Pushing 40

Posted in Current Exhibits, Exhibits, Featured

Pushing 40

Invitational exhibit celebrating forty years of fine art exhibits at Ellarslie

Eric Fowler, East 7th St.

On display

September 15 – November 11, 2018

 

Read Janet Purcell’s excellent review.

 

More than fifty artists who have exhibited their work in small group or solo shows at the Trenton City Museum during the past forty years have returned to Ellarslie Mansion to celebrate forty years of fine art at the museum.

For four decades, Ellarslie has served as both venue and gathering place for local and regional artists. In its infancy, while the Museum Society worked to develop the historical collections of the Trenton City Museum, its leadership forged a special relationship with the newly formed artists’ collective in the city: the Trenton Artists Workshop Association (TAWA). Through this relationship, a thriving, community of local, contemporary artists were introduced to the museum. For many now-notable regional artists, their show at Ellarslie was the first official recognition of their role as ‘artist,’ often marking the beginning of a successful career as a professional in the arts world. Ellarslie also provided a beautiful and welcoming space for local artists to connect with each other and form a supportive, engaging community.

The artwork on display in Pushing 40 speaks to the role Ellarslie has played in helping to cultivate artistic excellence over the past four decades. The invited artists have also been asked to share some personal reflections about their relationship with Ellarslie. Sculptor Janis Purcell speaks to Ellarslie’s central role in the local artist community: “Ellarslie seems to be the central core of Trenton’s artistic community. If it wasn’t for this beautiful venue and network of hard-working creative people, I might not be able to even say “…my art career…”!…” Painter Naomi Campbell agrees, writing that working on her exhibit “…was an unforgettable experience that I remember with warmth. I felt this supportive and welcome atmosphere helped construct a strong community of art and artists and collectors, both within the city itself and with its neighboring cities…”

Many of the artists share how important Ellarslie was to their growth as an artist. Painter Guy Ciarcia says, “I began exhibiting at Ellarslie in 1982 with the Trenton Artists Workshop Association. In 1992, when I retired from teaching in the Trenton schools, I was offered a solo show for the 1993 season. The year that I spent preparing for that show turned out to be quite a growing experience for me, as it probably was for the other artists who were fortunate to have shown there. Since then, my style has changed and I owe much of it to that experience…”

And among the artists there are also some, like NYC-based sculptor Nora Chavoosian (whose gifted artist mother, Marge, was an early champion of Ellarslie), for whom Pushing 40 is a true homecoming: “I grew up in Trenton and played in what we used to call the ‘monkey house’ that became the home for The Trenton City Museum at Ellarslie Mansion. To return in 2010, so many years later and have a show of my work in this exquisite building, filled with memories and history, was a thrill and an honor.”

Pushing 40 is curated by longtime Trenton Museum Society trustee Carolyn Stetson; former Trenton City Museum Curator and Director (1998 – 2011) Brian O. Hill; and former Exhibitions Director for TAWA at Ellarslie (1999 – 2004) Tricia Fagan.

Artists with work in the exhibit:

Angela Barbalace
Robert Beck
Alan Bennett
Ruth Borgenicht
Naomi Campbell
Guy Ciarcia
Nora Chavooshian
Anthony Colavita
Susan Kiley Colavita
Delores D’Achille
David Doonan
Trace Drury
Jeff Epstein
Eric Fowler
Irene Gennaro
Bill Hogan
Susan Hogan
Mary Hrbacek
Loring Hughes
Ruth Jourjine
Salomon Kadosche
Aubrey Kauffman
Barbara Klein
William Knight
Joy Kreves
Eric Kunsman
Diana Kurz
Diane Levell
George Losse
Stefanie Mandelbaum
Elizabeth McCue
Marge Miccio
Arlene Milgram
Florence Moonan
G. Frederick Morante
Joan Needham
George Olexa
Dave Orban
Diane Pastore
Michelle Post
Janis Purcell
Lorraine Raywood
Deb Reichard
Don Reichman
David Rivera
Frank Rivera
Terry Rosiak
Csilla Sadlock
Deirdre Sheean
Steve Smith
Michelle Soslau
Sarah Stengle
Dana Stewart
Annelies van Dommelen
Clifford Ward
Nancy Zamboni