Art in Town

Art On Campus

Art in the Workplace

Art In Trenton

To the North

Art by the River

Other Museums

Other Galleries

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This article by Nicole Plett was published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on

October 20, 1999. All rights reserved.

The Shahn Family Art Affair

Artist Abby Shahn grew up in a home where powerful

images of art — ancient and modern — were a constant source

of inspiration. Yet her latest paintings are fueled not by pencils,

paints, and pigments, but by the sounds emanating from the radio show

she co-hosts in central Maine.

A Mainer since 1969, Shahn says her show, "Sounds Round the World,"

a forum for the world music boom, has led her into a new involvement

with African diaspora cultures. And the colors, energies, and rhythms

of African-born arts have found their way into her work.

As part of the Arts Council of Princeton’s "Hurrah America! Festival,"

Abby Shahn’s work will be exhibited, along with that of her mother,

96-year-old Bernarda Bryson Shahn, and her late father, Ben Shahn,

in the WPA Gallery. The opening reception is Friday, October 22, at

6:30 p.m. for the show that remains on view through Friday, October

29. Following the reception, author Howard Greenfeld gives a reading

from his new biography, "Ben Shahn: An Artist’s Life," published

last November by Random House.

"We have a tendency to look at African culture as static, to look

for the `authentic,’" observes Shahn, in a phone interview from

her home near Solon. "I’m fascinated by the music and the richness

of it all. And one of the things that interests me through the music

is how incredibly permeable the cultures are — much less isolated

than one would have imagined. For example reggae in Jamaica was influenced

by American radio, then Jamaican reggae became powerful on the African

continent, and now we hear African reggae back in the States."

Abby grew up in Roosevelt, New Jersey, the town where Ben Shahn created

his monumental 45-foot-long fresco mural, housed in Roosevelt School,

that celebrates the town’s history and the history of the garment

workers’ union. The year after the mural’s completion in 1938, Shahn

and his wife, Bernarda Bryson Shahn, returned to live in the WPA planned

town then named Jersey Homesteads, and raised three children there.

Ben Shahn died in 1969. His artist widow and son, professional sculptor

Jonathan Shahn, still live and work in Roosevelt. The Shahns’ daughter

Susanna died in an accident as a young adult.

As a young artist, Abby Shahn studied in Oregon, San Francisco, New

York City, and at the Skowheegan school in upstate New York, but earned

a degree from none. "I think it was a sign of the times, that

art school was not necessarily where you got your education back then,"

she says. "I lived in New York in the ’60s during a very vital

period. I was in my 20s, and you could say that my education came

from my fellow artists."

A painter who has also experimented with painting on

ceramics, Shahn’s recent works include "Scaredy Cat," seen

on the cover of this issue, a loopy, pulsating web of primary colors.

It is one of a series of lighthearted works made over the past three

or four years and recently exhibited in New York

"I’m looking for images in the paint and bringing them up to the

surface. I’m looking for honesty and intensity in the images,"

says Shahn, whose dynamic abstractions playfully reveal animals and

plants emerging from a plane of riotous color. The images are created

in egg tempera on paper.

"The intensity of color is what many people see first," says

Shahn, adding that she uses the powered pigments in their pure form,

although at times she may layer one colors over another.

"My dad painted with pigments and not with prepared paint, and

as a child I’d go down with him and look into these beautiful barrels

of powdered pigment. As a young artist I used them because they were

cheap — you buy them by the pound. Now they seem more beautiful,

and it’s an easier solution to keeping materials on hand in this remote

area."

Howard Greenfeld’s new Shahn biography, published last November by

Random House, has led to renewed interest in the artist who became,

during the Depression, one of the nation’s most beloved image-makers.

Unlike Britain’s "Sensation" artists currently causing so

much public distaste, Shahn used his art to give eloquent form to

righteous causes that were widely embraced by the public. His widow,

Bernarda Bryson Shahn, today one of the most venerated members of

the Roosevelt art community, worked as a professional illustrator

who became known for her cover illustrations for the Scientific American.

Since retirement, she has devoted herself to her own drawing, painting,

and printmaking.

"My mother often had to tuck her career in and around the family.

It was the best of both worlds. She was home for us — she was

not a working mother who was never there — but she also had her

career." Abby Shahn is the mother of two daughters, both of whom

are artistic. Amanda Shahn Slamm is now working with horticulture

as art expression.

Shahn shows and sells her throughout Maine and is represented by the

Caldbeck Gallery in Rockland, the town made famous by the Wyeth family

art dynasty and home to the Farnsworth Museum.

For this second-generation artist, the art profession remains among

the most challenging. "I’m not rolling over in money," says

Shahn with a lusty laugh, "but I’m not starving to death either."

— Nicole Plett

Hurrah America! Festival, Arts Council of Princeton,

102 Witherspoon Street, 609-924-8777. "Ben Shahn: An Artist’s

Life." Opening for a show of works by Bernarda Bryson Shahn, Abby

Shahn, and Ben Shahn. At 8 p.m., author Howard Greenfeld reads from

his new biography, "Ben Shahn: An Artist’s Life." Friday,

October 22, 6:30 p.m.

Top Of Page
Art in Town

Chapin School, 4101 Princeton Pike, 609-921-7206. "Children’s Illustrators," a show featuring several national children’s

reading events, original illustrations, and prints by seven children’s book illustrators. Artists represented are Dyanne Di Salvo Ryan,

Caldecott Medalist John Shoenherr, Thomas Sperling, Karel Hayes, Ponder Goembel, Charles Santore, and Michael Dooling. To November 11.

Doral Forrestal, 100 College Road East, 609-452-7800. "Water Works," an exhibition of watercolors by Gail Bracegirdle. The show

in the upper lobby runs through November 1.

DeLann Gallery, Princeton Meadows Shopping Center, Plainsboro, 609-799-6706. Group show featuring oils by David Thurlow, Inga

Steinberg, Marina Kalinovsky, and Apo Totosyan; sculptures by Amedeo Ferri; and the works of Sydney Neuwirth. To November 6. Gallery hours

are Tuesday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Firebird Gallery, 15 Witherspoon, 609-688-0775. Original watercolors by the Russian-born illustrator Gennady Spirin from his new

picture book, "Jack and the Beanstalk," re-told by Princeton author Ann Beneduce. Through November. Gallery hours are Tuesday to Sunday, 11

a.m. to 6 p.m., and by appointment.

Medical Center at Princeton, Witherspoon Street, 609-497-4192. Pastels art show by Kathy Shumway-Tunney, to November 18. In the

Merwick Unit Library, landscapes and house portraits by Betty Hirschmann, to December 9. Part of proceeds benefit the medical center. Open 8

a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.

Anne Reid Art Gallery, Princeton Day School, The Great Road, 609-924-6700. Lore Lindenfeld’s, "A Journey in Fiber Art: Design at

Black Mountain College and Beyond." A small retrospective that spans four phases of the fiber artist’s career: from design

and color studies for courses taught by Josef and Anni Albers at Black

Mountain College to Lindenfeld’s work in the fashion industry. More

recent works include woven wall pieces and multimedia fiber

compositions. To November 19.

Born in Wuppertal, Germany, Lindenfeld’s family emigrated to

Boston in 1939, when she was 18. With the help of a Harvard faculty network set up to help refugees, she went on to attend Black Mountain

College, a small, experimental college near Asheville, North Carolina.

This brought her together with textile artist Anni Albers

who, with her husband Joseph Albers — both influential members

of the Bauhaus — had also fled Germany. The college became home to

numerous emigre artists, as well as nurturing the talents of such

Americans as Buckminster Fuller, John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Nancy

Newhall, Robert Rauschenberg, Lou Harrison, Charles Olsen, Robert

Creeley, and Francine du Plessix Gray.

Lindenfeld spent 10 years as a textile designer in New York, where she met her husband, physicist Peter Lindenfeld, settling in

Princeton in 1959. Lore, who gave up her industry job after the birth of her second child, founded and taught in the weaving department at

Middlesex County Community College for 12 years. She is an active member of the Princeton Artists Alliance and the Textile Study Group of

New York.

Small World Coffee, 14 Witherspoon Street, 609-924-4377. Jon Roemer, "Photographs on the Periphery of Manhattan." The work is

part of an ongoing series by the fine art and commercial photographer that explores the built environment in this most densely populated

area of the country. To November 1.

Top Of Page
Art On Campus

Art Museum, Princeton University, 609-258-3788. "Edward Lear’s Greece," an exhibition of watercolors, sketchings, and letters

from the Gennadius Library of the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, Greece. Also beginning, "The Trappings of Gentility:

19th-Century British Art at Princeton." Both shows to January 2. "What Photographs Look Like," from the permanent collection, to October 24.

The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday 1 to 5 p.m. Free tours of the collection are every Saturday at 2 p.m.

The permanent collection features a strong representation of Western European paintings, old master prints, and original photographs.

Collections of Chinese, Pre-Columbian Mayan, and African art are considered among the museum’s most impressive. Not housed in the museum but

part of the collection is the John B. Putnam Jr. Memorial Collection of 20th-century outdoor sculpture, with works by such modern masters as

Henry Moore, Alexander Calder, Pablo Picasso, and George Segal located throughout the campus.

The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday 1 to 5 p.m. Free tours of the collection are given every Saturday

at 2 p.m.

College of New Jersey, Art Gallery, Holman Hall, 609-771-2198. "Paperwork: Pulp as Medium," featuring works by Anita Bernarde,

Jane Eccles, Margaret K. Johnson, Betsy Miraglia, Joan Needham, and Marie Sturken. To November 3. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday,

noon to 3 p.m.; Thursday 7 to 9 p.m.; and Sunday, 1 to 3 p.m.

Lawrenceville School, Gruss Center of Visual Arts, Lawrenceville, 609-620-6026. "Body: Drawings, Photography, Sculpture" by

Leonid Siveriver, a member of the art faculty. Show runs to November 5. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to noon, and 1 to

4:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday; Wednesday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to noon.

Gallery at Mercer County College, Communications Center, West Windsor, 609-586-4800. Frank Rivera & Joan Needham, an exhibition

of recent work by two members of the MCCC faculty. Rivera’s narrative paintings are surreal renderings of dreams and cryptic imagery.

Needham is a paper maker and sculptor who uses scrap metal for her abstract constructions. To November 5. Gallery hours are Monday to

Thursday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and Wednesday evenings from 6 to 8 p.m.

Rider University Art Gallery, Lawrenceville, 609-895-5588. "Beauty Queens," an exhibition of new works by Carson Fox. The

mixed-media show is composed of rusted dresses made of paper, headpieces and tiaras of wire, beads, and pins, and funeral wreaths. To

October 24. Gallery hours are Monday to Thursday, 2 to 8 p.m.; Friday to Sunday, 2 to 5 p.m.

Top Of Page
Art in the Workplace

Capital Health System, Mercer Campus, 446 Bellevue

Avenue, Trenton, 609-394-4095. Physicians’ exhibition features works

by CHS physicians Anthony Chiurco, Joseph Eberhart, Leon Fraser, Jay

Goodkind, Robert Gould, Alfred Monkowski, Horace Shaffer, Iradj

Sharim, Richard Siderits, Joseph Wood, and Lee Yazujian. Lobby gallery

is always open. To November 12.

Johnson & Johnson World Headquarters Gallery, New Brunswick, 732-524-3698. "Work from the Art Centre of New Jersey," a group

show of oils, watercolors, pastels and acrylics, to November 30. In the New Jersey Artist Series, "Portraits" by Nicole Maynard-Sahar, an

exhibition of expressionistic portraiture, to November 4. Free by appointment.

Stark & Stark, 993 Lenox Drive, Building 2, Lawrenceville, 609-896-9060. "Departures," an exhibition by the Art Group, featuring

Princeton area artists Liz Adams, Nadine Berkowsky, Eva Kaplan, Edith Kogan, Judith Koppel, Stephanie Mandelbaum, Helen Post, and Gloria

Wiernik, and curated by Gary Snyder of Snyder Fine Art. In the reception area galleries to November 12. Exhibit is open Monday to Friday, 9

a.m. to 5 p.m.

Summit Bancorp Gallery, 301 Carnegie Center at Route 1, 609-987-3200. "The American Indian Artists’ Exhibition," a group show

that continues to November 29. Exhibition is open daily, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Free.

Top Of Page
Art In Trenton

Ellarslie, Trenton City Museum, Cadwalader Park, 609-989-3632. "Ten x Ten," a group show of women’s book arts organized by the

Printmaking Council of New Jersey. Also showing: "The D&R Canal and Trenton: A Visual History." To October 24. Museum hours are Tuesday

through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Sunday, 2 to 4 p.m.

Extension Gallery, 60 Ward Avenue, Mercerville, 609-890-7777. Recent work by Helena Lukasova. A native of the Czech Republic,

she will show bronze and iron sculpture combined with nontraditional materials. To November 4. Gallery hours are Monday to Thursday, 10 a.m.

to 4 p.m.

Grounds for Sculpture, 18 Fairgrounds Road, Hamilton, 609-586-0616. Fall-Winter Exhibition. In the Museum and Domestic Arts

Building, "Beverly Pepper," one-artist show. On the mezzanine, a

thematic photography show, "Focus on Sculpture." Shows continue to April 16, 2000. Gallery hours are Friday through Sunday, 10

a.m. to 4 p.m.

New additions to the 22-acre landscaped sculpture park include works

by Michele Oka Doner, David Hostetler, J. Seward Johnson Jr.,

Francisco Leiro, John Martini, and Joseph Menna. The park is on the

former state fairgrounds site, with indoor exhibitions in the

glass-walled, 10,000 square foot museum, and the newly-renovated

Domestic Arts Building.

New Jersey State Museum, 205 West State Street, Trenton, 609-292-6464. "The Modernists," a single-room exhibition of gems from

the permanent collection by Charles Demuth, Arthur Dove, Marsden Harley, Georgia O’Keeffe, Alfred Stieglitz, Helen Torr, and others.

Also "Apollo 11 Remembered," an exhibit of commemorative items, to January 2; "Sunstruck!" an exhibit that explores the cultural myths,

music, literature, archaeological artifacts, and astronomy of Earth’s nearest star, to March 12. On extended view: "Dinosaur Turnpike: Treks

through New Jersey’s Piedmont"; "Amber: The Legendary Resin"; "The Moon: Fact & Fiction." Museum hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 9 a.m. to

4:45 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.

Urban Word Cafe, 449 South Broad Street, Trenton, 609-989-7777. Alan Taback’s "Dance Rhythms," a series of paintings based on

music and dance. The Trenton-based artist has been painting and exhibiting for the past 20 years. Writes Vivian Raynor of the New York

Times, "Taback’s paintings have a great deal of integrity."

Top Of Page
To the North

Mabel Smith Douglass Library, Rutgers University, 732-932-9407. In the Mary H. Dana Women Artists Series, "Stroke-Mark-Motion,"

an exhibition by feminist performance and conceptual artist and filmmaker Carolee Schneemann. To November 13.

Museum of the American Hungarian Foundation, 300 Somerset Street, New Brunswick, 732-846-5777. "The Hungarian Spark in America,"

an exhibit highlighting Hungarian contributions to the arts, sciences, humanities, commerce, religious and civic life in America. To January

31. Museum hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m. $3 donation. Museum hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m.

to 4 p.m.; Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m. $3 donation.

Quietude Garden Gallery, 24 Fern Road, East Brunswick, 732-257-4340. Contemporary sculpture by 110 artists in natural outdoor

installations on view through October. Hours are Friday to Sunday, noon to 5 p.m., and by appointment.

Zimmerli Art Museum, George and Hamilton streets, New Brunswick, 732-932-7237. "A Sense of Wonder: African Art from the Faletti

Family Collection." Show features 80 works, dating from the 15th to early 20th century, presenting an overview of the variety of style and

sensibility in African art. To November 24. Museum hours are Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, noon to 5

p.m.

Also on exhibit: "Sources of Japonism: Japanese Woodblock Prints from the David and Ruth Eisenberg Collection"; and "Let’s Go: On the Move

with Children’s Book Illustration." Both shows to November 24.

Top Of Page
Art by the River

ABC Gallery, Lambertville Public Library, 6 Lilly Street, 609-397-0275. "Molecular Art II: Acrylics on Canvas by Max Epstein," a

show inspired by the brilliant amoeboid shapes that appeared to the artist when he was recovering from anesthesia after eye surgery. To

November 13. 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.

Artists’ Gallery, 32 Coryell Street, Lambertville, 609-397-4588. "Remains of the Old Ways: Landscapes of Rural Europe and

America" by Sandra Davis and recent images of France by Gordon Hass. To October 31. Gallery hours are Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, 11 a.m.

to 6 p.m.

Bell’s Union Street Restaurant, 183 North Union, Lambertville, 609-397-2226. "Painterly Impressions," an exhibition of

watercolors by the Chinese-American artist inspired by recent visits to Venice, Alaska, and the Jersey shore. To December 3.

Coryell Gallery, 8 Coryell Street, Lambertville, 609-397-0804. Annual Fall Exhibition features paintings by Albert L. Bross Jr.,

watercolors by Harriet Ermentrout, and pastels by Mike Filipiak. To November 14. Gallery hours are Wednesday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Nagy Gallery, 20 South Main Street, New Hope, 215-862-8242. One-person exhibition of painting and sculpture by Doylestown artist

Sandra Eliot continues to October 28.

Riverrun Gallery, 287 South Main Street, Lambertville, 609-397-3349. On exhibit, Stephen Hall’s "Meanings and Metaphors," and

Susan Zoon’s "Contents Under Pressure." Both shows run to October 31. Gallery is open daily, 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed Tuesday.

Tastebuds Cafe, 49 West Ferry Street, New Hope, 215-862-9722. Watercolors by Gail Bracegirdle, to October 31.

Top Of Page
Other Museums

Burlington County Historical Society, 454 Lawrence Street, Burlington, 609-386-4773. "Wildfowl Decoy Exhibit" by master

Burlington carver Jess Heisler (1891-1943), whose best work

ranks among the finest of the Delaware River school of carving, and

works by his friend and pupil John Marinkos (1915-1999). To January 9. Hours are Monday to Thursday, 1 to 4 p.m.; and Sunday, 2 to 4 p.m.

Mercer Museum, Pine and Ashland Streets, Doylestown, Pennsylvania, 215-345-0210. "Edward Hicks Country," a companion

to the Philadelphia Museum of Art comprehensive exhibit on Edward

Hicks, an exhibit on the professional and spiritual environment in

which the lifelong Bucks County artist worked. Three related displays

explore the 19th-century craft of ornamental painting, the Quaker

meetinghouse environment, and the iconography of William Penn and the

Society of Friends. $5 adult; $1.50 youth. Museum hours are Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.; and Tuesday

evening to 9 p.m.

James A. Michener Art Museum, 138 South Pine Street, Doylestown, 215-340-9800. Celebration of American Art features "An Edward

Hicks Sampler," featuring an 1837 version of "Peaceable Kingdom" and "The Landing of Columbus." Also an exhibition, "Picturing

Washington: Icons and Images of America’s Founding Father." $5 adults;

$1.50 students; children free. Museum hours are Tuesday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Wednesday evenings to 9 p.m.; Saturday & Sunday, 10

a.m. to 5 p.m.

Also "From Soup Cans to Nuts," an exhibition of prints by Andy Warhol, on loan from the Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh. The artist, who died in

1987, is best known for his flamboyant, multiple silkscreen prints that explore icons of popular culture from the famous soup to Marilyn

Monroe and Jackie Kennedy. To November 21.

Museum hours are Tuesday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Wednesday evenings to 9 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed

Mondays. $5 adults; students $1.50; children free.

Top Of Page
Other Galleries

The Artful Deposit, 201 Farnsworth Avenue, Bordentown, 609-298-6970. "Thomas Kelly: Recent Works," an exhibition by the painter

whose quirky scenes capture some of the enigma of life as we know it. To October 31. Gallery is open Thursday through Saturday, 4 to 7 p.m.

The Artful Deposit, 46 South Main Street, Allentown, 609-259-3234. "Cats," a group exhibition with works by artists including

Bill Giacalone, Hanneke DeNeve, Elizabeth Lombardi. Gallery is open Tuesday through Sunday (call for hours) and by appointment. To November

15.

Firehouse Gallery, 8 Walnut Street, Bordentown, 609-298-3742. The gallery celebrates its fourth year and a new exhibition season

featuring 12 gallery co-op members presenting shows that change monthly. Working with owner Eric Gibbons are curators and artists Beverly

Fredericks and Lana Bernard-Toniolio.

Additional co-op members are Maura Carey, Sarah Bernotas, Richard

Gerster, Robert Sinkus, Mike Pacitti, Michael Bergman, Jane Lawrence,

Charlotte Jacks, Dorothy Amsden, Carmen Johnson, John Wilson, and Bob

Gherardi. Gallery hours are Wednesday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Thursday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Highlands Gallery, Forsgate Country Club, 375 Forsgate Drive, Jamesburg, 732-521-0070. "Medley," an exhibition of paintings,

hand-made paper, and mixed media works by Anita Benarde. To October 27. Free.

Montgomery Cultural Center, 1860 House, 124 Montgomery Road, 609-921-3272. Shared show of oils by Helen Post and abstract

acrylics by Helen Gallagher. To October 30. Gallery hours are Tuesday to Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Morpeth Gallery, 18 North Main Street, Pennington, 609-737-9313. Landscapes and animal paintings on glass by Mary DeWitt. To

October 23. Gallery hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Stony Brook Millstone Watershed, 31 Titus Mill Road, Pennington, 609-737-7592. "Environmental Studies, Computer Collages and

Wooden Ware" by J. Chester Farnsworth, a satirical show of mixed-media work, To October 30.


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