(SUMMIT, NJ) -- The Visual Arts Center of New Jersey will present its winter exhibitions from February 22 through June 16. The shows, Interior Monologues, Simon Dinnerstein: Revisiting the Fulbright Triptych, Michael Nicholas Paras: Shooting Hoops, and Stair-gazing: Anonda Bell will be on view through the remainder of winter and into the spring. “Our new season of exhibitions explores the importance of place as a theme in contemporary art,” said Curator Mary Birmingham. “All of our gallery spaces will feature work representing built environments and the human connection to place.”
Appearing in the Art Center’s Main Gallery, Interior Monologues is a multi-media show, incorporating painting, sculpture, drawing, collage, video, and site-specific installation. The exhibition presents work by artists who depict various interior spaces and the real, imagined, or implied narratives connected to these places. Several of the artists depict actual places while others invent new places based on their experience or imagination. Many of the works suggest hidden histories or embedded memories and emotions. Some artists include people or fictional characters in their work, while others show interiors devoid of people. Whether public or private, all of these interior settings are activated by the presence—or absence—of humans. Participating artists are: Matt Bollinger, Erin Diebboll, Susan Leopold, Dana Levy, Summer McCorkle, Anne Muntges, Casey Ruble, and Paul Wackers.
Simon Dinnerstein: Revisiting The Fulbright Triptych, which will be on view in the Mitzi & Warren Eisenberg Gallery, highlights Dinnerstein’s monumental three-panel painting, The Fulbright Triptych. Begun in 1971 during the artist’s Fulbright Fellowship in Germany, and completed in Brooklyn in 1974, this complex work resembles a devotional altarpiece, and offers a view inside the artist’s studio, showcasing a fascinating array of engraving tools, artistic materials, and personal ephemera. The painting also incorporates portraits of the artist and his family, and a glimpse of the German town seen outside the studio windows. Dinnerstein had traveled to Germany to study printmaking—specifically the work of Old Masters like Albrecht Dürer—and he made engraving the focus of the painting’s central panel. Revisiting the Fulbright Triptych reexamines this vital connection by incorporating several of Dinnerstein’s engravings and related drawings as well as the actual engraving plate illustrated in the painting.
New York-based photographer and videographer Michael Nicholas Paras presents a selection of photographs he took in urban, rural, and suburban locations, each one highlighting a solitary basketball hoop. Michael Nicholas Paras: Shooting Hoops also includes several examples from Paras’s ongoing “First Hoops” project that documents the basketball hoops used by famous players when they first played the game. Combining his love of basketball with photographic skill, Paras’s work conveys a story about inspiration, motivation, hard work, team spirit, dreams, and achievement. This exhibition will be on display in the Marité & Joe Robinson Strolling Gallery I.
Stair-gazing: Anonda Bell, the cut paper wall installation in the Art Center’s main stairwell, is based on the artist’s recent series, The Suburbs at 4 a.m.. This work explores the experience of women in the post-war era, and addresses the anxieties and expectations surrounding domestic tranquility. Bell is a New York- and New Jersey-based curator and artist. Her work engages with psychology and the motivations, desires, and innate qualities of the human mind. She is also the director and chief curator of the Paul Robeson Galleries at Rutgers University, Newark.
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For 85 years, the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey has been exclusively dedicated to viewing, making, and learning about contemporary art. Recognized as a leading non-profit arts organization, the Art Center’s renowned studio school, acclaimed exhibitions, and educational outreach initiatives serve thousands of youth, families, seniors, and people with special needs every year.
On Friday, February 22, the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey will open its winter exhibitions with a reception from 7:30pm–9:00pm.
The Visual Arts Center of New Jersey is located at 68 Elm Street in Summit, NJ. Adult and children’s group tours are available throughout the year. Gallery Hours: Monday–Wednesday and Friday, 10 AM–5 PM; Thursday, 10 AM–8 PM; and Saturday & Sunday, 11 AM–4 PM. Please call 908.273.9121 to confirm holiday hours.
Major support for the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey is provided in part by the Peter R. & Cynthia K. Kellogg Foundation; the Wilf Family Foundations; and Art Center members and donors.
IMAGE: Michael Nicholas Paras, Moses Malone, Basketball Hall of Famer, Petersburg, VA, 2005, Archival pigment print, Edition 1 of 15, 20 x 24 inches. Courtesy of the artist.