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

Artist Books: An Exhibit by Coleen Tyler

There are a lot of books in a library, but some are beautiful to look at as well as to read! Artist Book and Prints, an exhibit by Coleen Tyler, an artist and art educator, is being featured in the Main Hall Display Case at the Highland Park Public Library, 31 North Fifth Avenue, through March 31.

Original photographs by Tyler illustrate Egress Denied, a large mural at the center of the exhibit. Ludicrous and ET TU and You are both art books that use prints and words to articulate ideas and impressions. Ludicrous is especially meaningful to Baby Boomers experiencing the disappearance of the familiar.

“Artists bring sensitivity to materials and an awareness of the history of books,” Tyler said. “They may bring new insights into the traditional book form, making books that are often more abstract and visual. An artist book can expand and redefine how we look and think about books and our lives.

Tyler, a long time Highland Park artist, has worked in many different mediums including watercolors, oils, collage. This is her third exhibit of artist books at the Highland Park Public Library.

Egress Denied, art book by Coleen Tyler

Highland Park Artist and Illustrator at Library

Bill Bonner - Raritan Avenue buildingHighland Park Artists William Giacalone and Bill Bonner, are exhibiting at the Highland Park Public Library during the month of March 2016 in the meeting room. An art reception will be held in their honor on Sunday, March 13 from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM.

Giacalone, who has lived and painted in Highland Park for more than 50 years, is also a retired commercial art designer and a children’s book illustrator. Bonner a freelance who enjoys manipulating images with graphics software. His website,, is related to his D&R Canal photojournalism project that he started in 2001.

Both artist are sharing new work together in the library meeting room. Giacalone began his painting series, Scrapings, with scrapings of paint. Bonner has added digitalized photos from Bound Brook and from Highland Park’s own Raritan Avenue.

William Giacalone - Scrapings

Ceramics and Paintings by Eva Hui Cheng

Eva Hui Cheng is displaying her ceramics and abstract paintings at the Highland Park Public Library in the meeting room and in the front hall display case through the month of February 2016.

“I use color to express my feelings, “ Cheng said. “Oil paintings are therefore a useful tool for releasing my distress and anxieties onto a canvas. Usually when I finish a painting, my world becomes calm and I can face a brand new day”.

Cheng has displayed her artwork in café and galleries in the area. The Edison resident also likes to craft ceramics.

“It is through ceramics that I have learned nothing is under your control,” Cheng said. “You can only accept what comes, admire whatever shape of pot, vase or plate comes out from the kiln”.

Ceramics by Eva Hui Cheng

painting by Eva Hui Cheng

Arts High and Arts Middle School Student Work on Exhibit

Talia Fishman paintingPaintings, drawings and photographs created by Middlesex County Arts High and Arts Middle School students will be on display at the Highland Park Public Library for the month of January, 2016. The art work is in the meeting room and in the front hall display case. Three students from Highland Park are included in this exhibit. Talia Fishman, Liz Broggi-Sumner and Elena De Arguelar are all Highland Park students.

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 35th year, offer advanced arts 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) or visit the website at

Piper Finn Sculpture

Rabbis and Rock Stars: Recent Paintings by S Ilan Block

Springsteen by Ilan BlockThe Highland Park Public Library is featuring an exhibit by Highland Park Artist S Ilan Block from November 30 through December 31, 2015. The art show, Rabbi and Rock Stars: Paintings by S Ilan Block from 2012 to 2015, will be on exhibit in the Main Hall Display case and the Meeting Room at the library. An art reception for the Highland Park artist will be held on Thursday, December 3 from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM.

S Ilan Block was born in Highland Park and has lived in the borough most of his life. Recently, he spent five years living and studying in Israel.

“The acrylic-on-canvas paintings include many portraits of prominent rabbinical figures or depictions of musicians, all who have given me inspiration,” Block said.

He studied at Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University and at Middlesex County College where he worked with Marsha Goldberg and Nadine Heller. He has previously exhibited at Congregation Ohav Emeth.

Shlomo Carlebach by Ilan Block
Shlomo Carlebach, painting by S Ilan Block