This story was originally published in the May 2017 Princeton Echo.
It’s unofficially official: Bruce Springsteen has taken over Princeton.
On the west side of town on Stockton Street, the Morven Museum & Garden continues the exhibition “Bruce Springsteen: A Photographic Journey,” on view through May 21. Created by the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles and featuring 42 works by six professional concert photographers (including Springsteen’s sister, Pam), the show in the historic former home of a signer of the Declaration of Independence (Richard Stockton) is a big NJ tribute to an NJ superstar — one who has evoked the sights, sounds, and sense of the state in compilations such as “Welcome to Asbury Park,” in songs like “Jersey Girls,” and even appeared on TV to sing a satirical song about Governor Christie and the George Washington Bridge.
It doesn’t get more Jersey than this. Or does it?
Head east on Nassau Street and there’s another Springsteen tribute, one smaller in scope but equally in tune with the musician’s state and time. It’s a larger-than-life sculpture of the singer/songwriter at Gary Fowler’s Gulf Station, 271 Nassau Street.
The new Springsteen sculpture — titled “SEA SEA Rider: A Jersey Legend” — shows the music legend holding a guitar while literally being wrapped by the Jersey shoreline — thanks to a seashell jeweled cloak. It actually takes over for a Springsteen bust that has been counting cars over the past few years — just like the replica Springsteen sculpture does on the corner of Alexander and Faculty roads. Both are called “Bruce Springsteen, Soulful Humanitarian.”
All three are by Stephen Zorochin. He’s another Jersey-spirited artist — one with a Richard Stockton-like streak of independence and a Springsteen sense of place. Zorochin, who was profiled in the September, 2016, Princeton Echo, presided over a formal gas station dedication of the statue during Communiversity on April 30.
Princeton resident Shirley Kern plays with memory and emotion in an exhibit of her abstract paintings opening Sunday, May 7, at the Nassau Club. “Songs and Poems” features works based on recent travels overseas as well as a 45-day drive around the county. A reception takes place Sunday, May 21, from 4 to 6 p.m. The exhibit is on view through Sunday, July 9.
“I am interested in creating an artwork that is alive with emotional interest but has no fixed meaning, open to interpretations by all, similar to works of music and poetry,” Kern says. She says that “color, line, texture, gesture, and rhythm are major communicators” in her paintings, which she created while listening to music from the places she had visited.
The artist, who maintains a studio in Hopewell, has previously exhibited her work at Princeton University, in multiple New York City galleries, and in solo shows. For more on the artist visit her website: www.shirleykernstudio.com.
Wondrous on Witherspoon — the pop-up art gallery that has occasionally taken over the 14 1/2 Witherspoon Street storefront previously occupied by the Army & Navy store — is back through Thursday, June 8, featuring works by noted New Jersey artists.
A reception and Art Walk take place Friday, May 19, from 6 to 9 p.m. in conjunction with several other art-oriented events in downtown Princeton.
At 19 Hulfish Street, HomeFront’s annual ArtJam exhibit also holds an opening reception. Proceeds from both exhibits benefit ArtSpace, the HomeFront program that uses art to improve clients’ physical, mental, and emotional well being. ArtJam is on view through June 6.
The third leg of the Art Walk is at Jane Consignment at 7 Spring Street, where a trunk show highlights local artists.
Umbrella on Spring
When you think of a family-owned business, you might imagine a mom and pop shop, or a father-son firm. But just popping up on Spring Street at the corner of Tulane, is a home decor and antiques emporium called Umbrella that is owned and operated by two sisters-in-law. Their inventory is as eclectic as their business partnership.
Fay Sciarra and Linda Sciarra already have a showroom at the Tomato Factory in Hopewell, but took advantage of under-utilized space at Judy King Interiors. They will offer their artful one-of-a-kind items from the Princeton location at least through June. Among the offerings: Sturdy wood farm tables made from recycled industrial truck flooring re-purposed by a firm in Scranton, PA.
As the sisters say, “if you buy something for your house from us, you can be pretty sure your neighbor won’t have anything like it.”
Umbrella, 44 Spring Street. 609-466-2800.