Art and science meet at Burger Gallery

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(Photo credit: Y. Smishkewych)

By: Yuri Smishkewych | Published April 16, 2016

Only the occasional sound of a champagne bottle being popped open was heard over the chatter of dozens of guests talking about climate change at an artist reception at the Karl & Helen Burger Gallery on April 12.

“I like to work on big canvasses, so people can ‘get into’ them,” said artist Diane Burko, whose photographs of glaciers and icebergs—some as large as 40 by 60 inches—are featured at the gallery alongside porcelain sculptures inspired by ice fields and icebergs by fellow artist Paula Winokur at an exhibit titled “Glacial Dimensions: Art and the Global Ice Melt.”

Though the artists use different mediums, their message is the same: To show the effects that humans have made on circumpolar ice as they witnessed it in places as far as Svalbard (north of the Artic Circle) and Antarctica.

For instance, one of Winokur’s pieces, “Ice Cores,” is composed of 10 three-foot sculptures of the icy time capsules that seem to be melting at their tips.

Associate Professor Feng Qi, the executive director and of Kean’s School of Environmental and Sustainability Sciences, praised the exhibit where art and science meet, saying that it’s “a perfect place” for students to learn about climate change.

“It’s a beautiful set-up,” said Qi, “in class we are only able to give lectures to students; but here, art and science are brought together and it has a greater impact for students.”

“I actually came for extra-credit,” said Kenny Stewart, a fine arts major with a focus in photography, “but now, after seeing the pieces, I really enjoyed it. I’m glad I came—I learned a lot.”

The exhibit is open to the public and on display until April 30. For gallery hours and more information about Kean University Galleries, please visit

Yuri Smishkewych may be reached at

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