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Four exhibitions open at the Hunterdon Art Museum featuring encaustics, drawing with water and more
Anne Steele Marsh, Car Barn, ca. 1942, oil on board, 18 x 22 in.

CLINTON, NJ.- The Hunterdon Art Museum welcomes warmer weather with four diverse new exhibitions that will have visitors donning 3D glasses, wondering if they’re seeing light suspended, admiring an artist who uses snow in her drawings and discovering the talents of the visionaries who converted a stone mill into an art museum. The new exhibitions run until September 7.

Here’s what’s being served up at HAM:

Darren McManus – Tangents
Darren McManus’s work in Tangents spans a decade in the making and represents a paradox of sorts. In his paintings, color is used to create harmony and extreme contrast: Hard-edged forms share the same space as blurry, amorphous masses; and, natural imagery such as flowers and plant life coexist with technological or mechanized motifs. The surfaces of his paintings are super flat, but possess holographic effects which viewers can appreciate when wearing 3D glasses.

McManus teaches at Raritan Valley Community College and was a recipient of an Individual Artist Fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. His work can be found in numerous private and corporate collections.

Sky Pape: Traces of Places
For Sky Pape, whose abstractions explore nature through unconventional uses of traditional drawing materials, water serves as a creative material and a muse. She works with handmade kozo paper and created the works in this exhibition with black Sumi ink and water in its various forms: Mist, ice, rain and snow -- each of which make a different kind of mark when combined with the ink. When Pape began her career, she worked as a painter -- until her studio and home were destroyed by a fire set by a mentally unstable neighbor. She turned away from painting and discovered a deep passion for drawing.

Her work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Tiffany & Co., Le Cirque du Soleil, and other public, corporate and private collections.

Swept Away: Translucence, Transparence, Transcendence in Contemporary Encaustic
Thirty artists nationwide demonstrate the incredible visual possibilities of painting with encaustic, which is pigmented beeswax worked in its molten state before cooling into a rich and optically tactile surface. Encaustic has enjoyed a resurgence in the past several decades, and Swept Away includes paintings, prints, collage and sculptural works that show how artists are using this ancient medium in contemporary art making.

This exhibition offers an extraordinary range of expression, allowing viewers to discover how luminosity plays a vital role for artists who work with encaustic. Optically dense and physically tangible, wax lends the appearance of holding the light momentarily before releasing it, offering the viewer the sensation of light suspended.

Artist Founders of HAM
Explore the works of three artists and innovators – Katherine Trubek, and Ann and James Marsh -- who were driving forces in converting a stone mill on the banks of the south branch of the Raritan River into what would become a center for contemporary art, craft and design.

Anne Steele Marsh (1901-1995) was small in stature, but large in talent. She painted with oils and watercolors, and her bold strokes and vivid colors could depict stillness or action. She also worked with wood engravings, and this exhibition includes Manhole, which stands out for its commanding strength and Carnegie Hall, noted for its detailed delicacy. Works by Marsh can be found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, MOMA, the New York Public Library and the Brooklyn, New Jersey State, Montclair and Newark museums, among others. She was the daughter of Frederic Dorr Steele, a prominent illustrator best known for his illustrations of the Sherlock Holmes stories.

James Marsh (1896-1965), who served as the first board president of the Hunterdon County Art Center (later renamed the Hunterdon Art Museum), created beautiful and elaborate pieces of wrought iron to be used as towering decorative gates for estates to simple wall sconces for churches. For years, he ran the James R. Marsh & Company which manufactured the gates to Sarah Lawrence College. He is the son of artist/muralist Frederick Dana Marsh and the brother of noted painter Reginald Marsh.

Katherine Bell Trubek’s (1904-1991) work was influenced by the still life paintings of the 20th century Italian master Giorgio Morandi. Trubek’s work captures Morandi’s quiet elegance, but her carefully placed arrangements are more open and her colors less muted. Among the roughly 15 still life paintings included in this exhibition is Homage to Sergio de Campos Mello and Toshiko Takaezu, which pays homage to the work of the Brazilian painter and Japanese ceramicist.

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