Mixed Media Art On Display At Union County College Beginning Jan. 22

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CRANFORD – From Jan. 22 through Feb. 25, the group exhibition, “It’s Personal”, will be on display in the Tomasulo Gallery in the MacKay Library of the Cranford campus of Union County College.

The exhibition, curated by Tomasulo Director Valeri Larko with an accompanying essay by Rocio Aranda-Alvarado, associate curator of El Museo del Barrio, consists of mixed media works by artists Dahlia Elsayed, Jenny Krasner, and Amy Wilson. All of the artists in this show use their personal lives/stories as inspiration for their art.

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The exhibition, as described in the essay by Rocio Aranda-Alvarado, is a composite of “confessional whispers, hidden longings, vague memories, intellectual musings – all of these make their appearance in the works of the artists… All three artists use text and personal narrative as the basis of their potent, intelligent, and witty works. Filtered through the history of art, literature and poetry, popular culture (including reality television and comics), these women address a variety of themes in their work. Because personal narratives also reflect the experiences of others, these works evoke memories and reminiscences for the viewer.”

For Dahlia Elsayed, her works have always been a combination of writing and painting and have ranged from book art to work on paper to large-scale installation paintings, all that use image and text to create detailed, visual narratives of location and experience. In her artist statement, she explains, that “the work draws on my surroundings, informed by autobiography and environment, creating contemporary cartographies of memory, place and location. My recent work explores the idea of emotional landmarks. These journalistic, text-driven, paintings are records of internal and external geographies.” Her works also tend to describe simple items such as weather, high tide schedules, and street names.

Elsayed’s paintings, prints and artist books have been shown in galleries throughout the United States and internationally. She has work in the public collections of the US Department of State, Johnson and Johnson Corporation, The Jersey City Museum, Zimmerli Art Museum, Hunterdon Art Museum, Montclair Art Museum, and the Newark Public Library. She has received awards from the Edward Albee Foundation, The Newark Museum, ArtsLink, The Dodge Foundation, and the The NJ State Council on the Arts. More information on Elsayed’s work can be found at www.dahliaelsayed.com.

Jenny Krasner explains that her mixed media works combine the use of pen and ink handwritten short stories, digitally scanned objects and photographs, found and brought objects, oil and acrylic paint, charcoal, pastel and gouache. In her artist statement, she explains that, “the daily theater that transpires around me is so wrought with tragedy, irony, love and passion, that creating art about my own present circumstances and current events is enough material to last me a lifetime.”

Krasner’s works have also been shown in galleries throughout the United States and internationally. She has works in the public collections of The Jersey City Museum, St. Lawrence University, Catex-Vitol Corporation, and Trinity College, Oxford University. More information on Krasner’s works can be found at www.jennykrasner.com.

Amy Wilson works in watercolors and uses the image of an industrious little girl, sometimes many in a single drawing, to represent herself and therefore, many of her pieces can be considered a self-portrait. She explains in her artist statement that in her drawings she, “plays with the tension between the sweet images, pretty girls, simple palette, and the honest and fearless conversations they have as a way to explore the femininity and her internal life”.

Wilson’s works have been shown in exhibitions throughout the United States and internationally as well. In the past few years, her works have been seen in exhibitions in the Hunterdon Museum of Art, The Jersey City Museum, the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, Contemporary Arts Centerin Cincinnati, the Josee Bienvenue Gallery in New York City, and the School of Visual Arts Museum in New York City. More information on Wilson’s works can be found at www.amy-wilson.com.

The opening reception for this exhibition will be held on Friday, Jan. 22 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Tomasulo Gallery, on the college’s Cranford campus, located at 1033 Springfield Avenue. Gallery hours are from 1 to 4 p.m. on Mondays through Thursdays and from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays. Evening hours are from 6 to 9 p.m. on Tuesdays through Thursdays. For more information, call 1-908- 709-7155.


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