The Universe in a Flower

Sara Parmigiani, a curator at the Fleetwood Camera Museum, will be displaying her photographs of flowers at the Highland Park Public Library from August 2 to August 31, 2018.

One of her favorite artists is landscape artist Martin Johnson Head (1819-1904) who made stunning still life images of tropical flowers. Active in the 1840’s, Head would often isolate flowers such as orchids and magnolias and paint them against a dark background. The dark background enhances the wonderful colors of the flowers. “I love his paintings and find great inspiration for photographing flowers,” Parmigiani said.

Parmigiani has a BA in Fine Arts from Fairleigh Dickenson University and a MA in Museum Studies from Seton Hall University.

Sara Parmiagiani - pink orchid photo

Three Painting Friends

Three Painting Friends: New Works by Yumi Yang, Leona Cheung, and Sisi Ho will be exhibited at the Highland Park Public Library from August 2 through August 31. An art reception will be held by the artists on Sunday, August 5 from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM.

For Yumi, pastel has been her favorite medium since 2005. Included in the show are her still lifes, landscapes, graceful interiors, and striking scenery, which have won awards.

Leona explores all kinds of painting media such as oil and pastel. Her artworks cover a variety of subject matters: landscapes, still lifes, animals, and people. She has won numerous awards in the past – the result of countless nights burning the midnight oil pursuing a perfect piece of art.

Sisi’s artworks consist of still lifes and portraits using charcoal pencils, oil, oil pastel, and IPad.

Mimi Jong
Painting by Mimi Jong
Sisi Ho
Drawing by Sisi Ho
Leona Cheung
Painting by Leona Cheung

Nature Around: New Works by Indrani Choudhury

Nature Around: New Works by Indrani Choudhury will be on display from Monday, July 2 through Tuesday, July 31 at the Highland Park Public Library meeting room. An art reception will be held for Dr. Choudhury on Sunday, July 8 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 years 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 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

boats, painting by indrani choudhury

Our Mother and Grandmother Was An Artist: The Seventy Year Artistic Vision of Barbara Drach

A memorial art exhibit of the paintings of Barbara Drach will be on display at the Highland Park Public Library from May 20 through June 30, 2018 in the meeting room and front hall display case. An art reception will be held for the exhibit, Our Mother and Grandmother Was An Artist: The Seventy Year Artistic Vision of Barbara Drach, on Sunday, June 3, from 2:00 PM-4:00 PM. Barbara Drach lived and painted in Highland Park from 1996 until 2001 and spent the rest of her life in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens. The Drach Weidmann family invite you to view her prolific painting life.

When eighteen year old Barbara Bitterman spotted a paint box in the window of a hardware store at the corner of Feather Bed Lane and Plimpton Avenue in the Morris Heights section of the Bronx, it was a transforming moment. She ordered $25 worth of art supplies including small canvas, easel, tubes of oil paint, turpentine and brushes and didn’t stop painting for 70 years.

From oil painting the young artist pursued watercolors, woodcarving, collages and even weaving. The artist’s exploration of portraiture, landscapes, seascapes and abstract expressionism will be on display. In a 2014 interview with her granddaughter Abigail Drach, she described one of her favorite paintings of her neighbors sitting in front of her Nelson Avenue apartment building. Her paintings also include subjects that were disturbing to her such as the Holocaust and the political unrest that occurred during the 1960s and 1970s in America.

“I started painting about my birth place, the Bronx, during the 1980s because I was always looking at its decline in the news,” Barbara Drach said in an interview in 2001. “All these wonderful images came back to me from my childhood of a place that was filled with life, people, and family shops.”

Much like the one where the artist bought her first paint box.
Plimpton Avenue
Plimpton Avenue

1445 Nelson Avenue
1445 Nelson Avenue

Portraits and More: Paintings and Drawings by Shelley Phillips

Shelley Phillips, the founder of the art program at Rabbi Pesach Raymon Yeshiva will have a solo show at the Highland Park Public Library through April 2018. An art reception will be held on Sunday, April 8 from 1:30 – 4:30 PM.

“I’m an observer of the world around me and often see things in terms of ‘This might make a great painting,’” Phillips said. “I often use my own photos as inspiration — candid people shots and vacation photos and close-ups of flowers.”

Originally from Philadelphia, Shelley attended Tyler School of Fine Arts of Temple University for her BFA. She moved to Massachusetts where she taught art in the Newton Public Schools for many years. After moving to New Jersey about 21 years ago, she started an art program and taught at the Rabbi Pesach Raymon Yeshiva, retiring seven years ago.

Shelley has won Honorable Mention two times for her paintings in the Middlesex County Senior Art Exhibits. She has had her work displayed at Fiddleheads Restaurant in Jamesburg recently. Other exhibits include Edison Art Society at City Hall, the East Brunswick Library with Suburban Artist’s Guild exhibit, of which she is a member and The Grounds for Sculpture Member’s Exhibit. She also belongs to and has exhibited with the Center of Contemporary Art and the Visual Arts Center of NJ, where she currently takes classes. She has exhibited multiple times at the Highland Park Public Library.

Shelley Phillips

drawing by Shelley Phillips

From Sea to Shining Sea: Paintings

Eight artists from The Unitarian Society (TUS) Art Exploratory Group are exhibiting From Sea to Shining Sea: Paintings, in the meeting room of the Highland Park Public Library from March 1 to March 31, 2018.

According to Joyce Browning, one of the founding members of the group, the artists began painting together 10 years ago.

“We started because we all had an interest in art and what was very interesting is that we came from all over the globe and from different walks of life,” Joyce said. “It began with me teaching the class and grew to us all sharing tips and techniques.”

The artist include Jennifer Kahn, Peter Kahn,, Christine DeMuro, Tatiniana Rodionoba, Galina Malinsky, Dan Strombom, and Joyce Browning. This is the group’s second exhibit.

Joyce Browning - From Sea to Shining Sea

Small World: Japanese Saimitsu Exhibit

Mayu Burr, an artist specializing in Japanese Saimitsu painting will have an exhibit at the Highland Park Public Library from February 3 through February 28, 2018 in the meeting room. The artist will also display sketches and origami in the main hall display case. A reception will be held on Sunday, February 18 from 2:00 PM through 4:00 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 people and 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. You might notice in her sketches, people who have performed at the library or from local shops.

Mrs. Burr’s pieces also highlight her skills at rendering three dimensional objects.

Maya Burr diner girl watercolor


Maya Burr watercolor piano man


Maya Burr watercolor guitar man

Arts High and Arts Middle School Student Work on Exhibit – 2018

Paintings, drawings and photographs created by Middlesex County Arts High and Arts Middle School students will be on display at the Highland Park Public Library, 31 North 5th Avenue, Highland Park for the month of January 2018. The work is in the meeting room and the Main Hall Display Case. Two students from Highland Park are included in this exhibit: Edan Blank, from Highland Park High School and Kayra Gok from Highland Park Middle School.

The exhibit features work completed by gifted and talented students who participated in the Middlesex County Arts High or Arts Middle School. The programs, now in their 38th year, offer advanced art classes in creative writing, dance, instrumental music, vocal music, acting and visual arts to students from public, private, and home schools in Middlesex County. Students, admitted to the program through audition, are released from their schools one afternoon each week during the spring semester to participate in the various courses that are taught by professional artists.

For more information on the exhibit or the Middlesex County Arts High or Arts Middle School programs, or to obtain an application, contact the Arts & Education Center at 732-566-ARTS (2787), email, or visit their website at

This program has been made possible in part by a grant from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/ Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.

middlesex county arts high school exhibit

Edan Blank

Cats, Dogs, Portraits and Beyond: Paintings by Meilun Lee

Cats, Dogs, Portraits and Beyond: Paintings by Meilun Lee will be on display in the meeting room at the Highland Park Public Library from December 2 through December 30, 2017. An art reception for the artist Meilun Lee will be held on Saturday, December 9 from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM.

Meilun (Ivy) Lee was born in Taipei, Taiwan. She has been studying oil painting from well-known American artist Grace Graupe Pillard since 2005. Meilun has also spent several years drawing in the live nude art studio in Red Bank.

“I like to blend Western painting techniques with Chinese painting concepts,” Mailum said. “I always had the impression that a portrait was the most complex kind of painting: therefore I wanted to tackle the hardest challenge first. However, I now think that portrait is not as difficult as I thought, and flowers are not as simple as I imagined.”

The artist’s honors include: 2008-The Color of Spring awarded by the Annual Monmouth Museum Juried Show, 2011 Temptation-First Prize at Middletown Arts Center Annual Amateur Artist Competition Oil Painting Category, and 2011-Cat-Selected by Arts Alliance Juried Show.

cat painting by Meilun Lee

After the Storm: New Photos and Paintings by Lindsay Holeman

After the Storm: New Photos and Paintings by Lindsay Holeman will be on display in the meeting room at the Highland Park Public Library through November 2017.

A born Jersey girl, Lindsay Holeman is a self-taught artist who moved to Highland Park two years ago. She paints in acrylic, water color, and mixed media. She also enjoys photography. Her art has been included in the 2012 Memory exhibit at the Ewing Municipal Complex as part of the Creative Collective Art Group. Her work has also been featured at Art Space in Long Branch, and in private collections throughout Mercer County.

She earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Goucher College in MD and is in the process of completing her Master’s Degree in Education at Rider University.

“An elementary school teacher, Lindsay hopes to inspire children and teens to create art for self-expression and to raise awareness about significant issues affecting the community,” Lindsay said. “As a behavioral consultant for Maxim Healthcare Services, where I worked with children and teens with emotional and behavioral issues, art therapy played a crucial role in their coping abilities and in their healing.”

She currently teaches with Fresh Theatre Arts, a local children’s theatre company.
holeman photo