NJ’s places that used to be — check out the new exhibit at Rowan
GLASSBORO — If you've lived in New Jersey for quite some time, there has to be a place that you wish you could revisit, but can't — because it no longer exists.
Those spots are the focus of an exhibition running for the next few weeks at Rowan University. It's open to the public, free of charge.
The Rowan showing marks the first full iteration of the "Disappointed Tourist" traveling exhibit in the country. The exhibit had been on a three-year tour of Europe, but now it has some Jersey flavor.
Since the summer, groups have been soliciting submissions from the local community, of places that used to be. More than 40 submissions were received, and artist Ellen Harvey picked several to be included in this latest version of the exhibit.
“We live in a world that often feels as though it is vanishing before our eyes,” Harvey said. “Places we love disappear. Places we have hoped to visit cease to exist … the ‘Disappointed Tourist’ is inspired by the urge to repair what has been broken.”
Among the several New Jersey sites included in the exhibit update are Whitney Glass Works in Glassboro, the former Zee Orchards in Harrison Township, the entrance to the former Vineland Speedway, and Vineland’s lost Palace of Depression.
Chief curator Mary Salvante said there will also be a new painting that acknowledges the defunct Blockbuster Video chain, as well as paintings of a couple sites in Pennsylvania, such as Veterans Stadium.
“They’re painted in the style of vintage postcards, some black and white, some hand tinted,” Salvante said.
Folks who visit the exhibition will see more than just the New Jersey paintings. Since Harvey started the effort, she's completed some 300 paintings, and they line the walls of the Rowan University Art Gallery & Museum.
And Harvey won't be done after this New Jersey stop.
“The goal is 500 — 500 or five years, whichever comes first,” she said.
Harvey is continuously accepting ideas for her "Disappointed Tourist" run. You can submit an idea using this link.
The exhibition is on view through March 9, at 301 West High Street in Glassboro. The site is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays.
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