Rider University Art Gallery Exhibits Works by Suzanne Dinger

Allison Rhodes

The Rider University Art Gallery will present an exhibit of works by alumna Suzanne Dinger, from Thursday, March 1 through Sunday, April 15. The opening reception is scheduled for March 1, between 5 and 7 p.m., and an artist’s talk will be Thursday, March 8 at 7 p.m.

In addition to earning a bachelor’s degree from Rider, Dinger received a master’s degree in Fine Arts from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia. An adjunct member of Rider’s faculty, she says, “I’m really excited to have this opportunity to show my work, especially at Rider. I have students that I’ve taught over the last four years, and fellow faculty members coming. It’s an honor to share my work with them and with the school.”

Last season she participated in the “Transformations” exhibit that was part of Rider’s Westminster College of the Arts’ Transforming Space project at the Roebling WireWorks in Trenton.  The exhibit turned a creative lens on post-industrial areas like Trenton, focusing on the infrastructure of those cities as well as the individuals who are trying to rebuild and rejuvenate their communities. “There is something really captivating to me about that time-period and the buildings. When I am in them and engaged in the painting process, I think about all of the activity that went on in there before, as opposed to the complete isolation that I was experiencing there as I was painting.” Suzanne explains that she enjoys bringing a new artistic perspective to Trenton, one that people might not see for themselves. “When you’re in that area it’s very peaceful, it’s almost like being in the middle of the woods.”

Her exhibit at Rider, titled “Outside/Inside,” similarly features local infrastructures, as well as natural settings. She views it as a progression of her work, as it features her newest pieces as well as a body of work spanning 12 years. “This show focuses on similar subjects, but it’s a completely different treatment of the paint. For myself personally, that’s been an exciting development. I feel like it highlights scenery and landscape that isn’t usually observed and contemplated very much.” She recognizes that her work could be seen as politically inspired, but believes the most prevalent feeling the audience will walk away with is nostalgia.

The title of the exhibit is taken from an older piece that she really enjoyed working on. “It was a building that was about to collapse, so all the outside light was inside. There was this whole juxtaposition going on, because you could see through the window and you’d think that you would be looking inside, but you’re really getting outside light. It was sort of a meditation on that. A lot of the work in there is interiors as well as exteriors.”

Dedicated to her art, Dinger explained her intense artistic process, which also contributed to the exhibit’s title. “I paint from observation so that means that everything that’s in the show is something that I was standing in front of. That requires that you are subjected to the whims of the weather. If it’s too cold out, you would be inside, but whenever I can I would choose to be outside. There is something, for me and my temperament, that makes me a better painter when I am out in the world. I am more attentive, I respond to more stimuli that way.”

The Rider University Art Gallery is located in the Bart Luedeke Center on the Rider campus, 2083 Lawrenceville Road, in Lawrenceville.  It is open Tuesday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.