NEW BRUNSWICK – VSA New Jersey announces an exhibit by artist Ann Crawford and students of Robyn Ellenbogen from July 26 to Sept. 17 at the Red Horse Gallery at the Freehold Raceway Mall.
A Meet the Artists Reception will be held on Monday, July 26, from 6 to 8 p.m. Located on the upper mall level next to Sears, the Red Horse Gallery is a collaboration of VSA New Jersey and the Arc of Monmouth featuring exhibits by artists with disabilities, special events, and classes. Regular gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The gallery also is open by appointment.
After an illness in 1990, Ann Crawford had to give up her kite flying hobby. The days of running up and down the beach, teasing a myriad of colorful kites up into the air were to be a part of a closed chapter in her life. She needed to find a new way to channel her energies. At that time, she fought her third bout of cancer, underwent medical treatments which she has just recently completed, and faced additional health challenges.
Finding a brochure in 1992 offering oil painting classes taught by the renowned artist, Grace Grauppe Pillard, Ann embarked on an endeavor that was meant to be a pastime she could pursue while using a walker, and later a wheelchair, but the hobby soon became a passion.
Her lighthouses were inspired by summer vacations on the island of Nantucket, where she also took figure drawing classes at a local arts guild. Back at home, she took watercolor classes with Boris Strakovsky and Jane Lux, and Gary Cooper, then she signed up for watercolor classes with DeeDee Ulanet. She has never tired of each new discovery she has made using brushes, pens, pencils, oils, inks and watercolors. This new chapter of her life has given her a creative venue for expressing herself and her surroundings.
Crawford works in many media, and her subjects are also diverse, ranging from wildflowers along a weathered split rail fence, to lighthouses she and her husband have visited, to the swans and snowy egrets that congregate in the creek behind her house. She dedicates her exhibit at the Red Horse Gallery to her husband, Bill Crawford, whom she lost in November 2009 after more than sixty years of marriage.
Robyn Ellenbogen is a visual artist, educator, community arts coordinator and art editor for Zen Monster, a journal of poetry and fiction. Ellenbogen’s art encompasses a broad range of materials: painting, drawing, digital media, sculpture and installation. Her work is widely exhibited throughout the tri-state area and via online exhibitions. Her website is www.robynellenbogen.com.
As an educator, Ellenbogen has taught at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the 92nd St. Y and the Museum of Modern Art. Currently, Ellenbogen works as an artist in residence for VSA New Jersey, the Arc of Monmouth and St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital. The artwork on display was created by students with whom Robyn has worked in a variety of community programs.
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