RVCC Slates Contemporary Art Exhibition Featuring Work by Two NJ Artists

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Sunday Picnic” by Philemona Williamson; oil on linen; 48” x 60”; 2010

Raritan Valley Community College’s Arts & Design department will present Narrative Images, an exhibition showcasing the work of New Jersey artists Wendell Jeffrey and Philemona Williamson, October 7-28, in the Art Gallery at the College’s Branchburg campus.

The show is being curated by RVCC Associate Professor and Art Gallery Director Darren McManus. The reception and artists’ talk will be held Friday, October 21, from 5-7 p.m. The event is free of charge and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

The exhibition will feature the work of two award-winning artists, Wendell Jeffrey and Philemona Williamson. Spanning the disciplines of painting, printmaking and sculpture, the work in the show combines lively color, bold imagery and a mastery of form while introducing subject matter that is both diverse and rich in narrative content.

Charge III, IV, V” by Wendell Jeffrey; lithography, chine collé w/viscosity inks on paper; each 22” x 18”; 2021

Wendell Jeffrey has an MAT in Art Education from the University of the Arts and a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. Her studio practice has been guided by historical, situational and environmental issues. Working with a wide range of materials—from paper and wood to cement, wax and clay to discarded debris—Jeffrey investigates unconscious chance caused by human actions. Whether it is about relationships between neighbors, the ethics of owning land, a pandemic, or taking cues from an 1845 shipwreck, the work is meant to provoke wonder and compel viewers to think critically about the value of responsibility or accountability of these actions.

Most recently, Jeffrey was awarded a 2022 Individual Artist fellowship Grant from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts in the “works on paper” category. Previously, she has received grants from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and completed residencies at the Golden Foundation, Guttenberg Arts, Vermont Studio Center and Haystack Mountain School of Crafts. When not in the studio or classroom, Jeffrey collects trees.

Philemona Williamson's narrative paintings deal with gender, race and adolescence. She has shown widely, with recent solo shows at June Kelly Gallery in New York City and Jenkins-Johnson Gallery in San Francisco. In 2017, she mounted a mid-career retrospective at the Montclair Art Museum and she is the recipient of numerous awards and residencies, including: the Joan Mitchell Foundation, Pollock Krasner, National Endowment for the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, and Millay Colony. Additionally, Williamson has served on the advisory board of the Getty Center for Education and most recently, she was awarded a 2022 Fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. Exhibition venues of note include the Queens Museum of Art, Wisconsin's Kohler Art Center, the Sheldon Museum in Nebraska, The Bass Museum in Miami, The Mint Museum in North Carolina, the Forum of Contemporary Art in St. Louis, and the International Biennial of Painting in Cuenca, Ecuador.

Williamson is represented in numerous private and public collections, including the Montclair Art Museum; the Kalamazoo Art Institute; The Mint Museum of Art; Smith College Museum of Art; Hampton University Museum; Sheldon Art Museum; Mott-Warsh Art Collection; and AT&T. Her public works include fused-glass murals created for the MTA Arts in Transit Program at the Livonia Avenue Subway Station in Brooklyn, NY; a poster for the MTA Poetry In Motion; and for the NYC School Authority, a mosaic mural in the Glenwood Campus School. In 2021, she created a series of paintings for the children’s book Lubaya’s Quiet Roar (Penguin Random House). Williamson has taught at Hunter College, Pratt Institute, School of Visual Arts, Bard College, Rhode Island School of Design, Cooper Union and Parsons.

Gallery hours for the exhibition are Mondays, 3-8 p.m.; Tuesdays, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; Wednesdays, 3-8 p.m.; Thursdays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; and Fridays, 1-4 p.m. For further information, contact Arts & Design, 908-218-8876.

RVCC is located at 118 Lamington Road in Branchburg, NJ. For further information, visit https://www.raritanval.edu/arts or www.raritanval.edu and follow the RVCC Art Gallery Instagram feed at https://www.instagram.com/rvcc_art_gallery/

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