Fine Arts: Celebrate Spring at the D&R Greenway Exhibition, “Space to Dream: Nature and Creative Freedom”
D&R Greenway Land Trust has preserved over 22,000 acres of land and 44 miles of trails in central New Jersey since 1989. It is also a longtime supporter of the arts in this region, offering exhibits that not only celebrate the art, but also educate visitors about the waters. and the wildlife, land, flora and fauna found here.
And now it’s spring! It’s time to shake off our long confinement and step out into the beauty that surrounds us. The ‘Space To Dream’ exhibit at the D&R Greenway makes a great first stop on what promises to be a wonderful walk.
In this current exhibition, one-year D&R fellow and Princeton University graduate Ayame Whitfield curated works by regional artists Sean Carney, Susan DeConcini, Moss Freedman, Kate Graves, Erica Harney, Ting Ting Hu , Melanie Lopez, Leni Paquet-Morante, Charles David Viera and Tricia Zimic. It is divided into three thematic galleries: On the Water, In the City and In the Wild.
You might want to start your visit with some quiet time in D&R’s peaceful Greenway Meadows before entering the restored Johnson Education Center historic barn and beginning the exhibit in the In The Wild gallery with a welcome by the large painting by artist Moss Freedman, “Crested Penguin” balancing on a rock amid splashing water, soaring peaks and rolling clouds, sailing as it explores the exciting world around him.
With a smile in your heart, you can then sit back and enjoy an oil painting of Ting Ting Hsu, “Koi Fish” swimming among the colorful maple leaves. A tantalizing glimpse of this artist’s largest collection of paintings in an upstairs gallery awaits. In these, “The Movement of the Pond”, as in this painting, his brushwork moves with the stream of light over the water, the graceful swaying and bending of the leaves and stems of water foliage that move to the slow rhythm of the dancers.
Accompanying Ting Ting Hsu’s Koi Penguin and Freedman and his “Many Banded Aracari” in the ground floor gallery, Melanie Lopez captures a sunset in Guatemala as a peach-colored sky settles quietly behind mountains violets. And a series of oil and acrylic paintings by Erica Harney on circular panels that take viewers through a springtime green orchard and along a path of happy daffodils that leads to an open field of yellow and a green horizon lined with trees. Harney’s experience as a scenic painter for the theater enhances these paintings that will draw you in.
Continuing your wonderful walk, you can join Charles David Viera in the upstairs gallery of Within The City with his whimsical pastel paintings of dog walkers as short-leashed puppies walk happily between their legs and feet shod in their humans. You can walk with them along the city streets enjoying the signs of spring emerging in Kate Graves’ watercolors “Roebling ’57” and “Hamilton Ave”, or go with her to “Marine Terminal Park” and watch the rippling water in its archival print capturing the tree-lined promenade.
As the didactic of the exhibition points out, “even in the busiest metropolis, nature finds a way to thrive”. You’ll find it in Sean Carney’s many Minwax and Dremel stains on wood, in meticulous renderings such as “Reason To Believe.” In it, a gloriously leafy tree casts a lacy shadow pattern over a row of shops as it soars into a sky of unparalleled beauty. And in “Centerville Sky,” be sure to gaze into that sparkling expanse above the stately home that looms behind a precisely trimmed spring green hedge.
Tricia Zimic brings a note of stark reality to the light works in this section of the exhibition with her 60″x40″ painting “Uprising” showing a pack of coyotes scurrying from the wild down a city street in front of a graffiti wall and through litter thrown from cans and plastic bottles. And in “Gangsta Extirpated,” she confronts visitors with a lone gray wolf, obviously hungry and thirsty, standing on the sidewalk and staring directly at us as if to remind us that while we enjoy the promise of spring, we must be aware of wildlife. that we are evicting from their natural habitats.
With that in mind, you can walk across the bridge in the barn to the large space of On The Water gallery and metaphorically dive in. Here you can enjoy the rolling and plunging, the swell and the rustle, the sparkling effervescence of Susan DeConcini’s watercolors. Or you can look at the bottom of a stream, a tidal pool or even a puddle or pothole as Leni Paquet-Morante describes it and maybe see the sky reflected, a glittering stone, a floating leaf. You can enjoy his little ink drawing of a ‘fallen leaf’ or an extended view of a ‘hitch in a slow run’.
D&R Greeway CEO Linda Mead happily invites the public on this springtime stroll through “this magical new exhibit as we celebrate spring and the opportunity to share our gallery again”.
IF YOU ARE GOING TO:
- WHAT: Space To Dream: Nature and creative freedom
- OR: D&R Greenway Land Trusts, Johnson Education Center, One Preservation Place, Princeton
- WHEN: Until May 27. Opening hours: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Tuesday to Friday; also open on Saturday, May 7, from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Opening on April 29, from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. RSVP here for the reception.
- CONTACT: 609-924-4646. www.drgreenway.org.