RAHWAY–Arts Guild New Jersey will present Close Encounters, an exhibition of artwork inspired by science fiction themes. The show opens on Jan. 30 and runs through March 3 at Arts Guild New Jersey, 1670 Irving Street in Rahway.
The exhibit is curated by Rachael Faillace, assistant director of Arts Guild New Jersey. An opening reception will be held on Sunday, Jan. 30, from 1-4 p.m. The exhibition and reception are free to the public. The exhibition is wheelchair accessible.
The exhibition features artists Madeleine Bliss (Park Ridge), Liz Brown (Brooklyn, N.Y.), Derek Buckner (Brooklyn, N.Y.), Brian Scott Campbell (Brooklyn, N.Y.), Ernest Concepcion (New York, N.Y.), Jason Leinwand (Brooklyn, N.Y.), Keary Rosen (Raritan) and Diane Whitebay (Montclair.)
Science fiction has always been a touch point for the imagination. Whether the colonization of other planets, artificial intelligence, alien life forms, space travel, flying saucers, or Area 51, the unknown, fantastical and weird act as inspiration to artists across the world. These topics have been explored in countless forms – writing, films, artwork and stories of all kinds. Eight artists working within this theme have been selected for Close Encounters. In addition, Arts Guild NJ will present the original radio broadcast of the War of the Worlds from Oct. 30, 1938, as part of the exhibition.
Madeleine Bliss’s installation Space Rocks pairs a fictitious Nova-style documentary with a scientific museum display of geological specimens of the alien planets Regina, Mirus, & Videor in the Arcis Galaxy.
Liz Brown paints images such as a space craft command center, a rocket hurtling through space, and a flying saucer hovering over the desert. In Derek Buckner’s series Paredolia, the artist applies a painterly style to images of U.F.O.’s in the sky. The indistinct, atmospheric shots give the impression of grainy photographs or film.
Brian Scott Campbell renders detailed drawings of landscapes and buildings reminiscent of the geodesic domes and pods envisioned in the 1960s as the housing designs of the future. Ernest Concepcion uses ink and a sense of humor to depict battle scenes between rivals of all kinds, such as cowboys vs. aliens and robots vs. robots.
Jason Leinwand works with the theme of alien abduction and the influences of aliens on humankind. His mixed media pieces weave symbolism into geometric patterns and symmetrical compositions. Keary Rosen shows 1.530R The Robot, a six-foot tall metal robot sculpture. Diane Whitebay exhibits a photograph of a colorful building front at a county fair, where a barker claims that alien bodies from Roswell, New Mexico, are revealed inside.
The gallery is open during the exhibition on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, from 1-4 p.m., and Monday-Thursday by appointment, during office hours. For more information, call 1-732-381-7511, visit www.agnj.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.