Kean University Displays Haunting Art Exhibit

UNION, N.J. — A new art exhibition at the Nancy Dryfoos Gallery at Kean University explores the issue of loss as reflected in abandoned ghost towns such as the former California gold rush town of Bodie, the ancient Roman city of Pompeii, and Pripyat, Ukraine near the Chernobyl nuclear disaster site.

The exhibit, Ghost Towns, Or, the Memories that Haunt Us, was curated by Joanna M. Wezyk, a fine arts adjunct professor at Kean, and features 17 pieces by 10 artists, working in a variety of media.

An Opening Reception will be held on Thursday, October 3 at 4:30 p.m. at the Dryfoos Gallery, and the exhibition will be on display through Wednesday, December 18.

“I'm fascinated by the concept of abandonment as a constant reminder of the change in our lives and for humanity in general,” said Wezyk, who is also one of the showcased artists in the exhibition. “I find myself wondering what is it about abandonment and ruin that intrigue us so much. Why are we haunted by the memories of centuries past? What is this ineffable energy that lingers throughout emptiness?”

The exhibition walks the visitor through abandoned cities across the world that leave us with haunting memories of what used to be and what has been forgotten, Wezyk said.

“We see dreams given up, risks taken or not taken, and successes and failures, all drifting around us. We’re reminded of the temporary nature of our time on Earth, and there is an underlying sense of gratitude,” she said.

Regular hours at the gallery are Monday - Saturday: 9 a.m.-6 p.m., and Sunday: 1-6 p.m. The Nancy Dryfoos Gallery is located in the Nancy Thompson Learning Commons at Kean University, 1000 Morris Avenue, Union N.J. 07083.

For more information and to RSVP, email Joanna M. Wezyk at or call (908) 838-8534.