Sculptures by Donna Conklin King
Through May 31, 2023


Reeves-Reed Arboretum is happy to welcome two new sculptures by local artist Donna Conklin King: Alternate Universe and Monument for Healing.

Donna Conklin King is a contemporary American artist known for her concrete sculptures. Her work explores the relationship between nature, architecture, and the ruins of civilization, creating settings that reveal the complexities of the human condition. As a girl growing up next to the woods in New Jersey, Donna built forts from scavenged wood, and learned clay and stone carving from local artists before studying Lithography and Sculpture at Skidmore College. After an apprenticeship at the Johnson Atelier Fine Art Foundry, where she learned welding and lost wax bronze casting, she attended Rutgers University, Mason Gross School of Art and received an MFA in Sculpture. Donna has exhibited her work throughout the United States with solo shows at the Monmouth Museum, Index Art Center in Newark, Johnson and Johnson in New Brunswick and Educational Testing Center in Princeton. She is the recipient of a Fellowship in Sculpture from the NJ State Council on the Arts and was included in the NJ Arts Annual in 2020 and 2021. Her work can be found in the Museum of Modern Art’s Artist’s Book collection, the Newark Public Library and Skidmore College. Her public sculptures can be found in Wildflower Sculpture Park and the Turtleback Zoo in Essex County, NJ. Donna maintains a studio at Manufactures Village in East Orange, NJ.

Donna explores the possibilities of concrete as a medium, often casting forms out of food containers, tin ceiling tiles and fabric molds to explore the complexities of the human condition. Sometimes integrating doilies, found porcelain objects and gold leaf, she creates environments that address the relationship between nature, architecture, and the inevitable ruins of civilization. Embodying the philosophy of Kintsugi, a centuries-old Japanese art that celebrates an objects history by emphasizing its imperfections with gold leaf instead of disguising them, her sculptures become artifacts, openly cracked, and repaired, highlighting the notions of resiliency, history, and archaeology.

The two sculptures located on the grounds of Reeves-Reed Arboretum will make the garden home until May 2023, offering the public a chance to see both works complement the garden throughout the changing seasons.  Both works are for sale and will hopefully find a new home, whether it be at a public garden, corporate park, or private home.  If you are interested in purchasing Alternate Universe or Monument for Healing, please contact RRA Office Manager, Marilyn Foehrenbach, at m.foehrenbach@reeves-reedarboretum.org or (908) 272-8787, x1010.  The artist will generously donate 30% of the purchase to Reeves-Reed Arboretum. 

Please click here for thumbnails of this exhibit.