Newark Print Shop's Current Art Show
On September 20th, I attended the opening of the current exhibition at the Newark Print Shop ("NPS").
My friend Jerry came in from Manhattan to join me. Sometimes he notices things I don't, and vice-versa. So it's good to have someone else along.
The show is still open, but closes on November 2nd. Here's the description from the NPS email invite.
Printers in Residence
The artwork of Ariana Barat, Lizz DeSimone, and Brendan Mahoney.
This exhibition showcases the artwork created by our 2014 resident artists Ariana Barat, Lizz DeSimone, and Brendan Mahoney. For six months, these artists have had unlimited access to facilities at the shop to explore and engage with fine art printmaking processes in order to expand their artistic practice. This exhibition highlights the importance of accessibility to workspace and resources as it highlights work created in an active, cooperative print shop right here in Newark.
Altho the actual current-show gallery is a small room on the north side of the NPS space, this show in particular used much more than that space, and as I looked around the main room I was struck by how much was put into that space without making it seem jammed-crammed.
These suspended goldfish by Lizz DeSimone formed a school that 'swam' toward the sailing ship in the longstanding mural to the left of the door to the current-shows gallery.
Goldfish are splendid little critters. I have had two 20-gallon tanks with goldfish and, in warmer weather, tropical fish as well. Some tropical fish are nasty, fin-nippers. Not goldfish. And goldfish don't really need an electric heater. Indeed, some survive being nearly frozen under ice in a large outdoor pond. I have not created such a pond, and won't, because there are raccoons in the neighborhood, and raccoons would love to eat goldfish. One hears tales of people who stock backyard ponds with very expensive koi (a related, Japanese type of carp; goldfish (also carp) were developed in China) only to find that raccoons raided the ponds and ate every single fish!
Goldfish are also not fussy eaters but will eat the leaves of common aquarium plants (e.g., anacharis, pronounced a.náak.a.rìs), and bits of stale bread more than just the expensive food designed for them and available in pet stores. I have even petted some of the bigger goldfish, which will come quite close to your hand.
I do not currently have fish in either of my tanks, but have thought to stock at least one with goldfish again. My bedroom may be too crowded for a working fishtank at present. But my two cats would certainly love to sit by a tank in the dining room and watch the pretty fishies swim. My problem was filtration and pumps. I have working filters, but need some filter pads or a combination of activated charcoal and filter floss. Cleaning the filters is a slitely messy task, and thus a little offputting. But goldfish are so sweet and pretty that I may just restock at least the tank in the dining room. I'd feel better then about neglecting my cats, which (can one say "who", of cats?) are not allowed above the first floor, if they had not just each other to keep them company but also some pretty fishies to watch.
Lizz DeSimone mentions short-term memory in her goldfish works, a reference to the preposterous suggestion that goldfish have absolutely no memory of anything, but the world is always new to them. Not so. They know, for instance, where to look if you approach the surface to drop food there for them.
When you visit NPS, look everywhere, because there are art prints on view on many surfaces. NPS does a really good job of fitting a lot in a small space.
Friend Of This Blog Frank M. sent me link to a story on NJ.com that says that Rutgers-Newark has signed a lease for 57,000 square feet of space on three floors in the 440,000-square-foot former Hahne's Department Store building currently being renovated Downtown, in cooperation with (and for use by?) various arts organizations, among which is mentioned NPS. So perhaps NPS will have substantially more exhibition space once the Hahne's renovation is complete. I'm sure that NPS would have no trouble filling whatever space they get with wonderful works by Newark artists. And remember that once a print is set up, any number of copies can be made, as affords artlovers a chance to pick up a wonderful piece cheap. It won't be one-of-a-kind, but who cares?, if what you want is something that moves you, that you want in your life. A thing of beauty is indeed a joy forever. Just don't try to sell it at a profit, because unless you can wait for 50 or 60 years, while other copies deteriorate or are thrown away, you are not likely to make anything like a fortune from resale.
I will be adding not just the fotos that appear today but also others that don't fit in today's discussion, to the Picasa Online NPS album that I created May 5th.
For now, let me just try to whet your esthetic appetite to induce you to get to NPS before the "Printers in Residence" show closes November 2nd. The exhibition is free, and on view at 304 University Avenue, 2nd Floor, Newark, NJ 07102. That is over the former Skipper's Plane Street Pub, and across from Essex County College. Hours as shown on the website are Tuesday – Saturday, 12-10pm. If you are in doubt as to whether visitors are welcome thru all that time, you can fone (973) 643-2772 or send an email inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org.