Frontline Arts, formerly known as the Printmaking Center of New Jersey, was incorporated on December 10, 1974. Originally founded as the Printmaking Council of New Jersey, Founders Lois Berghoff, Zelda Burdick, Florence Wender, Carol Yudin and Peter Chapin, envisioned an organization that would help local artists as well as promote the fine art of printmaking statewide.
In 1978, the mobile program Roving Press attracted the attention of the Somerset County Parks Commission, which had recently acquired 35 acres of property donated by Ralph T. Reeve to be used as a statewide cultural complex bearing his name. The organization was offered three acres and a two-story framed building, which once housed the offices of a lumber company, through an ongoing lease with the Somerset County Parks Commission. The Ralph T. Reeve Cultural Center located in Branchburg, New Jersey has been home to our offices, gallery, mobile programming, and fully-equipped printmaking and papermaking studios ever since.
We are currently in transition restructuring our mobile and in-house programming and re-branding the organization, from the Printmaking Center of New Jersey to Frontline Arts. We’ve updated our mission to connect and build communities through socially engaging art practices rooted in papermaking and printmaking, and we’re currently working on our next three-year strategic plan. We’re excited to continue and further the work of the original Founders, connecting artists with communities through mobile socially engaging papermaking initiatives, while continuing to offer groundbreaking exhibitions, artist residencies, an Artist Series, and communal space with shared equipment for printmakers and papermakers across our state and larger region.
Performing at this event will be:
Eli Wright is a paper making artist and Combat Paper NJ facilitator. Eli heads a team of Frontline Arts/Warrior Writers instructors who provide art workshops for veterans and active duty soldiers at numerous locations, including Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Maryland and Fort Belvoir, Virginia. He served as a combat medic in the U.S. Army in Iraq.
Jan Barry is a writer and poet based in Teaneck, NJ. His books include Life after War & Other Poems and (co-editor) Sound Off: Warrior Writers NJ. He served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam. Warrior Writers NJ coordinator, he’s facilitated readings at the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival, Puffin Cultural Forum and other venues.
Everett Cox is a Warrior Writers workshop facilitator, coordinating writing workshops for vets in Orange County, NY. Everett also works with theater groups in New York City, performing poetry at Lincoln Center and the New York City Poetry Festival, among other venues. He served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam.
David Keefe is an artist, educator, and community activist. In 2011 he co-founded Combat Paper NJ and in 2015 he co-founded Frontline Arts, a non-profit that supports socially engaging art projects to connect communities rooted in printmaking and papermaking. He currently shows his art around the country, and develops connective art making workshops to build communities. He is the Senior Assistant Dean of Veteran Initiatives at Columbia University’s School of General Studies and an Adjunct Professor of Art at Montclair State University. He served as a riverine infantry scout in the United States Marine Corps.