Press Releases Index

October 17, 2003
CONTACT: Jette Englund
Office of University Relations
(908) 737-3410

The Eyes Have It
Kean University Looks through the Looking Glass at New York City

UNION, N.J. – Please join two Kean University professors and one administrator for the opening of a must-see photo exhibit titled Looking Glass on Tuesday, November 4, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and again from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Howe Gallery in Vaughn-Eames Hall on the main campus at 1000 Morris Avenue in Union, N.J. Donald Lokuta and Tony Velez, professors of photography, and Robert Cole, vice president for University Relations, will exhibit their photographs of New York City. The pictures will provide the viewer with three very different impressions of the City.

Lokuta captures the hectic and often chaotic life of New Yorkers with his video camera. He later freeze-frames images in grainy black-and-white compositions, with his eye always seeking juxtaposed people and objects for optimal visual effect. “When I photograph the people in this busy city, they are rushing to work, shopping, walking up and down the street and in the subway,” Lokuta explains. “The people I photograph are just like you and me – going about their normal lives on a normal day. The photographs could have been taken in any major city in the world – in Paris, Beijing or Los Angeles – because the photographs that I make are about all of us – a portrait of the human condition.” Please visit for a preview of Lokuta’s work.

A Bronx, N.Y., native, Velez has made social-documentary photography and portraiture of the Latino community for 42 years. His collection at the exhibit spans 25 years from 1978 to 2003 and includes the 1990 commissioned historical-photography project by the Borough of Brooklyn, N.Y. “Philosophically and emotionally my work is an expression of my ongoing struggle that attempts to come to terms with my past,” Velez said. “My earlier political activism and optimism have helped me to channel confusion and anger into productive art work, as my photographs express a humanist point of view that rejects the racism and brutality of our society. I consistently seek a more dignified view of our world through my work.” Please visit for a preview of Velez’s work.

Cole, a graduate of New York University, began working as an art director and photo editor part time while in college. He considers the City “a great, big canvas. Without question, it is the most electric metropolis on the planet. I draw from this electricity,” he said. “When I’m working, I don’t hear anything, but I see everything. I am not interested in the photograph that is styled to perfection. I like what’s real and what can actually be seen in the environment,” Cole explained. “I am humbled by the company I keep in this exhibit. Truly, it is a great honor to be part of a show with such talented and internationally acclaimed artists. In this case, I am the apprentice learning from the masters.”

Gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.