The Numina Gallery is a not-for-profit and all donations are tax-deductable and very much appreciated. If you wish to help with the Numina Gallery please contact:

Mr. Scott Cameron -

Dec. 2, 2010 The Princeton PacketStudents Collaborate on Exhibit
by Victoria Hurley-Schubert

Four area high school art programs are collaborating to produce an exhibit of black and white student art at the Numina Gallery at Princeton High School.

”Sports has always been a way for schools to come together with rivalry, but this is a place where people can come together and share a common passion of art,” said Scott Cameron, faculty advisor of the Numina Gallery at Princeton High. “Typically it’s a gallery for Princeton High School students, but we’ve been reaching out to schools in the area.”

”For the black and white theme, Alessia (Arregui) wanted it to be a collection of different mediums within that one guideline,” he said. The gallery is student-led, with the students arranging the exhibits, determining the layout and finding artists. Alessia Arregui, a senior at Princeton High School, is the student in charge of the gallery this year.

Princeton Day School, Stuart Country Day School and West Windsor High School North are the other schools involved.

”It was Alessia’s idea and her involvement with the Arts Council to reach out (to the other schools) and she wanted more people to be involved and come to the gallery; it’s mostly art students from PHS that come here,” Mr. Cameron said.

Black and white was a theme all the schools could relate to and could be applied across many mediums, Alessia said. “It’s different from our end-of-the-year show, which is color.”
An abstract black and white movie will be projected in the corner and as people walk through the gallery they will become part of the art with their shadows, Alessia said. The theme will be carried through the entrance, which will be lit with a black light to highlight the whites and contrast the dark.

Alessia reached out to several schools to see who would be interested in participating. She knows many of the teachers at the other area schools through her involvement with the Princeton Arts Council.

”We feel as though other schools don’t have their own galleries and a space to display their artwork, and it would give people a chance to meet each other and see how the other art departments at other schools are,” she said.
Each school has completely different art programs and the gallery leaders wanted to showcase all the talent the area has to offer. “It’s why you go to museums, to get different ideas,” said Gaby Shypula, a junior at Princeton High School and student co-leader of Numina Gallery. “Princeton Day School has photography, and we don’t have a photography program here; Stuart has photography and drawings and North has print, photography and drawings.”

Princeton High School has photography submissions from the photography club or hobbyists, drawings and a creative writing piece.

”Creative writing is definitely art on paper,” Gaby said. “I was hoping we’d get more.”

The art program has focused on reaching out to the community this year. “Even if it’s parents of students at other schools,” Mr. Cameron said. “I don’t think people are aware of how big the space is and what’s here.”

Knowing the teacher from Stuart at another occasion, and meeting other artists their age from art classes and other artists, the girls decided to have the three schools join Princeton High School in the art show.

”It’s good to have a professional art experience before you enter college,” said Alessia, who has put her experience at Numina Gallery on her college applications. “A lot of schools like to see leadership roles, it gives a broader perspective to your experiences.”
Alessia wants to major in illustration and graphic design in college next year. She has been involved with the Numina Gallery Club since sophomore year.

”Freshman aren’t as aware of the club. It’s mostly an upperclassman thing because freshman and sophomores don’t know about it; that’s why we’re trying to have more events this year,” Gaby said. “I know as a freshman, I felt weird walking by and looking in the doors, I didn’t really know what this was.”

To increase awareness among the younger students, the girls are organizing a freshman show later in the year called “Odyssey” project, where all the freshman English classes will complete a project based on Homer’s ancient text.
”I think the idea is to celebrate that every student is an artist and they have this creative side,” said Mr. Cameron.

For further visibility within the Princeton art community, the gallery will host a show in February for art teachers who are also professional artists in the area.

”We feel there hasn’t been a gallery opening where students could meet professional artists and see how they make a living,” Alessia said. “They are all interested in teaching students, so for them all to be in a show together would be great and like the black and white show, it would unite a lot of students from different schools and the whole artists’ community in Princeton would be part of it.”

”It will be fun to see their artwork, since they are helping us expand our mind with our artwork and it will be nice to see their artwork in person,” Gaby added.

Opening night is Friday from 6 to 8 p.m. The exhibit will be open to the public until Dec. 21. Hours are Mondays from 2 to 4 p.m. and Wednesdays from 2 to 3 p.m. Appointments can be made by sending e-mail to Admission is free.

The gallery was created in 2000. For more information, visit the gallery’s website at

Nov. 23, 2010
Numina Gallery - A Diamond in the Rough
By Pauline Miller, PHS Correspondent

In the depths of Princeton High School, hidden behind two wide, black doors, lies the Numina Gallery, gaping like a cave and blindingly white, so that it almost glows upon entrance

This obscure and usually empty space is often overlooked by students who pass it daily on their way to gym, but if Alessia Arregui ’11 and Gaby Shypula ’12 have anything to do with it, Numina will soon become common knowledge to Princeton High School students.

The two girls, who are the co-presidents of the club, are branching out this year, getting everyone in the community involved with gallery and not just student artists at the school. “There’s a lot more interest this year, I think,” said Shypula, “We have a lot more planned and we’re going more places.”

Last year, the space was used daily by the AP art history classes at the high school, which inhibited the amount of use that the space could be used for regarding shows. “We had all of this energy, last year, to do everything, but we couldn’t really have an exhibition at all besides the opening because it was closed for the class.” Explained Arregui. That energy has doubled since last year, and as a result, Numina has drawn up quite the to-do list. They’re pretty much booked for the rest of the year, with plans for a Black and White show, a teacher and professional show and an environmental show for Earth Day n on top of the end of the year shows for the art students at the school.

They’ve already put on a collaborative show, which exhibited the work of M. Cassagne’s 5A French class, who created posters as a project to go along with the Jaques Brel performance that the PHS choir put on. This show also unveiled a new opportunity for both Numina and the curriculum at Princeton High School n integrating schoolwork with art and gallery life.

The freshman English teachers have also signed up to use the space to display work from the annual Odyssey project. “Teachers are gonna use the show as a way to motivate the kids to do well for this project.” Explained Arregui. “There’s limited space, so we’ll only be showing the best projects.”
The girls are hoping that the Odyssey show will help put Numina on the map for the freshman, which would then carry through for their next four years. While a lot of upperclassmen are aware of what Numina is, many of the younger students aren’t aware of the gallery unless they take a visual arts class of some kind at the school. Lily Rosen ’11, a member of Numina, thinks that the educational projects are an important step for the gallery. “At a school like Princeton High School, there’s a lot of focus on the academics, like English and the sciences, and not as much on art.” She said. “These shows are important because it’ll keep the students from disregarding the arts.”

Numina is also going to become more integrated with the community as a whole. “For the Black and White show, we’ve invited Stuart, [West Windsor-Plainsboro] North and Princeton Day School to show work along with the PHS students,” Said Shypula, “[Numina is] pretty much the only formal setting that people can show [their work], but we’re not the only school that has artists.” Hannah Milner ’11, a fellow club member who often helps transform the gallery from an empty white space to an oasis of artwork by participating in setting up for the shows, believes that by expanding beyond PHS, “Numina will bring together our surrounding community of artists, and we’ll get to see what other work and artists are out there.”

Not only will this draw attention to the gallery from a bunch of different sources, which Shypula thinks will be “good for marketing,” and the co-presidents are also hoping to make a more friendly relationship between the schools through artwork. “The whole point of our collaborative projects is that our school don’t really interact with each other [besides in] competitions and sports, so by doing something where we’re working together, we actually get to know them.” Said Arregui.

On top of making connections with other schools, Numina will also be connecting with professional artists in the community. The proposed teacher and professional show would feature both working artists who teach at the high school and professional artists from around Princeton. Mollie Murphy teaches Studio Art 2D I and II and is also a practicing artist, and she is planning on submitting “recent pieces” of her work to this show, which she explained were “installations, so they involve everything n painting, sculpture.”

Murphy believes that this professional show will give Numina a leg up in the art scene of Princeton. “At the openings, people come and each of those people brings people.” She said, which is exactly what Shypula and Arregui are hoping for. “It’ll be more professional than the student shows, so more people who are serious about their work will feel more comfortable showing at Numina.” Said Shypula, hopefully. “Maybe in the future, professional artists will contact us asking to showcase their work.”

With this abundance of creative energy, which will soon be pulsing from the heart of the building through the multitude of shows, Numina is bound to draw attention from every which way. Without a doubt, it will soon be pulled from the pits of being just “two black doors” to becoming more like it’s namesake - an area of creative energy and genius.



June 4, 2010 The Princeton PacketA Sacred Space at Numina High School
by Nathalie Levine

"Do not step on the animals. They are the last of their kind," read the message printed on a whiteboard in Princeton High School's Numina Gallery. A menagerie of papier-mâché animals of all shapes and colors spread out across the floor in one corner of the gallery.

The animals were the work of one of PHS's 3-D art classes, taught by Linda Nickman. Their artistic arrangement in the space was the work of a team of students who run the Numina Gallery, which they and their advisor Scott Cameron believe is the only art gallery in the nation that is entirely run by high school students.

In 2000, PHS art teacher John Kavalos helped create the gallery, and a couple of years ago Numina, which means "sacred space" in Latin, moved to its permanent location on the school's bottom floor.

"It's huge," said Cameron. Many of the shows the gallery hosts cannot fill the space. The annual student show, though, featuring two pieces from each student who takes an art class at PHS, took up the whole
gallery. The animals were just one small part of the exhibit, which opened on May 27.

That night, parents, siblings, and friends of PHS art students came to the school to hear school bands play and look at artwork. The walls of the gallery were covered in portraits, sketches, paintings, and
collages. Multimedia pieces were arranged on shelves and stands in the center of the gallery- the animals, pottery, sculptures, garments made of embroidered cloth and camera film, and an architectural model of a house, to name a few of the projects represented. One project that many students choose to put in the show is a Studio Art II assignment called an "altered book." On the gallery's opening night, Mollie Murphy, who teaches Studio II, was proudly showing her students' work to parents and other visitors.

The basis of the project is that "students are given a used/discarded book to transform," according to a sign on the shelving cart full of the pieces. Some techniques used in the transformations include embroidery on pages, gluing coins and buttons onto covers, and creating poems by whiting out all the words on a page except a few. Some students carefully removed the paper from illustrated pages, leaving only translucent ink. Others illustrated pages themselves, adding new meaning to the works
with their decorations. Books used ranged from novels and fairy tale collections to physics textbooks and childrearing handbooks.

Older students remember this project fondly. Eleanor Wright, a senior who now takes Kavalos's Studio Art IV class, used an old copy of John Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men" for her altered book. "I liked that if
you got bored of one page, you could go to the next one and do something completely different," she said

Alessia Arregui, co-leader of Numina, introduced visitors to the "doodle wall," a chaotic section of wall near the front of the gallery on which students' submitted doodles had been randomly arranged. Scraps
of students' day planners, unwanted fliers, and Post-its that were now covered in cartoons, giraffes, and abstract patterns formed a colorful, textured exhibit of imagination and boredom. Teachers laughed to find
worksheets they assigned unrecognizable beneath drawings and hung in the exhibit.

Below the submitted work on the wall were large pieces of blank paper. "Please DRAW!" a sign read. "Pick up a marker, pencil, or pen and get to work! You can draw anything you want!... Have fun!" Multicolored
markers hung from strings in front of the wall.

"We wanted to have a whole show of doodles this year," said Arregui, a junior, "but it was kind of hectic." Also, an enormous volume of doodles would have been necessary to fill the gallery. Instead, Numina put on three other shows this year: a senior exhibit earlier in May, an exhibit of student photography in March, and an exhibit of paintings by the late Rex Goreleigh, who lived and taught in Princeton, for Black History Month in February.

This mix of exhibits by students and local professionals is typical of a year at Numina. Past exhibits have included professional glasswork and other media. Other groups at Princeton High School also use the space for dances, film screenings, and even yoga classes.

Cameron, the gallery's advisor, sees connections between visual art and many other disciplines, including his own, English. "The celebration of detail, social commentary, and the search for beauty and meaning, to
name a few," he said. He also believes that the gallery, like literature, gives students "a sense of community and shared experience."

Like most high schools, PHS does not offer a class in gallery curation, but students who participate in Numina get a crash course. The idea for the interactive aspect of the doodle wall, for example, came from
the students in charge of the gallery, who run it like a club with weekly meetings during lunchtime.

Arregui and co-leader Haley Andres, a senior this year, see the gallery's purpose as manifold. In addition to teaching Numina members about producing and curating exhibits, they hope the gallery's
existence helps the general student body (as well as faculty members) develop "more interest in art as they see work from artists from the area as well as their peers [and students].

"Many students don't take the time to travel to New York or Philadelphia, so having a gallery down a flight of stairs in school is much more accessible," Arregui continued.

"There will never be enough people who know about it," said Cameron. This year's student show is no longer up, but Arregui has many plans for next year, including an exhibition of work by art teachers in the
community and another show by a local artist. Cameron is interested in having Numina show student projects from academic classes."Education is not an individual pursuit; ultimately, it involves giving, not
taking," he said. "Numina is proof that what you say in school does matter and is appreciated by more than just your teacher. A student's voice must
be heard."



Feb. 1, 2010 Princeton Scoop BlogCelebrating Black History Month
by Jennifer Henderson

African-American artist Rex Goreleigh (1902–1986) spent nearly 40 years in Princeton making and teaching art, and attempting to bridge racial divisions in Princeton through visual and performing arts. The Historical Society of Princeton with the Arts Council of Princeton presents an exhibition of Goreleigh’s culturally influential work at the Numina Gallery at Princeton High School from February 4–19, with an opening reception on Thursday, February 4 at 7 p.m. Admission is free.

Wow. February 1. I can’t believe how quickly 2010 seems to be slipping away. Which is the reason why I like to stop what I’m doing, grab a cup of chamomile tea (Tazo Calm is my go-to), and refocus my energies on the things that have nothing to do with Pink’s performance at last night’s Grammy Awards (although I am slightly in awe of her strangely inspiring feats of acrobatic dexterity). Thus, for the next 28 days, I’ve decided to concentrate my efforts on learning something new—or rediscovering something I might have forgotten. A good place to start is with this month’s celebration of Black History. There are countless ways for us to understand more about the extraordinary accomplishments of African Americans in history; and because I can’t resist the delightful organization of a list, I’ve compiled one featuring the highlights of this month’s goings-on:

Rex Goreleigh Exhibition at Numina Gallery: African-American artist Rex Goreleigh (1902–1986) spent nearly 40 years in Princeton making and teaching art, and attempting to bridge racial divisions in Princeton through visual and performing arts. The Historical Society of Princeton with the Arts Council of Princeton presents an exhibition of Goreleigh’s culturally influential work at the Numina Gallery at Princeton High School from February 4–19, with an opening reception on Thursday, February 4 at 7 p.m. Admission is free.

Jennifer Henderson is the editor of Princeton Scoop online and a freelance writer who has worked for several magazines, including Vanity Fair, Talk, W, and New Jersey Life. She lives in Princeton with her husband, daughter, and chocolate Labrador. She welcomes any inside scoop on what to do and see in the area. E-mail her at

March 11, 2009 Town TopicsUpcoming Numina Gallery Exhibition Offers Retrospective of Education in Princeton by Ellen Gilbert

The exhibit, “150+ Years of Princeton Public Schools: A Pictorial Retrospective,” was taking shape this week as students, teachers, and volunteers busily prepared for the exhibit’s official opening on Wednesday, March 18, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in Princeton High School’s Numina Gallery.

Sponsored by the Princeton Education Foundation (PEF), the event is free and open to the public.

The two Princetons have been providing free public education for over 150 years, and Charlotte Bialek and Lisa Paine, co-chairs of the 150+ Years of Princeton Public Schools Committee, have the photographers, maps, newspaper clippings, and other memorabilia to prove it, thanks to the Princeton Historical Society, the Princeton University Archives, the Drumthwacket Foundation, and numerous teachers, staff, alumni, and Princeton residents who contributed the materials that now fill the gallery.

The exhibit begins with school board minutes, commencement programs, and newspapers dating from as early as the 1850s, and continues through the late 20th century, when the Princeton Regional Schools system reached its current six school configuration. While forerunners to Princeton’s public schools can be traced to the 1830s, a key milestone occurred in 1858 when state laws enabled the formation of school districts, public funding of schools, leadership from superintendents and boards of education, and teacher training, and the Borough opened doors to its first incorporated schools. Township schools were incorporated in 1875, and the two school districts ultimately merged into a regional system in 1965.

The exhibit is divided into three parts reflecting significant periods in local history, with a timeline created by PHS students to provide the context of national and world events. The pictorial displays will illustrate each of 20 identifiable public schools on 13 distinct sites. Changes in location, the addition of new buildings, as well as changes in educational and social structures, influenced the identities of each school.

The Art of Collecting

“What really snagged us were these old photographs collected by Liz Lien,” said Ms. Bialek, referring to the PHS’s instructional technology coordinator. “I can’t throw things away, especially when it’s history that you can’t get back again,” Ms. Lien commented. Many of the materials, she noted, came from longtime PHS teacher and administrator, the late Florence Burke.

Over 150 people of all ages participated in the exhibit’s creation, Ms. Paine commented. Particular mention, she said, goes to long-time Princeton resident Shirley Satterfield, Middle School Social Studies teacher Connie Escher, Numina Gallery Advisor Scott Cameron, and retired teacher Sybil Parnes. Photographers whose work appears in the exhibit include Orrin Jack Turner, Ken Bowers, and Alan Richards.

A Bigger Picture

“The materials reflect what was going on in the whole country,” observed Ms. Bialek. “The transition from country to city schools, busing issues, the end of segregation — it’s all here.” Events in the world at large are reflected as well: a copy of The School Observer from October 4, 1918, for example, recounts the closing of schools due to Spanish influenza, and encourages students to bring peach pits to school for use as filters in gas masks during the War drive. Ms. Paines pointed to the coincidence of the opening of PHS only ten days after the 1929 stock market crash. Although the high school was already integrated, elementary schools did not follow suit until 1948 when the “Princeton Plan” took effect. Visits to Princeton by Martin Luther King and John F. Kennedy in the 1960s are remembered in photographs, along with maps depicting the turnover of farmlands into developed areas during those years.

Princeton’s 150 years of public schools will be celebrated again on April 25, with a PEF Gala Cocktail Benefit Reception at Drumthwacket from 6 to 9 p.m., featuring a photo exhibition and entertainment by student musical groups. PEF’s mission is to “support educational excellence in the Princeton regional schools by encouraging community, corporate, and charitable contributions to support public education.”

Numina Gallery exhibition hours are March 18 through 21, 6 to 7:30 p.m. (prior to the performance of this year’s Spring Musical, Into the Woods); March 23 and 24, and 26 and 27, 3 to 6 p.m.; and March 25, 1:30 to 6 p.m.

Additional Princeton public school memorabilia is still welcome and may be donated by contacting Charlotte Bialek at (609) 921-2389.

March 24, 2009 The Times of TrentonPrinceton Schools in Retrospect by Krystal Knapp

The photographs, letters, documents and old newspaper articles on display provide a window into the schools of Princeton's past.

There are the pictures of the new Princeton High School, opened just before the start of the Great Depression; letters from the 1950s proclaiming the benefits of learning the Latin language; and a newspaper interview with a Princeton High graduate who recalled what it was like to attend an integrated school.

These mementos and more are part of a new collection entitled "150 Years Plus of the Princeton Public Schools: A Pictorial Retrospective."

Thanks to the efforts of volunteers, parents, students and several community organizations, the history of the Princeton Regional Schools is on display at the Numina Gallery at the high school until Friday.

Lisa Paine of the Princeton Education Foundation and former school board member and board president Charlotte Bialek spent more than a year gathering and archiving school memorabilia for the display with the help of Liz Lien, a technology coordinator at the high school.

The exhibit traces the history of the Princeton schools from their beginnings in the 19th century through their development into a single school district with a board of education.

"The first board of education report we have is from April 1858," Paine said. "The exhibit documents the transition the schools underwent since then. The photos really bring the history of the schools to life."

Brief narratives, based on oral and written histories, newspaper articles, and school records, accompany the displays.

Some parts of the exhibit focus on a particular school's opening, while others provide a sketch of a longer period of time.

The collection includes photos and other materials on loan from various sources. Volunteers from the student-run gallery helped assemble the exhibit, which Bialek said would not have been possible without the help of the Historical Society of Princeton, the Princeton Public Library, Princeton University Libraries, and the Princeton school archives.

Bialek and Paine estimate that more than 150 people helped with the collection in some way. "It's really been a community effort," Paine said.

The exhibit will be open today, Thursday and Friday from 3 to 6 p.m., and Wednesday from 1:30 to 6 p.m.

For more information about the exhibit, visit

2005 Town TopicsNumina Gallery To Hold Student Art Exhibition

This Friday, Princeton High School's Numina Gallery will hold its first annual student exhibition in its newly renovated space.

The exhibit will be comprised of work in a multitude of mediums, including painting, drawing, collage, print-making, ceramic and book arts, and other media. More than 300 student works will be on display.

The exhibit has been put together entirely by high school students, with art teachers John Kavalos and Marty Hayden supervising.

"This is the first year we've had an actual gallery for our art. It's a big deal for the high school," said Yelena Safarpour, a junior who is in charge of Numina's publicity.

Although the Numina Gallery was founded in 2000, when students, with the help of Mr. Kavalos, cleared out and renovated a room above the school's art studio to be used to exhibit artwork, it had to be put on hold during high school construction. The new space --a large room with professional lighting-- was created on the basement floor.

"It was nowhere near this size," said Yelena of the gallery's former home.

According to Mr. Kavalos, Numina was created to promote an appreciation for art among high school students, and to encourage their interest beyond the scope of the classroom. It is the only professional student-run gallery in the nation.

A total of 15 students are currently working on the upcoming Numina exhibit. Those who run the gallery assume the responsibilities of director, publicity manager, web designer, installation crew, and curator. The staff generally meets once a week, and directors are working at the gallery every day.

Overall the exhibitions take approximately a month to set up, as students must schedule gallery opening dates, find an artist and/or artwork to exhibit, and prepare the gallery space for the show.

Among the works that have been exhibited at Numina are photographs by Princeton resident Ricardo Barros, paintings by artist Mel Leipzig, and works by Judith Brodsky.

For the inaugural event at Numina's new gallery, this past winter students put together an exhibit as part of the New Jersey Transcultural Initiative, a statewide program organized by the Rutgers Office of Intercultural Affairs. The exhibit, which was done completely by students, was a collage of interviews with different Princeton personalities.

"It took about three years to put the exhibition together," said Mr. Kavalos, adding that Numina had worked with former PHS students on the project who now attend Cooper Union.

"A lot of information we collected [for the exhibit] will go to the Historical Society of Princeton," said Senior Jose de Leon, who is in charge of Numina's finances and will exhibit some of his photographs in the upcoming show.

As part of the upcoming exhibit, some PHS students' work will be exhibited that has been selected to be part of "An Artistic Discovery," a congressional art show sponsored by Congressman Rush Holt's office. The students who were chosen for the exhibit are Jen Lerner, Elisabeth Wolfe, Erin Armington, Krystina Lesnaska, and Annabelle Roberts-McMichal.

Mr. Kavalos said that Numina is anticipating Congressman Holt attending the exhibit, and hope he will consider using Numina's new facility for his show next year.

The opening reception for the student exhibition will be held this Friday, from 6 to 9 p.m. The works can be viewed through June 10, and the gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 3 to 5 p.m., and by appointment. All works at the exhibit will be for sale, and proceeds will go toward the school's visual arts department, as well as to fund Numina's art catalogue.

On Friday, June 3, Numina will bring back its tradition of "Nights of Numina," where students will host a poetry night to welcome the new exhibition. The reading, which will take place from 6 to 8 p.m., is open to the public.

For more information on either of these events, call (609) 806-4314, or visit