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Arts Council of Princeton presents Jon Sarkin and Hannah Fink in "May You Be Happy"

originally published: 10/23/2023

Arts Council of Princeton presents Jon Sarkin and Hannah Fink in "May You Be Happy"

(PRINCETON, NJ) -- The Arts Council of Princeton (ACP) will show May You Be Happy, a dual exhibition by Jon Sarkin and Hannah Fink. Their work will not only make you think, but make you smile. May You Be Happy will be on view in the Arts Council’s Taplin Gallery November 11 through December 2, 2023 with an Opening Reception on Saturday, November 18 from 3:00pm-5:00pm.

Mental health issues, loneliness, and isolation are sadly all on the rise in our country, so much so that it’s been declared a “loneliness epidemic”. These two artists’ response is to find joy through their work. The joy in Sarkin and Fink’s pieces, and art’s overall power to bring us together, provides reason to celebrate.

Both artists take common themes - superheroes, shoes, pop culture, and comics - and reinterpret them into a contemporary conversation. From a giant old boot to the altered face of a hero, May You Be Happy promises to challenge the viewer to contemplate what brings them solace, or excitement, or a sense of belonging.

Massachusetts artist Jon Sarkin began his career as an outsider artist in 1989, when complications from neurosurgery led to a stroke, which prevented him from returning to work as a chiropractor. While his artwork was initially therapeutic, Jon has developed a truly novel artistic voice. Sarkin is best known for his frenetic style, mixing words as well as visual images. His drawings and paintings crosshatch and scrawl their way through pop culture, rock and roll, the mundane, and the subconscious. His work has been featured in The New Yorker, The New York Times, This American Life, and Art News. He recently gained representation by NYC gallery Cavin-Morris where viewers can see more of his work.

Hannah Fink is a local artist who works in many mediums. Found objects, remnants, scraps of material, wood, metal, paper and miscellaneous materials that often incorporate wax and oil pastels have been her medium of choice for many years. The common thread is creating objects that contain personal history and memory. They are all forms of vessels that have evolved from chairs, shoes, and undergarments, to her current work focusing on boats that float in space, occasionally in water or on land. They are containers that provide a sense of freedom, and destinations yet to be discovered. 

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“My shoe series which will be featured in the Taplin Gallery was, in a large part, inspired by my mother and her love for footwear”, shares Fink. “She had a rather large collection, as did my 3 older sisters. These were a take-off point, as I enjoyed making fantasy shoes as well. I use found objects, scraps of leftover fabric, leather, wire, plastic, rubber, and wax to form these works. I like to play with scale as well, from exceedingly small to the ridiculously oversized.’  

This exhibition is held in conjunction with Arts & Health Mercer, created by a coalition of arts and culture organizations of the Mercer County region to bring a greater appreciation, understanding, and experience of how the arts are integral to the health of individuals and communities.

Gallery hours are Monday-Thursday, 9:00am-5:00pm; Friday & Saturday, 10:00am-4:00pm; Sunday 9:30am-12:30pm. Free and open to the public. 102 Witherspoon Street, Princeton.

The Arts Council of Princeton, a non-profit organization founded in 1967, fulfills its mission of building community through the arts by presenting a wide range of programs including public art projects, exhibitions, performances, free community cultural events, and studio-based classes and workshops. Arts Council of Princeton programs are designed to be high-quality, engaging, affordable and accessible for the diverse population in the greater Princeton region.



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