#b#When the Art Writer Is Also the Artist#/b#

Janet Purcell has written about hundreds of artists over the years; it’s about time someone mentioned her evocative paintings. “From the Garden to the Sea,” on exhibit at ETS’ Chauncey Conference Center until March 20, should not be missed. Not just because she likely wrote about every exhibiting artist reading this, but you’ll want to smell her flowers, feel the rhythm of the waves, hear the ha-ha-ha of seagulls.

Looking at “Misty Morning, Cape Cod” I felt the humidity, but I knew the sun would burn off the mist soon enough. “Summer’s End,” a depiction of two empty Adirondack chairs on the beach, invites you to step in, don the sunglasses sitting on the arm of one of the chairs, take a seat and put the conch shell — at rest on another chair arm — up to your ear and listen to the sea. “Working Gull” shows dozens of birds taking off, as if you had just run into and scattered them. And “Soaring” makes you feel as if you’re flying with perhaps the same birds, inches away.

Her giant, up-close portraits of roses, irises, and poppies are realistic, but not enough to be mistaken for a photo. They draw you in, too. They smell good. They make you happy. The magnified vision of red petals and stamens of “Summer Night” make you feel you’ve caught an intimate moment in the life of this flower. Purcell can give Georgia O’Keefe a run for her money.

NJ DeVico

The writer is a Titusville-based artist. Purcell, who has written for the Times of Trenton for nearly 25 years, was the subject of a profile in the October 21, 2015, issue of U.S. 1.

#b#Christie’s Opioid Plan Raises Concerns#/b#

The New Jersey Chamber of Commerce continues to applaud Gov. Christie’s focus on the opioid crisis in New Jersey, as outlined in his State of the State and his recent budget message. As we said after the budget speech, we believe the governor’s proposed solutions need to be fully vetted.

After analyzing the governor’s proposal to tap Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey’s reserves as a funding source, we have concerns that this will impact Horizon and its stakeholders negatively.

The reduction this proposal would cause to Horizon’s reserves could make it considerably more challenging for it to meet the needs of policyholders. This in turn could increase the costs to these policyholders.

At a time when we need to do all we can to make New Jersey more affordable for everyone, increases in insurance coverage costs would be a step backward.

Additionally, we appreciate Horizon’s status as one of our state’s most prominent corporate citizens. We should do all we can to ensure that status continues.

The NJ Chamber believes it is in the best interest of all New Jerseyans that Horizon maintains its financial health and its commitment of support to our state.

Thomas Bracken

CEO, NJ Chamber of Commerce

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