Straube Center in the News

Writers, new craftsmen join artistic tradition at Straube

Published: Thursday, October 01, 2009
By R. Kurt Osenlund, Bucks Local News

The folks at Pennington’s Straube Center complex follow an outdoor sculpture garden with an author exhibit and additional indoor art.

After already widening their artistic scope with the recent installation of an outdoor sculpture garden (the exhibit, dubbed “Art You Can Touch,” will run through the remainder of the year), the folks at the Straube Center office complex at Route 31 and West Franklin Avenue in Pennington have again enhanced their tradition of showcasing artwork, this time focusing on writers.

On Friday, Sept. 18 from 4 to 7 p.m., the Straube Center held an opening night reception for “Poets, Playwrights and Pen-Persons,” a new six-week exhibition that highlights the work of popular and lesser known authors in a variety of genres. Members of the public were invited to attend the reception, where they could meet the writers and discuss their featured work.

“Talented writers are just the latest exhibitors to display their work at the Straube Center," said Linda Wiegner, the Straube Center's assistant vice president. "Our tenants, staff and many visitors enjoy the work of the celebrated artists to the relatively unknown; our exhibitors paint, print, sculpt, mold and write, bringing pleasure to us all.”

Writers with material in the show include Robert W. Adler, author of “Restoring Colorado River Ecosystems: A Troubled Sense of Immensity”; Janet Purcell, author of “Singer Lane”; Albert M. Stark, author of “Beyond the Bar”; Hannah Suthers, author of “Not by Force but by Good Will”; Mel Szarek, author of “The Seeds of Patient Wisdom”; poet Catherine Della Smith, author of “Rural Roots”; Charles McCollough, author of “Art of Parables”; and Win Straube himself, author of the autobiography, “Nobody Knew.”

Curating the new exhibit is John Tredrea, staff writer for the Hopewell Valley News and a familiar face about town. All of the books and other published work in the show are available for sale, and 100 percent of the proceeds go directly to the authors (no money is collected by the Straube Center).

At the same time, additional indoor art remains on display at Straube, including a vibrant series of one-of-a-kind, single edition, non-reproducible etchgraphs by Günter Johne, an artist from Dresden, Germany. The abstract etchgraphs, which line both sides of a long hallway within the complex, are each quite unique, and were created with slow-drying print colors, as well as the textures of paint, sticks, metal and textiles.

“The fascination of abstraction evolved (from) sculpting the etchgraphs with my fingers,” Johne said in an artist's statement. “The selection process for the materials, colors and shapes resulted in 'forms of chance' that the brain could never have imagined. Each etchgraph opens a new window to discoveries of abstract landscapes, figures and nature itself.”

Accompanying Johne's exhibit is the work of sculptor F. Richard Gerster, whose strong, yet graceful castings appear at either end of that very same hallway. Upon entry, visitors will come across “Legal Eagle,” a design cast of a bald eagle with a 41-inch wingspan. Opposite that, positioned beside a window, is “Decrescendo,” a bronze portrait of a male orchestra conductor.

A well-known local artist, Gerster is also offering sculpture classes, and more information can be found by calling 609-298-6066

One Straube Center Blvd • Pennington, NJ 08534 • Phone: 609-737-3322 • E-mail:
Straube Center Boulevard surrounded by Route 31, West Franklin Ave., Knowles Ave.-Bixby’s Way, and Broemel Place