Bergen Exhibition Illuminates a Warming World

Jeff Frost, La Tuna Fire, I-210 (2014).

PARAMUS, N.J. – Nature, human nature and global warming represent the central themes of Gallery Bergen’s latest exhibition, “Lines of Fire/Lines of Ice,” an installment featuring the work of nine artists. The exhibition will open with a reception Thursday, Jan. 24 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Bergen Community College’s main campus at 400 Paramus Road. Featuring a performance by Estonian-born artist Jaanika Peerna, the reception is free and open to the public.

According to Gallery Bergen Director Timothy Blunk, the exhibition provides the artists’ reflections on an evolving planet.

“Lines are being redrawn on the surface of the earth – lines that can be seen from space,” he said. “Yet these same lines are often blurred or erased when viewed through the lens of ideology. If there is such a thing as an essential human nature, our nature is change itself. Artists have historically served as the conscience of humanity; now they may serve as the conscience of the earth itself. This is the palpable hope behind this exhibition: art as an act of stewardship, a testament to a new reintegration of consciousness, body, and earth.”

Among the work on view, artists Peter Alan, Helena Donzelli, and Karen Lynn Ingalls have provided pieces fashioned out of the burned ruins of their own studios, destroyed by the North Bay, California wildfire in Oct. 2017. A time-lapse video from James Balog captures glaciers melting, while Jeff Frost’s shows wildfires advancing; the works appear side-by-side in the exhibition as genuine lines of “fire and ice,” a nod to the overall installation’s title. Work from Bergen physics professor Marie McCrary and adjunct art faculty member Andrea Geller also appear in the exhibition.

“Lines of Fire/Lines of Ice” will remain on view through Saturday, March 30. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Based in Paramus, Bergen Community College (www.bergen.edu), a public two-year coeducational college, enrolls more than 14,000 students at locations in Paramus, the Philip Ciarco Jr. Learning Center in Hackensack and Bergen Community College at the Meadowlands in Lyndhurst. The College offers associate degree, certificate and continuing education programs in a variety of fields. More students graduate from Bergen than any other community college in the state.

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