New Jersey Blood Services Hosts Exhibit Of Local Photographers

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SCOTCH PLAINS – New Jersey Blood Services’ (NJBS) new donor center at 2279 South Avenue in Scotch Plains will host a new exhibit of the works of three local photographers entitled “Traveling Women”. The show will open at the South Avenue Gallery located within the donor center, on Monday, Dec. 14, with a reception between 5 and 8 p.m.

The donor center will be open at 2pm for local residents to donate platelets or whole blood and to stay for the opening reception showing the works of Union County photographers Barbara Bohmer, Sheilia Lenga and Barbara Wirkus.

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This past year, photographer Barbara Bohmer took shots throughout Egypt depicting many phases of life in the country. Her photographs, many of which were taken as she drifted up the Nile, show the inner beauty of the people and the land. Her intent is that the viewer takes away their own vision of the country.

On a recent visit to Alaska, photographer Sheilia R. Lenga found the wildlife as amazing as the beauty of the land. Her patience in waiting for the perfect shots have resulted in an exhibit that ranges from spawning salmon swimming upstream, to the massive Alaskan brown bears, to the playful red-tailed squirrel. Her show also includes photos of the Mendenhall Glacier with ice calving (crashing) into the water.

While the other photographs in the exhibit reflect distant travels, the works of photographer Barbara Wirkus depict local excursions. Two pieces entitled The Window and Forgotten Doorway were captured at the Littell-Lord farmstead in Berkeley Heights.

“There are only a few buildings remaining on this 17 acre farm that has been in existence for 240 years,” said Wirkus. “The farmstead portrays a simple way of life in sharp contrast to today’s fast paced society. Places like this will continue to decay until they exist only in memory and photographs.”

The South Avenue Gallery at the NJBS Scotch Plains Donor Center will rotate the works of local artists every few months. According to Marie Forrestal, Manager of Donor Recruitment & Retention for NJBS, their intention is to create a community center where Union County residents can enjoy various activities while donating blood and saving lives.

“This is new, trying to make it a destination and community hub and not just a blood center,” Forrestal said. “We’ve also formed a book club at the site and on Dec. 14, at 6 p.m. Joe Pizzo, adjunct professor at Union County College and Centenary College will host a discussion on Say You Are One of them by Uwem Akpan.”

Hors’doeurves will be provided by Cline & Murphy in Westfield.

The public is invited to join the events on Dec. 14, which includes hors d’oeuvres provided by Cline & Murphy in Westfield. Guests are asked to view the photographic exhibit and take time to donate whole blood or platelets. Help NJBS in their mission to save lives during this season of giving while meeting new people and having fun.


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