Art in Town

Campus Arts

Art in the Workplace

Other Museums

Art by the River

Art In Trenton

Corrections or additions?

This article by Carolyn Foote Edelmann was prepared for the

April 25, 2001 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

The Nature of Friendship

Pierre & Sophia, A True Tale in English and


born of neighborliness, is more than a new children’s book. It’s a

bridge linking children of two cultures — American and French.

Already in its second printing, "Pierre & Sophia" also serves

as an ongoing bridge between its creators and the Griggstown


Society. Proceeds from this new publication support the society’s

efforts to preserve the Delaware and Raritan Canal and Towpath, along

whose banks this story unfolds.

The story evolved over the course of two years. Griggstown artist

Sue Agin and Mary Shaw, a Rutgers University professor of French,

encouraged a budding friendship between their two young children.

First, Sue painted her daughter, Sophia, and Mary’s son, Pierre, in

everyday activities alongside the canal. Then Mary set about


the pictures together" in simple French and English to create

this appealing storybook.

On Sunday, April 29, the Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers hosts an


of Spring: Family Day." Part of their celebration includes "A

World of Story," featuring art of an international array of


children’s illustrators. This new example of American Impressionism,

"Pierre & Sophia, A True Tale in English and French" will

come alive among the work of exhibitors E. B. Lewis, Catherine Stock,

Adrienne Adams, and Erika Weih. Author Mary Shaw and artist Sue Agin

will read from their new book, incorporating playful French lessons.

This event will be offered twice, at 1:15 and at 2 p.m., in the


Children’s Literature Gallery.

Rutgers’ Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum is renowned on scholarly

as well as popular fronts for their collection of the art of 20th

and 21st century children’s literature. Other strengths include


Impressionism and the French collection. In this milieu, "Pierre

& Sophia" fits like toast in a toaster.

The original intent of Pierre’s and Sophia’s mothers was to intrigue

Sophia into learning French, Pierre to start to read, and both


into a strong connection. Shaw’s "modern fairy tale," concerns

"Sophia, the fair princess," and "her French-prince,


a cheeky boy." Towpath and Canal vie with these youngsters as

hero and heroine, alluring in all seasons. The impressionistic story

is long on charm and short on action. Creatures of woodland and water

interact with the children. Clouds reflect and certify their unique

friendship. Like St. Exupery’s "The Little Prince", and E.

B. White’s "Charlotte’s Web," the allure of this work is by

no means limited to pre-schoolers.

Paging through the exquisite visual and verbal images of "Pierre

& Sophia" is like holding American Impressionism in your hands.

Sue Agin’s watercolors have a dreamy quality evocative of the mood

while kayaking the canal’s misty reaches in summertime: so still,

you can sneak up on a turtle. Not unlike Monet with his haystacks

and poplars, Sue set herself to capture the children on a daily basis,

to memorialize the towpath and canal in all seasons. For all its


the work has a strong core. That core is authenticity.

Sue Agin admits, "We showed the children their


yes: afterwards. Thy did not pose." Mary Shaw declares, "I

tried not to invent a fiction, to stay true to Pierre’s and Sophia’s

reality. This was a bond that grew with the seasons, as the book


In the beginning, they didn’t want to play together so much as we

wanted them to. Pierre’s eyes are half-closed in the tea party scene.

Her games weren’t all that interesting to him at that point. By the

end of the book, the children had become inseparable. This is how

they are today."

Griggstown Historical Society president Marilyn Kulik attributes the

powerful appeal of "Pierre & Sophia" to its focus on the


"Sue’s images remind us that this canal is a precious and enduring

resource for children of the future. Sue’s art and this sweet story

capture what we have to work over and over to save," she says.

Therefore, the Historical Society helped sponsor publication. Part

of the proceeds from "Pierre & Sophia" benefit the society

"so that we can go on teaching, keeping our finger in the


The Griggstown Historical Society is a long-time local preservationist

group. Some of its members have recently founded the frankly activist

Citizens to Preserve Griggstown. Historical and preservationist groups

throughout the Millstone Valley have begun to band together to form

the Millstone Valley Preservation Coalition. This co-operation is

part of a nationwide trend, a concerted attempt to stem development

and the concrete inundations that accompany it. The current goal of

this newest area organization is to have Canal and River roads


National Scenic Byways. The connection of Pierre and Sophia mirrors

this ecological trend.

The book is reaching not only activists, but also students in local

schools. Shaw, fresh from an author’s event at Franklin Park


School, recently described one of her "playshop presentations"

involving this cross-cultural, grass-roots book.

"We went to Pierre’s and Sophia’s school, to their actual


because the children there wanted to learn about writing stories,

about book-making, as well as about French," says Shaw. She


over the intensely involved reactions of that day’s first-grade


"The children engaged eagerly, and these are non-Francophones.

It was a verbal dance." Thanks to recent legal developments,


and other foreign languages are being increasingly taught in New


schools at all grade levels. "Pierre & Sophia" is on the cusp

of that trend.

Sue Agin marveled at the seriousness of their young questioners:


wanted to know what kind of paint I use, and if I draw first and then

color. One little girl asked, `How do you stay in the lines?’"

"All of them wanted to know, `How did you make the book?’"

"Children seem to ask `How?’," observed Mary. "Teachers

want to know why."

This is a book for lovers of unspoiled beauty; for people who live

here now and those who have, reluctantly, moved to towpath-less


for those who know French — a lot or just a little; for those

who cherish childhood and those who would return to it, just for a

while, with enchanting Sophia and cheeky Pierre.

— Carolyn Foote Edelmann

Impressions of Spring Family Day, Zimmerli Art

Museum ,

George and Hamilton streets, New Brunswick, 732-932-7237. A day of

art, music, entertainment, and a book signing of "Pierre &


by author Mary Shaw and illustrator Sue Agin. Free with museum


Sunday, April 29, 1 to 4 p.m.

"Pierre & Sophia" (48 pages, $18.50) is available


Criqueville Press, Box 1227, Princeton NJ 08542; and through


Historical Society, 1079 Canal Road, Princeton 08540. It is also sold

at Micawber Books, En Provence, and Jazams, in Princeton, and the

Zimmerli Museum Shop in New Brunswick.

Agin’s original paintings for "Pierre & Sophia" are on exhibit

at Franklin Township Library, in the Municipal Complex, 485 DeMott

Road, in Franklin Township (732-873-8700) through April 30.

Top Of Page
Art in Town

Chapin School, 4101 Princeton Pike, 609-924-7206. Ruth

Reese, "Forms Transformed," a show of multimedia works.


latest multimedia works incorporate ceramic forms," says Reese,

who also has a degree in endocrinology from Rutgers. "Clay, the

essence of Mother Earth, has become (along with the re-use of found

objects) central to my collages, masks, and vessels." To April


Marsha Child Contemporary, 220 Alexander Street,


"Art in Bloom," an international show of floral paintings

and landscapes which premiered last month at the Philadelphia Flower

Show. Tuesday to Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. To April 27.

Medical Center at Princeton, 253 Witherspoon Street,


Dining room exhibition of watercolors by Charles E. Person, and


and pastels by Patrice Sprovieri. On view daily from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

To May 16.

Numina Gallery, Princeton High School, Moore Street,


A student-curated show of works by Tony Gonzalez featuring his


series of studies of the Jersey Shore. The New York City artist


at Cooper Union. All profits from the sale of work go directly to

PHS art programs. Monday to Friday, 3 to 5 p.m.; and by appointment

from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. To May 18.

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Campus Arts

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


Drawings in the American Tradition," to June 17. "Great


II: The Art of the Print in the Western World" and "Spanish

Drawings," to June 10. "Le Corbusier at Princeton: 14 to 16

November 1935," an exhibition of sketches and works related to

the French architect’s Princeton lectures, to June 17. Also "A

Tapestry by Karel van Mander" to June 10. "Seeing Double:

Copies and Copying in the Arts of China," an exhibition of Chinese

art, to July 1. On extended view in the Bowen Gallery, Richard Serra’s

"Weight and Measure" etchings. Tuesday through Saturday, 10

a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday 1 to 5 p.m. Free tours are every Saturday at

2 p.m.

The Peddie School, Mariboe Gallery, Swig Arts Center,

Hightstown, 609-490-7550. Visual arts faculty showcase featuring


works by Tim Panjabi-Trelease, Catherine Robohm Watkins, Joan Krejcar

Sharma, and Michael Maxwell. The gallery is open weekdays from 9 a.m.

to 3 p.m. To April 27.

Princeton Theological Seminary, Erdman Hall Gallery, 20

Library Place, 609-497-7990. "Preparing the Light," featuring

the stained glass, sculpture, and paintings by Kathleen Nicastro,

a member of the staff of the office of student relations. Reception

and gallery talk will take place Wednesday, April 18, at 4:30 p.m.

Gallery hours are Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Saturday

to 4:30 p.m.; Sunday 2 to 9:30 p.m. To May 29.

Top Of Page
Art in the Workplace

Capital Health System, Mercer Campus, 446 Bellevue Avenue,

Trenton, 609-394-4000. A group show by the Princeton Photography Club

featuring nature photography, portraits, still life, and landscapes.

Show continues through May 18 in the main lobby gallery that is always


Johnson & Johnson World Headquarters Gallery, New


732-524-3698. Works in oil by New Jersey artist Rosalie Hettenbach,

working in a style she identifies as Dynakinetic Impressionist Art.

"I want each viewer to feel as if they are enveloped in my


says Hettenbach, "as if my artwork is jumping out at them


She studied at the New Jersey Center for Visual Arts in Summit under

S. Allyn Schaeffer. To April 27. Free by appointment only.

Also "The Healing Garden Quilt Show," an exhibit of 27


quilts depicting plants that are being used or tested for the


of cancer, created by the Northern Virginia Quilters Group; to May


Stark & Stark, 993 Lenox Drive, Building Two,


609-895-7307. "Latent Images," an exhibition of photographs

by William Vandever curated by Gary Snyder Fine Art. Vandever works

in black and white, color, hand-colored, and digital photography.

Gallery hours are Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. To May 25.

Top Of Page
Other Museums

American Hungarian Foundation, 300 Somerset Street, New

Brunswick, 732-846-5777. "The Art of Baron Laszlo Mednyansky in

Context: Works from the Salgo Trust for Education." An exhibition

of works by the turn-of-the-century aristocratic artist who disguised

himself as a pauper to paint grim images of the underbelly of society.

Museum hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Sunday,

1 to 4 p.m. Donation $5. To September 16.

Hunterdon Museum of Art, Lower Center Street, Clinton,

908-735-8415. "Melvin Edwards: The Prints of a Sculptor,"

an exhibit of prints and works on paper by the artist best known for

his powerful work in welded steel. Edwards’ work makes metaphorical

references, both personal and historical, to the African-American

experience incorporating cultural references to his extensive travels

in Africa. He has taught at Rutgers Mason Gross School since 1972.

Museum hours are Tuesday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. To June 3.

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


215-340-9800. "The Photography

of Alfred Stieglitz" Georgia O’Keeffe’s Enduring Gift," a major

retrospective of the influential modernist’s owm works drawn from

a major collection given by O’Keeffe to the George Eastman House in

Rochester. To May 20.

Museum admission $6 adults; $2.50 students; under 12 free. Museum

hours Tuesday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Saturday & Sunday,

10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Wednesday evenings to 9 p.m.

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Art by the River

Artists’ Gallery, 32 Coryell Street, Lambertville,


"Anything Goes," a shared show featuring works by Merle Citron

and Peter Petraglia. Gallery hours are Friday, Saturday, and Sunday,

11 a.m. to 6 p.m. To May 6.

Artsbridge, Prallsville Mills, Route 29, Stockton,


Annual juried show selected by exhibition chairperson, Edie Sharp.

Open daily, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., through Saturday, April 28.

In Rare Form Gallery, 14 Church Street, Lambertville,

609-397-1006. "The Logik of Josh Owen," an exhibition of


furniture and lighting designs. Owen is a 1994 graduate of Cornell

who earned his MFA in furniture design in 1997 at the Rhode Island

School of Design. Gallery hours are Thursday through Sunday, 12 to

5 p.m. and by appointment. To April 30.

Riverrun Gallery, 287 South Main Street, Lambertville,

609-397-3349. "Father Figure," a retrospective series of


by Paul Matthews, portraying of his father, T.S. Matthews, and


the years 1978 to 2001. Matthews was managing editor of Time magazine

from 1941 to 1949 and came to live with his son in Lambertville at

the end of his life. He died in England in 1991 shortly before his

90th birthday. Gallery is open daily, 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed

Tuesday. To May 12.

Tin Man Alley, 12 West Mechanic Street, New Hope,


"The New Surrealists" featuring limited edition prints and

lithographs by Mark Ryden, Eric White, and Joe Sorren. Pioneers of

the movement, these artists look for new frontiers where the bizarre,

the fantastic, and the beautiful merge. Curated by Jonathan Levine,

gallery hours are Thursday through Monday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. To May


Top Of Page
Art In Trenton

Ellarslie, Trenton City Museum, Cadwalader Park,


"Johnson Atelier Open," a group show featuring over 100 works

from the renowned Johnson Atelier sculpture foundry and stone studio

by 50 present and past artist apprentices and staff members. Museum

hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Sunday, 1 to

4 p.m. To June 3.

Extension Gallery, 60 Ward Avenue, Mercerville,


An exhibition of recent sculpture by New York artist and Rutgers


Gary Kuehn. Working with painted foam rubber and epoxy, Kuehn keeps

expressive intervention to a minimum in works that all begin with

a more or less geometric piece of foam rubber. Gallery hours are


to Thursday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. To May 3.

Kuehn says his sculpture is the result of a process and a procedure

and any suggestion of a particular representation is secondary,


and unavoidable. "Each work derives from an observation, a


and an intuitive sensing — transformed, compact, complete, and

beyond language. It is sometimes said that biography plays a part

in every artist’s work. This I neither affirm nor deny."

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

609-292-6464. "TAWA: Eyes on Trenton," a juried exhibition

of works in all media that focus on the city of Trenton. Juried by

longtime TAWA and New Jersey State Museum member Molly Merlino,


Margaret O’Reilly, and registrar Jana Balsamo, the show features 65

works by 53 artists. Museum hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 9

a.m. to 4:45 p.m.; Sunday noon to 5 p.m. To May 10.

Also on view, "Americans on the Silver Screen," an exhibit

of movie posters, press books, and lobby cards dating from 1934 to

1970 that explores the role of movies in creating and perpetuating

stereotypes of ethnic Americans. "Reflections of Cultures: African

Art and Craftwork from the Collections," wooden carvings,


textiles, metal work, and a recreation of a Nigerian village in


carvings. On extended view: "The Modernists;" "Fine and

Decorative Arts Collections;" "New Jersey Ceramics, Silver,

Glass and Iron;" "New Jersey’s Native Americans: The


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

Collection of North American Mammals;" "Of Rock and Fire;

New Jersey and the Great Ice Age;" "Dinosaur Turnpike: Treks

through New Jersey’s Piedmont;" "Amber: the Legendary


and "Washington Crossing the Delaware."

Rhinehart-Fischer Gallery, 46 West Lafayette, Trenton,

609-695-0061. An exhibition featuring contemporary impressionist


Jerry Cable and his romantic and pastoral farmscapes. Gallery hours

are Wednesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.

To April 30.

Area Galleries

Firehouse Gallery, 8 Walnut Street, Bordentown,


A giant exhibition of small artworks featuring miniature acrylic


by Florida artist Peggie Hornbrook and works by 30 area artists. Over

200 works will be on exhibit, all priced under $200. Gallery hours

are Wednesdays from 4 to 9 p.m. To May 26.

Gas House Gallery, 40 Broad Street, Hopewell,


A new gallery in the tradition of "Art’s Garage," featuring

the paintings of Hopewell artist Alan Taback. Taback began his career

as a plein-air painter, moved to portraiture, and has most recently

turned to abstract figurative work. The gallery is open weekends,

and by appointment.

Hopewell Frame Shop, 24 West Broad Street, Hopewell,


Sandra Nusblatt’s exhibition of watercolor house portraits and wicker

porch scenes painted in Princeton, Lambertville, Cape May, and other

historic locales. Shop hours are Tuesday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.;

Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. To May 25.

Montgomery Cultural Center, 1860 House, Skillman,


Garden State Watercolor Society members’ juried exhibit. Jurors are

Lisa Tinsman and Michael Mercandante. Gallery is open Tuesday to


10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m. To May 20.

Printmaking Council of New Jersey, 440 River Road, North

Branch, 908-725-2110. "Humanity," a juried exhibition about

diversity on our planet. Juror Wayne Miyamoto of University of Hawaii,

has selected 40 pieces that look at difference and similarity in such

areas as origin and culture, time and place, work and play, politics

and religion. Gallery hours are Wednesday to Friday, 11 a.m. to 4

p.m.; Saturday, 1 to 4 p.m. To June 2.

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