This past Friday evening, the Summit Public Arts Foundation held a fundraiser at the home of Roy and Marie Cohen featuring three contemporary artists and examples of their work.
Summit Public Art was founded in 2002 by Janet Whitman to bring art to public spaces in Summit, to enrich the life experience of those who live and work, or visit, Summit. Summit Public Arts is funded solely through private donations and grants, with no funding coming from the city. More than 30 installations have been presented to date.
Artist Jason Krugman discussed one of his works, "Living Objects," suggesting that he left the pieces somewhat ambiguous to spur discussion among viewers. This work was originally commissioned by The North Brooklyn Public Arts Coalition and was most recently displayed on the Summit Village Green.
Other artists represented included Howard Kalish, with "Tip of the Iceberg," created with metal and pigmented cement (this piece is owned by a member of The Summit Public Arts Foundation); three pieces of contemporary sculpture; Sean Capone, with two video works, "Camera Rosetum" and "Floral Wall Two Motifs;" Pat Brentano, "Missing Trees;" and Wendy Lehman, "Nodding Acquaintance."
Co-Host Marie Cohen, a 25- year resident of Summit, welcomed guests, stressing the importance of art to the vitality of our community.
Co-Chairs Michael Tcheyan and Reagan Burkholder explained the history of Summit Public Arts and noted that the 20 resident members are appointed by Summit's governing body. They discussed more than 30 installations having been done in Summit thus far with projects currently underway including the "Welcome To Summit" signs with art.
Michael Tcheyan took a moment to point out that artists are special people who make a decision primarily to pursue a creative endeavor rather than money and that it is imperative that the community support their efforts to enrich our environment. Tcheyan also recognized corporate patrons The Grand Summit Hotel, Marshall Weinerman Real Estate, and Lois Schneider Realtor for their support.
Founder Janet Whitman and Mayor Jordan Glatt discussed the impact on the community of public art, sometimes spurring controversy, and always spurring conversations.
Curator Ann Schaffer, known for her work at The Guggenheim Museum and The Museum of Modern Art in New York City, addressed the guests about Contemporary Art and art collecting. Schaffer defined public art as a way to "express and share concepts of what we are and what we will become."
Summit Public Arts is entirely privately funded through donations and grants, and the members encourage all residents to consider showing their support of public art in Summit through donations.