“I was always thinking of making a connection between Princeton and Philadelphia,” said Irina Gobernik, who lives in the New Jersey university town and commutes to her art gallery in Center City. Her newest show closes the 45-mile gap.
“Made in Princeton,” opening Friday at Dalet on 2nd Street in Old City, features work by two prominent artists’ groups: the Princeton Artists’ Alliance and the Princeton Photography Club. While many artists have their own, individual reputations, followings, and representation, they are rarely, if ever, seen in their home town.
“There are very few galleries in Princeton,” said sculptor Jim Perry, the current president of the Princeton Aritsts’ Alliance. “I’ve always thought that Princeton didn’t have much of an art scene, in terms of going out to galleries and looking at art.”
The Artists’ Alliance is one of the stronger collaborative groups found anywhere. Founded in 1989, it vets its own members, and stages regular meetings and thematic group shows. Perry attributes the group’s collaborative successes to the chemistry of its members. Nevertheless, the region is not seen as a bonafide scene.
“Bucks County has historically been known for its artists, going all the way back to…oh boy – the early 20th century with Bucks County impressionists and modernists,” said Kate Somers, curator of the Bernstein Gallery at Princeton Unviersity. “But for Princeton, it hasn’t had the reputation that the artists across the river have.”
Somers is co-curator, with Gobernik, of “Made in Princeton,” a show of sculpture, photography, paintings, and works on paper chosen for their individual merits. Unlike some shows the Artists’ Alliance has become known for, this one has no theme holding the pieces together.