(WEST WINDSOR, NJ) -- 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. At that meeting the conversation revolved around how to bring people together, “There are too many things up in the air right now. What makes us feel grounded and connected and how can art accomplish this?”
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. WWAC invited artists to explore the idea of balance disrupted and harmony restored as it relates to personal experience, beliefs, or observations. WWAC hopes the works in this show will help viewers to focus on the ideal of harmony in its many forms, recognizing that this is not an easy goal to attain, but one well worth the effort.
The jurors Maureen Bennett, Eleni Litt, and SiriOm Singh selected 34 works of art and music for the show, each piece exploring the theme through a variety of media. The exhibition will be viewable online from January 15 through February 26, 2021 at www.westwindsorarts.org and by appointment at the Arts Center. The online opening reception will be held Friday, January 15, 2021 from 7:15pm to 9:00pm. Artists and jurors will be on hand during the event to discuss their work. The event is free but registration is required.
WWAC brought together 3 distinguished people to jury the show: Maureen Bennett, recipient of the NYC Circle of Mercy Award; Eleni Zatz Litt, Associate Provost at The New School in NYC and Artist in Residence at Robin Heller International; and SiriOm Singh, former Board of Trustees of Ellarslie, the Trenton City Museum.
Maureen 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. As an artist-in-residence educator and community activist, Maureen created the global traveling art project, Peace by Piece. 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.
Eleni Zatz 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 NYC) 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). Eleni is currently serving as the inaugural Artist-in-Residence at Robin Heller International, where she facilitates professional development workshops based on artmaking and conversation that support and honor commitments to equity and social justice.
SiriOm 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, NJ. 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, and 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 our mixed-race daughters, eventually immigrating to Georgia. Hibbert 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. Hibbert states, “I painted to make sense of the physical and emotional ramifications of COVID. 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. Jury 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. Working mainly in oils but also in acrylics, Jury likes to play with materials to express herself. She explains, “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.
Exhibiting Artists: 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.
The West Windsor Arts Council’s mission is to provide high quality cultural programming that brings people together and transforms the world around us by inspiring, educating and promoting the arts and art appreciation for our diverse community. West Windsor 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, 10:00 am-6:00 pm and Sat, 10:00 am-4:00 pm. Due to COVID-19, the Art Center is not currently open for gallery hours.