Communities often look to artists to provide the bridge between what has happened in the past and what is needed going forward.
When the Exhibition Committee of the West Windsor Arts Council sat down last September, this was exactly their intention in creating the Harmony exhibition.
The exhibition will be viewable online through Feb. 6, 2021 at westwindsorart.org and by appointment at the Arts Center.
“When the Exhibition Committee created the theme of Harmony, they did so with the understanding that a great chasm has developed in our communities and that at this time, post election, we would need to work on coming together in order to move forward and heal,” said a WWAC news release.
WWAC invited artists to explore the idea of balance disrupted and harmony restored as it relates to personal experience, beliefs, or observations.
Jurors Maureen Bennett, Eleni Zatz Litt, and SiriOm Singh selected 34 works of art and music for the show, each piece exploring the theme through a variety of media.
Bennett is a visual artist inspired by nature and human nature, working in graphite, pastels, watercolors, acrylics, oils, mixed media and photography. Her recent work is at the intersection of drawing/painting combined with photography/computer technology.
She has been awarded numerous grants for art as a transformative force for social change and leads creativity workshops on art education, wellness, earth awareness, nonviolence and peace. She is the recipient of the NYC Circle of Mercy Award.
Litt is a teaching artist, anthropologist and lifelong learner. A graduate of the London School of Economics (Ph.D., social anthropology) and Reed College (BA, art history), she has spent the majority of her professional life in higher education (currently serving as associate provost at The New School in New York City) even as she cultivated a lifelong creative arts practice.
Along the way, she has obtained certificates in fine arts (Parsons School of Design) and creative arts therapies (The New School).
Litt is currently serving as the inaugural artist-in-residence at Robin Heller International, where she facilitates professional development workshops based on art making and conversation that support and honor commitments to equity and social justice.
Singh is a self-taught abstract impressionist, working primarily with acrylic and mixed media, applying special layering techniques, and using a pallet knife.
He served on the board of trustees of Ellarslie, the Trenton City Museum, and is the co-owner of Cross Pollination Gallery in Lambertville.
His work was exhibited in various galleries and museums and is part of numerous private collections including New Jersey State Museum, Ellarsley Museum; Phillips Mill, Da Vinci Art Alliance, The Gallery at Mercer County Community College and The Gallery at the Bank of Princeton. He is part of numerous private collections, local and international.
Highlights of the many extraordinary works in the exhibition include works by Erika Hibbert.
Hibbert, originally from Johannesburg, South Africa, has practiced and taught art in Soweto and in many inner-city art-projects.
Teaching linked her to the community, grounding her artmaking. In 2004, tragically, her husband was murdered, and she moved to Botswana with her mixed-race daughters, eventually immigrating to Georgia.
She has exhibited at the Rosa Parks Museum and at several universities. In 2020 she moved to New York, starting a new phase in her life as an artist.
“I painted to make sense of the physical and emotional ramifications of COVID,” Hibbert said. “Patterns first built but then broken. Tensions between nature and humans parallel the tensions between spontaneous, immediate marks and deliberate, meticulous marks. These combinations make the artworks resonant, as the harmony of humans in nature does.”
Also on exhibition is Carole Jury. She is both a photographer and an abstract painter and she combines the two mediums of expression in her process, starting from photography and then transposing it to painting to create her series.
“Her signature resides in her broad textured strokes, her ability to capture shadows and lights and her eye for color with canvases,” said the WWAC release. “Working mainly in oils but also in acrylics, Jury likes to play with materials to express herself.”
Said Jury: “It’s a kind of secret space where everyone can find one’s own personal refuge. Through painting, I feel anything is possible.”
Her work is exhibited in major art fairs. One of her paintings from her Lagoon Series has been selected by MuseumWeek 2020 as the official visual. Jury is an artist sponsored by Daler-Rowney.
Other exhibiting artists include Zakia Ahmed, Jodi Oster, Clara Beym, Nikita Choksi, Vinny Conte, Connie Cruser, Emily Buchalski, Alice Eltvedt, Jayme Fahrer, Janet Felton, Michelle Floyd, Erika Hibbert, Jeanette Gaston Hooban, Carole Jury, Margaret Kalvar Bushnell, Lori Langsner, Dave Magyar, Lucretia Ellen McGuff-Silverman ,Renata Piccione, William Plank, Karen Schoenitz, Margaret Simpson, Tanzanight and Barbara Weinfield.
For information on the West Windsor Arts Council and West Windsor Arts Center, go to westwindsorarts.org, call (609) 716-1931 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The arts center is located at 952 Alexander Road, West Windsor, and is a five minute walk from the Princeton Junction Train Station.
Office and gallery hours: Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sat., 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Due to COVID-19, the center is not currently open for gallery hours.