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Julia Jacquette: Unrequited and Acts of Play

Julia Jacquette: Unrequited and Acts of Play
Main and Robinson Strolling Galleries
September 22, 2017 – January 14, 2018

Opening reception: Friday, September 22, 2017, 6-8pm

Exposing our insatiable longing for the ideal, the work of Julia Jaquette, who is based in New York and Amsterdam, focuses on commercialized objects of desire: liquor and food, ornate interiors of the wealthy, shimmering swimming pools, and deceptively flawless women. Utilizing images from glossy lifestyle magazines, luxury brand catalogs, and 1950s and 1960s cookbooks, Jacquette renders these objects with photorealist precision, often in views so close that the subject becomes abstracted. Her crisply detailed paintings question the seductive attraction of consumer goods, the unattainable perfection of feminine beauty, and the ways that advertising influences our feelings of identity and self-worth.

Original gouache drawings from Jacquette’s graphic memoir, Playground of My Mind, will be on view concurrently in the Joe and Marité Robinson Strolling Gallery. Providing a distinctive account of the artist’s childhood, the book is inspired by the “adventure playgrounds” of the 1970s that encouraged constructive, imaginative play. In this memoir, Jacquette acknowledges the influence of these and other design principles that she absorbed growing up in New York City during the 1960s and 1970s.

Julia Jacquette: Unrequited and Acts of Play is an abridged version of an exhibition organized by the Ruth and Elmer Wellin Museum of Art at Hamilton College, where it was on view February 18 – July 2, 2017. It was curated by Tracy L. Adler, Johnson-Pote Director of the Wellin Museum.

Julia Jacquette, Swimming Pool Water (Hand), 2015, Gouache on paper, 9½ x 12½ in. Courtesy of the artist, New York. © Julia Jacquette, Image courtesy of the artist.

Members Art Show

The weekend of September 8 – 10, 2017, the Art Center will host its inaugural Members Art Show & Collectors Weekend. This three-day event, celebrating the Center’s members and their artwork, will be open for public viewing on Friday, September 8, from 10:00am – 8:30pm and Saturday September 9 and Sunday September 10 from 11am to 4pm. The exhibition’s official opening will take place on Friday, from 6:00 – 8:30pm, and will include an awards presentation at 7:30pm. The closing toast and art pickup will occur on September 10, at 3:30pm.

The exhibition was open to all current Art Center members on a first-come, first-served basis for a $20 entry fee.

The Friday night opening event will be juried by photographer, artist, and teacher Nany Ori. Nancy has been respected for more than four decades as a corporate photographer, fine art exhibitor, and caring teacher. She holds classes and workshops throughout the United States and internationally and taught for eight seasons at the Ansel Adams Workshop, in California, after being taught by Ansel Adams himself. She holds a B.A. in Fine Arts and an M.S. in Visual Communications from Pratt Institute. Along with her workshops, she is currently teaching at several local museums in New Jersey and continues to shoot on assignment.

The weekend will also feature an open house event on September 10, from 11:00am-3:00pm. Both members and the public alike can watch Art Center instructors demonstrate some of the things they’ll be teaching during the Studio School’s fall session, which begins on September 17. Highlights include a Raku firing demonstration by Peter Syak and Lisette Bedoya, a quilting demonstration with Sue Erdreich, and a drawing demonstration with Stephen Yavorski. Rebecca Roman will also be offering art projects for children. For more information, visit


Matthew Jensen: Park Wonder

Matt Jensen: Park Wonder

Main Gallery, April 14 – July 23, 2017
Opening Reception: Thursday, April 20, 2017, 6-8pm

Matthew Jensen, a New York artist known for multi-disciplinary work about public landscapes, spent several months investigating four historic northern NJ parks and landscapes—Gateway National Recreation Area, Sandy Hook Unit, Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, Watchung Reservation and the Passaic River waterway—to create site-specific artworks for his 2017 exhibition. His explorations begin as walks, and his resulting artwork integrates photography, sculpture, found materials, and local history. By bringing visual traces of surrounding landscapes into a museum setting, his work fosters connections between our natural and cultural resources. During the exhibition, Jensen will create interactive components for each of the four public spaces, encouraging visitors to discover for themselves the wonder of these landscapes.

Click here for the Maps of the Imagination Blog of the walks Jensen created in each of the four local landscapes!

All photographs courtesy of Matthew Jensen

This project is supported in part by an award
from the National Endowment for the Arts