(SUMMIT, NJ) — On Friday, September 16, 2022, the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey (VACNJ) will begin a year of celebrating its 90th anniversary by opening its fall exhibition, Training effect. The exhibition will feature artwork by 37 of the Art Center’s teaching artists who have transformed and enriched lives through the shared experience of art and will run until Sunday, January 8, 2023.
The title of the exhibit speaks to the tremendous impact of faculty who pass on their skills and expertise to students of all ages through Studio School programs and the community. Covering both the Main Gallery and the Mitzi & Warren Eisenberg Gallery, the exhibition explores three themes: abstract works, works exploring natural and built environments, and works that probe the space between the imaginary and the real. Clusters form connections between participating artists whose practices include painting, sculpture, drawing, photography and textiles.
“The Art Center is honored to regularly recognize the contributions of its instructors, honoring the brotherhood of artists who founded the organization in 1933,” said Exhibitions Director Kristen Evangelista. “In the past, our faculty exhibits have been used to commemorate institutional milestones, so with that in mind, we thought it was only fitting to kick off our anniversary with a show celebrating our teaching artists.”
VACNJ’s main gallery showcases artists’ observations of the world around us, highlighting nearby rivers, historical landmarks and industrial sites. The works of Mark de Mos and Janice Patrignani reflect the solace found in experiencing nature during the pandemic while Donna Conklin King and Judy Hugentobler respond to decaying environments. Valerie Larko, Duane Lutsko and Howard Nathenson depict the confluence of the natural world and the built environment as plumes of smoke reflect clouds and chimneys evoking towering trees.
Also on view in the main gallery, the second thematic group presents works of art that oscillate between the imaginary and the real. The artists in this section examine their personal relationship to perception, emotion and imaginary flights. Through their photographs, Joanna Murdock and Chris Lopez capture strange moments of everyday life. Heidi SanFilippo and Mansa Mussa use collage-based images to help others process their own experiences in a positive way. The paintings of Mary Jean Canziani, Stephen Yavorski and Eli Winter create tableaux that draw the viewer into a deeply personal world.
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Eisenberg Gallery focuses on abstract works featuring innovative marks and striking color combinations. Among them, Chase Cantwell, Jessica Garber and Matthew Langley use cubes, circles and geometric patterns to evoke spatial changes, movement and rhythmic patterns. Anita Gladstone and Diana Hsu Kung transform rugged terrain into formal explorations of vibrant fractured forms.
In addition, Emi Winter will present a large woven abstract rug, Tree of life, in the Stair-gazing gallery. The piece, which was woven by Tito Mendoza Ruiz in Oaxaca, Mexico, is named after “Arbol de la vida” or tree of life, which is a common theme in many rugs. Winter’s design is inspired by the patterns of weavers Bulmaro Pérez, Jacobo Mendoza and Mario Mendoza Gutiérrez.
In collaboration with Training effectthe Marité and Joe Robinson Strolling Gallery I will feature documentation from the Art Center’s 90-year history, including rarely seen photographs, printed materials, past publications and a nearly 40-foot timeline, outlining key events of the organization’s history.
The artists featured in Training effect include: James Adkins, Doug Baron, Kat Block, Melissa Bragg-Krishnamurthy, Chase Cantwell, Mary Jean Canziani, Beatrice Chang, Donna Conklin King, Mark de Mos, Alicia Flynn Cotter, Jessica Garber, Andrea Gianchiglia, Anita Gladstone, Gerry Heydt, Judith Hugentobler, Diana Hsu Kung, Matthew Langley, Valeri Larko, Christopher Lopez, Duane Lustko, Joanna Madloch, Drew Maillard, Martha McDonald, Jeanette Mullarkey, Mansa Mussa, Howard Nathenson, Dawn Noonan, Janice Patrignani, Dennis RedMoon Darkeem, Shelley Rosan Howard , Sandy Ruda, Heidi SanFilippo, Peter Syak, Joel Tidey, Katie Truk, Emi Winter and Stephen Yavorski.
In addition to the exhibition, the VACNJ will organize a series of events throughout the duration of the exhibition, including the round table “The narrative impulse” on Saturday September 24 at 2:00 p.m., and a second round table entitled “Observing the observation: Role of the Environment in Artistic Creation” on Saturday, October 22 at 2:00 p.m. In addition, the Art Center will host a Last Look closing event on Sunday, January 8, 2023 at 2:00 p.m., which will include an informal talk with a artist.
For 90 years, the New Jersey Visual Arts Center was exclusively dedicated to viewing, creating and learning about contemporary art. Recognized as a leading nonprofit arts organization, the Art Center’s acclaimed Studio School, acclaimed exhibitions, and educational outreach initiatives serve thousands of youth, families, seniors, and people with special needs each year. specials.
The Visual Arts Center of New Jersey is located at 68 Elm Street in Summit, NJ. Gallery hours: Monday through Thursday, 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; and Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Please call 908.273.9121 to confirm vacation hours.
Significant support for the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey is provided by the Wilf Family Foundation; Peter R. & Cynthia K. Kellogg Foundation; New Jersey State Council on the Arts; The domain of Pamela Hauptfleisch; and the Art Center community of supporters.
IMAGES: (TOP) Valeri Larko, Underpass, Dyre Ave Station, Bronx, 2018, Oil on linen, 33 x 56 inches, Courtesy of the artist. (MIDDLE) Chase Cantwell, Cubes X, 2021, Encaustic, 11 x 14 inches, Courtesy of the artist. (BOTTOM) Christopher Lopez, Untitled, 2020, Photograph, 14 x 11 inches, Courtesy of the artist.