The result is an amazing image that is worth the trip to

Ellarslie.

— F.R. Rivera

TAWA Open 2003, Ellarslie, Trenton City Museum,

Cadwalader Park, 609-989-3632. Open Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to

3 p.m.; Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m. To September 14.

Gallery talks by TAWA artists are offered during the run of

the show. Maggie Zullinger and William Knight, Sunday, August

17. Beth Gross, Sunday, August 24. Bill Hogan, Sunday,

September 7. Terry Rosiak, Sunday, September 14. All talks are

at 2 p.m.

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Campus Arts

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

collections range from ancient to contemporary art, concentrating

on the Mediterranean regions, Western Europe, China, the United States,

and Latin America. Greek and Roman antiquities, including ceramics,

marbles and bronzes, and Roman mosaics from Princeton’s own excavations

in Antioch are represented. Also sculpture, metalwork, and stained

glass from Medieval Europe and important examples of Western European

paintings from the early Renaissance through the 19th Century. Chinese

art — bronzes, tomb figures, painting, and calligraphy — as

well as pre-Columbian art of the Maya, represent some of the Museum’s

greatest strengths. Also African art and American Indian art. Open

Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday 1 to 5 p.m. Highlights

tours every Saturday at 2 p.m. Free admission.

Firestone Library, Princeton University, 609-258-1148.

"Brave New World: 20th-Century Books from the Cotsen Children’s

Library," an exhibition that fills the library’s main gallery

and the Milberg Gallery upstairs. To October 26.

Rider University Art Gallery, Student Center, Lawrenceville,

609-895-5589. Student art exhibition, work by 60 students from a variety

of majors. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to

7 p.m.; Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. To September 12.

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Area Galleries

Gourgaud Gallery, Cranbury Town Hall, 23A North Main Street,

Cranbury. A shared show of paintings by Ruth Kaufman and Robin Lundin

Murray. Open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sundays noon to 3

p.m. To August 29.

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

Shared show of photography: "Night Light" by Mary Julia Kephart,

and "Infinities" by Coleen Marks. Gallery hours are Saturday

and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m., and by appointment. To August 24.

Grounds for Sculpture, 18 Fairgrounds Road, Hamilton,

609-586-0616. Seasonal outdoor sculpture exhibition features the International

Sculpture Center’s first juried exhibition selected by artist Helen

Escobedo, curator Stephen Nash, and critic Carter Radcliffe. New additions

outdoors by Magdalena Abakanowicz, Benbow Bullock, Ron Mehlman, and

Pat Musick. Shows continue to September 28.

Grounds for Sculpture is open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 9

p.m., year round. Adult admission is $4 Tuesday to Thursday; $7 Friday

and Saturday; and $10 on Sunday.

Toad Hall Shop & Gallery, Grounds for Sculpture, 60 Ward

Avenue, Mercerville, 609-689-1089. Barbara Schaff, paintings of orchids.

To September 14.

Hopewell Frame Shop, 24 West Broad Street, Hopewell, 609-466-0817.

"Watercolor Anarchy II," a group show of watercolors by Gail

Bracegirdle and seven of her students. Students participating in the

exhibit include Carol Bleistein, Lawrenceville; Ron Flegel, Monmouth

Junction; Ruth Kaufman, Princeton; Robin L. Murray, Trenton; Lionel

Scriven, Lambertville; Kinga Soni, Plainsboro; and Chari Wurtzel,

Horsham, Pennsylvania. Open Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.,

and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. To August 30.

Plainsboro Public Library, 641 Plainsboro Road, 609-275-2897.

TAG, the Art Group, and a summer show, "Fruits of the Earth,"

Open Monday & Friday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Tuesday to Thursday to

8:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. To August 31.

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Art by the River

Artists’ Gallery, 32 Coryell Street, Lambertville, 609-397-4588.

"Alternate Dimensions" featuring recent two- and three-dimensional

works by Bob Baum and B.A. Keogh. Open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday,

11 a.m. to 6 p.m. To September 7.

Artsbridge, Canal Studios, 243 North Union Street, Lambertville,

609-773-0881. Drawings and photographs by Smita Rao of Doylestown,

with works by Amy Glaser, Leonard Partanna, and Miriam Seiden. Thursday

to Sunday, noon to 6 p.m. To August 31.

Coryell Gallery, 8 Coryell Street, Lambertville, 609-397-0804.

Annual summer group show of watercolors, acrylics, oils, pastels,

and prints. Featured artists include Joanne Augustine, Albert Bross,

Marge Chavooshian, Tom Chesar, Mike Filipiak, Charles and Lucy McVicker,

Robert Sackson, with pottery by Katherine Hackl and Ann Tsubota. Wednesday

to Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.

Howard Mann Art Center, 45 North Main Street, Lambertville,

609-397-2300. "Salvador Dali: Illustrations for Dante’s Divine

Comedy," 100 woodblocks created in the 1960s. Wednesday through

Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.

Louisa Melrose Gallery, 41 Bridge Street, Frenchtown,

908-996-1470. "Summer Scapes," a show of landscapes, seascapes,

and urban scapes by artists from New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Photographs

by Nancy Ori and Laura Zito are included in the roster of invited

artists. Monday to Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday and Saturday,

10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m. to 6. To September 14.

Papier Sun Art Gallery, 39 North Main Street, Lambertville,

609-397-9022. John McDowell Williams returns to Lambertville to take

over the front gallery at Papier Sun Fine Art with a show of watercolors

and oils.

Regular gallery hours are Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, noon

to 5 p.m.

Peggy Lewis Gallery, Lambertville Public Library, 6 Lilly

Street, 609-397-0275. "Seasons of Trees," a watercolor show

by Kim Moulder. A graphic designer and potter, Moulder is a member

of Artsbridge of Delaware Valley. 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

September 12.

New Hope Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition, Union Square, West

Bridge Street, New Hope, 215-862-3396. Sculpture exhibition features

the outdoor installation of seven large-scale works at sites around

town. Host sites include Union Square, New Hope Solebury Library,

the Wedgwood Inn, New Hope Historical Society, Golden Door Gallery,

and New Hope Mule Barge. On view to Spring 2004.

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Area Museums

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

609-292-6464. "The Needle’s Eye: Needlework from the Museum Collection"

featuring quilts, samplers, clothing, and needlework made in New Jersey

from the mid-18th to the early 20th century; on view to September

14.

Also "The Ones That Didn’t Get Away! Fossil Fish from the New

Jersey State Museum," featuring the skull of a massive ancient

predatory fish, Dunkleosteus, known as the "Bulldog Fish"

of the Chalk Seas. Show is organized by David Parris, curator of Natural

History. On extended view. "Cultures in Competition: Indians and

Europeans in Colonial New Jersey," a show that traces the impact

of European settlement on the native Indians’ way of life after 1600.

Also "Art by African-Americans: A Selection from the Collection;"

"New Jersey’s Native Americans: The Archaeological Record;"

"Delaware Indians of New Jersey;" "The Sisler Collection

of North American Mammals;" "Of Rock and Fire;" "Neptune’s

Architects;" "The Modernists;" "New Jersey Ceramics,

Silver, Glass and Iron;" "Historical Archaeology of Colonial

New Jersey;" "Washington Crossing the Delaware."

American Hungarian Foundation Museum, 300 Somerset Street,

New Brunswick, 732-846-5777. "Stephen Spinder: Through My Lens,

Budapest and Transylvania," a collection of photographs of the

Gothic spires and neo-classical facades of Budapest. Sprinder’s images

of Translvania reveal powerful vestiges of an ancient culture and

the preservation of Hungarian traditions, particularly its music and

dance, that have changed little over time. Open Tuesday to Saturday,

11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m. $5 donation. To November

9.

Creative Glass Center of America, Wheaton Village, 1501

Glasstown Road, Millville, 856-825-6800. "The Fellows," an

exhibition celebrating CGCA’s 20th anniversary. The rotating anniversary

exhibit showcases contemporary glass works by past and current CGCA

fellowship recipients. On view to December 31. The show begins with

a spotlight on work by 2001 and 2002 fellows who come from as close

as West Orange as far as Hiroshima, Japan, and Adelaide, Australia,

to study at the center. Summer hours Tuesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to

5 p.m. Wheaton Village admission $8 adult; $5 student. On view to

December 31.

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. 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. Museum

admission $6 adults; $3 students and children.


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