Straube Center displays work of 6 diverse artists in Pennington

Friday, June 24, 2011

Alisandra Wederich, curator of exhibitions at Straube Center, brought together an eclectic group of six artists whom she says she chose because they all seemed to be expressing their own personal take on the world.

“They’re all playing with their own idea of reality,” she says. “One is a realist, another creates his own world, another fabricates symbolism, and another is into surrealist reality.

“Diana Krupensky is stylized,” Wederich says. “She moved here from the Romania and works as an editor for Universal Press doing English translations of overseas best sellers.”

Krupensky’s palette is consistent through most of her contribution to this exhibit. Working in acrylics with ink, oil pastels and pastel pencils, as well as various mediums to promote transparency, she choose high key colors and applies them thickly, sometimes including molding paste to create additional texture.

Trees hold a prominent place in many of her paintings, and very often the same tree seems to be present in different seasons and settings. According to Wederich, there was a special tree in Krupensky’s growing up years, and since most of her paintings are expressions of her subconscious ideas, it is quite possible she brought that tree with her in her memory from Romania to the United States.

Indira Servaia came to the United States from India in 2005 and blends both cultures in her portraits of women. Her works express her belief that, because women often hold their own feelings in check while they care for loved ones, they build a strong inner strength of character.

Working in bold, rich colors, she often distorts facial features to express the woman’s inner thoughts and feelings. At the same time, she adorns their faces with jewels. Her works are symbolic and suggest French Fauvist paintings which she says inspire her. Wederich calls them contemporary icons.

Photographer and filmmaker Brandon Herman, however, looks at women in a very different way. The founder and organizer of the New York Pin-Up Club, he photographs women in what he describes as “retro/pin-up style.”

On exhibit is a photo in vivid color of a “glamour girl” posing coyly wrapped in a garden hose while reclining amid fake flowers, a picket fence and a plastic pink flamingo. “He fabricates his own reality,” comments Wederich.

Herman is also exhibiting his new I-Phone photography. He uses an application that filters images on the phone making them look as if they were taken on an old Brownie camera. The application causes a random effect where the photographer never knows what the result will be.

On exhibit here are cityscapes and bridges. One bridge photo is double exposed and there are light leaks in others causing one image to be blue, one purple. These are printed in high resolution on glossy photo paper.

Although Nicole Helen Brunner also works in photography, as well as drawing, paper cutting and painting, she is exhibiting only her paintings in this show.

In her artist statement, she says she considers her work to be self-portraits, although she works from photographs of others and from live models. She does not use her own physical form but says her paintings are “an extremely personal and intimate journey of self-exploration.”

Many, rendered in cold hues of grays and pale skin tones, are beautifully done but disturbing. They take the viewer into a chilling intimacy with the female who is portrayed. Others, where warmer color is used become sensual.

Theresa Marie Heinrich, known also as “Blonde Artist,” uses beads and sparkles, glitter and ribbons as well as natural elements such as pine cones, pressed flowers, leaves and even feathers and butterfly wings to complete her mesmerizing three-dimensional assemblages.

According to her website,, “she typically unrolls canvas in her studio to cover the floor and walls so she can work with her whole body to express the energy of the piece.”

In this exhibit she is showing her original “Vesuvius Pinball Wizard,” a dynamic large dyptich done in vibrant tones of violet and various bright blues. The piece is highly textured and embellished. She is also exhibiting gicleé prints and embellished giclees on stretched canvas.

Joanne Markowicz Bilarczyk is another remarkably talented artist whose works are on display. She has won awards for her pastels, paintings and drawings since she was 12 years old. She’s exhibiting still lifes and landscapes, as well as one portrait of a feral cat that is aptly titled “What Are You Looking At?”

She portrays that attitude perfectly in its pose looking back at the viewer as it keeps guard over its dead prey. She shows the subtle tonality of its dirty white fur and even the scratches on its face.

Her landscapes and still lifes are sensitively rendered, and her “Love Lucy,” an airbrush acrylic on illustration board, captures Lucille Ball’s comedic personality as she shows “Lucy” leaning on a vintage television where one of her shows is running. An Emmy Award statuette throws stars up into the atmosphere about her.

Seeing the world through the eyes of these six artists is intriguing. Each has his or her own reality and they all express it with personal insight and energy.

“The World As We Know It”
When: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Fridays, noon-4 p.m. weekends, through Aug. 19.
Where: Straube Center, 1 Straube Center Blvd (Route 31 and West. Franklin Avenue, Pennington
Contact: (609) 737-3322 or

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