RUTGERS-CAMDEN CENTER FOR THE ARTS
Third and Pearl Sts.
Camden, NJ 08102
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Rutgers-Camden Center for the Arts presents a series of exhibitions and related programs in the Stedman Gallery. The exhibition program includes national and international touring exhibitions as well as exhibitions curated in-house and by local curators. RCCA also participates in state-and nation-wide programming initiatives. Exhibitions are supplemented with printed informational brochures and label text, activities that provide in-depth exploration of the overall topic or individual artworks through lectures by scholars, discussions with artists, or demonstrations, behind-the scenes tours, etc. Exhibitions, artist talks & demonstrations, cultural events, and all other enrichment activities are free of charge.
The Stedman Gallery accepts unsolicited portfolio material or exhibition proposals from curators, artists, and art historians on a rolling basis throughout the year.
Dark Eye Glances: Romantic Impulse in Landscape
November 11 – December 20, 2013
And all my days are trances,
And all my nightly dreams
Are where thy dark eye glances,
And where thy footstep gleams —
In what ethereal dances,
By what eternal streams.
Edgar Allan Poe, excerpt from To One In Paradise
Although the period formally known as Romanticism waned around the middle of the 19th century, almost all 20th century art is rooted in the individualism of the Romantic tradition, an impulse that continues into the 21st century as a viable current. Among the many aspects of Romanticism that survive are: primitivism, love of nature, interest in the past, mysticism, subjectivity, and a reaction against modern civilization and the nefarious effects of its industry and technology.
The artists in Dark Eye Glances adapt elements of Romanticism to the times in which they live. Twelve artists were selected for this exhibition; eight are painters, two “painterly” photographers, a printmaker, and a mixed media artist. We decided early in the curatorial process on landscape, being a traditional theme of romanticism. We were continually drawn to aspects of these artists’ paintings and other works that we always loved and continue to respond to as artists and curators: textured, seductive surfaces; ambiguity of place and space; and landscapes, evocative of time past, and of both known and unseen worlds.
Bruce Garrity, Adjunct Professor, Department of Fine Arts, Rutgers-Camden
Noreen Scott Garrity, Associate Director of Education, Rutgers-Camden Center for the Arts
Scott Pellnat and Allen C. Topolski
September 9 – October 30, 2013
October 17 (Third Thursday): Artists’ roundtable with Scott Pellnat and Allen Topolski
Scott Pellnat and Allen C. Topolski both accepted the invitation to create new work for the Stedman Gallery; this exhibition presents two sculptors who transform found materials and objects in magically illusory ways. Scott Pellnat’s installation of a flying squadron and Allen Topolski’s domestic appliances intrigue the viewer, who might wonder what the original material or source could have been and what the function of the new object is, all the while recognizing the familiar aspects of these artworks. The viewer is drawn into examining these objects through this recognition, attempting to decipher the illusions that these artists have insinuated in their creations.
As sculptors, Pellnat and Topolski transform and shape material and create new objects. As you read the artists’ statements below, which provide valuable insight into the artists’ working processes, it is evident that both artists are troubled by, and disturb, the idea of the ‘new’. Their work is inhabited by memory, albeit in very different ways; both seem informed by and concerned about the parameters of individual memory, which are dissolving or disappearing as mass culture and consumerism come to occupy more and more social space.
Certainly there are marked differences in the two bodies of work, which act in this exhibition to bring out their respective qualities. Topolski’s objects are discrete and contained, reflecting their origin as domestic appliances. His objects emulate the vocabulary of traditional sculpture of object and pedestal, but confound this simple equation by interrogating the value of the origin of material and the role of craft. Pellnat’s installation, or installations, if we break his work down into configurations, seems to have no boundaries, seems to be seeking an infinite expansion, to take up as much space as possible, and even then to overflow. Looking beyond the frame of the domestic, Pellnat models his work on another terrain of consumer culture, that of the airplane and the highway, where we bring more mobile expectations of comfort and utility. Pellnat’s work engages with entropy, with destruction, with falling apart—also an antithesis of traditional sculpture that attempted to seize the permanent and eternal.
Pellnat’s work might suggest a nightmarish immersion, as the viewer stands and walks through its suspended components, perhaps even dodging moving parts, or confronts the seeping growth of the cancerous highway. The artist translates the tremors we feel when we get stuck in highway congestion where there is no exit and the only tactic is to muffle the dread arising from recognizing that there is no way forward or backward out of a traffic jam. Or stuck in an airport security line, that seems to be longer and taking more time than the last time, where we, as the airline passengers, were propelled forward and spit out into the over-crowded waiting rooms and herded cattle-like onto the plane; these experiences overwhelming all the pleasurable anticipation of where we want to go or where we are coming back from, overwhelmed by this huge archaic machinery which we know is taking over the world.
Toploski’s objects approach the dream differently, replicating the promise of the new consumer object that we, as consumer, fondle (visually or manually, depending on the retail platform) with our appreciation of design, and the projected satisfaction of enhanced performance and utility, and the egoistic enhancement attached to possessing the ‘latest’ and the ‘newest’. Where the nightmarish dystopia seeps into Topolski’s vision is to be found on the shelves of discarded and outmoded appliances assembled from Topolski’s studio collections—which we can still appreciate for their form and color and design—that resurrect the struggles that we as consumers have undertaken to make sure that what we acquire is the best; a struggle that we promptly forget when the new gadget and the new device appear on the market that we just have to have.
The antidote, both artists seem to suggest, is humor and passion that leaven the darker reaches of these artistic visions; passion that motivates an unrelenting search for insight and understanding; and humor that delights in the accidental and serendipity.
This exhibition made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.
4/7: Rutgers-Camden Senior Thesis Exhibition
May 6 to 23, 2012
Artist Reception: May 23, 11-2 pm
Click here to view the Thesis Exhibition Catalog (PDF File)
4/7 is the senior thesis exhibition of students graduating from the Rutgers-Camden Department of Fine Arts. The exhibition includes painting, sculpture, photography, graphic design, film, animation and multi-media work.
from here to there: parallel trajectories
an exhibition co-curated by a painter, a soprano, a theater artist, a graphic designer, and an art historian
Stedman Gallery, Rutgers-Camden
March 13 - April 24 2013
Click here to view the Guide to the Curators' Selections (PDF File)
Click here to read an article written about the exhibit.
The painter Margery Amdur, the soprano and recording artist Julianne Baird, the theater artist Paul Bernstein, the graphic designer Allan Espiritu, and the art historian Martin Rosenberg have co-curated an exhibition around the theme of ‘work in progress’—translated into the title of the exhibition from here to there, parallel trajectories— each participant selecting existing artwork or creating new work, from her or his respective disciplinary point of view. The exhibition is interdisciplinary in nature, from painting to performance to ipads; and will challenge the viewer to create links between diverse works of art that explore the idea of work in progress in this exhibition and presented in the accompanying series of public programming.
The artist Margery Amdur, whose painting is characterized by constant transformation, was drawn to work that evolves during the time that it is exhibited, or that suggests a significant change. The soprano Julianne Baird is performing with the pianist Eva Mengelkoch who discovered long lost scores by the composer Albrecht Mendelssohn Bartholdy (1874-1936). Julianne Baird is also performing pieces by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, one recital in a constrained space accompanied by Rebecca Cypress, the second in the Mallery Room with Marcia Hadjimarkos. Writer/performer Paul Bernstein, working with the duality of character and self, has created a collaborative work with filmmaker Robert A. Emmons Jr., tracing the internal landscape of memory; with sound design by Stefan Örn Arnarson. Using iPads as receivers and transmitters of regularly changing uploads, Allan Espiritu, in collaboration with Hyun Seo, has assembled designers from around the world to provide a steady stream of new images over the course of the exhibition. And the art historian Martin Rosenberg has drawn on a long relationship with artists from around the country to present work that will encapsulate each of the artist’s development.
In the essays in the exhibition publication each of the curators has delved further into the work that they have selected or that has been created for this exhibition, providing a map for the viewer, to retrace these trajectories running parallel to each other, from here to there.
Margery Amdur has selected work by Janet Biggs, Elizabeth Mackie, David Page, and Jonathan VanDyke.
Julianne Baird is performing Lieder by Albrecht Mendelssohn Bartholdy with pianist Eva Mengelkoch (March 15), and compositions by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach with clavichordists Rebecca Cypress (April 4) and Marcia Hadjimarkos (April 10).
Paul Bernstein created the flatscreen theater elegy AND NEVER CHANGE YOUR dEAD POINT OF VIEW with Robert A. Emmons Jr., sound by Stefan Orn Arnarson and construction by James A. Mobley.
Allan Espiritu, collaborating with Hyun Seo, invited the designers Andrew Santos, Min + Sulki, Jonty Valentine, Ken Kim, Ahree Lee, Rebbeca Gimenez, Juliette Cezzar, Sang Do Kim, Christopher Gianunzio, Kevin Kernan, and Christopher Espiritu to participate in Atlas (2013) or Shoplifters of the World Unite and Take Over (2013).
Martin Rosenberg assembled representative works of Gary Day, Mary Day, Julie Harris, Bonnie O’Connell, and Ed Wong-Ligda.
VISIONS OF CAMDEN
Stedman Gallery, Rutgers-Camden
14 January -1 March 2013
The oil paintings of William (Bill) M. Hoffman Jr. and the en plein air sketches of Mickey McGrath offer an impressionistic vision of Camden. Suffused with the light that bounces off surfaces, rounding the edges of the views described, awash in warm colors, the paintings and drawings of these visual artists lend the city of Camden the transformative gaze of the earlier Impressionist and post-Impressionist artists. The impressionist gaze transcribed the glance, the fleeting movement of the eyes alighting upon a scene, only to be drawn to the next beckoning view.
The exhibition project Visions of Camden explores this way of looking at Camden, its past, its present, and its possible future through the filter of lenses turned fleetingly on different times. Taking the impressionistic vision as a metaphor, the exhibition offers other visual mediums that have captured the transient at different moments in their technological development. Glass slides, photographs, prints, and digital montages of time-based photography are complemented by other two-dimensional renderings of space and time: maps, postcards and posters that introduce various ways of representing what a city might have been and what it might become. Prying open the ways of knowing—and supplementing the way of knowing offered through visual representations—objects from the city’s history act as windows to the past from which they have been conserved; the glimpses through these windows are also impressionistic in that they cannot provide a complete picture of what was.
From its origins as a ferry landing in the eighteenth century, Camden—named after Charles Pratt, Earl of Camden, an English supporter of constitutional rights for Americans, by Jacob Cooper, a Philadelphia merchant who in 1764 purchased and developed a forty-acre site near where his grandfather William Cooper had settled a century earlier—grew into an industrial powerhouse, the home to well-known enterprises, including RCA Victor and the Campbell Soup Company. Like many northeastern cities, Camden suffered the decline of industry and the departure of many residents to the suburbs following World War II. Today the city and its people, its residents and those who work in the city, are rebuilding a base of educational and medical institutions and strengthening existing neighborhoods. The Stedman Gallery’s exhibition proposes ways of envisioning moments in the history of the city: through the eyes of visual artists whose manipulation of color and form often return magic to the cityscape; and through the more realistic and unforgiving eyes of the photographer’s camera. Artifacts from the city's residential and industrial history, including discoveries from the site of the new Rutgers-Camden dormitory on Cooper Street, propose glimpses into the domestic life of early, mostly anonymous, residents; the stained-glass Nipper that identified the RCA Victor tower, remounted for this exhibit, signals an enduring icon of the past. Through the visual and the material to the knowledge and methodology of academic disciplines, inspired by the art and artifacts on exhibit, community members, historians, archaeologists, and urban policy scholars offer and invite insights into the city's past and its prospects.
This exhibition is a collaboration between the Stedman Gallery (Rutgers-Camden Center for the Arts) and MARCH (Mid-Atlantic Regional Center for the Humanities).
News Coverage for Visions of Camden:
ORNAMENT AND NARRATIVE: Women Artists of Eastern Diasporas
October 15 – December 15, 2012
Opening Reception Thursday October 18, 5 – 7 pm For additional programming visit http://rcca.camden.rutgers.edu
The countries and societies stretching from Morocco to India—parts of which are known variously as the Middle East, North Africa, and/or the Fertile Crescent--both share histories and traditions—political, social, religious and cultural—and have developed indigenous and local cultures that distinguish them from their neighbors. None of these societies is immune or impervious to the pressures of modern transformations—the Arab Spring being the most recent modernizing wave engulfing parts of this world. One of the factors of change is mobility: the ability to travel, to visit, or to settle in another place and to find or create community, constituting, thereby, a diaspora that is more often than not the site of acculturation and adaptation to a new society. One of the loci of transformation, as well as the agent of change, is woman to whom this exhibit looks as a consumer, transformer and producer of culture. This exhibition brings together women from the East—as defined above—most of whom live or work abroad, whose contact with other cultures transforms the artistic traditions that travel with them.
This exhibit proposes two streams, ornament and narrative, that animate the work of the participating artists. Strictures against figurative representation have been, to varying degrees and at different moments in history, a part of Muslim, Christian and Jewish cultures and societies. This proscription against the figure has given birth to a culture of the ornament, to the development of intricate geometric and organic patterns, often wedded to a bold use of color, that has characterized the fine and applied arts, architectural details, and the embellishment of printed works. There have been, of course, less strict interpretations of the injunction against the representation of the figure that have allowed for non-religious figures set in secular narratives. Each of the artists selected has transformed one or both of these traditional approaches with a modernizing touch that delights the viewer in presenting a tradition transformed in a visually engaging image, and which contributes to a deepened understanding of the culture from which they emerge.
Soody Sharifi’s work in this exhibit, selected from her Persian Delights series, has introduced a saturated monochromatic background to figures engaged in a daily activity; the clothing of the figures or the objects with which they are engaged are imprinted with a rich and engaging pattern, establishing a contrast with the emphatic color field.
Roya Akhavan’s paintings from her Nexus series propose richly layered intertwining figures and motifs, recalling the interlaced ornaments of earlier historic moments, but approached by the artist in a much more lyrical way. The relationship between figure and ground is rendered in a much more complex way and the traditional approach to symmetry is thrown slightly off-balance.
Mitra Trabizian’s film work The Predator tackles the tensions of contemporary life in the diaspora, using English as the lingua franca of its protagonists drawn from different North African and Middle Eastern countries that do not share a common language. The film also tackles perceptions that the West projects onto the East, a hold over from the Orientalism of the 19th century, augmented in the recent clashes of cultures.
Siona Benjamin’s installations and paintings draw on traditional images, cultural references and styles from her Indian Jewish heritage, transformed through her own unique, contemporary pop cultural sensibility. The work presented here , with its rich synthesis of seemingly disparate elements from her rich multi-cultural background, and elements of both her old, and new worlds, includes her large installation “Lilith in the New World,” and several recent “Improvisations.”
Lalla Essaydi, who transgresses many gender-based strictures of Muslim culture in her work, creates complex, exquisitely-detailed photographic tableaux that reference, destabilize and transform stereotypical images, with many drawn from 19th century Orientalist paintings, of the “exotic” Middle-Eastern woman. In her work, she carefully poses her women subjects in traditional Muslim dress, covers all surfaces with a personal calligraphic text written in henna, and then creates large-scale color photographs that challenge our preconceptions and reframe our vision.
Shahar Yaholom, an Israeli artist now working in New York, creates dream-like, fantasy images and objects in a variety of media. Her drawings, such as those exhibited here, bring together gothic, mythical, landscape and aquatic images to create emotionally-evocative, multi-latered narratives.
- Siona Benjamin (India), lives and works in New Jersey
- Lalla Eassaydi (Morocco) lives and works in New York
- Sissi Ferassat (Iran) lives and works in Vienna
- Naomi Safran-Hon (Israel) lives and works in New York
- Roya Akhavan (Iran) lives and works in New York
- Soody Sharifi (Iran) lives and works in Houston
- Najla Arafa (Egypt)
- Mitra Tabrizian (Iran) lives and works in London
- Shahar Yaholam (Israel) lives and works in New York
Ornament and Narrative is presented by Rutgers-Camden Center for the Arts in conjunction with The Fertile Crescent: Gender, Art, and Society, a program of Rutgers Institute for Women and Art (iwa.rutgers.edu) www.fertile-crescent.org.
OFF THE WALL: SELECTIONS FROM THE RUTGERS-CAMDEN COLLECTION OF ART
June 6, 2012 – October 5, 2012
Here is 3-D you don’t need special glasses to view! Venture into the three-dimensional art world and explore artworks, both in the round and off the wall, this summer at the Stedman Gallery.
DO PROCESS: RUTGERS-CAMDEN SENIOR THESIS EXHIBITION
May 7 to 23, 2012
Artists Reception May 18, 1 – 3 pm
Do Process presents work by graduating Rutgers-Camden art students and artists who are alumni of the Rutgers-Camden Department of Fine Arts. Painting, sculpture, photography, graphic design, film, animation and multi-media work will be exhibited.
Latino Folk Tales Illustrated by Latino Artists
March 7 to April 25, 2012
Cuentos Populares features original illustrations from bilingual Latino folk tales published in children’s picture books. The illustrations enhance stories collected from many Spanish-speaking regions including Mexico, New Mexico, Puerto Rico, Central and South America.
Folk tale literature encompasses magic and symbolism revealed in stories of saints, gods and goddesses, origins of creation, wily tricksters and the bogeyman; the roots of the tales can be traced back through centuries to Persia, India and China. Cinderella, for example, was first recorded in China about 850 AD.
Ten award-winning artists focus their lively imaginations, distinctive styles and colorful palettes to bring the stories alive: Lulu Delacre, Maya Gonzalez, Leovigildo Martinez, Felipe Davalos, Beatriz Vidal, Honorio Robledo, Esau Andrade Valencia, Amy Cordova, Susan Guevara, and Raul Colon.
Curated by Sylvia Nissley and circulated by Smith Kramer Traveling exhibition services.
Drawing as a Means to an End
January 18 – February 25, 2012
Artists Reception: TBD
WILD LAND, THOMAS COLE, AND THE BIRTH OF AMERICAN LANDSCAPE
November 9, 2011 – January 6, 2012
Closed: November 24 – 27; December 24 – January 2, 2012
"Nature has spread for us a rich and delightful banquet. Shall we turn from it?" Thomas Cole
Wild Land, Thomas Cole, and the Birth of American Landscape Painting explores the story of Thomas Cole’s role as an artistic and cultural pioneer who helped give rise to the emerging concept of the American nation. This young Englishman saw something in the American wilderness that many Americans themselves did not yet see.
Using a combination of large-scale banner graphics, immersive environments, media features, and other interactive strategies, Wild Land takes audiences on a journey with Cole through the story of his creative process. From an itinerant portrait artist to the founder of the Hudson River School, this landscape artist transformed sketches from nature into a new vision of the wilderness. This exhibition examines how the meaning of nature has changed over time into a source for creative and intellectual inspiration and how societies come to value the concept of preservation and live in balance with natural resources.
Copyright © 2011 NEH On The Road. All Rights Reserved
Selections from the Rutgers–Camden Collection of Art
June 8 – August 12, 2011
Known for presenting diverse exhibitions of work by regional, national and international artists working in varied media, Framing the Collection offers a unique glimpse into the Stedman Gallery’s own collection of works of art on paper. The exhibition will feature 50 works by renowned artists such as Salvador Dali, Helen Frankenthaler, Joe Goode, Jasper Johns, and Lowell Nesbitt, official NASA artist for flights 9 and 13. Newly framed for this exclusive public display, the works have been acquired over the years through donations and acquisitions, and will be displayed throughout the campus in public spaces after the exhibition closes.
INTO THE THIRD DECADE
September 6 – October 29, 2011
Extended hours: Sunday, Sept. 25 and Sunday Oct. 23, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Artists’ Reception: Sunday, Sept. 25, 2 - 4 p.m.
Into the Third Decade presents the work of Assemblage, 15 women artists from Pennsylvania and New Jersey who began meeting in 1985 to relieve the isolation the artists were experiencing in their studios. After 25 years, Assemblage artists continue to convene as a group to cultivate new ideas, present and discuss new artworks and/or processes, and to foster artistic growth, The resulting works reflect the exchange of artistic ideas from artist to artist as well as the intractable independence of each artist.
Assemblage artists are: Zola Bryen, Roz Bloom, Wanda Chudzinski, Käthe Chapman Grinstead, Susan Hader Golden, Sheila Letven, Lauren Litwa Holden, Lelsey Mitchell, Elaine Nettis, Brigitte Ruttenberg, Charlotte Schatz, Eleanor Schimmel, Marion Spirn, Pam Taggart, and Carol Wisker.