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Ficus Summer Show 2023.JPG

Art galleries, dealers and curators must use great diligence to create diverse collections of art which allow various cultures, styles and expressions of art to educate and allow us to make our own individual connections and use expansive dialogue. Uptown Menagerie includes a variety of 44 works of art in their colors, media, composition and styles created by 34 artists, all members of Artsbridge from NJ and PA. What a welcome celebration! 


Thank you to the talented artist and owner of Ficus, Quinta Li and her staff. Ryan Tian, the film artist and director carefully depicts each artist’s story to give us more of an understanding of who they are behind their art that hangs on these gallery walls.  The advantage of Ficus is that these tall walls allow us to present artwork beautifully and give us the ability to take in each individual work of art on its own.  Dining with friends and family gives us the gift of time, to enjoy tasty food and enjoy the art that surrounds us.


Artsbridge is an art organization created by artists 30 years ago and is now thriving more than ever with 170 members from Pennsylvania and NJ.  Painters, film artists, photographers, sculptures, musicians, fiber artists, collage and mosaic artists, decorators, and  architects are among the many talents that make this unique group.

Uptown Menagerie is comprised of 34 talented artists expressing art in mediums which include pastels, oil, acrylic, mixed media, clay, and photography. After a recent visit to a museum and observing the fine details of field expedition botany and paleontology,  it reminded me of the style one artist and scientist uses in her sketches and  watercolors to create landscapes a s is shared in this exhibition.  A retro styled painting adorns the tall wall in the downstairs dining area, a modern New York city street, bustling with taxi cabs and modern reflections, and animals designed as collages, watercolor, pastels and oil. One oil painting makes me want to dance with 3 amigos but mostly, I’m not sure if we are viewing the animals or they’re watching us. Wood and resin was used to create a modern figure multitasking at their desk (I think we can all relate), clay was used to sculpt and carve each line of the blue feather cloak that covers a confident woman that removed by own confidence when I moved her onto the shelves , and an ancient like stonehenge may give you a vision of an ancient ceremony. You may think of paper towels when you see a brawny man, but in this show, he shows more skin and covers himself with a wee bit of ivy. If art comes to life at night, there’s definitely two other figures in paintings competing as they’re eyeing him out!  Trees give way to a peaceful walk, a refreshing waterfall and a canal. There are familiar scenes from our area that bring out objects and a stillness that we may not have seen entirely before (I notice those scenes much more now).  Then there’s art in photography that moves us to new places like the misty shores of Oregon depicted through a lens, a misty valley, swirls in foamy waters, a vibrant red barn, a bicycle waiting for a shopper taking their time in the boutiques of a charming beach town. There’s a painting that shares a cove best known by Peggy where she left a colorful boat until the tide rises again and trees that sway in the morning light in Key West. Colors in modern art  adorn our eyes, give movement, and a vision of our own which are painted or designed with acrylics, oils and cold wax.  Still lifes cast shadows and pops of spirited colors and another in hushed soft tones and geometric patterns. Take time to notice each individual art piece here as they are not merged together but flow to tell each story. 


Each style and expression is unique to its own. Since each person’s story can’t be told in this larger show, get to know the artists yourself through celebrating them at the open house or meandering through the restaurant’s show. 

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