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Articles By Shen Shellenberger

"The First Water is the Body" and "After the Falls" — Exhibitions Present Visual Celebration of Indigenous People

The First Water Is the Body and Athena LaTocha: After the Falls, the exhibitions on view through January 23, 2022, at the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, were organized by VACNJ curator Mary Birmingham and present a visual celebration of Indigenous people, the history, landscape, and culture of New Jersey, the power of words and images, and inspiration, in all of its limitless forms. 

A "Field Companion" to a Microcosmic Forest at Rowan University Art Gallery

“Immersive” is the sort of word that conveys its meaning more as a sensation than a perception. And using it as part of the subtitle for "Field Companion: An Immersive Video Installation" – the new, created-for-this place-and-this-moment-in-time work by Nadia Hironaka and Matthew Suib – is spot-on.

New Brunswick's Got HEART

Think of it as an open house with more than one location. Or maybe a block-after-block party. Or an entertainment-packed afternoon and evening. The 2nd annual New Brunswick HEART Festival, on Saturday, August 14, from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m., is all of that and more. And it is FREE and family-friendly.

Another Summer at Surflight -- How the Shore Theatre Keeps Shining

I am confident that the time will come when I no longer start an interview with a question about the pandemic or write a feature that doesn't reference getting through this extraordinary situation.

Sounds of Summer -- Hello, Concerts, Our Old Friends

Bit by bit, the world is opening up. You can go in the Wawa without a mask. Instead of cardboard cut-outs, there are fans booing umpires in the stands at baseball games. Graduation celebrations now include grandparents and lots of hugging. And while few of us have completely put away the concerns and uneasiness that living in a COVID world produced, folks seem more than ready to get back to enjoying some version of pre-pandemic life.

Jumping Across the Chasm -- Perkins Center for the Arts

An arts center – especially one with two locations – has a lot of moving parts. Perkins Center for the Arts is a perfect example. Just follow the link to the website, and the home page banner will provide a glimpse of what the art center offers. Education. Events. Exhibitions. Folklife Center. And those are just the bullet points.

Hard Questions about Class, Race, Education, and Duty Raised in SCTC's "Pipeline"

Like arts and cultural organizations everywhere, the South Camden Theatre Company faced countless challenges during these last 12+ months. Their 2020 season had been planned as a dual celebration – to mark the 15th anniversary of the SCTC’s beginnings at Sacred Heart Church and the 10th anniversary of their move to The Waterfront South Theatre at 400 Jasper Street. But after staging one show, Abigail/1702: A Twice Told Tale, in February of 2020, the decision was made to postpone the rest of the season.

A "Waking Nightmare" at Rutgers-Camden Center for the Arts

A nightmare, according to Merriam-Webster, is an unpleasant dream that produces a feeling of anxiety or terror, and a waking nightmare, as the phrase suggests, is one that continues to evoke those feelings even when the dreamer is awake. Or, more colloquially, it means that real-life situations are akin to those in nightmares.

“The Question the Answer Hides" at Stockton University Art Gallery

When making plans, there is one almost-certainty: plans will change. Sometimes the path is terminally altered by the changes, and other times, though there are twists and turns, the destination you envisioned is reached. 

Blended Media, History, and More in "Federico Solmi: The Bacchanalian Ones"

I took a slew of pictures when I visited the Rowan University Art Gallery recently to see “The Bacchanalian Ones.” I took close-ups. I took panoramic shots. I took pictures from several angles and perspectives. And I thought I had done a reasonably good job of capturing the spirit of the exhibition.

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