Artist Sangeeta Bhagat and Studio 105 Students

Colonia Artist Sangeeta Bhagat and her students from Studio 105 are exhibiting their paintings, pastel works, and drawings together in an exhibit, Celebrating Art, at the Highland Park Public Library through June 30. An art reception will be held for the adult and children artists on Saturday, June 13 from noon until 4:00 PM.

Sangeeta Bhagat is an artist from India who incorporates the traditional with the spiritual. Her design sense was honed from her background in fashion designing. In addition to painting, she teaches students from nursery school age to adults. The artists featured in this show are Ava Borker a seven year old first grader and Sana Borka, 10 years old, both from James Madison Primary School in Edison, Yinisha Bhagdev, Michelle Barksdale, an art teacher from P.S. 242 in Harlem, Priyanka Ramanujam, Ronit Kalsis a kindergartener from Edison, Jashan Kalsi, an eight year old, Shrey Tayal, an 11 year old, Lipi Patel, a third grader from James Madison Intermediate School, Dhyanashri Raman, a fifth grader from Martin Luther King Elementary School in Edison, Tarun Ravilla a sixth grader from Herbert Hoover Middle School, Tanvi Ravilla a third grader from Benjamin Franklin Elementarty School in Edison,and Yinisha Bhagede. “I didn’t know any techniques and was clueless about the world of art, Sana Barkar said. “After a year of painting, I have learned many new skills and I hope I will be the greatest artist one day.”

cityscape bhagat student painting

The Art of Mort Farrah

May is a perfect time to exhibit The Art of Mort Farrah at the Highland Park Public Library, 31 North Fifth Avenue. The retired city planner paints from memories of the Jersey shore. His work in several mediums – acrylic, oil, pen and ink, water color, and graphite pencil call to mind the bright lights and vivid colors that are so prevalent at ocean resort towns.

The art show will be in the meeting room from May 2 through May 30, and an art reception for Farrah will be held on Saturday, May 2 from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM.

The Highland Park artist has had several showings of his work, including at the library, local galleries, and street fairs. He is one of the founding members of the Highland Park Artists Cooperative and also exhibits in their group shows. After retiring from city planning in 2002, Farrah took advanced art courses at the Rutgers Mason Gross School of Fine Arts and then began exhibiting and marketing his work at local art fairs and exhibits.

“My paintings and drawings are from memory and some have been inspired from photographs, especially some scenes from the Seattle waterfront,” Farrah said. “The work is basically representational, but there is a hint of abstract in several paintings where the mix of shapes and colors dominate the art rather than the subject matter.”

Mort Farrah beach

Works by Artist Joyce Browning

Joyce Browning, a long time resident of New Brunswick, is presenting a mixed media show at the Highland Park Public Library in April 2015. An art reception will be held Sunday, April 12 from 2:00PM to 4:00 PM.

Browning has been an artist and art teacher for many years. In the Willingboro Public School System, not only did she teach, she also was known for her art showcases, wall murals, and two and three dimensional stage sets. She has exhibited internationally and has also participated in developing programming for the New Jersey Education association’s Teachers’ Convention.

She has also been instrumental in community projects, including being the Project Director for the Middlesex County Cultural & Heritage Commission Neighborhood Arts Consortium and Art Coordinator for the New Brunswick Oktoberfest.

Browning now retired, teaches part time at Rutgers University and volunteers at the New Brunswick Public Library and the New Brunswick African American Heritage Committee. She also continues to paint and exhibit.

Joyce Browning painting

Repurposing, Reweaving: Recent Paintings by Miriam Lefkowitz and Tamora Knorr

Repurposing, Reweaving: Recent Paintings by Miriam Lefkowitz and Tamora Knorr will be on exhibit at the library in March 2015. An art reception will be held on Saturday, March 7 from 2:00 to 4:00 PM. The public is invited.

Miriam Lefkowitz studied at Mason Gross School of the Arts with Lloyd McNeill and at the The Camera Club of New York. She has a B.A. from the University of Maryland. University of Maryland. She is a member of the Printmaking Council of New Jersey. She has exhibited in many venues including the Camera Club of New York, IM Gallery of Highland Park, Highland Park Public Library, and the New Brunswick Art Salon. Lefkowitz is also a mother, videographer, painter, telecommunications analyst and long-time resident of Highland Park. Her works for this show feature oil paintings on wood, canvas, windows, and other found items that both inspire and inform her painting.

Tamara Knorr is a fiber and textile artist originally from Bristol, VA. She has resided in NJ for the past 12 years and currently lives in East Brunswick. In her artwork she applies textile techniques – including knitting, crochet, embroidery, quilting, and weaving – to non-traditional materials and forms. Her works reflect her fascination with both materials and process. In addition to making art, Tammy is a mother of four, a barista and gallery curator at OQ Coffee Shop & Roastery, and an administrative assistant/outreach coordinator at Speak Music Conservatory, both in Highland Park, NJ.

Repurposing, Reweaving: Recent Paintings

Japanese Saimitsu Painting by Mayu Burr

Mayu Burr, an artist specializing in Japanese Saimitsu painting, will have an exhibit at the Highland Park Public Library through the month of December in the meeting room and the main hall display case. A reception will be held on Thursday, December 4 from 6:00 PM through 8:00 PM. Light kosher refreshments will be served, and the public is welcome.

Mrs. Burr specializes in capturing and enhancing the minute details of the world around her, including tiny creatures. At the other end of the spectrum from the French Impressionist School, Mayu is the foremost proponent of the School of Extreme Selective Détaillé, known as E.S.D. Art or (Saimitsu) in Japan. The extreme precision of her rendering evokes the masterpieces of Jean-Baptiste Édouard Detaille (1848 – 1912). Mayu sees and draws what the impartial camera lens misses.

Mrs. Burr’s pieces also highlight her skills at pencil drawing, watercolor, origami and Chinese calligraphy.

Mayu Burr, water jug watercolor

point dolphin

schroeder by Mayu Burr

Jewish Life: Historical, Biblical And Imaginative Art

Artist William Giacalone, is exhibiting in the meeting room at the Highland Park Public Library in November 2014. His new show of large paintings, is titled Jewish Life: Historical, Biblical and Imaginative Art. His paintings are whimsical and reminiscent of the old country where Hasidim studied and danced with the Torah, villagers labored on farms, and where students attended small village schools.

During the 1960s Giacalone illustrated a number of story books and Hebrew school books for young children. Three Stories by Sholom Aleichem, The Pitzel Holiday Book, The Shlimeels of Chelm by Sol Scharfstein, Draydel, Draydel, Draydel, Debbie In Dreamland-Her Holiday Adventures and one of his favorites The Schnitzel Book.

Giacalone, who has lived and painted in Highland Park for more than 50 years, is also a retired commercial art designer and was art director for the Remco Toy Corporation and other firms. He was a three-time winner of the Technicraft Corporation Competition. The life long area artist, who grew up on a chicken farm in Piscataway, received his art education at Cooper Union and the Art Students League both in New York. He has exhibited nationally and internationally and has been in exhibits with artist George Segal at the B’nai Brith Klutznick Museum in Washington, DC.

Jewish Life by William Giacalone

Photo Paintings of Icons

Although Alexander Agor has been an agent for New York Life Insurance for 14 years, he is also an artist and photographer who in his career covered the Six Day War in Israel, worked for the magazines Harper’s Bazaar and Time Out, did press production photography for the Royal Court Theatre in England, and worked in Italy for Italian Vogue. Along the way he photographed John Lennon and other icons from the 1960s and 1970s.

His photo paintings are on display at the Highland Park Public Library through October 2014 in the Meeting Room.

His diverse career has contributed to many experiments in his photo paintings that resemble large posters. His work has also been exhibited at the Mostly Mozart Festival at Avery Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center, the Perry Art Gallery in Manhattan, and at the Golda Meir Art Center in Israel.

Alexander Agor - John Lennon image

Eyes on the Road: New Works by Indrani Choudhury

Dr. Indrani Choudhury, born in Calcutta, India, worked as a biomedical research scientist for 25 years beginning in India and continuing in the United States at UNDNJ until she retired in 2005. That year she reconnected to her first passion – painting. For the month of September, Dr. Choudhury is exhibiting at the Highland Park Public Library. An art reception will be held for the artist on Saturday, September 6 from 1:00 PM – 4:30 PM in the meeting room.

Her paintings span her whole universe, from her local supermarket in New Jersey, to her childhood home in Calcutta, to scenes from travels around the world. In each 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. She paints to communicate the way she sees the world.

painting by  Indrani Choudhury

Bo Jordan Gives New Meaning to Hand-Painted

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 impressionistic paintings will be on display in the library in August 2014.

An art reception will be held for Jordan on Saturday, August 9 from 11:30 AM to 1:30 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 first solo show.

Fall Forest by Bo Jordan
Fall Forest by Bo Jordan

Technicolor Dreams: Paintings by Amita Shukla

Amita Shukla, a visual artist from Highland Park and a junior at Highland Park High School, first exhibited her artwork in the main hall display case at the Highland Park Public Library in 2013.

Shukla, who is currently studying art at the Art Academy of Highland Park under Ana Soto-Canino, will have her first solo exhibit, “Technicolor Dreams,” in the Library meeting room from July 1 through July 31, 2014. An art reception will be held for her on Sunday, July 20 from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM.

She has also attended Middlesex County Arts High School during the last year.

“My first drawing experience was in preschool, emulating Michelangelo on the undersides of tables, but I have since progressed to canvases,” Shukla said. “More than any other thematic content, this exhibition is about my growth as an artist, and a celebration of art as a means of adding interest to everyday scenes– stopping to paint the roses.”

The pieces in this show are all from within the past two and a half years, and they encompass a wide variety of media and styles.

painting by Amita Shukla