This Spring, Alfa Art Gallery is proud to host the New Brunswick Art Salon’s “Bonds Beyond Time” Exhibition. This exhibition showcases works from artists who work with oils and mixed media. The NBAS and the artists displayed are a vital part of the local art scene and culture. Past artists will have the opportunity to showcase their latest works, their creative evolution, and their overall growth as artists since their past NBAS nomination. This season’s exhibition includes several renowned artists including Afreen Fatima, Jesús Núñez, Jamison Eckert, June He, and many more!
As per our nation’s new normal, the Alfa Art Gallery is equally excited to include a virtual version of our exhibition. Visitors will be able to view and interact with works through a fully interactive online experience, allowing all to enjoy the gallery as if in person from the comfort and safety of their homes. International artists will be displayed exclusively in the digital version of the exhibition, so be sure not to miss it! Hosted by artsteps.com, the NBAS “Bonds Beyond Time” Exhibit will be available virtually and physically from May 11th through July 3rd.
Exhibition duration: May 11th through August 28th 2021
Virtual Reception: Friday, May 14th, 2021 at 6:30pm
Featured Artists: Afreen Fatima, Alex Bigatti, Andrea Epstein, Ann Vollum, Aprajita Lal, Beatrice Stenta, Cecilia Martinez, Christina MacKinnon, Donna Rega, Drew Griffiths, Emily Arenberg, Eric Reid, Grace Modla, Isabell Villacis, Jamison Eckert, Jan Kathleen Reyes, Jane Dell, Jennifer Malone, Jesús Núñez, Jodi Oster, June He, K Brown, Kimberlyn Falk, Lauren Curtis, Laurie Harden, Martin Dull, Mitchell Rosenzweig, Sarasvarthy TK, Steven Patton, Wendy Born
Afreen Fatima’s motto is ‘’I crave so I create’’ and her art reflects is quite well. Afreen is experimenting with different techniques, styles, color patterns always striving to create something new and innovative. She is showing us visions of what she sees after she’s closing her eyes. Every of her paintings is a trace of memory of her emotions and experiences from her life. She is taking us to a journey to her inner world. Afreen works are rich in structures and gestures. They are dynamic and full of movement and this is what they require viewers to do, to follow the directions created by the lines and brush traces, colors and patterns. Our eyes are guided to move across the paintings rather than have just one quick look at them as a whole. Afreen is sending us an invitation to interact with her art, to take time and to enjoy her creations.
Alex Bigatti holds a degree in Architecture from the School of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina. She lived and worked as an architect in Southern California for several years before relocating to New Jersey. She creates in a variety of media: watercolors, acrylics, ink and oils, as well as sculpting in clay and plasticine. Her intention is to capture the essence of a subject in a way that is constantly evolving and inviting the viewer to animate the painting by exploring it through a visual journey. She is a member of the Center for Contemporary Art, ARTsee (Annual Open Studio Tour) and Farmstead Arts. Her work has been in juried and non-juried shows and is in private collections in the USA and abroad. At the Alfa Art Gallery’s Exhibition she presents her series ‘’Flower of the Quarantine’, which is a series of paintings of the flowers from her garden.
Andrea Epstein has been always driven to develop images focused more on the process itself and allowing images to emerge without a preconceived notion of the outcome. As she says herself she is seeking a journey into uncharted territory with her creations which results in rich textures and complex arrangement of shapes, forms, and colors. With her paintings, collages and prints Andrea is trying to show what is hidden beneath the surface, making the layers to overlap and expose the image. She is working in various techniques: oil based printing inks, acrylics and mixed media on paper, utilizing a variety of printmaking techniques, both planographic and relief. She holds a B.F.A. from The Rhode Island School of Design and an M.F.A. from The Yale School of Art.
Ann Vollum is a contemporary stitch artist based in New Jersey. Her unique techniques include natural hand dying, appliqué, acrylics, Inktense pencils and lace boarders. She worked as a graphic designer in London and New York. Over years her artistic journey progressed through painting, line drawing, book making, fantastical and detailed “paper cuts” to hand stitched textiles and sculptures. She is inviting the viewers into her unique world where everyone can have their own interpretation of what is seen. She leaves viewers the choice to decide what her art is. Ann developed her own visual language that is full of repetitive motifs and characters, put together in her fantasy tableaux series. Now she is working on the two contrasting bodies of work, a series portraits and sculptural pieces She has architectural and graphic orientation and reproduction educational background. She graduated from Newcastle University and London College of Prints.
Aprajita Lal floods her canvas with hues of joy, serenity, and solace as she depicts the beauty of nature. Her work is a doorway to a world that allows viewers to press pause on their busy lives, take a moment, and appreciate the stillness of the world. In moments of quiet, viewers can listen to the voice of the rain, the reveries of the ocean, and the rustling of autumn leaves. She prides herself in masterfully harnessing the enigmatic forces of nature, with its infinite existential possibilities, and transcribing them beautifully on the canvas for all to enjoy. The transparency and spontaneity of watercolors are particularly appealing to her, but she is also accomplished using acrylics and oils. In her opinion, an artist’s true responsibility is to share the gift of knowledge with others, which inspired her to teach art as well as create it. Her work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions and featured in the Summer 2020 issue of Creative Artist Magazine.
Beatrice Stenta is creating her unique stories with each of her works, by the careful manipulation of the materials by the use of colors, movement and textures. Her technique is collage and mix media, she often uses citrus solvent soaked National Geographic pages as the base of her works. It is a process of dissolving the image, to the point when we can see the blurred picture. It creates the atmosphere of a mystery and other, undefined world. Beatrice’s inspiration comes from her home’s ocean view as well as from her past memories and present events. She is sharing with us her very own, unique stories depicted in her images. Beatrice graduated with BA at Youngstown State University.
Cecilia Martinez is an established and published writer and poet, with her work being recognized all over the world, from New York to the Philippines. Art was her way of coping with the loss of her father, it was a form of therapy. Her work has been exhibited in more than 30 venues since she began showcasing her art in October 2016. She graduated college with a Bachelor of Arts in English/Journalism, and soon after became a reporter/editor for a local newspaper. Then hit with the tragedy in her personal life she turned to visual arts. Then hit with the tragedy in her personal life she turned to visual arts. She is a self-taught artist, she is constantly developing her visual language. Her biggest inspiration is her father, this is her way to keep memories of him.
Christina Sorace MacKinnon probes the dynamics of line, color, mark-making, and fluctuation through her abstract works. The process is a derivative of how she navigates as a woman and mother in an ever-changing social landscape. She surrenders to the dialogue of process when she develops surface, then moves to create fields of heavily saturated and multi-layered congestion. As she paints, she connects discord with harmony, formulating an interplay of acrylic, spray paint, paint pens, and other mediums as a metaphor for the paradoxical ways life unfolds. By informing the work with frayed notions and complexities of anxiety, misconceptions, stigmas, and patriarchal narratives, she steers through the messiness and struggle until she finds peace and resolve, both within herself and her work. She has been featured in group and solo exhibitions throughout the tri-state area, been published in numerous publications, and has works in private collections in the United States, Canada, and Greece.
Donna Rega transmits her emotional spirit into an observable manifestation, her paintings a crystallization of feeling that transcends spoken language and can only be achieved through visualization. Abstraction is a personal journey of perseverance. Color, texture, line, movement, and artfulness are the elements found in every work, all put together like a puzzle solved before the viewer’s eye. Much of her process involves flurries of willful strokes, splashes, and drips, followed by a gradual synchronization of her emotional presence and what is revealed upon the canvas. In the end, the canvas itself was a menor, aiding in her self-reflection. She hopes that the paintings she creates are inspirational, with their emotional touch recognized by the viewer who, too, is touched by the melody of feeling captured in the work. Donna received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from New Jersey City University and is currently working on her Master of Fine Arts from William Paterson University.
Drew Griffiths’s works are literally set on fire, this is how artist create his magnificent art pieces using many layers of wax and colors which are later burnt with fire, creating texture and depth and provoking the viewer to look more closely and to see all of the processes and results. Drew is a visual artist and a writer. His early inspiration came from comics and books, especially from the emotional capacity of bold colors used in comics to express emotions therefore the transition from writing to visual arts in his case was inevitable. Artist is building a contemplative experience for a viewer where we can reflect on the current state of our society, economy, environment, relationship with technology and our desire for beauty based on materialism.
Emily Arenberg is a Brooklyn based artist who works primarily in oils and watercolors. She draws her inspiration from nature, the ocean and the mountains. With her works she tries to grab the masterpiece of the universe itself. She is creating oil and acrylic paintings as well as raisin paintings. She graduated from Marymount Manhattan College in New York with a Bachelor of Fine Arts concentration in painting, and a minor in Art History. Her influences are: Jenny Saville, Lisa Yuskavage and Jenn Mann.
Eric Reid redefines the connections between mediums, employing unorthodox materials to create masterful works. His series “Textured” prioritizes form over color, playing with the boundaries between what constitutes ‘painting’ and what compromises ‘sculpture’. Crackle paste, vinyl spackling, and joint tape are used alongside more traditional acrylics and charcoal. The grayscale palette keeps viewers focused on the patterns; every work is centered on its study of material complexity. The series itself is a line of questioning, asking the viewer how they see the work, what they consider it, and what each texture inspires in as they gaze upon it. The precise focus of the series gives viewers a chance to fully contemplate what is in front of them without distractions. A Deputy Attorney General in Trenton, he has experimented with art since his law school days, proving himself accomplished both in the legal field and the artistic domain.
Grace Modla chooses hope and resilience rather than cynicism and surrender when viewing the challenges haunting our world. To her, creating works saturated with rich color and populated with uplifting subjects is an ultimate act of hope. Her works are meant to counter balance against the hardships and ugly realities that occur within the viewer’s life, giving them a gentle reprieve and touch of vibrance. In her studio, nothing is tossed or lost; everything ends up being reused and repurposed. In her series “Wild Garden,” she dips sticks from her garden in ink and then uses them as stamps, then uses her father’s masonry trowels to apply paint, paying homage to the sprawling beauty of nature. Born in Northern Italy, her experiences as a young immigrant taught her how art bridges all language barriers.
Isabell Villacis consistently illustrates compassion and love for all people in her paintings, her writing, and her choreography. Her abstract works are populated with meticulously placed elements, each conveying a message in their own right as they work together to make a statement overall. She has tried almost every tool and material available to her, never turning down a chance to integrate something new into her pieces if they help her meaning. Even at a quick glance, the viewer can see the level of consideration put into each piece, which is animated with vivid colors and intriguing shapes. They pop and seize the viewer’s attention, longer looks encouraging deeper contemplation. In addition to being an accomplished multi-faceted artist, she is an advocate for greater inclusion of people with disabilities in the art world. She has been a member of Art Access since 2011 and has worked extensively on altering mainstream social and cultural perceptions of peoples with different levels of ability.
Jamison Eckert’s process is more akin to controlling chaos, nothing ever planned out in full. When he found art school unrewarding, he pursued tattooing, which in turn affected his painting. While the tattoo craft demands perfection, no margin for error with something permanently etched on another’s skin, painting was a way to relieve his exhaustion and abstractly express himself with not pressures or constraints. He has since stepped away from tattooing to pour all his focus into exploring his personal artistic journey, creating freely and without hesitation. His literal and representational pieces focus on form and light, challenging himself to be accurate in his depictions without losing his own voice. His abstract works, meanwhile, are imbued with personal meaning and intent that viewers can parse out themselves. He is highly interested in the viewer, feeling their reactions, thoughts, and feelings cannot be understated in the relationship between artist and spectator.
Jan Kathleen Reyes embraces fully the freedom to create art purely for self-expression. This collection is a reflection of her growth from self-acceptance to self-love, emulating the flourishing beauty and perpetual goodness within herself and her surroundings. Painting is a natural, intuitive, and spiritual process for her. By employing a range of other materials—fabric, wallpaper, decorative stationary, and dried flowers—she sought to delve into the relationship between the paint and the mixed media, its harmony and its tension. Emotion guides her process, with warm and vibrant colors embodying the emotions she feels. Her childhood spent in the sunny Philippines and move to the US during her early teen years encouraged her to explore themes of belonging and memory. She is a student at Rutgers University-Newark, double majoring in Graphic Design and Fine Arts in Painting with a minor in Art History, and is slated to graduate in May of 2021.
Jane Dell is a painter and mixed media artist. Her inspirations are environmental challenges, plants and animal fantasies, hybrids and the effects of lunar phases on the earth. Her works are metaphors of the world often referring to the world of nature and surrealistic visions. Jane creates tension by juxtaposing elements of the recognizable imagery with invented abstract forms. Jane employs a wide range of materials that includes acrylic and acrylic mediums, cold wax, watercolor inks, photo collage, glitter, fiber, paper, and the occasional found object on canvas, wood boards and archival paper. She graduated with BFA from Pratt Institute and complemented her studies at Parsons School of Design and The School of Visual Arts in New York.
Jennifer Malone contemplates empathy in each of her works, always seeking a connection with her subjects. She presents structures, figures, and objects to express their significance in the context of the moment. Her current focus is inanimate objects, her vibrant still life pieces paying careful mind to light and shadow. She preserves moments worth commemorating, considering, and lamenting over. Some works share the horror, fear, sadness, and embarrassment encapsulated in her view of the United States’ present state of affairs. Form, lines, and color emote on her behalf, resulting in a carefully planned composition where every single detail matters immeasurably. Much of her art is influenced by where she has lived, from her upbringing in New York City to her time in Philadelphia, London, Hoboken, Jersey City, and a lifetime of summers on the Shore.
Jesús Núñez demonstrates how everything coexists in a delicate balance. A careful use of color unifies the contrasts of different contours and shapes. He uses a unique acrylic brushstroke technique to maintain fluid curves attained through a single continuous motion. Every color is carefully selected for the specific piece, ensuring that they are elevated to their full potential. He began as a street artist in his native Madrid, then moved to the culinary arts. He relocated to New York, gaining more renown through restaurants, creating edible art comparable to surrealist Salvador Dali. His art is not only a reflection of his time as chef, but also an expression of his daily inspirations, all while keeping his work genuine both to his life and his process.
Jodi Oster believes art should make people feel good. She creates art to make people happy, as laughter is the best medicine. Humor is at the heart of her works, motivated to create art that makes people smile or giggle, the viewer’s joy her measure of success. Her works playfully incorporate a plethora of materials, ranging from acrylic, air dry clay, dish glass, beads, and other found objects. Her use of light and bright colors keeps her pieces light-hearted, with many of their compositions channeling a sense of happiness. The handmade quality is put to the forefront, the folksy feel indicative of something made with Tender Loving Care. As a stay-at-home mother, she taps in well with the aura of homeliness while equally capturing a sort of childlike delight in her works, whether two- or three-dimensional. Everything is stylized to the point that a viewer needs only a brief glance before going “Yup, that’s Jodi Oster.” Her work has been featured in craft shows in the tristate area.
June He’s works are a tribute to the covid 19 pandemic victims, her paintings and collages are her way to cope with the harsh reality of 2020 and with not having the possibility to go back home anymore, which in her case is China. Artist’s perception of the world has changed and we can observe it in her art pieces which are very accurate observations of the reality we live in and have to cope with now. June’s works can bring a ray of light and some relief in these difficult times. She is letting us know that we are not alone, we go through this together and we will get out of this mess stronger as humanity. As the artist is saying herself she is recording history, exploring emotions and seeking the truth.
K Brown‘s story mirrors that of the Little Mermaid, entering the fairy tale world of fashion at the cost of her voice. What broke her spell, though, was not the kiss of a handsome prince, but the freedom of expression found in making art. Her old self was constricted by the expectations and judgement of ‘the industry’, but now she has torn those pieces to shreds and used those shards to compose incredible collages that embody her new life, her true life. Her works embody their own magic, with patterns and textures overlaying one another to form worlds that draw viewers in further and further, like their own enclosed tale. Above all else, she hopes that in showcasing her own creations she can also elevate the works of other women and femmes who are transcending beyond ideals and presumptions others frame them in. Her art is more than a reckoning; it is a liberation from an archaic world that exists in what is now fiction.
Kimberlyn Falk takes a fluid approach both to life and to her art. The unpredictable nature of her alcohol ink works represents the uncertainty and flow of life itself. Journeys never go exactly as planned, but each and every outcome is unique and beautiful. She often gravitates towards a bright color palette, which compliments the nuances created through her effective use of tints and shades. Her flair for shimmering metallics gives her works an especially effervescent quality, as the shines change throughout the date with the natural course of daylight and moonlight, creating different effects depending on when one happens to view it. She earned her Bachelor’s from Franklin University Switzerland in Lugano in 2017. An emerging artist, she began pursuing art full time in 2020 and has since been a featured artist at GRND Coffee Shop in Chicago since January 2021 and was a featured artist at Queen City Coffee Roasters in March & April 2021.
Lauren Curtis’s works speak to her true loves, nature, femininity and spirituality. Her use of symbolism within her pieces blend ideas old and new, formulating odes to her favorite things within her mixed media works. Lauren creates her artistic masterpieces using a blend of photography and other mediums such as oil, ink, charcoal and pencil to depict her deeply inspired collages about stories interwoven into her life’s journey, whether those be experienced or observed. The human experience remains tied to nature’s spirituality providing consistent ideas and inspirations for Lauren Curtis’ works, the symbols within her works making her source of inspiration obvious. Lauren’s visual journey is all about depicting femininity in the frame of natural spirituality that’s found all around us.
Laurie Harden endeavors to capture people and places in the moment. At the core of her works are the emotions and concerns found in every culture and society, showcasing similarity alongside difference. Her portraits do not simply depict facial features in high fidelity, but mindfully include the moods passing through expressions, the atmosphere surrounding her subject, and the aura they radiate. The person’s essence is not their appearance but what they exude, as one’s presence is the totality of their persona, which she tries to faithfully preserve as she puts her brush to her canvas. She studied at the Kansas City Art Institute and earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration from Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). She has been exhibited in group and solo exhibitions throughout the tri-state area and has received numerous awards for her artwork. Along with being an illustrator and painter, she teachers art classes to those of all ages.
Martin Dull uses abstraction to communicate the contemporary zeitgeist. By conflating personal narrative, poetry, mythology, and iconography in curated environments, he seeks to rattle viewers’ preconceptions, opening them to broader questions of humanity, spirituality, and the role of art in fostering meaningful dialogue. He raises questions about the efficacy of appropriation within art, religion, and politics, without taking a particular standpoint ethically or rhetorically. His deliberate distance enables viewers to develop and interpret the content on their own terms, offering a forum for democratic discussion. He studied at the Pratt Institute, Marywood University, and the New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting, and Sculpture where, in 2015, he received his MFA. He worked as a guest speaker at numerous New York universities, co-curated exhibitions in the New York Metropolitan Area, and co-founded the curatorial collaborative JMN Artists. His work has been in group and solo exhibitions throughout the United States.
Mitchell Rosenzweig’s works speak to the true chaos of life, being beautifully captured and illuminated in a permanent visual depiction. His works are mixed media, using a multitude of different tools in order to create this sense of chaos within all of his works, employing oil, acrylic, enamel, and spray paint on repurposed billboard pieces, often already filled with visuals and text. The purpose of Mitchell’s works is to create depth via his impactful color relationships. His process being defined by his removal and addition of color as he moves along in each piece. Mitchell Rosenzweig’s works have been consistently and heavily exhibited across the northeastern United States, standing as a true testament to the beauty he creates through his art.
Sarasvathy TK’s works take heavy inspiration from still life paintings completed by Dutch artists in the Baroque period who ascribed to this style. However, their artistic passion did not begin immediately for Sarasvathy, focusing on engineering and computer science before 2008, after this point she threw herself into the artistic world. Following this transition Sarasvathy gravitated towards larger-than-life depictions of still objects as well as landscape scenes. She uses her detail oriented and focused nature to create crisp, vivid realistic portrayals of what she observes around her. Sarasvathy’s works hold an international presence that speaks to the true impact of her works.
Steve Patton always comes back to portraiture. While he has dabbled in other areas, like landscape and abstract, the face and its range of emotion always beckons him back, demanding he study further complexity and mystery. He sees the world in sets of three, and thus extends this perspective to his examination of faces as well. First, is the physical structure maintained from the skull. Then, there is the mask, or the projected façade that a person puts on. The final layer is more nebulous, a hidden spiritual dimension. His goal as an artist is to unite the two visible parts as well as the more subtle inner one into a singular manifestation the viewer can appreciate. To achieve this goal, he employs deft use of color, line, and nuanced spaces. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a Minor in Media from the College of New Jersey. He has participated in several exhibitions in the New Jersey area and is featured in private collections in New Jersey and Maryland.
Wendy Born views art as a metaphor for living. She invites viewers to linger over rich, saturated colors and detailed, patterned surfaces, noting all the people and animals inhabiting her inspired worlds. While her favored themes are the passage of time and evolution of seasons, she has recently focused on recording how the pandemic has changed everyday life. In covering a more somber subject, her palette has darkened, but still retains a sense of vibrance, which only highlights the urgency in some of her weightier pieces. She mixes her own paints, allowing her to explore dense applications and textural surfaces. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Teaching and Fine Arts Education from Montclair State University, and earned a Master of Elementary Education with Waldorf Teacher Certification from Antioch University New England. Along with being a fine artist, Born is also a teacher and illustrator for children’s books and the apparel industry.
Alfa Art Gallery is a non-profit organization devoted to the discovery, growth, and support of emerging and established artists within the art community. Since establishment, Alfa Art has conducted multiple shows featuring local, national, and international artists and various materials including oil color, water color, mixed media, sculptures, photography, crafts and glass works. As an open art studio – gallery, Alfa’s exhibiting artists are welcomed to demonstrate their creative process in the space provided, while collectors and visitors are capable to learn and follow the artists’ technique, style and motivations. Additionally, Alfa plays a vital role among local to national visual arts organizations by supporting and presenting artists’ works, and functions as a space for interdisciplinary art and criticism. Each season, Alfa invites professional art curators to provide criticism and guidance to artists and artworks on display which helps collectors and visitors to identify a style of artwork that expresses their personal or company image and purpose.
NBAS’2021 is sponsored by:
With the assistance of grants from organizations such as Amboy Bank, Magyar Bank, Johnson & Johnson, New Brunswick City Center, Middlesex Country Cultural and Heritage Commission, Bristol Myers Squibb, and Pfizer Inc. Alfa Art is confident that all who come to the 2020 Oil Painting New Brunswick Art Salon will leave with a greater appreciation of the arts and the gallery’s showcasing of a variety of artists.