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

Antique Kodak Folding Cameras Display

The first camera that caught Highland Park Photographer Tom Maugham’s eye was his family’s 1932 Kodak folding camera. His grandfather had given the Number 1 Pocket Kodak to his parents to use for their honeymoon. In that year it cost $17. A considerable amount of money for that decade.

About 30 of his Kodak Folding Cameras, manufactured between 1899 and 1954, are on exhibit at the Highland Park Public Library through the month of June 2015 in the Main Hall Display case.

In spite of his collection, and although his folding cameras are in working condition, Tom Maugham uses a Canon digital camera. He produces his prints in his “digital darkroom” using Adobe Photoshop and an Epson photo-quality printer. Tom is a native of New Jersey where he still lives. His work celebrates bridges, farm scenes, and dramatic factory settings. He has won numerous awards in recognition of his technical and artistic achievements.

maugham antique camera

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

Object as Painting – Painting as Object

Using found wood, paper and other objects, Edison Artist Adam Padavano creates a miniature world. During the month of April 2015, his small works will be on exhibit at the Highland Park Public Library in the Main Hall Display Case.

“I see potential in smaller spaces and surfaces as areas for intimate expression and transmission of ideas and emotions, Padavano said. “Taking inspiration from miniatures and toys, the small works I have made invite viewers to investigate scale, childhood play, memory and our relationships to objects in everyday life.”

Padavano has exhibited in Brooklyn, Boston, Buffalo, Staten Island, Nyack, Asbury Park and Red Bank. He has worked for McFarlane Toys as a scenic artist and photography assistant. He has also taught at Monmouth University and Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and Sciences.

He received his MA in studio art from Kean University, concentrating in painting and sculpture and a BFA from Alfred University, where he studied drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture and video.

Adam Padavano

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

Highland Park Artist Collective Dedicates Library Exhibit To Steven Hart 1959-2015

The Highland Park Artists Collective is dedicating its February Art Exhibit, Reflections, to Steven Hart (1959-2015), a former long time borough resident and author. Ten artists from the Collective are contributing work to the exhibit that will be at the Highland Park Public Library, from February 2 through February 28 in the meeting room. Bill Bonner, Lisa Cameron, Fred Cole, Mort Farrah, John Marron, Tom Maugham, Sharon Molk, Carol O’Neil, Ellen Rebarber and Katya Valeur are the participating artists.

An art reception will be held on Saturday, February 21 from 1:30 PM to 4:00 PM. At 3:00 PM, family and friends are invited to share reminiscences of Steven Hart.

Steven Hart’s most recently published books include, Let the Devil Speak: Articles, Essays and Incitements (2014), and American Dictators: Frank Hague, Nucky Johnson and the Perfection of the Political Machine (2013). The author gave several readings and talks at the Highland Park Public Library. Mr. Hart was also the owner of the former Highland Park Book Store, Night Hawk Books.

 The Highland Park Artists Collective presents Reflections Art from Our Membership Dedicated to Steve Hart, 1959 - 2015 (painting by Lisa Cameron)
The Highland Park Artists Collective presents Reflections, Art from Our Membership, Dedicated to Steve Hart, 1959 – 2015 (painting by Lisa Cameron)

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 artsandedcenter.org, or visit our website at www.artshigh.net.

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