Nilson Gallery

The Nilson Gallery features the work of New Jersey artists, including the New Jersey Emerging Artists Series, a unique and exciting forum for NJ artists who have never had a one-person show of their work in our State. The artists selected for this Series represent the diversity of talent in the State and demonstrate their creativity in a wide variety of media. Gallery talks scheduled during the exhibitions offer artists the opportunity to share their stories and provide insight about what inspires and drives them in the creative process.

Current Exhibition

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The New Jersey Emerging Artists Series continues this summer, from September 21 to October 19, with an exhibition of watercolor by artist Laura Bethmann.

Laura states, “You know when you’ve experienced Beauty. It’s a feeling first, and then, a split second later, you think “That’s beautiful”. This visceral experience is intuitive; it’s essential to our well-being and it’s how I choose my subjects. Beauty, it turns out, is the basis for my whole working process. Experiencing beauty in nature and trying to communicate its language, source and meaning is what I search for every day.

My watercolor paintings are intimate, close up views of nature, with a focus on flowers. Subjects range from six to ten times their life size. I work primarily with Winsor-Newton watercolor paints and brushes, and Arches papers. I follow the traditional technique of layering many watercolor washes over a pencil drawing, which is prepared from direct observation, reference sketches and photographs that I take of subjects in my small garden, in private and public gardens, and natural areas.

Flowers are fundamental in nature. They are manifestations of life and beauty. As the reproductive parts of many plants, their power lies in creating new life. When working I feel the energy and luscious beauty that is in nature, and in me.”

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Artist Talks

Selected artists give an Artist’s Talk during their exhibition, offering the public insight into their artistic process. All opening receptions & Gallery Talks are free and open to the public. Artist’s Gallery Talk with Laura Bethmann, Wednesday October 1, 2014 from 7 – 8:00 pm. Laura Bethmann will share insights on her work in a discussion at the Museum.