“Unexpected: What is a Painting?” at The Watchung Arts Center

With the upcoming exhibit, the Watchung Art Center asks the question, what is painting.  The exhibit titled, “Unexpected: What is a Painting?” will be on view from September 5th thru September 30th, 2017. A reception will be held on September 10th from 1-4pm with other events to be announced. The exhibit will be on display in the Heinz W. Otto Gallery at the Watchung Art Center, 18 Stirling Road, Watchung, NJ. The reception and exhibit are free and open to the public.
In this exhibit, the curators carefully selected a group of established and emerging artists whose art challenges us to consider what is a painting. Historically a canvas sits on an easel. With brushes and knives, an artist applies paint. But the paradigm and boundaries of what is considered a painting continue to change. This may range from an intentionally torn canvas to painting on metal. The concept of what painting materials can be used has been altered radically. Contemporary artists are creating ‘paintings’ with paper, found objects, coffee, mud, paint, bicycle tubes and even electronics.
Where artists once reveled in emphasizing a flat 2D picture plane, the canvas now takes on a new dimension. One artist in the exhibit, pours skeins of acrylic paint on a glass pallet before attaching the dried paint to a structure. The idea of paint being applied to a flat surface has been turned on its head. Another exhibitor paints in a traditional manner with brushes and casein paint, but plays with our understanding of painting by adding elements to the canvas that break up the division between painting and sculpture. Pushing the envelope further, several participants explore the use of technology on art with digital printing, plastics and light as their materials. This exhibit features renowned established artists as well as younger artists who are emerging, experimenting, and slowly beginning to make their mark in the art world.
Guest curator, artist and painter, Gail Winbury and Watchung Art’s Center’s board member and artist, Paul XO Pinkman, jointly curate this exhibit.
The artists in this exhibit include Gregory Coates, Steve DeFrank, Monica Delgado, Pat Lay, Laura Petrovich-Cheney, Kaare Rafoss, Christine Romanell, Fausto Sevila, Eric Valosin, Gail Winbury, and Etty Yaniv.
Gregory Coates is an artist in Allentown, Pa, and teaches in the Residency Program at the School of Visual Arts. His awards include, The New York Foundation of the Arts Fellowship in painting, The Joan Mitchell Foundation Fellowship for Excellence and more. His work is presented in public and museum collections including the Smithsonian Institute of American Art and The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia.
Steve DeFrank, MFA, is full-time faculty at the School of Visual Art, in NYC. DeFrank is an American Academy of Arts and Letters awardee and a Fulbright Scholar.  Steve has had 6 solo shows and pmany group shows. He will be a part of a traveling museum exhibition, which opens next year in 2018 at the Oaxaca Museum of Contemporary Arts in Mexico. His studio is in the Bronx, New York.
Monica Delgado’s work has been shown in Singapore and Manila, Philippines, Turkey as well as New York City. This is her first New Jersey exhibit. She maintains a studio in Long Island City, New York. She received her BFA from the University of the Philippines.
Pat Lay is a graduate of Pratt Institute and Rochester Institute of Technology.  Her work has been included in exhibitions worldwide and in solo and group shows at major museums in the US. Lay has received two grants from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and a grant from the American Scandinavian Foundation.  She lives and works in Jersey City, New Jersey.
Laura Petrovich-Cheney is a New Jersey based artist and educator. Recipient of the 2017 Fellowship in sculpture from the New Jersey Council on the Arts and a National Endowment for the Arts grant, among others, her work has been widely seen throughout the Northeastern US. She currently has a studio in Asbury Park, New Jersey.
Kaare Rafoss holds degrees in painting from Pratt Institute and the Yale School of Art.  Rafoss has received grants from the State University of New York, the New York State Arts Council (C.A.P.S.), the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New Jersey State Council for the Arts. His studio is in Jersey City, New Jersey.
Christine Romanell received her MFA from Montclair State University. Christine’s work focuses on aperiodic patterns as they relate to the underlying structures of reality. Her work has been exhibited in various venues throughout the United States. She has a studio in Manufacturers Village in Orange, NJ.
Fausto Sevila received grants from the NJ State Council on the Arts and The Geraldine R Dodge Foundation among others. Having received his MFA from Rutgers University, his works have been exhibited throughout the New York and New Jersey and been included in several museum shows.
Eric Valosin holds a B.A. in Studio Art from Drew University and an M.F.A. from Montclair State University. His work has been exhibited throughout the greater New York area and in Europe. His work uses light and projection with drawing, painting, and new media to explore mystical experience since the advent of cyber space and postmodernism.
Gail Winbury, was born in Chicago. She exhibits in galleries and museums in the States and Europe. She has had 8 solo exhibitions and recently returned from a two-person show in Germany. She participated in a residency at the School of Visual Arts, New York, and the Bau Foundation in Italy. Winbury was awarded an artist exchange in Israel. Her studio is in Manufacturers Village, Orange, NJ.
Etty Yaniv was born in Tel Aviv, Israel and currently works on her art and art writing in Brooklyn. She holds a BFA from Parsons School of Design, and MFA degree from SUNY Purchase. She exhibited in solo and group shows at galleries and museums nationally and internationally. Yaniv is also a curator and art writer.
Curator and artist Paul XO Pinkman is the Vice President of Visual Arts at the Watchung Art Center and the Director of the New Art Group. His work has been shown in the Louvre in Paris and exhibited in New York and throughout the United States. He maintains a studio in Plainfield, New Jersey.
The exhibit runs from September 5th through September 30th. The Gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday each week from September through June. The gallery is closed in July and August. Please contact the Watchung Arts Center for specific gallery hours at wacenter@optonline.net or by calling 908-753-0190. You can find more at www.watchungarts.org.

W(ith)indow 4 by Eric Valosin.

On Track by Laura Petrovich Cheney.

Artwork Series 2 Infidels 4 by Kaare Rafoss.

Expensive Rust by Gregory Coates

Posted in Watchung Post