Allan Arp, a local artist, demonstrated the fine art of making an owl from a ball of clay to a group of his friends. The owls are now on display in the Main Hall Display Case through September 30, 2017. With Arp’s direction the group molded, decorated, and dried the owls before the pieces were glazed and fired in the kiln. Each owl has its own distinct personality. Owls are also the mascot of Highland Park Schools and are also associated with wisdom. As far back as Ancient Greece, the owl was the symbol for Athena, Athens’ patron Goddess of Wisdom.
Ellen Rebarber is a sculptor who works with a variety of materials: metal, wood, stone, cement, plaster, clay, glass and most recently acrylite. The long time Highland Park resident loves to make fused glass jewelry and platters and an exhibit of this work will be in the Main Hall Display Case at the Highland Park Public Library throughout the month of August 2017.
Rebarber will tell you that she is a risk taker. Throughout her adult life, Ellen was always taking a class to learn more or something new to enhance her art. She took classes with George Segal, the sculptor, who made a profound impression on her work. She learned about form, texture, composition, painting, drawing, art and music.
“He really taught me how to see and comprehend our surroundings, for which I am very grateful,” Rebarber said.
After her retirement from teaching in Highland Park, Ellen enrolled for sculpture classes at Middlesex County Community College. She later continued classes at Mason Gross School of Visual Arts at Rutgers University. She studied with Rudy Serra, who was very inspirational and encouraging to her.
She works in her studio in her home where she spends much of her time. Ellen recently completed a commission for an indoor water fountain, for the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development.
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.