Hudson County Community College to Host Panel Discussions on Works Created by Contemporary New Jersey Artists

April 14, 2015

Events offer the community an opportunity to learn about the works included in the HCCC Foundation Art Collection.


April 14, 2015, Jersey City, NJ – Hudson County Community College (HCCC) invites the members of the community to attend two free panel discussions – one on contemporary art and the other on mid-20th century art. Both are part of “The Changing Scene of Contemporary Art in New Jersey,” a mini-series sponsored by the College’s Cultural Affairs Task Force, and made possible by a grant from the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, a State partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The discussions – which will be held in the HCCC Culinary Conference Center – will provide a context for works included in the HCCC Foundation Art Collection. The Culinary Conference Center is located at 161 Newkirk Street in Jersey City – just two blocks from the Journal Square PATH Station. Seating is limited and reservations may be made by contacting Clifford Brooks at (201) 978-5720 or cbrooksFREEHUDSONCOUNTYCOMMUNITYCOLLEGE.

The first panel discussion, “Facing the Dilemmas of the World: New Jersey Contemporary Artists,” is scheduled for Thursday, May 7, 2015 at 6:00 p.m. The discussion will feature artists Eric Avery, M.D., Valeri Larko and Barbara Madsen, and will explore themes such as gender- and race-equality, and religious, social, and political issues, which transcend time, culture, and civilization.

The other discussion, “The Fluxus Movement: ½ Century Late,” will take place on Friday, May 8, 2015 at 11 a.m., and will feature Professors Gerry Beegan and Donna Gustafson. It will focus on the cross-disciplinary nature of the Fluxus Movement (also referred to as the New Brunswick School of Art), its role in the humanities and its influence. (The HCCC Foundation Art Collection includes ten works by Fluxus artists, including Marcel Duchamp, Yoko Ono, and Carolee Schneemann.)

The HCCC Cultural Affairs Task Force was established by the College’s Board of Trustees and administration to provide the College with guidance and assistance in determining goals centered around several issues, including guidelines and suggestions for cultural programming and events that should be supported by the College.

Any views, finding, conclusions or recommendations expressed in these panel discussions do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, Hudson County Community College, the College’s Foundation or the HCCC Cultural Affairs Task Force.

About the panelists:
Dr. Eric Avery worked as a consulting psychiatrist, specializing in the treatment of HIV and AIDS. Throughout his life, he made relief prints with themes that frequently relate to sexuality, the human body, and issues surrounding the treatment of HIV and AIDS. His works may be found in the Smith College Art Museum, Baltimore Art Museum, Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University, Firestone Library at Princeton University, The Library of Congress, to name but a few venues.

Valeri Larko, a native of New Jersey, is renowned for her densely painted landscapes of decaying and abandoned structures in America’s urban centers and their stories. Ms. Larko’s paintings have been exhibited in The Morris Museum (Morristown, NJ), the Hunterdon Art Museum (Clinton, NJ), The New Jersey State Museum, Safe-T-Gallery (Brooklyn, NY), Bronx River Art Center (NY), and Visual Arts Center of New Jersey (Summit, NJ). In 2000, Ms. Larko was commissioned to paint a major mural for the Secaucus Transfer Station, the largest train station in New Jersey.

Barbara Madsen is best known for her works in installation, sculpture, photography, and video. Her vast collections of cast-off 20th century industrial matter inspire her work, which depicts a world gone awry. An associate professor of art at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, Ms. Madsen’s videos have been broadcast in Germany, France and Italy, and her works have been exhibited in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the United States.

Professor Gerry Beegan is a writer, curator, and designer whose research explores the relationships between art, design, media, and audience. In 2008, he published a book, The Mass Image, and his criticism and research have appeared in many magazines and journals.

Donna Gustafson, Ph.D., is currently the Andrew W. Mellon Liaison for Academic Programs and Curator at the Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University. She is also an instructor for the Rutgers Early College Humanities program, and has held several museum positions, including Curator and Chief Curator at the American Federation of Arts. Dr. Gustafson has published widely on American and contemporary art, and presented papers and lectures at the Whitney Museum of American Art and Cooper-Hewitt Museum of Design. She was also co-chair of a College Art Association Fluxus panel.