The New Jersey School of the Arts (NJSA) is helping former Governor Christie Whitman feel comfortable in her new surroundings by providing art work from New Jersey for her new office in Washington. NJSA has arranged for a one-year loan of four pieces of native art to be displayed in Mrs. Whitman's new office where she serves as administrator of the federal Environmental Protection Agency. The two landscapes, one seascape, and one sculpture are the works of three teaching artists in the School of the Arts program operated under the New Jersey Department of Education.
"Knowing Christie Whitman's love of the outdoors," said Laura Fattal, director of the New Jersey School of the Arts, " I thought these original works that depict actual scenes of New Jersey would be a wonderful way to remind the former Governor of home. It also will give some national exposure to three of our teaching artists.
"In addition to depicting scenes and using materials of New Jersey," she concluded, "the works symbolize the issues that Christie Whitman supported as Governor and now must review on a national policy level -- open space and clean air and water."
Joan Arbeiter of Metuchen, a noted portraitist, is represented by her works entitled "Top of the Ridge" (1986) featuring cornfields that are a common sight in New Jersey and "Walter Hill's Wheat Field" (1986).
Linda Lorrie Gross, an anthropologist as well as an artist, uses natural vegetation to create articles such as vases, wall hangings, and jewelry. Her loaned work, "Ikebana Inspired" (2000), is a sculpture constructed of phragmites, a common reed that dominates New Jersey's shoreline and wetlands.
Anthony Migliaccio lives in Oceanport and serves as a member of the NJSA Board of Trustees. He is a practicing artist and the director of visual and performing arts at Red Bank Regional High School in Monmouth County. Mr. Migliaccio has used his expressionist technique in his loaned work entitled "Sandy Hook" (1999). He has a thirty-year exhibition record with galleries in the mid-Atlantic region and in California.
The three artists are affiliated with the New Jersey School of the Arts, a visual and performing arts community-based high school at Montclair State University. Through NJSA's statewide artists-in-residency program for secondary schools, the artists teach the Core Curriculum Content Standards in visual and performing arts through workshops for high school students. Legislated in 1969, the school not only provides training in the arts, but also orients students to career opportunities and assists in preparation for college admission.
Information about the New Jersey School of the Arts, along with registration forms, can be found on the web site of the Department of Education. (www.state.nj.us/education)