HAMMONTON — Artists Suzanne Reese Horvitz and Robert Roesch thought they wanted a studio on Hammonton Lake where they could work occasionally, while living in Philadelphia. Then the lake’s natural beauty hooked them.
“When we first bought the house six years ago, we would come out one day a week,” said Horvitz, whose reverse painting on glass, called verre eglomise, is in museums and private collections around the world. “Now we only stay in Philly one night.”
Roesch, who has large public works installed all over the country — including gateways to the city of Wichita, Kan., and to the campus of Texas A&M University in Corpus Christie, Texas — is chair of sculpture at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia.
But in Hammonton he has become one of the locals, serving as a volunteer for groups such as the Green Committee and the Lake Water Quality Committee.
Horvitz and Roesch are featured in the first show at the newly finished Noyes Museum of Art, Stockton College, gallery at Kramer Hall, which opens Feb. 21 during the town’s Third Thursday festivities and runs through April 28.
Classrooms in Kramer Hall, Richard Stockton College’s instructional site in Hammonton, opened in January, but the gallery took longer to finish.
The couple was installing the show with Noyes Museum Executive Director Michael Cagno and Director of Exhibitions and Collections Dorrie Papademetriou last week, with help from Kramer Hall staffer Sokol Zheby and PAFA student Steven Dailey.
Local residents such as MainStreet Hammonton President Ben Ott and Casciano Coffee Bar and Sweetery owner Linda Cashan kept stopping by to say hello.
Roesch is exhibiting kinetic scultpures of sailboats at Kramer. Horvitz is showing reverse paintings on glass of flowers in her Hammonton garden, as well as her interpretations of the Leda and the Swan myth, and mermaid and siren stories.
Two of Horvitz’s glass panels depict the artist as Leda, in the myth Leda and the Swan. They include words from the W.B. Yeats poem about the myth, gilded onto the painting.
“I like to have words and images seen in the same way,” Horvitz said. “When you see the words, you get a feeling. And when you see the images, you get a feeling.”
Horvitz’s work is in the presidential suite at the Revel in Atlantic City and in many museum collections, such as the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, N.Y.; the Museum of American Glass at WheatonArts in Millville; and the Glasmuseum in Denmark. She and Roesch have a large sculpture they collaborated on called “Transduction” at Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton Township, Mercer County.
Roesch has a passion for sailing and keeps a sailboat in Barnegat Township, Horvitz said. The pieces in the show include sculptures of sailboats on gimbals that light up. Gimbals are concentric rings that form a pivoted support system to allow objects to remain steady while the boat rocks around them.
“Potential energy is much more exciting than kinetic energy,” Roesch said as Horvitz touched the circular metal piece, sending the boat into motion.
Both are former Fulbright Award recipients and have served as cultural advisers to the U.S. Embassy in Egypt, Syria, South America and Myanmar, Horvitz said.
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