The College of New Jersey, 2002, BFA
Florence Moonan | Art Statement
Music, especially Broadway musicals and opera, is a driving force in my work. This connection is rooted in my childhood performing in local summer-stock theater. Performing evolved into painting as I discovered the ability to express inner emotions by applying color and texture to canvas or wood in an abstract manner. I have an intuitive approach to painting as I make decisions and take advantage of chance revelations. My work is also informed by travel, family history, and the natural world. I currently work with Venetian plaster on board. The plaster’s unique quality helps me produce surfaces that are immediately appealing and as sensuous as a beautiful aria. My process includes tinting the plaster then, using a steel scraper, applying multiple coats to the board. Various materials and tools are used for rubbing, scraping, and sanding the surface to uncover buried marks and textures that create a history of where I have been. A unique exploration emerges following this process of adding and subtracting layers. At times, bold gestural marks originate from visceral reactions to music. Additional mediums such as graphite, oil stick, and Asphaltum are often employed to further enhance the work. The top layer is carefully sanded by hand to achieve a smooth finish. Each work pushes the direction of the next until all possibilities have been exhausted.
Florence Moonan | Biography
Florence Moonan grew up in Lambertville, New Jersey involved in the visual and performing arts at home, school, and local summer theater. Her heart was set on becoming a performer, but a gift set of acrylics from her father, a self-taught artist, redirected her focus. She returned to her early roots and began painting at home while she raised a family.
In 1977, she accepted a full-time administrative position at Trenton State College (now, The College of New Jersey) where she soon registered for a studio class in the evening each semester. She continued to work and study at The College, while building a professional portfolio. In December 2002, she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from The College of New Jersey.
Moonan was selected to be a NJ Emerging Artist in the 2017-2018 Series at the Monmouth Museum. Her artwork has been selected for numerous juried shows, solo, invited, and group exhibitions in galleries and museums throughout the United States. Upcoming and current events include: The 68th Annual International Invitational Salon of Small Works, Kutztown, PA, May 26 - July 9, 2017; The 60th Chautauqua Annual Exhibition of Contemporary Art: 60 Works Celebraing 60 Years, Chautauqua, NY, June 25 - July 18, 2017; 11th Annual Juried Exhibition at GoggleWorks Center for the Arts, (First Prize Award), Reading, Pennsylvania through June 4, 2017, and Ellarslie Open 34, Trenton City Museum, Trenton, NJ through June 25, 2017.
Her work was included in the 38th Annual Juried Art Exhibition at Monmouth Museum, Lincroft, NJ, 2017 and HAM 2016 Annual Members Exhibition, Hunterdon Art Museum, Clinton, New Jersey; PAGUS Annual Art Show, Norristown, Pennsylvania; SMI’s Viewpoints 2016 at aljira—a Center for Contemporary Arts, Newark, NJ; Artist Council of Princeton 2016 Members Exhibition, Princeton, New Jersey; New Hope Arts Members’ Salon Exhibition 2016, New Hope, Pennsylvania; NEXUS, Arts Guild NJ’s 2016 International Juried Exhibition, Rahway, New Jersey; Langhorne Council for the Arts (LCA) 2016 Sumer Speakers Series; Ellarslie Open 33 at the Trenton City Museum, and Sculpture New Hope, New Hope Arts Center. She was invited for a solo exhibition at Pennswood Art Gallery, Newtown, Pennsylvania; Kol Ami Gallery (solo), Elkins Park, Pennsylvania; Creative Tension, Perkins Center for the Arts, Moorestown, New Jersey; Phillips Mill Annual, New Hope, Pennsylvania; An Opening Dialogue - The Nature of Abstraction and on Your Radar? (invitational), Trenton City Museum, Trenton, New Jersey, and Abington Art Center's Solo Summer Series, Jenkintown, Pennsylvania. Her work was previously exhibited at The Gallery at Hillside Square (self-curated) in Montclair, New Jersey (2014). Other honors include: Viewpoints Invitational Art Exhibition presented by the Hunterdon County Cultural and Heritage Commission (2013); Philadelphia’s Art in City Hall 2013: Library of Life, in collaboration with the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University; Abstraction Revisited at New Hope Art Center, and In My View, a three-person exhibition at Trenton City Museum. In 2012 she was invited for a two-person show at The Gallery at Mercer County Community College. Her artwork is held in the permanent collection of The College of New Jersey, Mercer County Cultural and Heritage Commission, BARC Developmental Services, and the Family Service Association of Bucks County. It has been recognized with awards from the 11th Annual Juried Exhibition at GoggleWorks Center for the Arts, Hunterdon County Cultural and Heritage Commission, Phillips Mill, Ellarslie Open IX, Golden Key Art International, and others. Moonan is included in Doris Brande’s book, Artists of the River Towns.
Since retiring from The College in 2007, she is occupied full-time with painting and exhibiting. She and her husband live on a hillside in Stockton overlooking the hills of Pennsylvania. They have three sons, a daughter, and six grandchildren. Music remains a powerful influence on her work.