Art in Town

Area Galleries

Campus Arts

Art in the Workplace

Art by the River

Art In Trenton

Area Museums

Corrections or additions?

This article by Kathleen McGinn Spring was prepared for the

September 8, 2004 issue of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

The Flea Market as an Exercise in Critical Thinking

Can a flea market be a metaphor for life in the 21st century? Artist

Frances Heinrich makes a good case that it can be in her new

conceptual art installation, "Buyer Beware: A Conceptual Flea Market."

The show, at the Arts Council of Princeton, has its opening on Friday,

September 10.

"My husband and I have been going to flea markets forever," says

Heinrich. "I’m totally addicted to them. They’re just this vast

unfinished work of art." In addition to art, of course, flea markets

are commerce. At the heart of Heinrich’s mixed media installation is a

bride, dressed in black and with working TV heart, overseeing the mix.

She represents the "merchant" now incessantly present and vocal in

many forms. She serves as silent stand-in for a cacophony of media

images and voices.

"She is the merchant at the center of all of our lives," says

Heinrich. "We’re constantly being sold – by commercials, by

politicians. We have so much information. We can’t escape it." The

flow comes in 24/7 from television, books, magazines, billboards, the

car radio. An educated, inquisitive woman, Heinrich says she is

finding it difficult to determine just what is true. "I’m increasingly

cynical and skeptical," she says. And it’s not just the spoken word,

or the inflated sales pitch that is suspect. "You can’t even trust

images anymore," she points out. With Photoshop, models hips are even

slimmer, blemishes are erased – or enhanced. "You can’t trust what you

see," she says. "You don’t know what is real."

As we go through life each day, we are immersed in a virtual

marketplace, urged to buy everything from school supplies to political

agendas to an ideal of beauty – often without even realizing that we

are being sold.

The buying process becomes much more clear cut at a flea market. "In a

flea market you’re on your own," says Heinrich. "You have only a few

minutes to decide. Some merchants are honest, and some are not." In

describing her show, she says that flea markets are great equalizers.

They are object lessons in assigned value and in our capitalist

tendency to commodify everything. Something in the dirt, without the

hype of marketing and its original price tag, must stand alone.

An object can go either way. Flea markets are vast visual tapestries

of anachronism and object obsolescence, she says. They are sometimes

living, breathing portraits of people’s lives seen through the

accumulation of their possessions. Time changes the appeal and value

of things, and some decades have more cachet than others. A good flea

market is full of surprises – a chaotic visual puzzle of heaps and

piles from which the "right" pieces beg to be plucked and stolen away.

We cherish our trophies and give them new life.

Many of the objects in Heinrich’s show, which, in addition to the flea

market, includes a wall of related 2D works in graphite and mixed

media, and a large container of "free truths" for viewers to take

away, come from flea markets she has visited around the world. Others

were created specifically for this show.

Heinrich has unusually rich opportunities to browse in flea markets.

Her husband, Guy Heinrich, owned a recording studio in Manhattan. "He

recorded everyone," says his wife, mentioning Burt Bachrach and the

Rolling Stones. Upon selling his business, Heinrich has had a single

obsession. "He’s either traveling or thinking about traveling," says

Frances Heinrich. His eager travel companion, she has been

"everywhere." Well, maybe not some of the most obscure places, she

adds, but nearly everywhere. Shortly after her show opens she’s off

for on a river trip in the Ukraine.

While she has traveled widely, Heinrich’s home base has always been in

New Jersey. She grew up in Rutherford, and lived in East Brunswick

before moving to Princeton eight years ago. She holds a master’s

degree in art history from Columbia, but it is her undergraduate years

at Douglass that appear to have formed her as an artist.

"I was very fortunate," she says. "While I was at Douglass, Roy

Lichtenstein, Robert Watts, and Geoffrey Hendricks were there. George

Segal was a graduate student. He was in my sculpture class." Segal,

she confides, was not too happy. "He had other ideas," she says. The

main current of her fellow artists, in fact, was somewhat against the

grain. "It was quite an interesting moment at Rutgers," she says.

"Their collective inventiveness totally affected me."

Heinrich, who is also a performance artist and an independent curator,

has exhibited at the Newark Museum, the Noyes Museum, the Monmouth

Museum, the Grounds for Sculpture, the Gallery at Bristol-Myers

Squibb, the Borowsky Gallery in Philadelphia, Hebrew Union College

Museum in New York City, and New Century Artists Gallery in Chelsea,

also in New York City. She has had a studio in Princeton for two years

and teaches classes, both to individual and to groups, including

Princeton Adult School classes.

For her current show, Heinrich says that no material or technique is

off limits. She uses whatever it takes to achieve desired results –

plaster and resin life casting, stained glass work, photo transfer,

illumination, and even working silent TVs and a silent turntable. Yet

value is assigned and truths are subjective and willed.

At the base of all of her other materials is one fixed medium – ideas.

She hopes that visitors will take away at least one with them: Buyer

beware the unexamined opinion.

– Kathleen McGinn Spring

Buyer Beware: A Conceptual Flea Market, a mixed media

show by Frances Heinrich at the Arts Council of Princeton; through

September 30, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m, and Saturday, 10

a.m. through 5 p.m. Opening reception, September 10, at 6 p.m.

Top Of Page
Art in Town

Dynasty Arts, 20 Nassau Street, Unit F, 609-688-9388. The recently

opened Chinese antique and art gallery features a silk-screen series,

"Last Dynasty," oil and watercolor, and limited edition prints. Artist

and owner, Lu Zuogeng, combines Chinese brushwork with Western

watercolor. Also, Chinese antique furniture of Ming and Qing

dynasties. The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to

6:30 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.

Historical Society of Princeton, Bainbridge House, 158 Nassau Street,

609-921-6748. "Lost Princeton," an exhibit that explores lost

businesses and houses. The historic house also houses a long-term

exhibition about Princeton history highlighting the Native American

occupation, the Revolutionary War, and Princeton in the 19th and 20th

centuries. Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. Free


Princeton Theological Seminary, Erdman Hall Gallery, 20 Library Place,

609-497-7990. "Heather Pool Royal’s exhibit "Dialogues." Her paintings

are about how ideas, dialogues, space, and time intersect and collide

with one another. Monday to Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Sunday

2:30 to 9 p.m. To October 15.

Princeton University Art Museum, 609-258-3788. "Nineteenth Century

Photographs from the Museum Collection," a survey of signature works

by Anna Atkins, Edouard Baldus, Francis Frith, Henry Peach Robinson,

and Carlton Watkins. Through October 24.

University Medical Center at Princeton, 253 Witherspoon Street,

609-497-4000. An exhibit of works by Monroe Township artist Judith

Stein. An art educator for 35 years, she uses oil, watercolor,

acrylic, and mixed media. Part of the proceeds benefit the medical

center. Gallery is open 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. On view to September


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Area Galleries

Gold Medal Impressions, 43 Princeton Hightstown Road, West Windsor,

609-606-9001. Newly-expanded gallery of photographer Richard Druckman,

a freelance photographer for Associated Press. Six rooms and over 250

photographs of professional football, basketball, hockey, tennis, and

Olympic events. Photographs for sale are matted and framed and in a

variety of sizes and prices. Gallery is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Grounds For Sculpture, 18 Fairgrounds Road, Hamilton, 609-586-0616.

Urban Horizons features paintings by Philadelphia artist Charlotte

Schatz and sculpture by Janet Indick. Both represent their personal

interpretation of industrial representation. Tuesday to Sunday, 11:30

a.m. to 6 p.m. In the Toad Hall Shop and Gallery through September 26.

Montgomery Center for the Arts, 124 Montgomery Road, Skillman,

609-921-3272. 35th Annual Garden State Watercolor Society. Gallery

hours are Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Sunday, 1 to 4

p.m. Show continues to September 26.

Peggy Lewis Gallery, Lambertville Public Library, 6 Lilly Street,

609-397-0275. Gretchen Altabef’s exhibit featuring photographs she

took at the largest memorial assembled after 911 in Union Square.

Searching for peace three weeks after 911, she was greeted with

handmade signs and memorials. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, 1 to 9

p.m.; Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday 1 to 5 p.m.; and Saturday, 10

a.m. to 5 p.m. Through November 9.

Trenton Artists Workshop Association, Artworks Gallery, 19 Everett

Alley, Trenton, 609-394-9436. "The 25th Gala Celebration Anniversary

Exhibition" focuses on 60 TAWA members art work of paintings,

sculptures, and photographs. Gallery open Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.

to 3 p.m. On exhibit through September 12.

Wheaton Village, 1501 Glasstown Road, Millville, 856-825-6800. Native

to Neo: Mexican Folk Arts from Oaxaca is a four-month project devoted

to the arts and crafts from Oaxaca, Mexico and the first exhibition in

the new Creative Community Connections Series, an initiative to

understand and embrace cultural diversity. Through November 12.

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Campus Arts

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

and baroque galleries reopened on August 20. The museum’s galleries

are open Tuesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday, 1 to 5

p.m. Tours are given on Saturdays at 2 p.m.

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Art in the Workplace

Bristol-Myers Squibb, Hopewell Campus, 609-252-5120. Outdoor sculpture

show features works by seven prominent East Coast artists: Hope Carter

of Hopewell, Kate Dodd, Richard Heinrich, John Isherwood, Joel

Perlman, John Van Alstine, and Jay Wholley. Exhibition is on view

during business hours and will remain in its location for two years.

The artists were selected by a panel composed of Alejandro Anreus,

veteran curator and scholar, Jeffrey Nathanson of the International

Sculpture Center, and visual artist Sheba Sharrow, working under the

guidance of Kate Somers, curator of the company’s corporate gallery in


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Art by the River

E.M. Adams Gallery, 440 Union Square Drive, New Hope, 215-862-5667.

New paintings by owner Ed Adams, a licensed psychologist in


New Hope Arts, Union Square, West Bridge Street and Union Square

Drive, New Hope, 215-862-3396. Second annual New Hope Sculpture

Exhibition featuring an indoor exhibition of more than 88 works by 43

nationally and internationally recognized artists and an outdoor show

of seven large-scale works installed throughout the town. Through

April, 2005.

Louisa Melrose Gallery, 41 Bridge Street, Frenchtown, 908-996-1470.

Exhibit featuring urban scapes by artists Frank Federico, Marilyn

Halls, Claire Paisner, and John Reilly. Open Tuesday through Sunday,

11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Through September 30.

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, Elizabeth Ruggles, Lucy

McVicker, Robert Sakson, with pottery by Katherine Hackl and Ann

Tsubota. Wednesday to Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. On view to September 25.

Triumph Brewing Company, 400 Union Square, New Hope, 215-862-8300.

Catherine DeChico’s show, "Jersey Girls." She presents both her

intensely colorful paintings and evocative black and white photographs

of bathers at the Jersey Shore. Through September 12.

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Art In Trenton

The Old Barracks Museum, Barrack Street, Trenton, 609-396-1776.

"Furniture, Curios and Pictures: 100 Years of Collecting by the Old

Barracks," a display in the exhibit gallery is included in the tour

admission fee. Open every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; the last tour is

at 3:50 p.m.

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Area Museums

American Hungarian Foundation Museum, 300 Somerset Street, New

Brunswick, 732-846-5777. "Everywhere a Foreigner and Yet Nowhere a

Stranger," an exhibition of 19th-century Hungarian art from the Salgo

Trust for Education. Museum hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to

4 p.m.; and Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m. $5 donation. Extended to September 12.

Barron Arts Center, 582 Rahway Avenue, Woodbridge, 732-634-0413. "The

Best of Life," the annual exhibition of life drawings, paintings, and

sculpture by the members of the arts center’s life drawing program.

Gallery hours are Monday to Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Sundays, 2

to 4 p.m. Closed Saturdays and holidays.On view through September 12.

James A. Michener Art Museum, Union Square Complex, Bridge Street, New

Hope, 215-340-9800. New Hope satellite facility opens with the

relocation of the popular, interactive multi-media show, "Creative

Bucks County: A Celebration of Art and Artists," featuring 19th and

20th century painters, writers, composers, and playwrights. Also on

exhibit, "Pennsylvania Impressionists of the New Hope School." Museum

admission $6 adults; $2 youth. Tuesday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Sunday noon to 6 p.m.

Closed Mondays.

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

215-340-9800. "The Artists Among Us," a permanent interactive exhibit

dedicated to the history and legacy of the artists who have made New

Hope an internationally recognized arts colony. Tuesday to Friday, 10

a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday noon to 5

p.m. $6.50; $4 students.

Also on display are 10 pieces of sculpture by Connecticut-based artist

David Hayes in the outdoor sculpture area. Most are large

multi-colored works of painted steel. Through October 1.

Also on exhibit is an exhibition of works by Sandy Sorlien,

"Photographs from Fifty Houses," a selection of photographs from her

2002 book, "Fifty Houses: Images from the American Road." Sorlien

appears for a lecture and book signing on Wednesday, September 22, 7

p.m. Through October 3.

Also, "Edward W. Redfield: Just Values and Fine Settings," an

exhibition of over 50 works created by the 20th century Pennsylvania

impressionist. The exhibit features works from early students

drawings, landscapes painted in France, and some pieces never before

on public view. Through January 9, 2005.

Philadelphia Museum of Art, 709-721 Catharine Street, Philadelphia,

215-922-3456. Four-part Challenge Series. Exhibit features the works

of Steve Cope, Veleta Vancza, and Sarah Zwerling. Through October 6.

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