6 New Jersey Masters - Malcolm Bray, James Kearns, Harry I. Naar, Miguel Osorio, Keith Smith, Rhoda Yanow

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Kean University is pleased to feature the artwork of Malcolm Bray, James Kearns, Harry I. Naar, Miguel Osorio, Keith Smith, and Rhoda Yanow in the current exhibition titled, 
6 New Jersey Masters. This exhibition has been curated by W. Carl Burger, and is on view from June 18th through July 16th, 2009 in the Center for Academic Success Gallery. On the occasion of the opening of the show, this premier exhibition space is being renamed The Karl and Helen Burger Gallery in honor of W. Carl Burger’s beloved parents.

W. Carl Burger was born in Germany in 1925.  Shortly thereafter, his family came to America, moving to Irvington, New Jersey. His interest in the arts began in his early teens. He graciously attributes his success and the opportunities he has enjoyed throughout his life to pursue a career as an artist to his courageous parents. Today,
W. Carl Burger is a legendary figure, known throughout the region as an outstanding artist, a remarkable teacher and a dear friend to many. Over the years, he has influenced thousands of students and has been recognized with many awards and prizes for his artwork. On the Kean University campus, merely mentioning his name brings a smile to those who know him. He is Professor Emeritus, having taught in the Fine Arts Department from 1961 through 1993, and a loyal friend to the community.

The six highly accomplished artists chosen for this exhibition represent a small portion of the creative talent in New Jersey. Two of the artists and W. Carl Burger were born abroad, but all permanently reside in the area. This is a reflection of the increasingly varied ethnic profile of New Jersey and the diversity we enjoy at Kean University, where our student population now represents some sixty countries. Like W. Carl Burger, many Kean University students are first generation Americans, and nearly half are the first in their families to go to college. We look forward to more exhibitions in the future that will continue to celebrate the rich and outstanding artists of New Jersey.

On behalf of Kean University and the College of Visual and Performing Arts, I wish to thank W. Carl Burger for his generosity to Kean University and for the wonderful artworks each of the participating artists created and shared in this show. Many thanks to my assistant, Mariel Collerd for her consistent efforts to make this project a success. I especially want to thank President Dawood Farahi, our acting Vice President Mark Lender, Holly Logue, the acting Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts, and Douglas Nelson and Cynthia McChesney at the Kean University Foundation, all of whom together made this possible. We appreciate their support for the growing exhibition program and the opportunity to show the work of 6 New Jersey Masters.

Neil Tetkowski
Director of University Galleries