NoHu Visions 2005 features the works of a talented new group of visual artists who live and work all over the North Hudson region of New Jersey.
"This exhibition marks the second year that we have mounted a group show featuring some of the leading artists in this area," said Nowlan.
"NoHu Visions underlines our commitment to both the visual and the performing arts," said Meriam Lobel, artistic director of the Park PAC. "This fall we inaugurated weekly arts classes for the children and adults in our upstairs Education Center [due to the success of the exhibition]."
Visions for 2005
The exhibition, which opened this past Wednesday and will run through July 3, is in the Park PAC's second floor Salon Gallery.
The number of submissions for the NoHu Visions tripled this year, but eight artists were accepted (technically nine due to a husband and wife collaboration). This year's exhibition included eclectic mediums from paintings to photography.
"I'm very pleased with the variety we got for the show," said Nowlan. "People who come to the show can get a good idea about what the artists work is about."
Having seen Franck de las Mercedes' portfolio at a gallery opening, Nowlan called him, a featured artist from Weehawken, during preparation for the exhibit and asked Mercedes to submit work for the show.
"Most of them are very recent, abstract impressionism type paintings," said Mercedes. "I work a lot with textures and color; creating items from the surface using a palate knife. For me, it's more about expression than it is technique. It allows me to explain myself."
Born in Nicaragua, Mercedes has exhibited extensively in the Hudson County and New York City regions.
Many of these widely known artists in the exhibit have fallen under the category of mixed media such as Rodriguez Calero of Union City, Janet Kolstein of Guttenberg, and Leslie Rubman of Hoboken.
Calero has developed an entirely new form of artistic expression through the evolution of her pieces, called acrollage, which uses a mixed media combination of acrylic and paper.
Calero works with powerful and modern iconic images with underlying spiritual themes and symbolism. Kolstein, on the other hand, is a mixed media artist with an interest in the past. Her complex, colorful and lively collages and assemblages tend to focus on vintage materials, mainly old photographs she comes across at house and estate sales.
"They're like dreamscapes a little bit, they're not memory pieces," said Kolstein. "It's a generation that has past, and I am intrigued by what people leave behind."
Much like her fellow mixed media artists, Rubman's collage pieces include found materials that have aesthetic merit to her.
"The use of found and recycled objects signifies the transformation of history, a past life experience transformed through the recycled object to create a current portrait," said Rubman. "History is a timeline; there is a lot of texture to my work, and I'm a strong visual learner."
Images through windows
Rounding up the artists are photographers Thomas Egan, E. Jan Kounitz, Edward Fausty and husband and wife Andrew Nelson and KimSu Theiler, who worked together as a collaborative called Gobolux to produce video art entitled "March in Like a Lion Out," which directly embraces the visual rules of painting.
Egan, of Hoboken, calls himself a colorist with an emphasis on light and its properties, which he finds best at night driving around the different locations of New Jersey.
Kounitz seeks to achieve humor, mystery and provocation of thought in his images, and generally works in black and white prints.
"Photography gives us an opportunity to look at images that the eye doesn't see," said Kounitz. "My work falls somewhere between what you wouldn't usually look at and what you might not see even if you looked."
Fausty is a fine artist and master printmaker who works using photography as a base, with a studio in Union City. His series chosen for the NoHu visions are pigmented digital inkjet prints of images he captured on film at 111 First St. in Jersey City, where he used to work. The images capture both a time when the rooms in 111 First St. were filled with activity, and the devastating emptiness that followed once the artists vacated.
Funding for the exhibition came partly from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, the Provident Bank, the Liz Claiborne Foundation, and the Independence Community Foundation.
"This area is so rich with the history of artists and really rich with art now," said Rubman. "It's really exciting to be a part of this exhibit."
NoHu Visions 2005 is open to the public by appointment, which can be made by calling (201) 865-6980, extension 15.
For more information, visit www.parkpac.org.