Art All Over -- Multiple-Media Art by Seven "Compulsive Creators" Coming to MCCC's Gallery June 3 to July 3, 2008


WEST WINDSOR, N.J. -- Art All Over opens June 3 at Mercer County Community College's (MCCC) Gallery and runs through July 3. The exhibit "celebrates the exuberant 'art spirit' that motivates human beings to adorn, appropriate, change, embellish, color, and re-create the objects and environments that define their lives," says Gallery Director Tricia Fagan. "Many, if not most people, leave that energy behind in childhood when they take up the serious business of being an adult."

A reception is set for Saturday, June 14, 1 to 3:30 p.m., and a Gallery Conversation takes place Wednesday, June 18 at noon. The Gallery is located on the second floor of the Communications Building on MCCC's West Windsor campus at 1200 Old Trenton Road. Admission and all programs at The Gallery are free and open to the public.

"The seven artists in this exhibition can't help themselves," Fagan says. "Although their personal visions and choices of medium vary wildly, they share an artist's eye, a crafts-person's mastery of material, and a restless, endless need to create." Featured artists are Michael Haleta, Bob Justin, and Jet Weston of Hamilton, Jo Millner of Trenton, Sally Stang of Lambertville, Ed Wilcox of Philadelphia, and Joan Wood of Lawrenceville.

Media used by the artists includes everything from embroidered fiber and ceramics to Barbie-doll heads and manipulated Nancy cartoons. Some works, including Joan Wood's beautiful garments and Jo Millner's fascinating ceramics, share a shamanic - almost ritualistic - sensibility. Bob Justin's found-object masks also share a kinship with 'primitive' or indigenous cultures; although their elements are very much part of 20th century culture.

Artist Jet Weston, who is also a musician, is drawn to the look and feel of a particular time - late 50s to early 60s - of U.S. 20th century culture drives him to adapt, design, appropriate, and adorn almost every element in his home (and in his band) to reflect his unique take on that time. Michael Haleta has taken one of his own beloved icons -- the superhero comic book -- and created dense, meticulous, obsessively interwoven "objects" on paper, using hundreds of pieces of comic book pages as his media.

Unlike Haleta, Sally Stang (perhaps better known as a jeweler to the area art community) actively disliked one of her inspirations - Ernie Bushmiller's Nancy comic strip - until her tongue in cheek manipulations of the strips opened her eyes to the theatrical genius of Bushmiller's spare pieces.

Ed Wilcox, although better known regionally as the drummer for the indie-rock band Temple of Bon Matin, has never stopped creating visually. His training at the Pennsylvania Academy left him with a lifelong love of drawing -- a love that he pursues while touring. Wilcox is often inspired by his own creations: Hideho, his massive rhododendron-root marionette, is displayed with three of the many drawings for which Hideho is modeled.

Gallery Hours for Art All Over will be Tuesdays, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m.; Wednesdays 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Thursdays 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

"Hideho Heights" by Ed Wilcox.
"The Board of Education" by Joan Wood.
"Mystic Seer" by Jet Weston.

The exhibit is supported, in part, by the Mercer County Cultural and Heritage Commission through funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a funding partner of the National Endowment for the Arts.

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