Restore (Permanent exhibit)
Donna Conklin King
“Restore is inspired by the Japanese art of Kintsugi (golden repair). I am symbolically honoring the restoration of the land in the Preserve through the creation of a golden fissure in the earth. The fissure connects the trees on each side of the fence, and either emerges from the ground or returns to it, serving to remind us of the cycle of life and our responsibility to care for the land we live on.”
Raised in New Jersey, Donna Conklin King is a multidisciplinary artist living and working in Essex County, NJ. Her work explores a personal narrative, using art as a mechanism to give voice to the human condition. Environmentally conscious, her work often repurposes household objects such as Porcelain Tchotchkes, broken China, food containers and dryer lint. King’s Drawing and Printmaking work is in many public and private book collections including the Museum of Modern Art, Newark Public Library, and the National Portrait Gallery Artist’s Book Collections. She holds an MFA in Sculpture from Rutgers University, Mason Gross School of Art, a BS in Studio Art from Skidmore College and a Fellowship from the State Arts Council of NJ.
Balls in Cage;
Totems One and Two
Lester James Johnson
“Transformation and Metamorphosis of nature is my intention. I carve from wood I find locally in the community to create an imaginative abstract form that will elude the spirit and beauty of nature. These two sculptures were created from found trees. The carving took a substantial amount of meditative time to ‘unleash’ the ball inside.”
Lester James Johnson was born in Johnsonville, South Carolina. Johnson participated in many group and individual art shows in the tri-state area since 1972, where he received numerous first place awards in sculpting. Johnson participated in two videos, one produced by Al Clarke for City Without Walls, and a second, “The Healing Art,” produced by the Artists for Mental Health. Johnson’s art style is self-described as ”living outside the box.”
Just Add Water
“While Just Add Water is a perfect example of art imitating nature it also serves a wry commentary on the rapid growth and abundance of disposable waste in our environment.”
Over the past 30 years Willie Cole has had major exhibitions in museums and cultural institutions around the world including: The Museum of Modern Art in NY, the Metropolitan Museum in NY, and the Montclair Museum in NJ. He lives and works in NJ.
South Mountain Bird Tower (Permanent exhibit)
“South Mountain Bird Tower is large structure made from industrial materials (concrete and steel) that could potentially function as a bird habitat.”
Ben Pranger has shown his work throughout the U.S., including solo exhibitions at Perimeter Gallery (IL), MWMWM (IL), Kohler Art Center (WI), Second St. Gallery (VA), and Gallery Aferro (NJ). Pranger’s work has been reviewed in publications such as Artforum, Art in America, ArtNews and Art Papers. He has participated in artist residencies at Kohler Art/Industry, Fine Arts Work Center of Provincetown, the Marie Walsh Sharpe Program, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and has received sculpture grants from the Virginia Commission for the Arts, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation and the New Jersey Council for Art. He has taught at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, Hollins University in Virginia, and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.