Berkeley College Presents an Exhibit of Paintings to Celebrate Brooklyn Artists

, 2012

Contact:  Ilene Greenfield
Director of Media Relations
201-291-1111, ext. 1-5122




Berkeley College is exhibiting the work of artists Rudy (Kofi) Cain, Mary Chang, Leon Nicholas Kalas, and Norma Lithgow at the Brooklyn location gallery, 255 Duffield Street, Brooklyn, NY.  This exhibit will be on display from May 1 through June 28.  The gallery is open Monday through Thursday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Friday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, and Saturday from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. An artists’ reception will be held on Saturday, May 12 from 2:00 to 4:00 pm.   

According to Robert Keiber, Curator, Berkeley College Brooklyn and New York City Midtown location galleries, “We knew when we opened the gallery at the new Berkeley College location in Brooklyn we would find a hotbed of talent and creativity.  I think these four artists are excellent examples of Brooklyn’s art community.”   

Dr. Rudy (Kofi) Cain, a native of Richmond, VA, is a long-time resident of the Fort Green/Clinton Hill section of Brooklyn. He is a former college teacher and administrator as well as a self-taught visual artist.  His interest in painting evolved from his travels to Cape Cod, the Caribbean, and Africa, where he was aesthetically entranced by the beautiful landscapes. 

Dr. Cain says, “I consider myself an ‘outside artist,’ producing images that are primarily folkloric, often mirroring my cultural and spiritual anchoring that defies conventional modes of artistic expression.” The artist’s work has been exhibited at venues that include the State University of New York, Empire State College; Brooklyn Borough Hall; and Con Edison.

Mary Chang was raised in the Fort Greene section of Brooklyn and says she has great memories learning about and respecting the different cultures of the area.  In her early 30s, she started a journey into theater arts, later meeting artist Onnie Millar who was preparing for an exhibition.

“She asked me if I’d like to participate,” says Ms. Chang, “and I made a decision at that moment to jump into my work as a painter, feeling that the lines between theater and painting are one in the same.”  The artist adds, “I make art simply because I have to, and am inspired by color, texture, form, light, dark, silence, and sound.  I paint in a variety of media and the idea of working these together holds a strong interest for me. I like to take risks, bringing things of a different nature together, and examining the possibilities. I paint on a variety of surfaces: doors, windows, wood, glass, canvas and paper. I am in a constant search.”

Leon Nicholas Kalas studied portraiture and human anatomy at the New York Academy of Art, the Art Students League of New York, and the Fashion Institute of Technology.  His work has been exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City;  the Library of Congress; the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, AK; the Ministry of Culture in Bucharest, Romania; the Museul de Art in Cluj-Napoca, Romania; the Royal Collection of Morocco; and the Royal Collection of the King of Greece.  He has been published in New York Arts magazine, Boheme magazine in Paris, France, and Brooklyn Fine Arts magazine.  Mr. Kalas has participated in art camps for cultural exchanges in Morocco and Romania. He has painted portraits of actors Sidney Poitier and Tony Curtis, fashion designer Valentino Garavani, Fidel Castro of Cuba, and singer Harry Belafonte.   Of his work, Mr. Kalas says, “Painting to me is a life force, not a carrier. My work consists mostly of figurative and portrait paintings; however, I do experiment in various art movements such as pure abstract, abstract expressionism, minimalism, symbolism, and conceptualism. All art movements interest me.”

Norma Lithgow, a native of Honduras, received her early training at the Academy of Saint Vincent de Paul in her homeland.  She moved to New York City to study fashion, attending French’s Fashion Academy, and later studied art at the Academia de Bellas Artes in Spain.  Ms. Lithgow’s work has been exhibited in many galleries including Lincoln Center, Galleria Casa de la Cultura Espanola, Casa Espana Galeria, and Hamilton Grange, all in New York, and at Museo de Bellas Artes in Spain.  Her work has been described as, “Beautiful and natural, with mystic colors expressed from the artist's heart in each of her paintings.  Energy is expressed in each of her paintings through a simple originality, creating a speechless and beautiful effect."

For more information about the exhibit, contact Robert Keiber, Curator, Berkeley College Brooklyn and New York City Midtown location galleries, at or 212-252-2065.

Photo Caption A: “Urban Plain 1,” one of five urban plains paintings by artist Mary Chang, is on display at the Berkeley College Brooklyn location gallery from May 1 through June 28. 

Photo Caption B: “Saxaphonist,” an acrylic by artist Norma Lithgow, is one of the paintings on display at the Berkeley College Brooklyn location gallery from May 1 through June 28. 


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