Each work of art tells a story. With each brushstroke, the artist offers the viewer insights into the inner workings of their hearts and minds. Unfortunately, when we find ourselves at museums and other art institutions, the viewer is often left to wrestle through their interpretation of what the artist could be trying to convey through their works of art. But what if you could hear directly from the artist regarding the meaning behind their masterpieces? At the New Jersey State Museum, you can.

As a contiuation of their “Reemergence” Artist Talks series, the New Jersey State Museum (NJSM) will host a discussion from artists Mark Ludak and Caroline Burton on Wednesday, April 19th. The conversation will begin at 12:15 pm at the NJSM, 205 W State St, Trenton, NJ 08608. The discussion will be approximately 45 minutes to an hour, allowing each artist to share insights regarding the works they have featured in the Reemergence exhibit. In addition, this conversation offers readers insights into the featured artwork and how these works contribute to the overall context of the Reemergence gallery.

“Incarnation 41” (2020), acrylic on canvas, Caroline Burton

The Reemergence exhibit grapples with the collective reckoning society have experienced in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a society “reemerge” to our new regular, conversations around the mass deaths evoked by both COVID-19 and racial injustice have come to the forefront of the national dialogue. Artists from around the Garden State have transformed this theme into the compelling collection you see before you today.

Mark Ludak, a Lambertville-based photographer and professor, is a celebrated artist in the region. Throughout his impressive résumé, Ludak has had work commissioned by various powerhouse organizations, including Apple, Johnson and Johnson, Amnesty International, The New York Times, and more. In addition, Ludak is a New Jersey State Council on the Arts Fellow and a three-time selection for the New Jersey State Arts Annual Exhibition. He is also a Specialist Professor of Photography at Monmouth University. If you’d like to read more about Ludak’s work, check out his website here: Home – Mark Ludak.

Night Mall (2022), pigmented print on paper, Mark Ludak

Caroline Burton is a contemporary artist residing in the New York City area. Burton’s works draw on her Finnish heritage, architectural forms, land formations, and the effects of accidents in life and art. As a multi-faceted artist, her materials include paint, canvas, thread, hydrocal, and bronze. In her statement, Burton notes, “I don’t have a preconceived vision of my final product; the meaning emerges over time. In my current method, I work on a few pieces on the floor with canvas and pigments, building forms and allowing the person to merge with the formal.” You can read more and check out some of her artwork by visiting her website here: Home – Caroline Burton

This fascinating exhibit and conversation series is brought to you by the New Jersey State Museum, a center for arts and culture in the Garden State. The NJSM is responsible for several groundbreaking exhibits, educational opportunities, and community events to enrich the lives of families in New Jersey and beyond. Visitors, young and old, are sure to enjoy the thousands of artifacts, artworks, and more that this beloved institution has on display. If you’d like to read more about all the museum offers, you can explore their website here: Home – NJSM.

This event series is a beautiful way to connect with artists, appreciate their works, and better understand what this profound exhibit truly means. If you have any questions before attending, please get in touch with the New Jersey State Museum at NJSM.Info@sos.nj.gov or (609) 292-6464 for additional details. Don’t miss the opportunity to participate in this fascinating conversation afternoon; plan to attend today!

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