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PR # 135 January 25, 2008


Raritan Valley Community College?s (RVCC) Visual and Performing Arts Department will present The Foreign Element: Three Painters Living and Working in Berlin , February 15-March 13, in the Art Gallery at the College?s North Branch Campus. The show is being curated by Virginia Bruner, an adjunct instructor in the RVCC Visual and Performing Arts Department.

The three artists?Tom Drake Bennett, Marilyn Green and Susan McKinley?have found Berlin to be a lively environment for artistic experimentation and social reform in all areas of life. These three English-speaking artists met as students at The Berlin Academy of Art in the 1980s. Since then they have remained in Berlin as foreign witnesses to a dramatic unfolding of cultural change in modern Germany.

An Artists Talk event will be held Friday, February 15, from 5:30-6:30 p.m. A reception will follow from 6:30-8 p.m. Both are free of charge and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

The Artists Talk will feature a PowerPoint presentation illustrating how the November 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall changed their lives. The artists will discuss how the event affected the observed social world, as well as their artistic expressions in color and form. They will reflect on this particularly dramatic time in history and show how political interactions in 1989 were a driving force for change, not only in Berlin at the time, but also throughout the world and as artists in 2008.

Tom Drake Bennett was born in Sussex, England and has based most of his artistic life in Berlin. His work is figurative in the abstract sense, capturing the powerful yet poetical non-verbal language of color. Color is a dynamic force in his work that allows for the confrontation of abstraction and light.

Marilyn Green was born in London, England. Her paintings transform abstractions into landscapes and spaces, and then back into abstractions. Color and form are systemic and interdependent. The paintings are not constructed out of objects, motives or details, or surreal interpretations, but in Green?s embodied act of painting itself.

Susan McKinley was born in Morristown, New Jersey. Color plays a predominant role in McKinley?s form-rich painting process, full of tamed and bundled energy. She considers the bodily act of dancing with color as an extension of the self. The paintings oscillate between objectivity and an abstract inner dream world of feelings and emotions.

Gallery hours for the exhibition are Monday, 3-8 p.m.; Tuesday, noon-3 p.m.; Wednesday 3-8 p.m.; Thursday, 2-6 p.m.; and Friday, noon-3 p.m. For further information, call the Visual and Performing Arts Department, 908-218-8876.

RVCC, located on Route 28 and Lamington Road in North Branch, NJ, and serving Somerset and Hunterdon County residents for close to 40 years, offers more than 80 associate degrees and certificates. In addition, customized training programs and non-credit courses are available for those seeking personal and professional development.

The College is committed to offering a quality and affordable education through effective teaching, liaisons with the community?s businesses and state-of-the-art technology. For further information, visit www.raritanval.edu .

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