(SUMMIT, NJ) -- The Visual Arts Center of New Jersey recently opened two new members exhibitions in the second-floor community galleries, Barbara Beeman: Nature’s Mirror and Janice Patrignani: Inspired Resilience. Both shows will be on view through April 4.
In Barbara Beeman: Nature’s Mirror, on view in the Marité & Joe Robinson Strolling Gallery II, the artist manipulates digital photos of reflective surfaces to create unexpected views that portray a sense of atmosphere and character.
Beeman worked as a Supervisor of Social Work for Hudson County Social Services for 40 years and during that time she continued her passion for photography & music. She took her first significant photo at age 8 with the Brownie camera her mother had given her and then pursued her love of photography at Jersey City State College where she also acted as the photography lab assistant. Barbara worked for The Hudson Dispatch where she wrote women’s news stories and did her own photography for the stories. As an underpaid photographer/writer for the Dispatch (The Dispatch paid $76 a week for a full-time reporter/photographer at the time), she decided a career in Social Work would fulfill her passion for helping others and would provide a better means to earning a living.
After retiring from a career in Social Work with specialties in Domestic Violence, Homelessness, and the Elderly, she decided to pursue her career again in photography. Barbara bought her first digital camera and taught herself digital photography with the help of the online courses by Ben Willmore on Creative Live. She also had showings of her work at The Cupping Room Cafe in New York City where Ivan Carp reviewed her work as visually compelling. Her work appeared in a James Vanderzee tribute book on Blurb by the Concord Gallery in Oakland, California.
She won the Marion Anderson members’ award for portraiture in 2018 at the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey’s Members Show. She also holds an annual showing of her work of Bayonne photos every year in June at Bayonne City Hall. Barbara is a member of ASMP and had a portfolio entitled Old Glass published in L’Oeildelaphotographie this past June.
On view in Ann’s Place Gallery in Janice Patrigliani: Inspired Resilience, Patrigliani takes inspiration from World War II Parcel Post parachutes, creating sculptures with a variety of media and techniques, including denim, canvas, parachute parts, shibori dyeing, and ceramics. By juxtaposing contradictory materials and forgotten keepsakes for her work, the artist mixes media with metaphor, recycling the detritus of life to chronicle her story.
Janice Patrignani is a design professional, visual artist, and art educator. She develops and customizes programs to fit with school curriculum needs in any one of her many areas of media expertise which include: watercolor, acrylic, and silk painting; fiber arts; mosaic murals; bookmaking; paper transformations, and clay.
Her ceramic sculptures enshrine found objects that have been forgotten or left behind. Creating is a cathartic experience for her. This lifelong survival skill has served her well, and her work is often a tribute to personal and human resilience.
She also practices the ancient Japanese technique of bound resist dyeing called Shibori. Her process includes dyeing and discharging on a variety of luscious silk and cotton fabrics, layering color upon color to produce luminously fluid patterns, textures, and shapes with natural fiber-reactive, acid, and organic indigo dyes.
Janice has received several grants for both her arts in education programs and for her mixed media sculpture, which has been exhibited throughout the Tri-state area.
For over 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.
The Visual Arts Center of New Jersey is located at 68 Elm Street in Summit, NJ. Gallery hours: Monday–Thursday, 10 AM–8 PM; Friday, 10 AM–5 PM; and Saturday & Sunday, 11 AM–4 PM. Admission must be reserved in advance. 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.
IMAGES: (TOP) Janice Patrignani, Blue Open, 2018, Shibori/Indigo Dyed Cotton Fabric, Wood, Wire, WW II Parcel Post Parachute & Hardware, Wire, Thread.
(BOTTOM) Barbara Beeman, Bowery Street Lamp, 2020, Digital print.