Cheryl Agulnick Hoc: MVA Open Studios

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Manufacturers Village Artist Studios, located in an 1880’s historic industrial complex at 356 Glenwood Avenue in East Orange, NJ, will feature the work of over 60 different artists at its annual open studios weekend, Friday 10/15 (VIP Preview) and Saturday thru Sunday from 11-5, 10/16 and 10/17.

Cheryl Agulnick Hochberg works in painting, printmaking, photography, and installation formats. Solo exhibitions of her work over the past decade include The Luce Center for Art and Religion in Washington, DC, VisArts in Rockville, MD, Five Points Gallery in Torrington, CT, The Allentown Art Museum in PA and the Radford University Art Museum in VA. Residencies are integral to Hochberg’s practice. She has recently been a fellow at Jentel Arts (WY), Guttenberg Arts (NJ), the Guanlan Original Printmaking Base (Shenzhen, China), Ucross (WY) and Playa Summerlake (OR). In 2018 Hochberg retired from Kutztown University in PA, where she was chair of the Dept. of Art and Art History. She now works full time as an artist, and maintains a studio in the Manufacturers Village Studio Complex in NJ

Tell me about yourself and your art.

For a long time, my work has been about the idea of “place”. My work requires that I travel extensively, where I gather stories that provide the visual foundations for my projects. I am interested in the history of human industry as it has interacted with, affected, and changed the natural world. Through my creative practice, I strive to enhance awareness of the mystical beauty, strangeness, and fragility of nature.

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What will we see in your Studio?

We moved from PA to NJ in 2019. During the pandemic, when I was unable to travel, I used the opportunity to explore my new surroundings. I settled particularly on the Passaic River as it moves through northern NJ, empties into Newark Bay, and creates the Meadowlands. I spent four seasons studying this region, well-aware that I was viewing it through the lens – and against the backdrop – of the extraordinary events of 2020/21. So the majority of my studio is filled with work from this project, which includes 20+ works on paper, 5 woodcut prints, and an installation of foam board and other materials recreating a 19’ rendition of the Pulaski skyway.

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There are also 3 earlier works. These are large paintings on paper (60×80 inches each) that are products of other places I’ve been. Two use material I brought back from a month-long residency in China. The third, completed recently at a residency in Wyoming, uses material brought back from a trip to Tuscon.

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All of my works on paper (including both the large paintings and the smaller NJ ones) are collages. They look highly realistic from a distance, but up close their constructed nature becomes apparent. Made primarily with watercolor and pastel, they also include collaged digital photos, feathers, gold leaf, embroidery thread and a range of other materials.