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Frances Willner
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Frances Willner

Frances Charin Willner, 96, of Maplewood died Dec. 13, 2014. 

Mrs. Willner was an award-winning artist whose work has been exhibited in the Museum of Modern Art, the Smithsonian, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and in galleries throughout New Jersey. She began her eight-decade career as a fashion designer before moving into painting, printmaking, found-art sculpture, book and paper-making, and other multimedia arts. 

For many years she taught art at the NJ Center for the Visual Arts, the Newark Museum, and Union and Mercer County Colleges. She was actively teaching until just weeks before her death. In 1994, she cofounded Art Share: An Artist’s Weekend Retreat, and at the age of 89, she co-curated an exhibition at the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, “Chairs, Form Follows Vision,” as well as other artist-organized fund-raising projects, The Book Project and the Glove Project.

She studied art at the American School of Fine Arts, Newark School of Fine Arts, and Fairleigh Dickinson University.

Predeceased by her husband, Milton, in 1989, she is survived by two sons, Andrew (Jo-Ellen Trilling) and Neil (Eve); her daughter, Terry (Jon Tainow); five grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren. 

Services were held Dec. 16 with arrangements by Bernheim-Apter-Kreitzman Suburban Funeral Chapel, Livingston.

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