This article was originally published in the April 2018 Princeton Echo.
‘You Are What You Were’ documents live in collage
On view at the Nassau Club through Sunday, May 6, is a unique series of portrait by Princeton-based artist Trudy Borenstein Sugiura. The artist once worked as a jewelry and tabletop object designer, but was taken in a different direction after the death of her father, a mathematician, in 2011.
She realized that the documents he had accumulated over a lifetime told a story, and she started making portrait collages. She works from a photograph, but the final product uses original documents. One portrait of her father, titled “Hero” tells the story of his time in the Army during World War II, using his death certificate and correspondence with a VA hospital.
“Defining someone’s image through their documents could tell a story so much deeper than just a picture,” she says.
The Levittown native had art in her blood. Her mother was an artist, as were two of her mother’s sisters. Borenstein-Sugiura studied at Philadelphia College of Art and Tyler School of the Arts, where she earned a bachelor of fine arts degree in 1978.
She met her husband, Yasuo Sugiura — then owner of an interior design business — at a trade show in the 1980s, and they raised two sons in Princeton. Her portraits of him feature his Japanese heritage: one is crafted from a package of noodles and a picture of Mount Fuji.
The collective of these collages is “You Are What You Were,” which has already been exhibited in galleries across the country.
The Nassau Club is located at 6 Mercer Street, Princeton. To view the exhibit, contact Chuck Hammond at 609-924-0580.
Princeton filmmaker gives Patton a second look
One of the ironies of World War II history is that the daring General George S. Patton helped lead the Allied forces to victory only to meet his death seven months after the war ended in Europe, in a car accident in Germany, en route to a leisurely day of pheasant hunting. Or was that accident more than an irony, and was Patton murdered, essentially becoming the first casualty of the Cold War with the Russians?
Princeton film producer Robert Orlando has opened his mind to the latter explanation and created a documentary film called “Silence Patton,” due for release April 3 on platforms such as VOD, iTunes, and Amazon. Drawing on archived film from World War II and recent interviews with Victor Davis Hanson and Paul Kengor, historians and authors of several books on Patton and the Cold War, Orlando questions the official accounts of Patton’s death at age 60. The film documents the reservations Patton, known as “Old Blood and Guts,” had with the final terms of World War II and his belief that the war set the stage for a prolonged standoff between the Allies and the Russians.
Trailers for “Silence Patton,” which can be viewed at the film’s website, silencepatton.com, suggest that Patton had been voicing his concerns about post-war Europe long before his death, and that “he did not get along politically” with other American and Allied leaders.
Orlando grew up in an Italian Catholic family in New York and got his first video camera at the age of 8. Movie making “came naturally,” he says. He pursued his childhood ambition at the School of Visual Arts in New York, where he was a classmate of Brian Singer, who had grown up in West Windsor and went on to direct “The Usual Suspects” and a series of X-Men movies.
Orlando founded Nexus Media in New York and relocated in 2008 to 20 Nassau Street. He says he is exploring a limited release with Regal Entertainment Group and also hopes to have a series of screenings with panels over the next few months, including Reagan Ranch in California, Patton Museum in Kentucky, and Evil Czech Brewery in Indiana. Groups can also organize their own screenings by e-mailing Orlando: email@example.com.
HomeFront presents ArtJam pop-up exhibit
A vacant storefront comes to life for two weeks in April to showcase art and a good cause. ArtJam, a pop-up exhibit that benefits HomeFront’s Artspace project, takes place at 19 Hulfish Street from April 13 to 29. An opening reception takes place Friday, April 13, from 5 to 9 p.m., and a closing reception takes place Friday, April 27, from 4 to 9 p.m.
The gallery will also be open during Communiversity on Sunday, April 29, and will host live musicians during Jammin at ArtJam on Saturday and Sunday evenings from April 14 to 28.
The exhibit features works by professional and amateur artists, and all proceeds benefit Artspace, a therapeutic art program that is part of Lawrence-based HomeFront’s mission to help families escape the cycle of poverty.
For more information: homefrontnj.org/artjam.