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(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)March 3, 2009

MAHWAH – A one-person show of new works by artist Whitfield Lovell will be on exhibit in the Pascal Gallery in the Russ Berrie Center for Performing and Visual Arts Thursday, March 26 through April 24.  An opening reception and preview will be held Wednesday, March 25 from 5 to 7 p.m.  At 4 p.m. on March 25, the artist will present a slide show in the Adler Theater, also in the Berrie Center.

The major series on view, called “Kin,” represents the artist’s ongoing exploration of the African-American experience through charcoal portrait heads on paper.  Also included are a few selections from the “Kith” series of three-dimensional tableaux of charcoal drawings on vintage wood.

In the “Kin” series of works on paper, finely rendered portrait heads are paired with enigmatic objects to convey an intensity that gives the individuals and their lives a sense of specificity and creating a tangible presence.

“The importance of home, family, ancestry feeds my work entirely,” Lovell has said.  “African-Americans generally were not aware of who their ancestors were, since slaves were sold from plantation to plantation and families were split up.”  His drawings are based on photographs of unidentified African-Americans, most dating from the early twentieth century.

His work incorporates found objects, creating old constructions with a strong sculptural presence that invokes issues of cultural heritage and personal identity.  Inspired by his fascination with history as well as by stories told by his grandparents, Lovell’s work illuminates the humanity and richness of anonymous people.

His work has been widely exhibited in museums and he is a 2007 recipient of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s Fellowship Award.  This program is made possible, in part, by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.  The Pascal Gallery is located in the Berrie Center for Performing and Visual Arts at Ramapo College.  Hours are Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 1 to 5 p.m. and Wednesday, 1 to 7 p.m.  For more information, call Sydney Jenkins, gallery director, (201) 684-7147.


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, has been named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler, 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, boasts the best campus housing in New Jersey on, 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, data science, 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, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Technology, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a post-master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice.


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