Cuba Now: Photos by David Antebi

Long time Highland Park resident David Antebi is exhibiting photos from Cuba in the Main Hall Display Case at the Highland Park Public Library, 31 North Fifth Avenue, from September 1 through September 30, 2016. He will talk about Cuba: Then and Now on Thursday, September 8 at 7:00 PM at the library.

After 50 years of the US embargo on Cuba, the travel restrictions were lifted last year. David Antebi and his wife Paula took advantage of this opportunity and booked an eight-day trip in January, 2016 with a group called Road Scholar. The trip focused on the arts. The photos in the display case are a sample of his attempt to document what he experienced.

“We visited old Havana, rural areas, tobacco and organic vegetable farms, and a luxury coastal hotel,” Antebi said. “Candid portraits were taken to capture images of people at work. Where ever we went – bus stops, the market place- we were greeted with music and dance groups. We witnessed the creative spirit visiting local artists galleries, dance studios and a modern art museum where we had a chance to mingle and interact with Cubans.”

According to Antebi, Cuban politics were evident at a book fair where pamphlets, and books on revolutionary theory, biographies on Fidel Castro, and Che Guevara, and medals from the Revolution were displayed. Also on display, were vintage music albums of the ’50 and the ’60 from famous Cuban singers of that time period. David and Paula, long time residents of Highland Park, witnessed tourists from all over the world crowding the lobby of the historic Hotel National located in old Havana where they stayed to experience the old and the new Cuba. “For the short time we visited Cuba we witnessed the physical devastation created by the embargo but were captured by the vibrant spirit of the people for life,” Antebi said.

Cuba by David Antebi

New Beginnings by Jennifer Lorenz

New Beginnings by Jennifer Lorenz is an installation that will be at the Highland Park Public Library, 31 North Fifth Avenue from September 1 through September 30, 2016 in the Meeting Room.

Jennifer Lorenz is a freelance illustrator and fine artist based in in New Jersey. Trained in illustration, fine art, and graphic design at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, NY, she received a BFA in Illustration and an AAS in Graphic Design. She later attended the School of Visual Arts in New York, NY where she received a Masters degree in Art Education. Jennifer loves working in a variety of media including watercolor, colored pencil, ink, pastel, and oil.

Berkshires by Jennifer Lorenz

Highland Park High School students create found art

Highland Park High School students from Sarah Grunstein’s art classes will be exhibiting recycled art at the Highland Park Public Library, 31 North Fifth Avenue, from Monday, August 1 through Wednesday, August 31.The sculptures will be in the Main Hall Display Case.

Through a generous grant from the Highland Park Education Foundation, the Highland Park High School sculpture classes embarked on a Watershed Sculpture Project in conjunction with CoLab, a New Brunswick based arts organization, and The Lower Raritan Watershed Partnership (LRWP).

Students first learned from LRWP about the local watershed and threats facing it before participating, with the high school Marine Biology classes, in a watershed cleanup of The Meadows in Highland Park.

Students were then challenged to create found object sculpture out of the retrieved items, creating sculptures of creatures and wildlife that should be found in a watershed out of things that should not.

In total, 14 contractor size bags of recyclables and 9 bags of garbage were removed from the riverbank.

sculpture by student of Sarah Grunstein

Ceramics from Nature – Kirsten Vogelius

Kirsten Vogelius, a potter, is exhibiting in the main Hall Display Case at the Highland Park Public Library from July 1 through July 31, 2016. Her display, Ceramics from Nature, features work inspired from natural elements, bark, seashells and wood.

According to the New Jersey potter, the experience of taking a lump of clay and forming it to something functional is magical.

“I love experimenting, combining new and old techniques, materials and forms, but I favor the mid-century Danish style, myself being a mid-century Dane,” Kristen said. “Nothing is more exciting than opening a kiln or pulling a piece from a hot fire—and seeing the magic—or disaster!”

Kristen Vogelius

Sophisticated Graffiti – Mixed Media

Bo Jordan gives new meaning to the expression, “hand painted.” The Highland Park artist literally finishes 90 percent of her paintings without brushes, using her fingers and palm to apply paint to canvas. Her exhibit, Sophisticated Graffiti: Mixed Media will be on display in the Highland Park Public Library, 31 North Fifth Avenue, from July 1 – July 31.

An art reception will be held for Bo Jordan on Sunday, July 17 from 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM.

“All of my work can be considered mixed media,” Jordan said. “I like the chemical reactions mixed media creates in each piece.”

Most of her paintings include latex, enamel and acrylic. Four years ago she developed her hands on technique.

The Brooklyn-born artist has been drawing since she was 12 years old and has been exhibiting in different venues throughout Middlesex County. She has had paintings displayed in Highland Park’s Arts in the Park event, Dunellen’s Festival and in Metuchen’s Art Programs. Over the Moon gift shop in Highland Park sells her art cards. This is her third exhibit at the Highland Park Public Library.

Sophisticated Graffit by Bo Jordan

Reflection: New Works by Indrani Choudhury

Reflection: New Works by Indrani Choudhury will be on display from Wednesday, June 1 through Thursday, June 30 at the Highland Park Public Library meeting room in Highland Park, New Jersey. An art reception will be held for Dr. Choudhury on Sunday, June 5 from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM.

Born in Calcutta, India, Dr. Indrani Choudhury was a biomedical research scientist for 25 years, in India and then in the US. She moved to New Jersey two decades ago, raised a family and worked for many year at UMDNJ. In 2005, she set up an easel in her guest room and returned to her childhood passion: painting.

Entirely self-taught, Indrani works solely in watercolors, transforming the medium beyond its typical constraints to produce the texture and richness of acrylics and oils. Her paintings include her local supermarket in New Jersey, her childhood home in Calcutta, and scenes from her international travels. In each painting she tries to express something specific – a particular color, the interplay of light and shade, a moment we see but never notice, or a memory she has carried since her childhood. Since 2008, Indrani’s paintings have been exhibited at over a dozen juried art shows and galleries throughout New Jersey.

“I want to be be an inspiration to all those who dream of doing what they truly love,” the Edison artist said. “Being able to paint is an affirmation of the power of dreams, long deferred and finally fulfilled”.

Indrani Choudhury painting

Diorama by Mary Forsberg

On display in the library reference area is Mary Forsberg’s diorama that she entered in this year’s Philadelphia Flower Show. Motivated by this year’s theme, National Parks, she created a diorama to honor her father and mother, Phil and Marion. It represents Gunnison Beach, located at Sandy Hook National Recreation area. It is New Jersey’s only nude beach and the only one to allow alcohol consumption.

The judges awarded her second prize. In addition to winning a $300 prize, being selected to enter the contest itself was a big honor. There were only six West Coast and six East Coast dioramas.

Attached to the diorama is this explanation, “Phil and Marian had included sunbathing au natural on their bucket list for years. Their 45th wedding anniversary came on a beautiful sunny warm day so they packed their cooler with coffee, donuts, wine, cheese and cake and spent the day absorbing the sun and the spectacular views of The City”.

Although Forsberg’s parents never visited a nude beach, and as far as their daughter knows, never had any inclination to, her mother did love plants. The diorama features 21 live plants and succulents. It also accurately depicts the New York skyline as seen from Sandy Hook National Park. A small cat, Rutger, accompanies them. The cat’s presence is a tribute to the actual cat who lived in the greenhouses at Rutgers Gardens for 21 years. The diorama will be on display at the Highland Park Public Library throughout May.

“This was all a tribute to my parents Phil and Marian Forsberg and to Rutger, the 21 year old gray cat who lived at Rutgers Garden and was the unofficial mayor of the garden,” Forsberg said. “My mom died in October last year, and Rutger died a week before the flower show.”

Beach in a box, diorama by Mary Forsberg

Watercolors and Mixed Media: New Works by Judith E. Rosenstein

Judith E. Rosenstein will be exhibiting watercolor paintings from April 29 to May 29 at the Highland Park Public Library in New Jersey. The art reception for the art show, Calm Thoughts, will be on Sunday, May 22 from 2:00 – 4:00 PM. in the meeting room.

Rosenstein, a Highland Park resident, has been painting for more than 43 years. She is a forensic psychologist who paints to bring calm moments into her life. Her paintings capture serene outdoor scenes, people, colorful objects, and wildlife.

“I paint to find serenity,” Rosenstein said. “I want to pass along the calmness.”

Judith Rosenstein

Portraits and More: Gabrielle Rosenthal & Camryn Kozacheck

Portraits and More: Gabrielle Rosenthal & Camryn Kozacheck, by two Highland Park High School seniors, is on exhibit at the Highland Park Public Library in New Jersey through the month of April. Their art reception will be held Sunday, April 24 from 2-4 pm.

From a young age both have taken an interest in drawing and painting. Their work is primarily from life or photographs. This show focuses on portraiture and human figures, although it also features other subjects.

Gabrielle Rosenthal
Drawing by Gabrielle Rosenthal

Spring Collection: Recycled Three Dimensional Images Celebrate Earth Month

Fred Cole likes to create three dimensional images from existing materials. His sculptures are being exhibited through the month of April in the Main Hall Display Case at the Highland Park Public Library in New Jersey.

“The images in this display use materials such as plastic, wood, metal, springs, electrical components, motor covers, fan blades, gas lines, and plastic reflectors,” Cole said. “They help me convey ideas that hopefully make the viewer see that what’s new is not always best, and that in a “throw-away and buy culture” such as ours existing materials never go out of style or potential use.”

According to the Highland Park artist, the re-purposing of material to use in artistic expression is not a new art form. Famous artists such as Picasso and Duchamp did this early in the 20th century.

“However, to develop themes that are often driven by the material, but not limited to it, continues to reveal new forms of expression to me on a consistent basis. At other times the materials I use help me to convey an existing idea into imagery that I enjoy,” Cole said.

Deep Yellow by Fred Cole
Deep Yellow