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Artist's View of the Jewish Autonomous Region of the Soviet Union is MCCC Lecture Topic

originally published: 10/11/2018

Artist's View of the Jewish Autonomous Region of the Soviet Union is MCCC Lecture Topic(WEST WINDSOR, NJ) -- A fall 2017 sabbatical for Mercer County Community College (MCCC) Visual Arts Professor Yevgeniy Fiks was far from a vacation, as it entailed a series of art shows covering three continents, with participation ranging from curator to featured artist.

“It was packed with projects – five exhibitions,” Fiks said.

One of those exhibitions, an in-depth look at a Jewish autonomous region in the former Soviet Union, will be the topic of an upcoming lecture at MCCC. Fiks will present “Reflections of Birobidzhan: Soviet Union’s Jewish Autonomous Region in Art,” on Tuesday, October 16 at noon in room 109 of the Communications Building on the West Windsor Campus. His talk is part of MCCC’s fall Distinguished Lecture Series, and is free and open to the public.

Fiks, a multidisciplinary Post-Soviet conceptual artist, will discuss the history of the creation of the Jewish autonomous region – including its capital city of Birobidzhan – in the Soviet Union in 1934 in the context of Soviet and Jewish histories. His presentation includes archival photographs documenting the first decade of the Soviet Jewish autonomous region in the 1930s and 1940s, as well as his own conceptual art projects that address the past and present of this unique region.

“It was created as this utopian, secular, Yiddish speaking area,” Fiks said. “I was very fascinated by the story of the region, read about it, researched it, and went there in September (2017).”



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Fiks said he continued to research the fascinating history of the region, which is located on the Chinese boarder within present-day Russia. His focus, he said, was centered around environmental influences on the development of a common identity for the residents.

“The key things I was interested in was the landscape of the region and how landscape is connected to a sense of national belonging,” Fiks said. “I was very interested in this area as a Jewish autonomous region. It was created from scratch. The question is, how do people relate physically to this area? How do you relate to your environment?”

Fiks did projects on landscapes, where he repainted stills from a Soviet propaganda movie made in the 1930s, with juxtaposition of text that unsettles the landscape.

“It’s supposed to be questioning. What is territory? Is it supposed to be neutral? Does territory have deep-rooted connections to the people?” Fiks said.

In addition to Birobidzhan, Fiks was involved in exhibitions in several other cities harboring unique cultures, including Kharkiv, Ukraine; Budapest, Hungary; New York City; Venice, Italy; and Mexico City. While one might think that an artist would be challenged to channel a creative muse that would cut across such diverse populations and create a unified message that would appeal to each art community, Fiks made it work with a simple theme: Contemplating the past while looking toward the future.

For more information on MCCC’s Distinguished Lecture Series, call (609) 570-3324 or visit www.mccc.edu/events.





Studio Montclair Hosts "Affair of the Art"
(MONTCLAIR, NJ) -- Studio Montclair and presenting sponsor, Keller Williams NJ Metro Group, Montclair, will host “Affair of the Art,” an evening celebration of Studio Montclair  at 18 Label Studios, 18 Label Street in Montclair, NJ, Saturday, November 17, 2018, from 7:30pm to 10:00pm. 
Walsh Gallery Presents Exhibits of Tom McGlynn and David Freund
(SOUTH ORANGE, NJ) -- The Walsh Gallery presents two new exhibits: “Tom McGlynn: Standards,” a new series of paintings comprised of permutations of shape, color and the interplay of these elements, and “Gas Stop: Culture,” black and white photographs by renowned photographer, David Freund.  The exhibits will be on display from Monday, November 5th through Friday, December 14th.
Masters of Illusion: The Legacy of John F. Peto At Morven Museum & Garden
(PRINCETON, NJ) -- Morven Museum & Garden hosts Masters of Illusion: The Legacy of John F. Peto from November 15th through May 12, 2019. Morven has partnered with the John F. Peto Studio Museum,  to present a new look at trompe l’oeilart in New Jersey.  Trompe l’oeil, pronounced “tromp loi,” is a French phrase meaning “to deceive the eye,” which is used to describe paintings that create the illusion of a three dimensional scene.  There will be an Opening Reception on November 14 at 6:00pm.
ArtsBergen Hosts Connect The Dots Networking Event On November 5th
(HACKENSACK, NJ) -- If you enjoy creating art, designs, inventions, woodwork, crafts, or other products, come to the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation's (NNJCF) ArtsBergen next Connect the Dots event, Makerspace Expo, on Monday, November 5.  The hands-on networking event takes place at Bergen Makerspace in the Bergen County Technical Schools Adult & Continuing Education Building, located at 190 Hackensack Avenue in Hackensack, New Jersey from 6:00pm to 8:00pm.  The event is free and open to the public.  Good-will donations are welcome.
Nikolina Kovalenko’s Artwork on Display in Watchung
(SUMMIT, NJ) -- Artist Nikolina Kovalenko is interested in humanity’s vanishing connection with nature and the consequences our everyday actions have on the environment. That fascination provides the inspiration for her new exhibition, Reclamation, which will be on display at the Watchung Reservation’s Trailside Nature and Science Center, in Mountainside, NJ. Presented in partnership with the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, this show will be on view from October 12, 2018–February 12, 2019.


Heather Ujiie Explores "Terra Incognita" At Rowan University Art Gallery
“My life’s mission is to challenge myself to go to new places,” said Heather Ujiie, a Bucks County, PA, multimedia artist whose latest work, “Terra Incognita,” is on display at the Rowan University Art Gallery now through November 17, 2018.
Kevin Sampson: Solo Exhibitions In New Jersey and Beyond
“I’m a Civil Rights baby. I grew up laying across picket lines and blocking traffic.” Artist Kevin Sampson’s father, Stephen, was a well-known Civil Rights leader in New Jersey, and he instilled a commitment to community that his son still honors.
Basking Ridge Resident Returns to Matheny to Help Assist in Strategic Planning for 'This Amazing Place'
When Ellen Lambert was director of development at the Matheny School and Hospital in Peapack, NJ, from 1993 to 1995, one of her major achievements was the formation of a fundraising plan for what would eventually become the Robert Schonhorn Arts Center. The concept of Matheny's Arts Access Program  -- which enables people with disabilities to create art, assisted by professional artist-facilitators  -- was emerging in '93, and the arts center was eventually built in 2000.
City Without Walls and Aljira To Shine At Newark Arts Festival
Two long-running art spaces, City Without Walls (“cWOW”) and Aljira, A Center for Contemporary Art (“Aljira”), will house pop-up exhibits during the Newark Arts Festival, October 4-7, 2018.  Though both spaces are now in a period of transition, through the support of Newark Arts, they will activate with fresh exhibits during Newark’s citywide annual festival of the arts. 
The Healing Power of Art
Entering the office to see a neurologist can be a terrifying experience.  I know because I’ve had to do it for years.  Thankfully, when I see my doctor I am surrounded by his photographs on the walls. It’s more than a hobby for Dr. Noah Gilson, it’s a lifelong passion.

Upcoming Events

Studio Montclair Hosts "Affair of the Art"

Studio Montclair Hosts "Affair of the Art"

(MONTCLAIR, NJ) -- Studio Montclair and presenting sponsor, Keller Williams NJ Metro Group, Montclair, will host “Affair of the Art,” an evening celebration of Studio Montclair  at 18 Label Studios, 18 Label Street in Montclair, NJ, Saturday, November 17, 2018, from 7:30pm to 10:00pm. 


Walsh Gallery Presents Exhibits of Tom McGlynn and David Freund

Walsh Gallery Presents Exhibits of Tom McGlynn and David Freund

(SOUTH ORANGE, NJ) -- The Walsh Gallery presents two new exhibits: “Tom McGlynn: Standards,” a new series of paintings comprised of permutations of shape, color and the interplay of these elements, and “Gas Stop: Culture,” black and white photographs by renowned photographer, David Freund.  The exhibits will be on display from Monday, November 5th through Friday, December 14th.


Masters of Illusion: The Legacy of John F. Peto At Morven Museum & Garden

Masters of Illusion: The Legacy of John F. Peto At Morven Museum & Garden

(PRINCETON, NJ) -- Morven Museum & Garden hosts Masters of Illusion: The Legacy of John F. Peto from November 15th through May 12, 2019. Morven has partnered with the John F. Peto Studio Museum,  to present a new look at trompe l’oeilart in New Jersey.  Trompe l’oeil, pronounced “tromp loi,” is a French phrase meaning “to deceive the eye,” which is used to describe paintings that create the illusion of a three dimensional scene.  There will be an Opening Reception on November 14 at 6:00pm.


ArtsBergen Hosts Connect The Dots Networking Event On November 5th

ArtsBergen Hosts Connect The Dots Networking Event On November 5th

(HACKENSACK, NJ) -- If you enjoy creating art, designs, inventions, woodwork, crafts, or other products, come to the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation's (NNJCF) ArtsBergen next Connect the Dots event, Makerspace Expo, on Monday, November 5.  The hands-on networking event takes place at Bergen Makerspace in the Bergen County Technical Schools Adult & Continuing Education Building, located at 190 Hackensack Avenue in Hackensack, New Jersey from 6:00pm to 8:00pm.  The event is free and open to the public.  Good-will donations are welcome.








Event calendar
Sunday, Oct 21, 2018


MUSIC

DiTrani Bros: Folk, Swing, Jazz, Ragtime!! @ Roxy and Dukes Roadhouse, Dunellen - 7:00pm

Jazz Guitarist Abe Ovadia @ Englewood Public Library, Englewood - 7:00pm

Gypsy Jazz Brunch with Pyrenesia and Max Hansen Buffet @ Hopewell Theater, Hopewell - 11:00am

Dryden Ensemble: Bach Cantata Fest @ Miller Chapel (Princeton), Princeton - 3:00pm

Suzzanne Douglas @ South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC), South Orange - 7:30pm


THEATRE

The Ghost Princess @ Pax Amicus Castle Theatre, Budd Lake - 2:00pm

The Shuck @ Cape May Stage, Cape May - 3:00pm

CDC Theatre presents A Few Good Men @ CDC Theatre, Cranford - 2:00pm

Wait Until Dark @ Somerset Valley Playhouse, Hillsborough - 8:00pm

World Premier of, HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL, A Horror of a Play @ Forum Theatre (Metuchen), Metuchen - 3:00pm

The Color Purple @ Paper Mill Playhouse, Millburn - 1:30pm and 7:00pm

Almost, Maine @ Jay & Linda Grunin Center For The Arts At Ocean County College, Toms River - 2:00pm

Black Tom Island @ The 1882 Carriage House, Liberty Hall Museum, Union - 3:00pm

*Uncle Vanya, Scenes from a Jersey Life in Four Acts @ Hudson Theatre Works, Weehawken - 7:00pm

Black Coffee by Agatha Christie @ Westfield Community Players, Westfield - 2:00pm







DANCE

DRACULA - THE ATLANTIC CITY BALLET @ The Strand Theater, Lakewood - 4:00pm


FILM

A conversation with John Cusack Following a screening of Say Anything @ Count Basie Center For The Arts, Red Bank - 7:00pm


KIDS

Summit Farmers Market Pumpkin Painting @ Summit Farmers Market, Summit - 10:00am


POETRY

The Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival @ Victoria Theater @ New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), Newark - 9:00am


MISC

HAUNTED ILLUSIONS LIVE @ Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC), Englewood - 3:00pm

THE MAGIC OF BILL BLAGG LIVE! @ State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick - 2:00pm

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