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MCCC Students Stretch Wings in “Visual Arts Student Exhibition” on Display through May 3

4/13/18


Visitors check out ceramic pieces by Lora Ingraham ("Depression Tissue Holder"), foreground, and Christa Schneider ("Faces").

Courtney Smith's "Somewhere in the Woods, an acrylic with embelishments. Her other piece is a large-scale pork roll composed of insulation foam.

Connie Maglione, right, describes her "Passages" project, created as a classroom assignment on doors.

Alice Thomspon with "Whopper," created in the 3-D Lab.

Kayla Jackson is a high shcool student studying photography at Mercer.

Ryan Vogen, with one of two charcoal drawings. He was selected for a Juror's Choice Award in last year's "Mercer County Artists" exhibit.

"Wild Cat" by Nahmado Emara is her first ceramics piece.

The gallery runs with the help of MCCC students. From left are Leonard Kelly, Allison Gerard, Jesse Harris, Aslin Gonzalez, Jordan Frazier, and Ryan Brzycki.

West Windsor, N.J. – Students who create art at Mercer County Community College (MCCC) are at all ages and phases of their creative careers and they work in a wide variety of media. Some are emerging artists with a goal to transfer to a four-year school, while others are pursuing long delayed projects in the arts and return to the college every semester as they adopt the Mercer art faculty as their mentors and its studios as their home base.

Add it all up and you’ve got a “Visual Arts Student Exhibition” that is one of the most vibrant in recent memory. At the opening reception on April 4, the Gallery was packed with MCCC artists, staff members and community guests. They were greeted by a show that combines the serious with the humorous, and the serene with the overtly political. The exhibit features 62 works by 38 students and runs through Thursday, May 3. It is presented free and is open to the public.

In most cases, the show's artwork is based on classroom assignments. When a student takes two different courses, the resulting projects may be vastly different. Student Courtney Smith, for example, has two pieces in the show – a unicorn painting entitled “Somewhere in the Woods,” and a second, large-scale piece in insulation foam created in the college's new 3-D Lab entitled "NOT Taylor Ham." Smith observes that the art curriculum allows students to explore. “We get to figure out what we like to do best,” she said.

There is also creativity galore in the way students interpret a given assignment. Take Connie Maglione’s “Passages,” a 3-D work that originated from an assignment on doors. Maglione’s piece features a number of painted doors on two canvas boards that are themselves two hinged doors. Open them and you will find yet another door inside.

Maglione is among a number of artists who have been taking classes semester after semester for years. Another is Lynne Faridy, whose two acrylic paintings show the progress she has made as a painter.

Student Alice Thompson has spent time at Mercer this year creating pieces in the new 3-D Lab. In a 3-D representation of a fractured nation, Thompson's "State of the Union" sculpture features 13 wood cutouts of the country, painted in purple, that are fitted together at awkward angles. She describes it as a painstaking process. "It took hours and hours of cutting. I never knew I could use a band saw,” she said. “It’s all because of the new 3-D Studio, which gives us so much space to work. The lighting, the space and the ease of cleanup makes it a great place to work on big projects.” On a lighter note, her other sculpture is "Whopper," composed of high density foam, plaster, and latex paint.

Second year student Ryan Vogen, whose artwork was selected for a Juror’s Choice Award in last year’s Mercer County Artists Exhibit, prefers charcoal drawing over painting. “I rub the charcoal into the paper with my hands. I get the consistency I want with a little elbow grease,” he said. Another advanced student, Alexix Pratt, an interactive media major, created a digital print entitled "Ego” about the current United States president. Pratt’s ingenuity and talent will take her from Mercer to The College of New Jersey when she transfers in the fall.

Artists as young as high schoolers are featured in ithe show. Photography student Kayla Jackson, a junior at Lawrence High School, is taking classes at Mercer that are earning her college credits. When she begins at MCCC in 2019, she will already be on her way to her asssociate degree.

The exhibition includes works by students from Visual Arts programs including Fine Arts, Advertising and Graphic Design, Digital Arts, Photography and Sculpture. The student artists include Amaris Brown (two digital paintings); C. Chase Blanchard Easley (two acrylic paintings); Amanda Elliot (mixed media); Nahmado Emara (ceramic); Lynne Faridy (two acrylic paintings); Andrew Fulton (two scultpures); Aslin Gonzales (block print); Carly Hall (oil painting and mixed media acrylic); Matt Hill (foam board and poplar box); Lora Ingraham (two ceramic sculptures); Kayla Jackson (two photographs); Jeonghyun Kim  (digital image); Mackenzie Mabin (mixed media); Concetta Maglione (oil painting on canvas with poster board and hardware); William McBride (oil and collage on canvas and wall relief with foam board); Taj McKoy (charcoal drawing and color pastel drawing); Suzanne Migliori (oil painting and clay sculpture); Alana Miles (ceramic); Shan MK (two digital photographs); Tania Numeyer (clay pot sculpture); Ruth Palmer (ceramic); John Pietronski (pastel drawing and acrylic painting); Alexix Pratt (traditional/ digital); Fatima Rahman (oil painting); Regina Ritter (paint and gems, and livocut, paint, pearls); Lisandra Rodas (graphite sculpture); Kevin Ronan (digital); Nevin Schleider (ceramic/clay vessel and ceramic bowl); Christa Schneider (two clay/ceramics); Megan Serfass (two oil paintings); Courtney Smith (acrylic with UV embellishments and insulation foam sculpture); Anthony Suarez (two pencil drawings); Alice Thompson (two 3-D sculptures); Maria Tyranski (photography); Ryan Vogen (two charcoal drawings); Lucinda Weller (two ceramic sculptures); Rena White (acrylic painting and watercolor); and Christina Young (two Raku sculptures).

The Gallery's director and curator is MCCC Professor Lucas Kelly. The MCCC Gallery is located on the second floor of the Communications Building on the college’s West Windsor Campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road.Gallery hours are Mondays through Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., with Wednesday hours extended until 7 p.m.

More information about this and other exhibits at the MCCC Gallery is available at www.mccc.edu/gallery.  Directions to the campus and a campus map can be found at www.mccc.edu.

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