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Transversing Nostalgia

February 10 - March 9


Onome Olotu, Chanelle René

Working with personal and sourced archives, Olotu and René take a drive down memory lane, reminiscing intimate connections that allow the past to speak to the present and future… Transversing Nostalgia.

Opening Reception:
Saturday, February 10 | 3-5pm

Onome Olotu
The Newlin Brothers and Iheanyi
Acrylic on canvas

In this Postcards subseries, my artistic process involved the idea of exploring time and memory by recomposing figures, objects, and landscapes from personal archives and sourced archives from the Historical Society of Princeton and Residents of the Witherspoon-Jackson community in Princeton and with that, I was able to interact, interview and hear stories of black families who have lived in Princeton, going back four generations and more. I have had the opportunity of being part of their history by inserting parts of myself into the lives of these families through my paintings.
Onome Daniella Olotu was born in 1993 in Lagos, Nigeria. She studied painting at the University of Benin. After graduation, she worked as a curatorial assistant at the National Gallery of Art, Abuja and later as an art teacher before taking on full time studio practice at the Universal Studios of Art, Lagos in 2018. Working predominantly in charcoal and acrylics, her work engages personal family and institutional archives to respond to social and political events. Her works have been exhibited across Nigeria and recently in Canada at the exhibition Sankofa: African Routes, Canadian Roots at the Museum of Anthropology, The University of British Colombia, Vancouver, Canada. She currently lives and works between Lagos and Princeton. The Arts Council had the pleasure of featuring Onome as an Artist-in-Residence in the spring of 2023. Discover more at onomeolotu.com or on Instagram.

Chanelle René
Meet Me at the Pavilion
Oil, acrylic, spray paint

My Grant Street Beach series debuts over ten paintings that journey the segregated beach of Cape May, New Jersey. Working from my own family’s photographs and those of other Black families, these works depict joyful, everyday moments of African-American beach goers in Cape May from the 1920s through the 1960s. Energetic mark making in stark contrast with detailed figures dressed in dual-tone color done in oil and mixed media allow the past to speak to the present. Each work explores the complexity and nuance of the human spirit while celebrating generations of Black beach goers as they transition from segregation to making Grant Street Beach a tradition of choice.

Chanelle René
is a New Jersey-based, award-winning painter Chanelle René uses bold color and painterly brush strokes to create soulful portraits in oils and mixed media. Her work centers on women of color as she explores themes of diverse beauty, freedom and self-discovery. Chanelle is a self-taught artist who, at age 43, transitioned from a career in digital marketing to full-time painter. Awarded Best of Show at Ocean City Arts Center 2021 Annual Juried Art Show, Chanelle has exhibited widely throughout Southern New Jersey and in global virtual exhibitions. Select media features include The Curator’s Salon, Cape May Magazine, and Soup Can Magazine. Discover more at chanellerene.com or on Instagram.


February 10
March 9
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