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(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)January 28, 2002

(Mahwah) – Works by New Jersey artist Catherine St. John, whose paintings give new vitality to the traditional still-life genre, are the subject of an exhibit at Ramapo College of New Jersey opening Wednesday, January 30 with a reception from 5 – 7 p.m. An artist’s talk is scheduled at 6 p.m. “This exhibition continues the College’s commitment to showing outstanding artists from the New Jersey community,” says Sydney Jenkins, director of galleries at Ramapo College. The exhibition continues through March 1 in the Pascal Gallery.

Most of the pieces in the show are watercolors in gouache tempera, highly colorful and gestural compositions sometimes featuring recognizable bits such as figurines or china birds. “I believe there is energy in these works and by this I mean that the still life becomes an event in which objects are liberated from their formal boundaries by playfulness,” says St. John. Persistently autobiographical, these works suggest the reality of everyday life. “By scrambling familiar things in unexpected ways, I seek a new language for the world of the senses, essentially dislocating perceptions in order to give a more immediate sense of life,” she explains.

St. John is an art educator and administrator as well as painter. She holds a doctor of arts from New York University and is on the faculty at Berkeley College in West Paterson. She received a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship to the Robeson Institute at Rutgers University, the distinguished Alumni Award 2000 at William Paterson University, the Bergen Museum Judges’ Award and the National Academy of Design Emily Lowe Prize for Contemporary Oil Painting. She was named outstanding teacher of the year at Berkeley College three times, most recently in 2001. Her work has been widely exhibited throughout New Jersey as well as at the New World Art Center in Soho, the National Academy of Design in New York, the H. Pelham Curtis Gallery in New Canaan, Connecticut, Katonah Gallery in Katonah, New York and the Nanging College of Art in China.

The Pascal Gallery is located in the Angelica and Russ Berrie Center for Performing and Visual Arts on the Ramapo College campus. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday from 1 – 5 p.m. For more information, call (201) 684-7147.

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Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The College is ranked #1 among New Jersey public institutions by College Choice, and is recognized as a top college by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger’s, Princeton Review and Money magazine, among others. Ramapo College is also distinguished as a Career Development College of Distinction by CollegesofDistinction.com, boasts the best campus housing in New Jersey on Niche.com, and is designated a “Military Friendly College” in Victoria Media’s Guide to Military Friendly Schools.

Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Business Administration, Educational Technology, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education.

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