(SEWELL, NJ) -- There is a new art exhibit at The Gallery in the Park, the outdoor display area at the Amphitheater in Washington Lake Park, and new sculpture gracing the Amphitheater stage. The public placement of artworks is occurring under Painting the Town, a project of the Sustainable Washington Township Creative Team whose mission is to enhance awareness of and participation in the arts in the Township. Participating artists will be recognized at a free reception on June 11, 4:00-6:00pm at the Amphitheater. The public is invited to meet the artists, have a light snack, and listen to the music of Guitarman Bob.
The exhibit, titled “Natural Elements,” celebrates the natural world and features the work of 18 artists. The artists whose work is showcased created images corresponding to Majel Connery’s musical composition, “Rivers Are Our Brothers,” a narrative song cycle on ecological responsibility. The artists created their visions of some aspect of the natural environment, such as trees, clouds, snow, etc., in a unique instant and place.
The exhibit was organized by the Creative Team, volunteers who are artists themselves and/or arts advocates. Vicky Binetti credits team member Martha Frampton, Executive Director of Music at Bunker Hill, for instigating the notion of challenging artists to create visual interpretations of music, which generated the exhibits.
This is the fourth season for the Gallery in the Park. The Gallery features artwork reproduced on vinyl panels, which withstand the weather and allow the art to be displayed for extended periods, in this case through the end of July. Simultaneously, the original artwork can be seen at the Dr. Ross Beitzel Art Gallery at Rowan College of South Jersey, on view until June 8, 2023. In April, the Gloucester County Cultural and Heritage Commission funded a concert performance by Connery and the Brothers Balliett at the College along with a reception for the musicians and visual artists. Music at Bunker Hill, a locally-based nonprofit music performance organization, sponsored the concert (and another on April 23rd).
The sculpture is a new enhancement to the Amphitheater. Jessica Osborne-Mungekar’s multi-piece sculpture comprises two identical sets of three spheres, set in gardens that flank the Amphitheater stage. Osborne-Mungekar is a Township resident who draws inspiration from the shape of her sculptures because spheres represent “inter-connectedness, unity, and creation of the whole.” The artist finds that spheres have a grounding effect, creating a feeling of centeredness and calm.
Other artwork installations in the Park can be seen near the Rangers Station. Visitors can snap photos at large interactive murals on the building walls, enjoy poems penned by residents along Poetry Walk (done in collaboration with the Margaret E. Heggan Free Public Library), and take or leave painted rocks at the Kindness Rock Garden there. Upcoming events include the third annual Plein Air painting at the Olde Stone House Village on June 3rd (sponsored by the Historic Preservation Commission, the Friends of the Olde Stone House Village, and the Creative Team), and a “Chalk the Walk” series during summer months with several Township organizations.