FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 1, 2016
UNION, N.J. – The new art exhibition, Three Canadian Artists Reflect on the Natural World, opened at the Karl and Helen Burger Gallery at Kean University with an artists reception on Thursday, November 3. All three artists whose work is featured in the exhibition – Susan Collett, Julie Oakes and Christian Bernard Singer – were on hand to discuss how climate change influences their creative process.
“I observed the forest through life and death, and payed attention to that,” said Singer, who told the audience his life experiences brought him closer to the environment.
Among artists and guests, the goal of raising awareness of the threats to our environment and the urgency for change was clear, and the sculptures and paintings spoke to those same themes.
“Students today are bombarded with all sorts of messages, and this exhibit hones in on one very important topic––the environment,” said Paul Croft, Ph.D., a professor in Kean’s School of Environmental and Sustainability Studies, who attended the opening reception.
Toad Howl, a collaborative piece by Oakes and Singer, depicts 39 sculpted frogs on moss that are flattened and appear to be in despair. “The piece addresses human encroachment and the impact humans have on the natural world,” said Oakes.
Collett, whose works are handcrafted in and from nature, says she likes to “push the limits in ceramics.”
“Art can impact climate change,” said Elizabeth Mayor J. Christian Bollwage at the event, who talked about steps that the City of Elizabeth has taken to protect the environment, including preparing for future hurricanes, installing generators and irrigation systems, and raising electrical units above flood level.
Kean University Galleries Director Neil Tetkowski agreed that art is a powerful tool to encourage all who view it to make a difference in the world. “From the rivers to the blood in our veins, we are all connected,” he said. “It’s our responsibility to make sure we preserve the natural world.”
“This exhibit really makes you think,” said Nsi Amah, senior English writing major. “It makes you take a look at yourself and how you are impacting the environment.”
The Three Canadian Artists Reflect on the Natural World exhibition will be on display at Kean University’s Burger Gallery, located at 1000 Morris Ave. in Union, N.J., until December 21. Gallery hours are: Monday - Friday 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
For more information, contact Kean University Galleries at firstname.lastname@example.org or 908-737-0392.
(TOP RIGHT): Christian Bernard Singer, overlooking Toad Howl and Red II (2016) at the Three Canadian Artists Reflect on the Natural World exhibition at Kean University.
(MIDDLE LEFT) Three Canadian Artists (left to right) Susan Collett, Christian Bernard Singer, and Julie Oakes with the Red II piece on the floor in front of them and Toad Howl behind them in the Karl and Helen Burger Gallery at Kean University.
(BOTTOM RIGHT) Artworks from the new art exhibition, Three Canadian Artists Reflect on the Natural World, which opened at the Karl and Helen Burger Gallery at Kean University with an artists reception on November 3.
Founded in 1855, Kean University has become one of the largest metropolitan institutions of higher education in the region, with a richly diverse student, faculty and staff population. Kean continues to play a key role in the training of teachers and is a hub of educational, technological and cultural enrichment serving nearly 15,000 students. The University's six undergraduate colleges offer 50 undergraduate degrees over a full range of academic subjects. The Nathan Weiss Graduate College offers four doctorate degree programs and more than 60 options for graduate study leading to master's degrees, professional diplomas or certifications. With campuses in Union and Toms River, New Jersey, and Wenzhou, China, Kean University furthers its mission by providing an affordable, accessible and world-class education. Visit www.kean.edu.