Salvadoran Art: A Father and Son Exhibit

Exhibit Dates: September 19 until November 27 2022

2nd Floor Reading Room

Saúl A López

Artist Statement

My passion for the arts started early in life in my native El Salvador through my studies in history and reading the daily news. Although the seeds of my inspiration were planted when I was young, I lacked the proper support and help to feed my hunger for the arts. It became even more difficult with the outbreak of the Salvadoran civil war, and it was years before my dreams of creativity became a reality.

My opportunity came in 1973 when I immigrated to the USA and began taking art classes at Lehman College in New York. As I gained my footing in this new country I began to develop my own style. My dream of expressing myself as an artist continues as I learn and take advantage of all the opportunities that this great, diverse land has to offer. My inspirations are the environment that surrounds me, my family and friends and reflections on where I came from and where I’m going in life.

Featured in this show are my Petate Paintings. A petate [peˈtate] is a bedroll used in Central America and Mexico. Its name comes from the Náhuatl word petlatl [ˈpet͡ɬat͡ɬ]. The petate is woven from the fibers of the Palm of petate (Leucothrinax morrisii). The Royal Spanish Academy defines it as a bed. Generally petates are woven in quadrangular forms, though not to any exact dimensions. Painting on a petate offers a unique challenge and it also allows me to connect with my homeland on a deeper level.

Sual López

Artist Statement

My father, Saul A. Lopez, is a painter by profession. I was never interested in painting until I tried my hand in New York street art. I really got introduced into oil painting with the PBS show “The Joy of Painting” with Bob Ross. Later, my father encouraged me to pursue the arts and develop my own style. I paint in oil on canvas. I like to paint in a realistic fashion, but mostly create surrealistic art and simple graphic art. I also love to paint skateboard decks for myself and for others. Several decks that I have painted are included in this show along with traditional paintings.

Uprooted Trees, Magicicadas and Climate Change

Exhibit Dates: September 19 until November 27

Technology Center

Artist Statement

The emergence of the Brood X cicada in May 2021 fascinated me. I studied and sketched the three species of Magicicada: Magicicada septendecim, Magicicada cassini and Magicicada septendecula. Princeton’s abundance of old trees and long history of preserving wooded areas sustains their livelihood. I live near Princeton and observed their lifespan for 4-6 weeks. Cicadas depend on an interconnected network of forests to survive. The best way to protect cicadas is also one of the strongest tools for fighting climate change, protecting trees. My paintings are about the unique life cycle of cicadas and the devastating loss of trees.

Artist Bio

Susan Hoenig connects Earth and Art to make visible the relationship between habitat, plant and animal life. She studies the evolutionary impact of the forest understory. In 2020, Susan was artist-in-residence at Mountain Lakes Nature Preserve in Princeton, New Jersey where she collaborated with Friends of Princeton Open Space to draw attention to the value and beauty of native trees. One of Susan’s sculptures, the American Chestnut Leaf Sculpture, is situated alongside saplings of 100% native seeds. A documentary was made of this restoration project. Susan has also created eleven leaf sculptures alongside public trails at Graeber Woods Preserve in Franklin Township, New Jersey. Since 2006, Susan has worked at the Featherbed Lane Bird Banding Station in the Sourland Mountains of New Jersey. This experience has greatly inspired her to learn about what a healthy habitat means for the forest eco-system.

Artist website: www.susanhoenig.com
Connect on Instagram: instagram.com/shoenig84
American Chestnut documentary filmed at Mountain Lakes Nature Preserve:


 “Funding has been made possible by the Puffin Foundation”



Telling a People’s Story: African American Children’s Illustrated Literature

Exhibit Dates: October 1- October 30, 2022

First Floor and Third Floor

“Telling a People’s Story” is the first traveling exhibit devoted to the art found within the pages of African American children’s illustrated literature. The exhibition emphasizes the strength of the illustrations as visual narrative representations of the African-American experience and sheds light on the long-neglected world of African-American authors and illustrators in the pantheon of children’s literature.

This exhibit showcases African-American children’s illustrated literature produced by some of the biggest names in the field. A few of the well-known illustrators represented include Ashley Bryan, Jerry Pinkney, Jan Spivey-Gilchrist, E.B. Lewis and Kadir Nelson, among others. For more information about the artists, watch their videos that were featured in the original exhibition. Overall, there are 130 works from 33 artists featured within the exhibit, many of which have received top awards and honorable mentions from major literary organizations, including the John Newbery Medal, the Randolph Caldecott Award and the Coretta Scott King Awards. The selections include paintings, pastels, drawings and mixed media works.

This exhibition was 3 years in the making and included guidance and contributions from librarians, scholars, children’s book authors and illustrators. As Rudine Sims Bishop stated in her seminal 1990 article, Mirrors, Windows, and Sliding Glass Doors, “Literature transforms human experience and reflects it back to us, and in that reflection we can see our own lives and experiences as part of the larger human experience.” Until the 1960s, and mostly the 1970s, African-American children rarely saw themselves depicted in children’s books from the perspective of African-American authors and illustrators. Telling A People’s Story is a celebration of the power of illustrated children’s books that showcases their story.

The exhibit, on loan from the Miami University Art Museum (Oxford, OH), is presented in partnership with The Paul Robeson House of Princeton and the
Witherspoon Jackson Cultural and Historical Society.

For more information on the exhibit, visit this link.

Presented with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this programming do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Past Exhibits