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Visual Arts Gallery

  • The NJCU Visual Arts Gallery runs shows independently and in cooperation with the Harold B. Lemmerman Gallery.

    Current Exhibition  



    Curated by Midori Yoshimoto
 Sept. 16 - Oct. 23
    Opening reception: September 16, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. (Artists’ Talk at 6:30 p.m.)
    Jersey City Artists Studio Tour: Sat. October 18, 12 – 6 p.m. (Artists’ Talk at 4 p.m.)

    Preview the exhibit HERE.
    Download the BROCHURE.

    In honor of New Jersey’s 350th Anniversary, NJCU Galleries will present a special group exhibition to celebrate the Garden State from wide-ranging perspectives. Curated by NJCU’s Gallery Director Midori Yoshimoto, the exhibition will feature over thirty works in diverse media, (including glass sculpture, video, and a public art project), by sixteen local and international artists. It is set to take place simultaneously in both the Harold B. Lemmerman and the Visual Arts Gallery.

    Participating artists are: Melissa Buesing (BFA 2006), Brendan Carroll, Paul Ching-Bor, Nancy Cohen, John Craig (BFA 2006) and Deborah Sperry (current BFA), Tim Daly, Andrew Gioulis (MFA 2011), Robert Hendrickson, Yojiro Imasaka, Megan Maloy, Carolyn Monastra, William Ortega (BFA 1998), Dominique Paul, Michelle Vitale Loughlin (a.k.a. Woolpunk), and Yoichiro Yoda. While some are based internationally or live in New York, many of them have ether resided or worked in New Jersey and have had a special relationship to the state. Four are graduates from the Art Department of NJCU, and have been active as artists, while one is a current student collaborating with an alumnus. 

    These collected vistas represent, each in their own way, the artists’ particular interests and experiences. For example, Tim Daly expresses his concern for a possible secret climate engineering operation by inserting parallel contrails of jet planes in his painting of Route 80. Robert Hendrickson’s exquisitely painted views of Bayonne and Jersey City, including that of the canonical Colgate Clock, convey an extraordinary sense of serenity, which is not how many would describe Jersey. Similarly, Paul Ching-Bor’s paintings of Jersey City monuments are filled with a mysterious, foreboding presence, turning his subjects into timeless icons.

    Having been from Hiroshima and aware of his heritage, Yojiro Imasaka imbues his photographs with a memorializing quality as in n.09231 which was shot in the Meadowlands. Having grown up in the Meadowlands, on the other hand, Melissa Buesing, conveys an intimate knowledge of a region which has seen many failed economic developments and in which nature and wildlife are slowly reclaiming the land. The same wetlands served as an inspiration for Nancy Cohen as well, in her just completed installation, Hackensack Dreaming. Two related abstract sculptures, made of glass, handmade paper, and other unexpected materials, convey the fragile and ever-changing nature of life in these intriguing tidal lands.  

    Ecological crisis, particularly after the Hurricane Sandy of 2012, has preoccupied Carolyn Monastra, John Craig, and Deborah Sperry. As part of The Witness Tree project, Monastra’s beautifully arresting photographs draw attention to rising sea levels and the catastrophe it has caused. For 43 Trees Project, Craig and Sperry asked artists and writers to contribute a biography or life narrative for the 43 fallen trees of Roosevelt Park in Edison, and exhibited their photographic portraits of the trees alongside the texts. 

    The show’s focus shifts slightly from ecological to cultural concerns in Andrew Gioulis’s video installation, Preservation of Space, which raises awareness of a continued need for the preservation of South Jersey’s Pine Barrens -- an area that occupies twenty-two percent of the state. By presenting slices of the secluded life of the so-called Piney people without actually showing them in the video, Gioulis gives us a tantalizing view which is at once both anthropological and artistic. William Ortega’s portraits of his family members are equally dignified in his immaculate black- and-white photographs. Even though they are all originally from Colombia, they spent most of their lives in New Jersey and “Jersey” is instilled in them. The brilliant color photograph by Megan Maloy, on the other hand, captures an ordinary seeming moment from her late grandmother’s life, who lived in a quiet Jersey suburb while battling and suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. 

    Furthermore, Jersey residents and their locales occupy a central role in Brendan Carroll’s ongoing Polaroid project, Money Shots. Captions typewritten below each Polaroid are intentionally shuffled to make the sitters’ identities vague; some actually derive from the sitters themselves, while others are fictional or quotes from others. A feisty, space-age heroine has been brought to life by the Canadian artist, Dominique Paul, who created a costume out of plastic bottles and lights, to enact the mythic battles between the alien goddesses and the Tyranosaurs of Atlantic City. Fascinated by the history of Jersey City’s Loew’s Theatre which opened in 1929, the New-York-based painter, Yoichiro Yoda revived its luscious interior with a still image from the film, Grand Hotel from the 1930s. 

    Lastly, a public art project will become a significant part of this exhibition. Looking ahead to this upcoming winter, Michelle Vitale Loughlin is launching the Gimme Shelter Project, in which she will take publicly donated blankets and turn them into temporary shelters for the homeless. She hopes to give away these weatherized blanket-tents in parks around Jersey City. 

    As a whole, Jerseyscapes exhibition invites viewers to explore surprisingly multi-faceted views of New Jersey. 

    Image above: Yoichiro Yoda, Loew's Jersey Theatre, 2014, Oil on canvas, 72' x 84" 

    Ongoing Exhibition

    Transformation: Art Faculty Exhibition
    Gilligan Student Union, Faculty Dining Hall, 2nd floor 

    “Transformation: Art Faculty Exhibition” will feature works by NJCU art faculty Mauro Altamura, Hugo Bastidas, Dennis Dittrich, Brian Gustafson, Deborah Jack, Martin Kruck, Ken MacBain, Winifred McNeill, Janet Pihlblad, Ellen Quinn, Jose Rodeiro, and Herb Rosenberg. The exhibit will be shown throughout the full 2013-2014 academic year. The Dining Hall is accessible Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.


    Kenneth MacBain
    Tea + Coffee Set
    Sterling Silver Acrylic

    Martin Kruck
    Habitorium: Blaze