Trenton, N.J. –Mercer County Community College’s (MCCC’s) James Kerney Campus Gallery (JKCG) presents “Iron and Water,” an exhibit that features the photography of C.a. Shofed. The show runs from Thursday, Jan. 24 through Thursday, Feb. 21. A community reception and artist talk take place Wednesday, Jan. 30, 5 to 7 p.m. The talk begins at 6 p.m.
JKCG is located in MCCC's Trenton Hall, 137 North Broad Street, across the street from the James Kerney Building. General JKCG hours are: Mondays, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Tuesdays, 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; and Thursdays, 10:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
The gallery's director and curator is Michael Chovan-Dalton, coordinator of the MCCC Photography program. More information about JKCG and upcoming shows is available on the JKCG website at www.mccc.edu/JKCgallery.
JKCG Director Michael Chovan-Dalton explains that at the height of industrialization in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions of the United States, cities and towns flourished if they had just a few strategic resources, such as iron ore or coal.
“But no resource was more important than access to a body of water that could power mills, cool down furnaces, fill up steam engines, or transport raw and finished materials,” he said. “Images by C.a. Shofed show us the remnants and the artifacts of the great industrial era that helped build the industrial American city. This is an archaeological expedition that is unique to our young country and only covers about 150 years. Many once flourishing sites have been abandoned or repurposed only to be abandoned again. Some have found new meaning and have been restored, but those structures still shuttered wait silently until the next opportunity arises or until they fall back into the water.”
Shofed, a Trenton-based photographer, recalls that sometime after being laid-off and after his second kidney transplant, he decided that he would give fine arts photography a go. “I had moved to Trenton and the art scene in my new home town was raw, vibrant and easy to access unlike the small town I grew up in,” he recalled. “Trenton’s art scene is just now being discovered by the world outside its borders. Artists like Leon Rainbow and Kasso are leading the charge. In my neighborhood alone, there was an artist with a piece owned and displayed at the MoMA, a documentary filmmaker, a cinematographer, an actor and several musicians. What an amazing place to feed the creative juices!”
For his own work, he has drawn inspiration from things taken for granted. “Things un-noticed. The ordinary. I love to find beauty in objects we pass by every day,” Shofed said. “When I spot an object or subject that meets my criteria, I picture the moment I’d like to capture that object in. When it arrives, I take the shot. That picture usually takes place in an urban setting or as nature tries to reclaim a man-made object. Not always, but that tends to be what my eye is drawn towards. I’ve taken what I’ve learned over the past seven years as a photographer and apply those lessons, my style to every picture I take.”
C.a. Shofed’s art has been exhibited and sold in galleries and museums across the globe including Philadelphia, New York, San Diego and many places along within the continental United States and Europe. He has been the originator and curator of the annual show “Common Threads, which has been hosted by Hopewell Valley Vineyards for the past six years. Shofed now curates shows at the Vineyard on a permanent basis and is also the curator at Trenton’s newest gallery, The BSB. More information about C.a. Shofed is available at http://www.amphorartworks.com.