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originally published: 06/20/2022

(TRENTON, NJ) — The New Jersey State Museum (NJSM) presents the New Jersey Arts Annual 2022: Reemergence. New Jersey is home to a diverse and strong artistic community. the annual New Jersey Arts Expo highlights the work of visual artists and artisans from across the state. The New Jersey Arts Annual: Reemergence exhibition runs from June 25, 2022 through April 30, 2023.

The theme of this year’s exhibition is “re-emergence.” Artists, like most New Jersey residents, are taking steps to reappear in an altered landscape. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, political and ideological polarization, and a collective addressing of systemic racism remain essential to delivering on the country’s promise.

“It is a privilege to showcase the work of these New Jersey artists as we all take into account the events of the past few years and reflect on how we move forward in the ongoing pandemic,” says Sarah Vogelman, Assistant Curator of Fine Arts from the NJSM. “The 95 selected artists, working across disciplines and media, have each responded to the disruptions and challenges of life in the pandemic in their own unique way. Throughout much of the work, themes of anxiety, isolation, surrealism and disconnection appear, as do impulses to contemplate and commune with the immediate surroundings, whether an interior scene, a still life or a landscape. We hope the exhibition will serve as a place for the public to engage and reflect as we each contemplate a re-emergence.

The NJ State Museum presents the New Jersey Arts Annual 2022: Reemergence

One of the local artists to be featured at the New Jersey State Museum will be George Taylor, MFAceramist from Milltown, NJ.

“Self-representation by a black male artist is, in itself, a political act. It is further exacerbated during an epidemic of prejudice, racism, sexism, political unrest and hatred, all linked to a deadly pandemic and now the possibility of world war,” says Taylor, who is found painting its image throughout the pandemic, not as a blueprint, but as a dwelling.

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Several stoneware vessels (pictured) by Taylor will be on display from June 25 to April 2023. They are titled Self-Portrait with a Hat, The Artist as a Young Man, and Two poets.

“These current craft primarily display representative images of the human face, mine and others,” Taylor explains. “They bear little resemblance to the sake and perfume bottles that were their origin. Grouped together, they look like a cityscape with graffiti on the sides of the structures. But in pairs, they seem to dialogue in silence. Either way, they talk.

George Taylor spent much of his life dealing with issues of self-identification in a world that would often seem to marginalize his existence, and therefore his art. He grew up in an African-American family, one of the few in his Jersey City, NJ neighborhood at the time. Expectations were that he would enter law or clergy, while Taylor recalls simply wanting to draw men wearing military hats, religious icons, and peacock feathers.

As an undergraduate art major at Rutgers University, many of Taylor’s paintings were figurative, but had an otherworldly feel. These works, as Taylor describes them, were familiar, with rather disorienting and paranoid landscapes. While in graduate school at the Mason Gross School of the Arts, Taylor painted large-scale canvases celebrating the human body. He also explored an affinity for ceramics and performance art, the two disciplines often overlapping. In a memorable performance, he covered his body in clay and made images on the gallery walls that looked rough, defiant and primitive.

The NJ State Museum presents the New Jersey Arts Annual 2022: Reemergence

Since earning his MFA, Taylor has taught at numerous colleges and art schools in New Jersey. One of its current classes is Discovery Your Inner Consciousness in Ceramics in which he uses his training as a counselor and Buddhist priest. Taylor’s current work is three-dimensional, taking the form of towers/bottles on which images of himself and some of those important to him are sketched or painted. Her work has been featured in solo and group exhibitions, most recently at the Ellarslie Open in Trenton, NJ. In addition to re-emergenceTaylor’s work will be featured at Aferro GalleryNewark NJ, in its summer exhibition until August 25: Tell me about you.

“I have always loved human representation and I love working with clay. This recent work is a marriage of the two,” says Taylor.

Each year, the New Jersey Arts Annual is presented by the State Arts Council, in partnership with major museums in the state, rotating between host institutions. These exhibits are open to any artist currently living or working in New Jersey. This year’s juried exhibition attracted 1,999 submissions from 393 artists, representing each of New Jersey’s 21 counties. One hundred and twenty-seven works by 95 artists were selected to feature in the exhibition.

“The Arts Annual is an exhibition focused solely on New Jersey artists, and the State Arts Council is proud to support the many great artists who call New Jersey home,” said Danielle Bursk, Director of Community Partnerships and Artist Services. for New Jersey. State Arts Council. “Each year, the Annual Arts Exhibition is a way to recognize and showcase new work and provide the public with an opportunity to view the works of some of the most innovative and accomplished artists in the world. State. And our partners at the State Museum have done an incredible job of curating a timely, inspiring, and powerful exhibit.

The New Jersey Arts Annual: Reemergence is a project of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and the New Jersey State Museum. At the New Jersey State Museum, the exhibit is also supported by the New Jersey State Museum Foundation.

The New Jersey State Museum is located at 205 West State Street in Trenton and open Tuesday through Sunday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.

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