New Jersey Artist Pamela Flynn Immortalizes Road Shrine in Ben Shahn Galleries Exhibit

The pain of loss as evidenced in roadside memorials found on most highways in New Jersey is the theme of a one-person exhibit of works by New Jersey artist Pamela Flynn at the Ben Shahn Galleries at William Paterson University in Wayne from September 13 through October 15, 2010. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. A reception for the exhibit will be held on Thursday, October 14, at 4 p.m.

The exhibit, “Road Shrines: A Peripheral Blur,” features 24 mixed media works which are based on photographs of memorials Flynn has spotted on her travels in her hometown in Monmouth County or on her way to her classes at Holy Family University in Philadelphia, where she is a professor.

“Road shrines are on most highways in New Jersey,” Flynn explains. “One may or may not take note of them. This project acknowledges the existence of these shrines and acknowledges the importance of each one to someone.”

Her intent, she adds, is “to celebrate the object that is itself a celebration. The art cannot be/is not a celebration of the person killed, since other than what the shrine provides, I had no insight into that person or the accident when I was making the images. I only had the visual efforts of someone who marked the spot so to celebrate someone’s life/death. It is from this space that I began my project.”

Flynn, who lives in Lake Como, received a 2006 grant from the Puffin Foundation for the “Road Shrines” project. She has exhibited her works in numerous one-person and group exhibitions in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania, and is a mebre of the College Art Association, and the Philadelphia Chapter of the Women’s Caucus for Art. A graduate of Monmouth University, she holds a master’s degree in fine arts education from Kean University and a master of fine arts degree from New Jersey City University.

The exhibit is one of three shows on view concurrently in the Ben Shahn Galleries. “Objects of Power: Selections from the Joan and Gordon Tobias Collection of African Art,” on view in the Court Gallery, draws on the University’s 700-object collection of African sculpture, masks, jewelry, dress, baskets, and decorative objects. On view in the South Gallery is the annual exhibit of works by the William Paterson University art faculty.

This exhibit is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Ben Shahn Galleries are wheelchair-accessible. Large-print handouts are available. For additional information, please call the Ben Shahn Galleries at William Paterson University, 973-720-2654.

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