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Piano Parts Homage to Harold and Collages

Piano Parts Homage to Harold and Collages is the newest collection of work from Professor Vincent DiMattio. DiMattio has been a professor in the Art & Design department for over 50 years and is retiring this spring. DiMattio received his Master’s in Fine Arts from Southern Illinois University and his Bachelor’s in Fine Arts from Massachusetts College of Art. He joined Monmouth’s faculty in 1968, where he served as department chair and as gallery director for more than 20 years. He is credited with starting the gallery program at Monmouth University.

DiMattio has had his work shown internationally in Spain, Puerto Rico, and Mexico, and in the United States. His work has also been show in the Newark and Trenton Museums. In 1999, selections from DiMattio’s 30-year retrospective exhibit at Monmouth University were used for his first retrospective in New York City at the Susan Berke Gallery.

In 2004, he co-authored the book, The Drawings and Watercolors of Lewis Mumford with his colleague Professor Kenneth Stunkel, published by the prestigious Edwin Melon Press. In 2005, he received a grant from the Liquitex Paint Company for the completion of over 60 “tube paintings,” which led to a major exhibition at Brookdale Community College. Besides being named distinguished professor in 2013, he was also honored to have an art scholarship established in his name and having the art gallery in Rechnitz Hall named in his honor.

Artist Reception: May 13 from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM. Click here to register for the reception.

This exhibition was made possible through a Creative Grant from Monmouth University. 

Jacob Landau: The Prophetic Quest

Jacob Landau: The Prophetic Quest, An Exhibit of Selected Drawings and paintings by renowned American artist, humanist, and teacher Jacob Landau.  The selected works on display were completed by the artist in preparation for his stained glass masterpiece, The Prophetic Quest, a series of ten monumental stained glass windows housed in the Keneseth Israel synagogue, just north of Philadelphia. In addition to the artwork, copies of the recently published book; The Prophetic Quest: The Stained Glass Windows of Jacob Landau, will also be on hand for review. Copies of the book are also available for sale at the University Bookstore.

Designed by the renowned American artist Jacob Landau, The Prophetic Quest encompasses ten masterful abstract pieces of stained glass that depict the lives and words of the biblical prophets, each towering nearly twenty-five feet high and spanning five feet across. Featuring essays recounting Landau’s vision, the history of his project, and detailed interpretative commentary on each window, this book presents an immersive experience of Landau’s religious masterwork. Personal reflections written by artists, art historians, poets, clergy, and congregants about their experience of The Prophetic Quest round out the volume with new ways to view and appreciate Landau’s creation.

Born in Philadelphia in 1917, Landau launched his career as an illustrator, winning national prizes at age 16, and a scholarship to the Philadelphia College of Art. He went on to have over sixty one-person shows, featuring a wide range of drawings and paintings. The recipient of numerous awards, including Guggenheim and National Arts Council grants, many of his works are featured in permanent collections, such as the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. A master teacher, he retired as professor emeritus at New York’s Pratt Institute. In 1996, he was awarded an honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts by Monmouth University.

The exhibition features a selection of some ten works. All are from Monmouth University’s extensive collection of Jacob Landau’s work, comprising over 300 prints, drawings and paintings. The collection was gifted to Monmouth University in 2008 by the Jacob Landau Institute of Roosevelt, NJ. This exhibit is co-sponsored by the Jewish Culture Studies Program and the Honors School of Monmouth University.

Sam Cusumano

Join us for a virtual Arts-Engineering talk/performance/workshop with Sam Cusumano. Cusumano is an Engineer for the Arts living in Philadelphia working with students, artists, musicians, and curators to create educational interactive electronic devices and installations. As part of his creative practice, he has connected plants and fungi with synthesizers to make music. Biodata Sonification is the process of representing invisible changes in plants to create music. By detecting microcurrent fluctuations across the surface of a plant’s leaf, these changes are used to generate MIDI notes which can be played through a synthesizer or computer to create sound. In this virtual presentation Sam Cusumano will explain methods used to tap into the secret life of plants, showing how to translate data for making music, and discuss the implications of interpreting biodata. Audio examples of Biodata Sonification will be performed live using analog synthesizers, digital audio workstations, and synth apps along with a Snake Plant, large Monstera, and various Cacti.

When you register you will be provided the meeting link to join the conversation.

Free and open to the public, but registration is required.

This event is being recorded for educational and archival purposes and it may be posted on our website. By participating in this presentation, you give permission for Monmouth University to record the presentation for University purposes. You understand that your name, likeness, voice and statements may be recorded. If you do not wish to be recorded, a recording of this presentation will later be available upon request, and you can contact Amanda Stojanov, Assistant Professor of Digital Media ( with any questions you may have regarding the presentation.

Electo Electro 2020 – Interactive Workshop and Artist Talk

With Mike Richison

Special Guest: Patrick Murray, Monmouth University Polling Institute

Wednesday, October 7, 6:00 PM

Wednesday, October 7, 7:30 PM
Attendees who are planning to participate in the 7:30 workshop are kindly requested to download and install a demo version of max msp jitter. This is not required.

Electo Electro 2020 is an interactive installation combining audience participation, music, news footage, and politics. The project allows participants to remix videos from political rallies, debates, and news in a structured sixteen beat loop. The touchscreen design is a parody of the system employed by the Accuvote, a voting system that is difficult to audit and susceptible to hacking. The parody continues into the format of the installation itself which will resemble a polling station. There will be an artist talk at 6:00 followed by a Max MSP Jitter workshop at 7:30 pm.

Mike Richison is a multimedia artist and an Assistant Professor at Monmouth University in New Jersey where he teaches motion graphics. He employs a variety of approaches including sculpture, graphic design, and interactive video. His work utilizes found objects such as turntables, voting booths, and scavenged video clips as well as the Max MSP Jitter programming environment. Mike has exhibited at Autonomous Cultural Centre Medika (Zagreb, Croatia); Figment NYC and Art in Odd Places (New York); and Peters Valley School of Craft and Morris Museum (New Jersey). His projects have received attention in outlets such as Leonardo, Noisey (Music by VICE), FACT Magazine, Hyperallergic, WABC-TV Channel 7 News New York, and The Washington Post. Before moving to New Jersey in 2007, he lived in the Detroit, Michigan area for several years.

These events are FREE and open to the public, but please register if you plan to attend.
They are virtual only. A Zoom link will be provided when you register.

This event is presented in collaboration with Galleries and Collections and the Monmouth University Polling Institute.

Just Beachy: A Reading of Sandy Stories

Help us mark the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Sandy. Readers will present stories that have been posted to “9 Feet High,” part of the Just Beachy/After Sandy installation now on view in Rechnitz Hall’s DiMattio Gallery.

We invite you to participate by reading your own story, or listen as you hear your own story being read. Join us as your Sandy experience is acknowledged through the spoken word. Your story deserves to be heard!

Annual Student Exhibition 2014

Opening Reception: Sunday, April 27 from 1-4 pm. Featuring select works by Monmouth University students in photography, graphic design, animation and studio art.

Gallery Exhibition: MAVIS SMITH / THINK AGAIN

September 2 – October 17, 2014
Rechnitz Hall
DiMattio Gallery – First Floor
Opening Reception: Friday, September 19, from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

We interact with hundreds of people throughout our lifetimes, yet can we ever hope to grasp the intricate web of experience that makes them tick? Imagining the hidden realities of other people’s existences is a continuing theme in the work of artist Mavis Smith. “It’s not so much specific people or events, but the general sense of unknown depths that intrigues me”, says Smith. “It does not have to be dark; heroic acts toward total strangers or simple people rising to extraordinary occasions are equally in the mix.” Smith, who’s works are often done in egg tempera, brings an almost surreal aesthetic to her paintings that further suggests the dislocation of appearances and realities.

“I have a love/hate relationship with egg tempera. It’s a labor intensive medium, but the luminous effects you can achieve makes it seem worth it to me. I build up layer upon layer of thicker paint, alternating with sheer washes of pigment – back and forth, back and forth. The actual process is very meditative, and I believe it contributes to my subconscious imagination coming into play.”

Bucks County, PA resident Mavis Smith studied at the Pratt Institute in the 1970’s, and has exhibited her work in Holland and Switzerland as well as Santa Fe, New York City, and several venues in NJ and PA including a solo show in 2012 at the Michener Art Museum in Doylestown, PA. She is also a prolific illustrator and author of children’s books, having authored 10 and illustrated at least 75. This exhibition samples a range of Smith’s work from years past, as well as several new pieces, including both paintings and works on paper as well as some recent sculptural works incorporating egg shells.

Gallery Exhibition: Robert Mueller – Selected Works From the Monmouth University Permanent Collection

September 2 – October 17, 2014
Rechnitz Hall
DiMattio Gallery – Second Floor

Inspired by mathematical models, literary sources, and his own social consciousness, Robert Emmett Mueller, artist, engineer, inventor, author, musician, puppet maker, and general wizard, is on a never-ending search for visual equivalents to his ideas.

“Such is his mind, and such is his personality that I know whatever he is doing artistically is a search for form, a search for beauty, and a search for the meaning of things”, said Bernarda Bryson Shahn, and artist and Mueller’s longtime neighbor in Roosevelt, New Jersey.

Mueller’s creations are largely varied.  They include woodcuts, like a recent triptych entitled: Ravages of Pre-emptive War; The Devil Stalks Baghdad; America’s Bitter Presence, whose theme is the U.S. invasion of Iraq.  Many of Mueller’s pieces can be found worldwide and are in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and The Pushkin Museum in Moscow, the New Jersey State Museum, the Rutgers University Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum of London, and other museums worldwide.  He is also a painter who describes his personal style as “Mathematico-abstract.”  Mueller has written two books, The Science of Art, published in 1967, and Inventivity, published in 1963.

Mueller’s own “inventivity” took a circuitous route to art.  He grew up in St. Louis, where his father was a baker and his mother was a seamstress and milliner.  After serving in the Navy, he was sent to a college preparation program in Asbury Park and later graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

After moving to New York City to study philosophy at New York University, Mueller began to meet artists from Roosevelt, which was begun as a planned workers’ community but had evolved into an artists’ colony that included, among others, Ben Shahn, and Gregorio Prestopino, both who influenced Mueller’s work.  Mueller moved to Roosevelt with his wife Diana Lobl, an attorney, in the 1950’s.  They now have two grown children, Rachel and Erik.

Mueller said that through Roosevelt he became “conscious of human inhumanity, moral and social problems, the depths of degradation, and the heights of elegance over which human nature ranges”, and he believes that artists should use their work to react to crises in society, to encourage protest, and to fight for economic, political, and human well-being.

In this exhibition, all of the above are skillfully communicated.

Image Caption: Classic Figure, 1996, Woodcut, 23 1/2″ x 17 1/2″

Gallery Exhibition: David H. Wells

September 2 – November 14, 2014
Ice House Gallery
Opening Reception:  Thursday, September 25, from 4:30 – 7:00 p.m.

An exhibit about the empty homes and foreclosed dreams littering the American landscape in the wake of the foreclosure crisis.

Owning a home was once the American dream. At the peak of the foreclosure crisis, one in five American homeowners was either behind on their mortgage payments or in the process of foreclosure. Their empty homes and foreclosed dreams are powerful symbols of lives shattered and families devastated.

After a house is foreclosed upon there is a fleeting moment when the ghosts of the one-time owners are all that is left – before the houses are cleaned and returned to the real estate market.  The remaining signs of life photographed during this period of time echo the voices and footsteps that once filled these emptied houses.

I focused on empty homes, as they are immovable objects and stand in stark contrast to the highly mobile American dream. I chose not to focus on individual families in foreclosure because I wanted to explore the issue from a broader perspective. The final work is made more powerful by its lack of literalism and its attention to chillingly mundane objects.  An open-ended canvas, viewers can project their own ideas into the photographs – about home, America and family, into the empty spaces of the houses.

I started the project in April of 2009, with the goal of understanding the upheaval we are living through. I initially photographed in the Central Valley of California, an epicenter of the foreclosure crisis. Then, I worked in Rhode Island, which has a foreclosure rate very similar to California’s. To date, I have photographed in eighteen states.

My audience is America itself, including those who worry about the possible foreclosure of their own dreams, those who have already experienced that trauma and anyone concerned or interested in what’s happening to the American dream.