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Arts Center Show Includes Art from 18 Students

Visit the Watchung Arts Center before April 28 to enjoy "As Seen Through Our Eyes."

The r invites the public to view the exciting April Exhibitions running through April 28, including the work of 18 young artists and two teachers from .

The Upper Gallery will feature “As Seen Through our Eyes…” — Work of Watchung Hills Regional High School Students and Their Teachers. 

The show includes 10 works by Brian Dursee and Vincent Colabella, co-curators of the show, which display an ongoing need to express what they see and experience. Dursee and Colabella take from the natural order and reconfigure what they see and feel. The artwork becomes a way of honoring the journey of one’s life. American artist Charles Sheeler said, “Photography is nature seen from the eyes outwards. Painting is nature seen from the eyes inwards."

To memorialize these stories and experiences that may otherwise go unnoticed, Marsden Hartley said, “What I have is not handled with words. It must ‘come’ to the observer. It must carry its influence over the mind of the individual into that region of him which is more than the mind. The pictures must reach inwards into a deeper experiences of the beholder.”

As teachers, Dursee and Colabella pass a long these experiences to their students. The student work here reflects this, but it also shows the next wave of artists who will discover their voice as they journey through life. The teacher and student have to work together to keep this process going, both are reliant on each other.

"My Fine Art two students studied the work of Oscar Bluemner and Jan Matulka as well as an original still life set up," Dursee said. "I mirror a lot of my lessons from when I was a student at the School of Visual Arts. I feel it's vital for students to look at as much art as they can."  

The works of 18 students from WHRHS will be shown along with their teachers’. The talented young artists include Jessica Ray, Omar Choudhury, Austin Peer, Annika Chan, Alex DeMarco, Rachel Gallic, Sarah Issacs, Emily Keller, Anastasia Livcha, Carlie Mazucco, Nick Melilo, Hannah Reed, Stephanie Santos, Carolyn Sarno, Gail Schulman, Olivia Tan, Brianna Wallisch and Neha Argawal.

WAC, believe that the creative mind is one of the most important assets in one’s life. Art education is enabling one’s creative mind to develop and flourish. It has been documented that Art education improves overall academic standing of students. A mind that is enriched with art is a mind that experiences life around us with transformed eyes. Eyes that make the recipient more understanding and sensitive. Unfortunately the art education is often the first to be cut from schools’ curriculum in tough financial times.

Luckily, our local schools provide an ample opportunity to their students to develop their artistic skills," Ludmila Kalivoda, Vice President of Visual Arts at WAC, said. "We have been fortunate to connect with WHRHS and combine our resources to produce this wonderful exhibit featuring some of the talent that this school has to offer. We hope this is a beginning of a working relationship between WHRHS and WAC that will endure."

The Lower Gallery will showcase the works of artist Krista Svalbonas – “Penumbra." Mixed media artist Krista Svalbonas’ paintings are easily recognized for their geometric nature, referencing the overlapping structure of the urban landscape. In this recent body of work, Krista explores death, loss and hope in her recent black series.

After a tragic loss and a pilgrimage to the Franciscan Chapel of Portiuncola in Assisi, Krista began a series of paintings combining wax, graphite, charcoal and pastels in subtle hues of black. The paintings began as a slow and meditative reflection of loss, with each continuous layer of media creating a rhythmic experience of remembering. At first glance the works appear to be pure minimalism, but upon closer investigation, they reveal shifting colors, textured and slick surfaces, and a sense of depth and light. The paintings show a void of expansive darkness, but at the same time, they offer hope.

The Watchung Arts Center, a multi-disciplinary arts facility serving Long Hill Township, Warren, Watchung, the surrounding communities and the Tri-State Area.   

For more information visit our website at www.watchungarts.org or to place a reservation call 908-753-0190 or email at wacenter@optonline.net.  The Watchung Arts Center is located at 18 Stirling Road, Watchung, NJ  07069.

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