West Windsor, N.J. -- On Wednesday, Feb. 19 at 7 p.m., the MCCC Gallery will host a Gallery Talk and short film focusing on the 1990 TAWA/Soviet Exchange. The event is a supplement to the current exhibit "Left of Central: Later 20th Century Visual Arts in the Capital City," which closes Feb. 20. The Gallery is located on the second floor of the Communications Building on the college's West Windsor campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road.
According to Tricia Fagan, one of the show's curators, few people realize that the city of Trenton and Trenton Artists Workshop Association (TAWA) were pioneers in the gradual end of the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union.
"In the mid-1980s, Trenton businessman Shelly Zieger and Trenton Mayor Art Holland initiated one of the first post-Cold War US/USSR sister cities program between Trenton and Moscow," Fagan said. "The 1988-1990 TAWA-Soviet Exchange was a major element of this cultural glasnost, culminating in 1990 when six TAWA artists, and 96 works of art by other TAWA artists, traveled to the Soviet Union for a stay of almost 6 weeks."
Artist Judith Brodsky was one of the six artists who represented TAWA in Moscow, and she videoed much of the trip. Her short film, with highlights of the trip, will be shown. In addition, four speakers with first-hand experience will talk about the Exchange: Ms. Brodsky, Gary Saretzky (chair of the TAWA/Soviet Exchange for TAWA), Irene Goldman (who chaired the TAWA committee that hosted and escorted the visiting Soviet artists in 1989 and 1990), and Robert Girandola (who, as a 21-year-old artist, picked up the 14 crates of TAWA artwork in Berlin, and drove it to its destination in Moscow.) Also on hand will be another of the exhibiting artists, Joy Barth, who will generously share photos of the Exchange at the end of the program.