The Schuyler Diner Experiment by Karen J Waller
acrylic, 16 x 20 inches
Artist Statement: One of many shiny slices of Mom-and-Pop shops serving up neon since those heady days following World War II when newfound pride, wealth, and consumerism fueled highways and launched architecture that was meant to entertain, entice, and enthrall. Wasn’t the future great then?
Jersey Inspiration: This piece features a quintessential diner located in Lyndhurst, NJ. It was one of a series of three paintings showcasing the eatery at the same angle at different times of the day: low light (late afternoon), no light (nighttime), and, as in this case, full light (high noon).
Bio: Karen Waller received her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1978 from Montclair State College with a major in Fine Arts. After a hectic career in publication design and production as well as a stint as a muralist and decorative painter, she finally obtained her graduate degree in Studio Art from MSU studying with Peter Barnett and Amer Kobaslija. Recently retired from Bergen County Technical High School as an award winning Visual & Graphic Design instructor, Waller is rediscovering her love of typography and acrylic landscape painting with an occasional dash of vintage found object collage work.
Waller’s career highlights include working on Time magazine when it was banned in South Africa and People magazine, bold enough to put a human face on AIDS early on in that pandemic with a profile of young hemophiliac Ryan White. As a teacher, Waller guided her students through global communication projects with their counterparts in Japan, Ecuador, Tajikistan, and Thailand with one collaboration resulting in class-wide certification from the US State Department. Upperclassmen also earned a number of awards for public service announcements with videos regarding and written and directed by Waller. Waller herself was the recipient of a Governor’s Award in Arts Education in 2011 and an NEA Foundation Learning and Leadership grant in 2018. As for painting, the highlights include a large-scale, public mural donated to the Doo Wop Preservation League in Wildwood, NJ and her one-woman show at the Belmar Arts Center entitled Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.
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