Arts High & Arts Middle School Student Work On Exhibit

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 for the month of January, 2015. Eight students from Highland Park are included in this exhibit. Josephine Heibel and Dawn Park are Highland Park High School students, and Kate Atschinow, Elena De Aguiar, Talia Fishman, Hannah Gard-Wise, Olivia Jager, and Julia Marks are Highland Park Middle School 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.

The students from other Middlesex County Schools include: Jean Dort, Carteret HS; Alex Hedge, Jasneet Punia, Carteret MS; Sarah Alvarez, Colonia HS; Geneva Lawson, Kate McGrath, Emily Park, Edgar MS; Courtney Peacock, Edison HS;; Dhruvi Rajpopat, Jefferson MS; Natalia Klimchuck, Stephanie Vincitore, Kennedy Memorial HS; Laura Cannuni, Rafael Mesa, Linwood MS; Natalia Dunyak, Matthew Zaleski, McGinnis MS; Maggie McGuire, Cassidy Ramsay, Nikita Sawant, Metuchen HS; Cora Nelson, Middlesex HS; Hannah Moy, Shreya Raol, Monroe Twp HS; Sara Spirito, Nicole Trinkl, Monroe Twp MS; Kasturi Baranwal, Min Sun Kim, North Brunswick Twp HS; Robindeep Singh, Brianna Young, Old Bridge HS; Christopher Ramirez, Janelly Rodriguez, Perth Amboy HS; Jada Zajaczkowski, Salk MS; Isabel Szeto, Victoria Tarnowski, Olivia Zyskowski, Sandburg MS; Ian Kelly, Sayreville MS; Shreya Patel, Emily Shernius, Alicja Wisniowska, Sayreville WMHS; Anita Lu, Schor MS; Marietou Biteye, Shull MS; Alyssa Kelly, Julia Prokofieva, South Plainfield HS; Aubrey Marish, Gabrielle Mine, Diamond Rivera, Alexis Walker, South Plainfield MS; Eric Cardoza, South River MS; Shreya Devarakonda, Elizabeth P. Lee, Yasavi Talagadadeevi, Stevens HS; Harshita Jain, Colleen Salmonson, Wilson MS; and Aimee Balint, Kaylee Pisarski, Woodbridge HS.

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 info at, or visit our 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.

Symmetry Portrait by Talia Fishman
Symmetry Portrait by Talia Fishman

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

Birds of Highland Park Exhibit

Kathy Wooding’s obsession with birding and photography all started with a few American goldfinches who were eating her mother’s zinnia flowers in a Highland Park garden. Her obsession has grown since 2009 and now she has a collection of photos that include a Red Tailed Hawk, Bald Eagle, Yellow Warbler, Blue Grey Gnatcatcher, Baltimore Oriole, Great Blue Heron, and more – all shot in Highland Park. An exhibit of Wooding’s photos will be in the Highland Park Public Library from October 1 through October 31.

“We loved the goldfinches so much we put out a bird feeder for them, and they’ve been coming back for six years,” Wooding said. “I started taking walks to Donaldson Park and around a five block radius of the park and discovered so many different species of birds in winter and in spring when they migrate.” According to Wooding, when she started looking for birds she was amazed at how many different species of birds there are right under our noses. “I found myself bringing my camera with me everyday and I even saw a Bald Eagle across the river at Donaldson Park during the month of March.”

To see the large variety of birds living in and visiting the borough, visit the Main Hall Display Case at the Highland Park Public Library in October 2014.

Great Egret, photo by Katy Wooding

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

Global Citizen Exhibits Photos

Carol Brown, a 2013 graduate of Highland Park High School, spent her gap year in Ecuador helping out in special education classes through a program called Global Citizen Year. The organization sends recent American high school graduates to Ecuador, Brazil, and Senegal.

The lifelong Highland Park resident lived with a host family in Archidona, in the Providence of Napo. Throughout the month of July she will be displaying photos in the Highland Park Public Library from her journey.

Before her trip, Carol received training in language, leadership, and sensitivity to other cultures. Because of her experiences, she is entering her first year at the New School this fall, as a sophomore.

“Over my travels, I could easily have been robbed blind on a daily basis, but instead, I have been adopted into generous families, guided by friends, and fed by strangers,” Carol said.

host family

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

Art Books 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 Books, an exhibit by Coleen Tyler, an artist and art educator, is being featured in the Main Hall Display Case at the library.

Original photographs by Tyler illustrate Emily Dickinson’s work in Aspects of Nature, a series of accordion books. Cloth and Coptic board books explore textures and ideas.

“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 second exhibit of artist books at the Highland Park Public Library.

Art book by Coleen Tyler

Coleen Tyler