Last fall, Roy Pedersen of Pedersen Gallery, Lambertville, New Jersey, approached the John F. Peto Studio Museum about staging an exhibition focusing on artist George Stave (1923-2011) and his plein air landscape paintings. The discovery that Stave also painted in the trompe l’oeil style was exciting because displaying some of these works would connect so well to our own artist, John F. Peto. The wheels started turning to visualize how additional landscape painters might be included. That is when the “past, present, and future” concept came to be. Stave clearly would be our past. For the present, we thought of two working artists from neighboring Brick, NJ: Vincent Nardone and Louis Riccio. And finally, having attended recent exhibit openings in Red Bank, NJ, and Asbury Park, NJ, two young artists seemed to fit the bill for the future of landscape paintings: Megan Gray and Emily Thompson. Both artists have unique styles of painting, yet connect artistically with Stave, Nardone, and Riccio, bringing the concept together for a unifying show.
Our characterization of “landscape” is derived from the following paraphrased definition:
. . . [T]he visible features of an area of land, its landforms, and how they integrate with natural or man-made features. A landscape includes the physical elements of geophysically defined landforms (mountains, rivers, lakes, etc.) . . . living elements of land cover (indigenous vegetation) . . . human elements (buildings and structures) . . . and transitory elements (weather conditions). Combining both their physical origins and the cultural overlay of human presence, often created over millennia, landscapes reflect a living synthesis of people and place that is vital to local and national identity. (Wikipedia 2019)
With this broader, less traditional, more modern and inclusive explanation of landscape painting, the John F. Peto Studio Museum is pleased to present: Landscapes of New Jersey: Past, Present, and Future, Showcasing George Stave.
Harry Bower, Curator