Art Strings 2016–17 Painted Violin Raffle
Art Strings combines the visual and performing arts to raise funds for the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra’s extensive music education and community engagement programs. Ten local artists were commissioned to create individual works of art using unfinished violins as their canvas, drawing inspiration from a musical program or work the NJSO is presenting in its 2016–17 season. NJSO volunteer ambassadors generously donate their time to display the violins at NJSO concerts and select art galleries throughout New Jersey.
Now in its 16th year, this wonderful project has featured more than 160 violins—each and every one created by a different New Jersey artist—and has raised more than $150,000!
Read an NJSO: Backstage profile on the Art Strings program.
2016–17 Art Strings Collection
Click on the images below to view a larger version and the reverse side of the violins.
Artist: Alexandra Bigatti
From the Artist:
"Piazzolla is without a doubt one of the greatest Argentine composers and musicians, whose work centered around Buenos Aires and its beloved tango. To represent his beautiful piece, The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires, I chose to evoke a very typical urban art style known as Fileteado to convey the feelings, soul and music that are so deeply interconnected in the identity of the Buenos Aires culture. Fileteado is a type of artistic drawing, with stylized lines and flowered, climbing plants, typically used in Buenos Aires. It is used to adorn many different objects, such as signs, taxis and colectivos (Buenos Aires’ city buses). It has been part of the culture of the porteños (inhabitants of Buenos Aires) since the beginning of the 20th century. The fileteado was recognized as an art form after 1970. In the design, I have incorporated images such as the Obelisco, beautiful purple-blue Jacaranda flowers, the Argentine flag and the traditional lamp post, which is inspiration for many tango lyrics and musical pieces."
Maria Alejandra (Alex) Bigatti holds a degree in architecture from the School of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina, where she was born and lived until marrying and moving to the United States. She lived and worked as an architect in Southern California for several years before relocating to New Jersey and starting a family. Since a very young age, she has loved drawing, painting and modeling in clay. Her wide range of interests and abilities led her to experiment and develop, on her own and under the instruction of several artists, in both abstract and figurative painting using a variety of media, such as watercolors, acrylics, ink and oils, as well as sculpting in clay and plasticine. She is a member of the Center for Contemporary Art, Farmstead Arts Center and a member of the leadership team of ARTsee, a growing grassroots art organization. Her work has been in juried and non-juried shows and is in private collections in the United States and abroad. Bigatti resides in Basking Ridge with her husband, two boys and their dog, Milu.
Artist: Julia Cichetti
From the artist:
"Nature has been a vehicle of artists throughout the ages to express themselves and it is the impetus of much of my work. I use the landscape genre to not just convey my encounters with nature, but also to communicate my emotional response it. In Verklärte Nacht (Transfigured Night), Schoenberg also used nature to express his work. The piece was based on Richard Dehmel's poem of the same name, describing a man and woman walking through a dark forest on a moonlit night."
Artist Bio: Born and raised in Chicago, Doney started his art education at a local community college and then went on to attend the prestigious American Academy of Art in Chicago, where he was awarded the Union League Scholarship Award. Upon graduating, he immediately started his career as an illustrator and obtained his first commission, a football illustration for Playboy magazine. Todd's gallery work includes exhibits at the Morris Museum in Morristown, NJ, Broadfoot & Broadfoot in Soho, NY, Gallery MacEgan, Morristown, NJ, the College of Saint Elizabeth, Morristown, NJ, New Jersey City University and the Brickton Art Gallery in Park Ridge, Illinois. His paintings have also been exhibited at the Paterson Museum, The Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, The Arts for the Parks National Competition in Wyoming and Society of Illustrators Annual Exhibitions in New York, among others. Currently, his work is being represented by Broadfoot & Broadfoot in Soho and Boonton. His works are in public and private collections worldwide, including the Morris Museum, US Golf Museum and the collection of comic icon Joe Kubert. His freelance illustration career has spanned more than 25 years, with a client list that includes AT&T, Budweiser, Charles Scribner’s & Sons, Eddie Bauer, Field & Stream Magazine, Golf Magazine, Houghton Mifflin, Ocean Spray, Reader’s Digest, US Open of Golf and William Morrow & Company. Doney received his MFA in painting from NJCU. He is currently an assistant professor of art at County College of Morris, where he teaches drawing, painting and foundation classes. He has also held positions at NJCU, Seton Hall University, The College of Saint Elizabeth and the American Academy of Art in Chicago. Doney lives with his family in Gillette. His home is situated adjacent to the Great Swamp Wildlife Refuge, which is an inspiration for much of his work.
Artist: Naomi Durmisevic
From the artist:
“Sometimes surprised with where my vision takes me, changing directions during the process keeps things exciting and unpredictable for me. Although I was inspired to take an extreme or experimental direction with the violin, I decided on a more traditional approach by repurposing old materials based on Bach's Violin Concerto No. 2. As someone who adores Rococo and Baroque architecture and style, I simply wanted to replicate this on the violin. I loved the bright pivots and soft textures in this concerto and wanted to embody that. I hope the end result sings to some of you!”
With no formal training in the arts, but a background in business administration, Naomi Durmisevic has always let her creative instinct and innate ability guide her art, with particular attention to experimentation. She anticipates being an enrolled student at New York City's MUD in 2017 for Multimedia and SFX makeup.
Artist: Boaz Kimelman
From the artist:
"I am an Israeli American visual designer and artist. I have lived my entire life surrounded by music, especially jazz. I think of design as an intersection of my life’s passions: Language, Music and Ping-Pong. It felt natural to pick the Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong tribute concert as my theme because of my love of jazz. I used bold colors and images to reflect the audacious character of this pioneering and positive music. The abstract musical motifs are meant to reflect the improvisational nature of jazz, the muted and retro colors further emphasizing the timeless style of these two musical giants."
Boaz Kimelman, founder and creative director of BoazDesign LLC and BoazDesign Web Solutions, is an accomplished graphic designer. A graduate of the School of Visual Arts, Kimelman has worked with some of the biggest household names, including Coca Cola, General Motors, Campbells Soup, M&M Mars, The Walt Disney Company, Fellowes, Nickelodeon, Mattel, Warner Bros., Liz Claiborne, JKL Brand and The Andy Warhol Foundation, among others. Fast but focused, competitive yet collaborative and always with an eclectic beat, Kimelman's unique approach to the design process lies at the intersection of some of his life’s passions: fashion, jazz and the sport of ping-pong.
Artist: Hannah Lieberman
From the artist:
"The theme I chose was 'Dancing and Romancing,' expressing the timeless elegance and romance of the golden age of Hollywood musicals. The front of the violin is meant to evoke the sweep, dazzle and glitter of spiral staircases and grand ballrooms, and the back of the violin suggests the soft, romantic side of love. I used colored pencil as well as pen and ink, employing the Zentangle method to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. Zentangle increases focus and creativity, providing artistic satisfaction along with an increased sense of personal well being."
Hannah Lieberman has a BFA from Tyler School of Art. She has taught at public schools in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. She teaches the art of paper-folding at Teen Arts Festivals in several counties, as well as after-school programs and adult workshops. She is a Certified Zentangle Teacher and enjoys creating works inspired by the Zentangle method. In addition, she has done custom design work involving Hebrew letter forms and is currently a Hebrew reading specialist at Temple Emanu-El in Westfield.
Artist: Donna O'Grady
From the artist:
"Having traveled to Prague several times to paint along the Vltava river, I was inspired to paint the home and surroundings where Antonín Dvořák composed Symphony No. 8. Dvořák’s "Cheerful" Symphony No. 8 was composed in 1889 at his summer resort in Vysoká u Příbramě in the Central Bohemian Region of the Czech Republic. Dvořák’s symphony was inspired by the tranquil landscapes of the summer days. There is a small lake behind the chateau, where Dvorak was supposed to have gone for walks and sought inspiration for his music. I was inspired to paint the tall trees and roads that led up to the summer chateau. The front of the violin details the home peeking through the trees. The road leading to the residence is on the backside of the violin where I can imagine walking through the trees while listening to the Czech melodies through the branches."
Donna O’Grady was born in Jersey City and currently resides in Hoboken. She paints in oils using underpainting techniques to capture light and atmosphere in her paintings. Her artwork resides in many private residences. She studied at the Art Students League and School of Visual Arts in New York and attends painting workshops in Italy. Her art exhibits include the following venues: JC Fridays, Main Avenue Galleria, Hob’Art Gallery Monroe Center, Hoboken Historical Museum and Hoboken Public Library, as well as private collections.
Artist: Laurie Pettine
From the artist:
“In an homage to the great Russian jewelry designer Carl Fabergé, this violin plays with the spirit of the Romanov czarist dynasty, circa 1880. Like the famed Imperial Easter Eggs which were created by Fabergé for Czar Alexander III as a gift for his wife, Empress Maria Fedorovna, the piece is ornate, yet miniature in its elements. This violin features details of a White Russian rose, gold notions, lace and pearls surrounding cabouchon cameos images of Fabergé, the Czars and their favorite court composer, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. The reverse side of the violin contains a decoupage of a period image of St. Petersburg and the Russian imperial seal from the late 19th century.”
Laurie Pettine is a fine artist/illustrator living in Mendham. She earned a bachelor's degree in illustration from Parsons School of Design/New School. After years in advertising and publishing, Pettine has been working exclusively on fine arts in the pop surrealist/visionary art style. Pettine’s work is playful and childlike: dreamscaped, yet strangely familiar. She writes, “My mission as a visual artist is to open a window onto my off-center obsessions —fringe culture, oddball religions and pseudo-science—and present these worlds as my personal symbolic storytelling.” Pettine’s company, Chaotic Attractors, LLC is her latest contribution to pop culture—creating art toys and other related merchandise that echo her alternative art interests. Her work has been exhibited at the following venues: West Windsor Art Center, Artworks Gallery, Contemporary Art Members Show, Hive Gallery/MCAW, ArtSee Garden Show, Morristown Atrium Gallery, A.J. Dillon Gallery, Speakeasy Gallery, The Visual Art Center of NJ and The Art Guild of NJ.
Artist: Marcia Reich
From the artist:
"The landscape of Finland served as inspiration for many of Jean Sibelius’s symphonies. He had a deep connection with the land and to nature. Although I did not know this when I first chose Symphony No. 2, the music conjured up images and feelings of the spring season, with it’s longer days and new beginnings. The combination of music and working on the unfinished violin provided the perfect setting—tranquility, calmness and peacefulness. All of these are essential to me when I am painting. I instinctively chose a palette of light blues and greens for my violin. The gold leaf that is sprinkled about the violin and the sparkle of the beaded strings are meant to convey a sense of magic and whimsy that nature so naturally provides for us."
Marcia Reich is a contemporary painter and mixed-media artist. She lives in New Jersey and has a studio in Morristown. Exploration and discovery are key elements of her paintings that have often been described as a “hunt for treasure.” Her use of line, color, texture and mixed media are an integral part of the work. Though acrylic paint is the primary medium, oil pastels and charcoal are used frequently and play a fundamental role in her painting. Marcia's background in psychology and the expressive arts ultimately resulted in her not becoming an art therapist but instead awakened her own passion for making art. This began nearly two decades ago and continues to grow and thrive. Marcia has had several solo exhibits and has been represented in a number of galleries in New Jersey and Connecticut. She is also represented by Wendover Art. Her work can be found in private collections throughout the United States and Europe.
Artist: Alexander Vargas
From the artist:
"Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte is a piece full of contrast: highs and lows, peaks and valleys. The lyrics suggest a story of romance, love and betrayal. I wanted to express that love is a journey of the heart and mind, tangled and confusing, full of pain and passion. It enables us to do crazy things, illogical and irrational. It is constant battle of heart and mind. I wanted to deconstruct the violin to a degree where it still represented its basic shape and had a three dimensional sculptural aesthetic with the paint being simple but bold. I wanted the violin to look like what the music sounded like, encapsulating the theme of romantic love, where the passion of the heart is extinguished by the tears of the mind."
Born and raised in Morristown, Alex Vargas is first-generation Latin American with Guatemalan roots. His childhood attraction to graffiti sparked his interest in art and creativity, specifically organization within chaos. High-school art teachers saw his skill and helped him harness his natural abilities. By the time he graduated, he had no other interest other than art and went on to study his passion at Montclair State University. He began to develop a style of abstract art that incorporated characteristics of graffiti-like line work and layering. His biggest influences are Jackson Pollack, Van Gogh and Basquiat. He likes to describe his paintings as “energy, the spiritual realm, however the viewer interprets it.”