Rowan University Art Gallery
ABOUT THE GALLERY
Rowan University Art Gallery now has two locations. Our current gallery will remain at Westby Hall and our new gallery will open this fall at 301 High Street in downtown Glassboro. The Galleries at Rowan serve as a premier cultural destination for South Jersey, the Rowan community, and surrounding region. As a center for contemporary art by emerging and established professional artists from the region, nation, and global community, the gallery is committed to presenting the most current in contemporary art practices.
Find out more about the Rowan University Art Gallery at NPR's Friday Arts.
Rowan University Art Gallery at Westby Hall
ELEGY FOR TESLA
September 14, 2015 - January 30, 2016
Elegy for Tesla examines a different side of noted inventor and engineer Nicola Tesla in this multi-media, motion-activated installation inspired by the life of electrical engineer and inventor Nikola Tesla and opens the season at Rowan University Art Gallery/West, from September 14, 2015 – January 30, 2016. A reception, including an artist's presentation and panel discussion, will be on Thursday, October 8 from 5 - 8 pm.
In Elegy for Tesla, artist Jeanne Jaffe integrates technology with sculpture, evocative soundscapes, and theatrical sets to create a psychological dreamscape and biographical narrative. Jaffe’s work often selects historical figures that embody disparate psychological characteristics. The choice of Tesla as a subject was driven by his historic contributions to wireless communications technologies that brought him fame and celebrity, and without which our current digital world would not have been possible. Tesla’s life follows a mythological trajectory, which Jaffe explores in this installation.
The installation includes a variety of three-dimensional objects, with imagery culled from Tesla’s inventions and explorations. These include life-size figurative sculptures of Tesla as a young man and in his later years. Additionally, digital technology has been used to develop speech soundscapes, which convey musical tonality to suggest a range of emotions and psychological states; and stop-motion video animation depicts Tesla as a marionette acting out scenes from his historical arc. There is also an immersive video projection of Niagara Falls, where Tesla invented the first hydro-electrical power station.
Jaffe’s work comes to fruition through an essential and supportive collaboration with Dr. John Schmalzel and the Engineering Clinic at the university’s Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering, along with principle engineer Phillip Mease, and engineers Anthony Merlino, Jason Meyer, Mario Leone, and numerous engineering students who designed and fabricated the motion-activated equipment that makes the sculptures move and talk.
Jaffe is the recipient of fellowship grants from the Gottlieb Foundation, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Independence Foundation, Leeway Foundation, and Virginia A. Groot Foundation, in addition to being a finalist for the Pew Fellowship in the Arts. She has had artist residency fellowships across the country and in Japan. Jaffe has been exhibited both nationally and internationally and is included in numerous private and public collections. In addition to conducting lectures and workshops, she is a professor in the Fine Arts Department at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.
This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how NEA grants impact individuals and communities, visit www.arts.gov. Gallery programming is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment of the Arts.
Additional support has been provided by the Center for Emerging Visual Artists. Jaffe was a CFEVA fellow from 2013 – 2015. The Visual Artist Fellowship, a two-year program, is designed to help artists within 100 miles of Philadelphia reach new levels in their artistic and professional practice. The mission of The Center for Emerging Visual Artists is to coordinate a strong regional support system for visual artists, to advance the careers of professional artists in the region, to promote relationships between artists and the communities in which they live, and to increase access to and promote interest and understanding of visual art among citizens of the community.
Special thanks to Jim Greenwell, Studio technician at the Department of Art for his patience, support, and generosity with his time and expertise in all things.
The gallery program is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. The Rowan University Art Gallery is the recipient of a Citation of Excellence award from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.
Gallery Hours, academic year:
The gallery is closed during Thanksgiving Weekend, University Winter and Spring Break, and in the summer months of June, July, and August. The Gallery is also closed on NJ state holidays.
Location and Accessibility
Rowan University Art Gallery / High Street. Located on the south side of campus in downtown Glassboro. Follow directions above, but remain on 322 until just before the railroad tracks. Make a right onto Girard Road and follow until you reach the stop sign. Make a sharp left onto Whitney Avenue then make your first right onto High Street. The gallery will be on your left at the corner of High Street and Mick Drive.
The galleries are wheelchair accessible. For patrons requiring additional services please contact the Director at the listing below.
Mary Salvante, Gallery and Exhibitions Program Director