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Works by Rachel Brusky on Display in Swartley

Middle School visual arts faculty member Rachel Brusky has produced a striking, impressive exhibit for viewing at the Swartley Art Gallery on the D-E campus, including "Dreamer" (photo 2) and "Cast of Sybel" (photo 1).  Featuring Brusky's paintings and drawings, two of which are self portraits, the exhibit is on display until January 25, 2013.  A reception is planned for this Wednesday, December 5, from 12:30 - 1:30 p.m.  Artist Brusky will be on-hand for commentary and deserved kudos.  A "meet the artist" reception will also be held on Thursday, January 17, from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m.   

In speaking about what has motivated the creation of these beautiful works of art, Brusky provided the following statement:  

"Living in the New York City area I am inspired every day by the people I see around me on the streets and in the subways. Among those I encounter are parents, children, workers of all kinds from diverse cultural backgrounds, all going through many of the same experiences of living in the city. The beauty that I see around me in these people is both complex and subtle. Their smiles, their laughter, their sometimes-melancholic expressions, as well as, their inner strength and character, all compel me to paint. I am interested in subjects who are not typically depicted in portraits, yet posses a quiet beauty that often stands out more to me than that of people with more classical features. I seek to reveal the beauty and spirit of those who often go unnoticed."

"The person featured in my painting “Dreamer” is Jaeson, a college age man, who I worked with for two years at the studio of another artist. He was a driver, art handler, babysitter, party planner, and a friend who often talked to me about his frustrations, hopes, and dreams. Both an intense and emotional person, as well as a deeply caring one, I chose Jaeson as my model specifically because I felt that he was underappreciated in our workplace, while I saw something very special in him. In the painting, I placed him in front of the New York City skyline, a view that we often looked at from the roof of the building where we worked on Long Island City, Queens. The cityscape is a representation of both the hopefulness for the future and fear of the unknown that many of our youth feel today. Many things are uncertain in our time, yet it is people like Jaeson and many other courageous people I meet on a regular basis that inspire me to dream and to be grateful for all that I have."

"The process I chose to use for this painting enabled me to connect with the image closely and get away from just copying a reference. To start, I drew out the image from multiple photographs. Then I painted the entire picture in a grisailles or black, white, and gray palette over a rich blue ground tone. I then proceeded to build up layers of color by scumbling and glazing, utilizing many different kinds of brushes to blend and build up paint. I often chose to use old master techniques because it both slows me down and creates a result that is closer to life when I am unable to have my subject sit for me."

"I also try to spend as much time as possible talking to and spending time with the people that I paint in order to get a sense of their energy, personality, and essence. This is an essential part of my process and the aspect of painting that continues to motivate my work."

To view Rachel's artwork online go to
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Located in Englewood, New Jersey, Dwight-Englewood is a greater New York City area private school with a rigorous college prep curriculum for boys and girls in preschool through grade 12.