Click Here to Watch Jim Toia on State of the Arts

November 15, 16 & 19, 2015 – NJTV and WHYY

Pradhanica Indian Dance and Music, Jim Toia’s nature-based art, and Asbury Park

The traditional sounds and dance of northern India are evolving with Pradhanica, a multi-ethnic ensemble based in Edison, NJ. We visit choreographer and dancer Jin Won in performance at the Princeton Festival and at home. Plus, State of the Arts visits Asbury Park to check in on its ever-changing arts scene. And artist Jim Toia collaborates with woodpeckers, jellyfish, and mushrooms at the New Jersey State Museum.

This mid-career retrospective features work from the last 15 years and features two new works, an interior installation incorporating live jellyfish and a 150' tree work resting on the museum's esplanade overlooking the Delaware River.

The museum exhibition will be divided into three sections; "Entropic Flows", the outdoor installations on the museum grounds. "The Hall of Wonders", a hallway gallery education zone, and "Futurepast", a gallery installation. The hallway installation, "The Hall of Wonders", will match museum specimens with art works produced over the last fifteen years, linking the use of natural materials with museum specimens. For example, a inky cap panel painting will reside next to a model inky cap specimen from the museum’s science collection. More items from my personal collection of natural ephemera will broaden the conversation about man's relationship to nature. Finally, the gallery installation, "Futurepast", will address recent preoccupations with ocean life, marrying a large hollow log harvested from the shores of Merrill Creek Reservoir (within the Delaware River drainage), with the aquatic flow of jellyfish housed inside the log, a forced relationship of the broader cyclical flow of water from ocean to sky to earthly terrain and back to the ocean once again.

An on-line catalog will accompany the exhibition with an essay by writer/artist Tom McGlynn:
"one can begin to understand the generative principle in both nature (and humankind as an inseparable part of it) , by being closely attentive: listening, watching, smelling, touching and generally remaining radically open to how the world presents itself to us. Jim Toia’s overall body of work and the specific pieces he is exhibiting here remain true to this incentive: to use the intuited prompts and actual materials of nature to assemble an extraordinary array of sensitively conceived and beautifully realized works that figuratively “compose themselves”.

This exhibition is made possible by a generous research grant from Lafayette College. Work courtesy the artist and the Kim Foster Gallery,

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Jim Toia