Park Wonder, a new book by Matthew Jensen, is now available for purchase at the Visual Arts Center in Summit. Jensen, a Guggenheim Fellow, is a Brooklyn-based conceptual landscape artist who combines photography, collecting, and rigorous explorations in each of his works.
The book is a companion to Jensen's current exhibition at the Arts Center, Park Wonder: Rediscovering Northern New Jersey Landscapes. Jensen spent months walking four New Jersey landscapes including the Watchung Reservation; Passaic River Waterway; Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge; and Gateway National Park, Sandy Hook Unit. The book and exhibition are the culmination of these walks and showcase images and objects that Jensen gathered while exploring these landscapes.
Park Wonder is divided into four sections, according to landscape, and includes photographs from each site and maps detailing walks designed by Jensen. It also includes essays by Ian Frazier, Ruth Canstein Yablonsky, Karl Fenske, and Tyler J. Kelley reflecting their personal connections to the areas. The Arts Center co-published the book with Paper Crown Press in Guttenberg, New Jersey.
The 140-page book contains striking photographs and maps for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike. Says Arts Center Curator Mary Birmingham, "The objects and images Jensen finds while wandering in public spaces often spark wonder ... he hopes his work inspires people to similarly explore their environments - to wonder and to wander." Park Wonder is available for purchase at the Arts Center at 68 Elm Street in Summit and retails for $49.
For more than 80 years, the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey has been dedicated to viewing, making, and learning about contemporary art. Recognized as a leading non-profit arts organization and accredited by the American Alliance for Museums, the Art Center's renowned studio school, acclaimed exhibitions, and educational outreach initiatives serve thousands of youth, families, seniors, and people with special needs every year.
This exhibition was funded by a National Endowment for the Arts "Imagine Your Parks" grant and the related publication, Park Wonder, was funded in part by the Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation. Major support for the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey is provided by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the Walter V. and Judith L. Shipley Family Foundation, the Wilf Family Foundations, and Art Center members and donors.