Artists Visually Express Concept of Play Through Sculpture

Media Contact: Jennifer Smiga, (201) 892-9403, [email protected]
Art on exhibit from May 1 - May 9, 2014 at Two River Theater, 21 Bridge Ave., Red Bank, N.J.
Atlantic Highlands, N.J. (April 30, 2014) – Five artists have been inspired to visually express the concept of play in a nonliteral way through sculpture during the TEDxNavesink “At Play” exhibition at the Two River Theater, 21 Bridge Ave., Red Bank, N.J. The art will be on exhibit and open to the public April 30 - May 9, 2014. Visitor hours are Monday – Saturday: 10:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. and Sunday 12:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Admission is free.
Each artist expresses play in a distinctive and unconventional manner. To take account of the scale of the lobby space, many of the artists have hand crafted new works specifically for this event. The works reflect the theater’s use of natural materials. The artists’ conscious manipulation of nontraditional media create a commonality and conversation amongst all of the sculptural installations exhibited.
Contemporary art historian Elizabeth Urbanski of Holmdel is the exhibition curator. Urbanski advises on the creation and maintenance of contemporary art collections for corporations, architects, private individuals and foundations across the country. The exhibition is sponsored by Joshua Rechnitz.
The exhibit commemorates the 2nd Annual TEDxNavesink day of non-fiction theater, which will be held on Saturday, May 10, 2014, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. with talks and performances at the Two River Theater. TEDxNavesink is a self-organizing annual Monmouth County-based event licensed by the nonprofit organization TED, and dedicated to education, community, innovation, culture and ideas worth spreading. Each year, a different theme is chosen by event organizers to build the day of non-fiction theater. This event is currently sold out at 245 tickets with a growing wait list. 
In 2014, TEDxNavesink Play will offer two-dozen live talks, entertainment and art that focus on the ways that play facilitates greater openness, tolerance, prosperity, creativity, generosity and curiosity in all aspects of the human endeavor. More than 30 business and nonprofit leaders, students from local universities and sponsors have planned, managed and funded the all-day event. Sponsors in 2014 include Monmouth Medical Center, Sawtooth Agency, United Teletech Financial, and others
“Play ​creates possibility, and with possibility flows value​, invention, trust, teamwork, acceptance, creativity, culture, business deals, venture capital, ​entertainment, ​and hope,” said TEDxNavesink founder​ Brian Smiga. “The TEDxNavesink conference embodies the value of play in 5 artists, 5 entertainers, 20 speakers, and a sold-out audience of 350 in an all day event of art and non-fiction theater.”TED is devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a conference in California 26 years ago, TED has grown to support world-changing ideas with many initiatives. At a TED conference, the world’s leading thinkers and doers are asked to give the talk of their lives. TEDx is a program of local events to give people a TED experience, and events are recorded live for a global audience
Participating artists:
Nina Bovasso of New York, NY works primarily on paper creating large scale, colorful abstractions. She divides her time between New York City and Amsterdam. Bovasso’s massive painted paper ball on view at the TEDxNavesink “At Play” exhibit purposefully subverts the viewer’s assumptions about scale and use of immediately recognizable objects. The size, material and color all play against preconceived notions about an object as simple and commonplace as a ball. 
Jason Krugman of Brooklyn, NY is a light sculptor specializing in interactive architectural and public artworks. His work combines materials with electronics, referencing nature through accumulation and modularity.
Krugman’s 10 foot large lighted figure playfully scampering up the front window is commissioned specifically for TEDxNavesink. His figure is both literally playing while also conceptually expressing the concept of playing light. 
Lisa Bagwell of Ocean Grove, NJ repurposes discarded materials to create a large scale whimsical tableau of nature. Playing with unconventional media she uses it in new ways to create amusing and wry animals and organic sculptures.
Sharon Sayegh of East Brunswick, NJ takes Bart Simpson cartoons as a starting point to create a jumble of humorous acrobatic figures in her Raku sculpture. She expands on the traditional medium through her unorthodox combination with materials such crystals and feathers to create a lighthearted effect. Sayegh is a New Jersey-born artist whose work includes paintings, drawings and sculptures. Her work merges a playful humor with serious concerns. She studies at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.
Erik Johanson of Tinton Falls, NJ created five sculptures for TEDxNavesink “At Play” exhibit that together create a mobile suspended from the Two River Theater’s ceiling. These bamboo skeletal forms bridge both the aquatic world and the aeronautic realm of dirigibles. The three large and two small pieces create a playful interaction that is reminiscent of Alexander Calder’s mobiles but on a handmade organic level. Erik Johanson is a fine art professor at Brookdale Community College and a sculptor who often employs organic materials. He has exhibited his work in a variety of venues in the region, including the New Jersey Biennial. 
About TEDx
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, live speakers combine with TEDTalks video to spark deep discussion and connection. These local events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event.
About TED
TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a conference in California 26 years ago, TED has grown to support world-changing ideas with many initiatives. At a TED conference, the world’s leading thinkers and doers are asked to give the talk of their lives.
TEDxNavesink “At Play” Exhibit on View May 1-9, Two River Theater Red Bank, NJ

Attached images:

1. Sharon Sayegh

Sharon SayeghThey Know Not Why Nor Wherefore They Strive, Yet the Prize is Cherished; 2013

Raku, Swarovski Crystal, Wood, Epoxy, Gold Leaf, Feathers

23” x 15” x 15”

Location: Upstairs Library





2. Erik Johanson

Twisted 2009-Straight 2014-Torque; 2014

Wood, Bamboo, Cord, Copper Wire

10’ Long, 2’ Round, Tapered Both Ends

Small 1 & Small 2; 2014

3’ Long, 2’ Round, Tapered Both Ends

Location: Front Lobby Ceiling

3. Jason Drugman

Jason DrugmanFreddy; 2014

Plastic, Wire Mesh, Wood, LED Lights

Approximately 10’

Location: Front Window of Lobby







4. Lisa Bagwell

The Tree; April 2014

Repurposed Materials

10’ x 6’ x 6’

Location: Lobby







5. Nina Bovasso

Nina BovassoGiant Ball 2; 2013

Duct Tape, Hand Painted Acrylic on Craft Paper Over Cardboard and Foam Core Armature

7’ in Diameter

Location: Main Stage

Originally Commissioned for the Annual Artball Prize, Curated by Helen Miller at the Children’s Museum of the Arts, NYC; Re-commissioned by Partnership for Providence Parks to Celebrate the City’s Parks.

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