The Arts Council of Princeton presents ‘Start Fresh,’ opening tonight

The Arts Council of Princeton presents “Start Fresh,” a group exhibition about clarity, finesse, energy, nature, healing and defying expectations in art. Curated by Eva Mantell, visitors can expect original works from Polly Apfelbaum, Lindsay Feuer, Susan Hockaday, Natalie Jeremijenko, Melissa Marks and Scott Wright. Bringing together the startling and fresh work of six artists along with that of approximately 80 students from the Arts Council’s Arts and Health programs, “Start Fresh” is about the potential of art to spark renewal.

In her curator’s statement, Mantell said, “The six artists selected for this exhibit connect to the themes of renewal and growth in diverse ways. From drawing to painting, photography, ceramics, printmaking, performance art, biotechnology and environmental intervention, the range of media rewinds to art’s origins, and fast-forwards into new technologies. The artists in this exhibit are trained and skilled. They have finesse and a light touch, and keep their art fresh, honest and relevant.”

“Start Fresh” will be on view in the Arts Council’s Taplin Gallery from May 6 through June 24, with an Opening Reception on tonight from 5 to 7 p.m., Paul Robeson Center for the Arts, 102 Witherspoon Street. Also on view in the downstairs Gallery in the Paul Robeson Center for the Arts is “Ode to Mrs. Delaney,” an exhibition of artwork created in collaboration with Princeton Nursery School.

The Arts Council of Princeton provides Outreach Programming throughout the greater Princeton community, including Carrier Clinic, the Hospital at Princeton Health, Atrium Senior Living, Greenwood House, Brandywine Senior Living, Harriet Bryan House and in the Arts Council’s own Caregivers Class, held at the Paul Robeson Center for the Arts. Inspired by Mary Granville Delaney, who began her art career at the age of 72, each of these diverse programs was invited to take apart a paper flower – Delaney is said to have dissected flowers in order to understand their structure – and reassemble the pieces to create new paper hybrids. These revamped flowers, on view in Start Fresh, now speak about memory, emotion, vulnerability, risk and the touch of many hands and hearts.

Related events include OnStage Seniors: A Community Project of McCarter Theatre on June 15 at 7 p.m. This over-55 ensemble will present stories about growth; growing up, growing pains, growing older, growing wiser, growing out of things, and growing strong together. Paul Robeson Center for the Arts, 102 Witherspoon Street, Princeton. Parking is available in the Spring and Hulfish Street Garages and at metered parking spots along Witherspoon Street and Paul Robeson Place.

The Arts Council of Princeton’s Arts in Healthcare programs are supported, in part, by generous grants from Church & Dwight, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, and Borden-Perlman. Programs are provided in partnership with Atrium Senior Living, Brandywine Senior Living, Carrier Clinic, Elm Court at Bryan House, Greenwood House, and the Acute Care for the Elderly Unit of the University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro. The “Start Fresh” exhibition is supported by contributions from Atrium Senior Living, Carrier Clinic, and Princeton Healthcare, with additional funding provided by the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.

The Arts Council of Princeton, founded in 1967, is a non-profit organization with a mission of Building Community through the Arts. Housed in the landmark Paul Robeson Center for the Arts, designed by architect Michael Graves, the ACP fulfills its mission by presenting a wide range of programs including exhibitions, performances, free community cultural events, and studio-based classes and workshops in a wide range of media. Arts Council of Princeton programs are designed to be high-quality, engaging, affordable and accessible for the diverse population of the greater Princeton region.

For more information, please visit or call (609) 924-8777.


About Erica Chayes Wida

Erica Chayes Wida is a writer, mom, and complete zealot when it comes to poetry, paella and globe collections. After graduating with a degree in Anthropology from UCLA, Erica moved to Italy where the seasons and old architecture inspired her journey back to the East Coast. Since then, she and her husband have created a nest egg locally and, over time, developed a rather grand love affair with the town of Princeton. Erica is senior editor at The Princeton Sun and enjoys fulfilling her Princeton affections on a daily basis. | View all posts by Erica Chayes Wida