N.J. -- Fresh from earning her bachelor's degree in Fine Arts
at Alfred University in upstate New York, MCCC alum Flannery
O. Miller (Fine Arts, '10) is showcasing 11 pieces she has
created in her past two years at Alfred in a special exhibit
entitled "Source at the MCCC Gallery June 28-July 1.
An opening reception will be held June 28 from 6 to 9 p.m.
In a nod to her formative two years at Mercer, the exhibit
also includes a large oil painting that was her final project
in a class she took with MCCC Professor Mel Leipzig.
Gallery is located on the second floor of the Communications
Building on Mercer's West
Windsor campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road.
of Plainsboro, says she wasn't quite ready to commit to the
traditional four-years-away-from-home college experience when
she graduated from West Windsor Plainsboro High School in
2008. Knowing she wanted to study art, and having heard about
MCCC's excellent reputation, she decided to give Mercer a
try. What she found far exceeded her expectations.
She recalls Fine Arts Professors Leipzig and Kyle Stevenson
as particularly influential in her evolution as an artist.
She also credits former faculty member Michelle Barfoot for
teaching her elements of web design that are increasingly
important for careers in the arts.
"Mercer was the beginning of my self-discovery as an
artist," Miller says. "At Mercer, I got freedom
and support. I was challenged to do more."
does. She will work from 10-14 hours straight to finish some
of her larger works. She uses both oil and acrylic paint and
lately has been blending the two for special effects with
texture. Her canvases tend to be large -- "which allow
me to flow freely," Miller says. The largest one in the
exhibit measures 60" x 82".
According to Miller, the transition from MCCC to Alfred was
a seamless one. "I was ready and I was prepared. I felt
comfortable there. It was very outdoorsy, far from the city.
I found a meditative work environment where I could concentrate."
Used to the small classes and the one-on-one attention that
she got at MCCC, she was pleased that Alfred offered her that
same kind of learning environment.
Miller says, "I am intrigued by energy, color and light."
She notes that her current work is inspired by natural elements.
Some of the paintings in the exhibit reveal an intensive study
of leaves and other depictions of nature seen under her unique
microscope. An additional piece is a neon-lit "OM"
sign from the Buddhist tradition. Learning to bend hot glass
tubes was a thrill and a challenge, she adds.
Now that Miller is back in the area, she is delighted to have
the opportunity to exhibit her work at the MCCC Gallery. Gallery
Director/Curator Tricia Fagan says it's a way for the Gallery
to give back to a student who volunteered at the reception
desk for three semesters, attracting a group of MCCC's art
students who came together regularly and made the Gallery
in the exhibit is the final painting Miller completed in Prof.
Mel Leipzig's class. With references to "The Third Eye"
from Sanskrit, it reflects themes of spirituality and transcendence.
O. Miller, center, at the 2010 Honors Convocation, where she
received the Jack Harris Memorial Scholarship. She is pictured
with, from left, Dean Judy Ehresman, Prof. Mel Leipzig, President
Patricia C. Donohue and Vice President Guy Generals.