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Artist Mel Leipzig Exhibits Recent Works of
MCCC Friends at Gallery through June 14


Artist Mel Leipzig, back center, with current and former students at the Gallery opening reception, from left, Ryan Lawyer, Alexandra Indara, Beverly Nickel, Guadalupe Reyes, Shelly Bouchard, Terri McNichol (now an MCCC adjunct Fine Arts instructor), Gallery Curator Tricia Fagan and Lauren Avaloone.

West Windsor , N.J. - Renowned artist Mel Leipzig, of Trenton, has made a second home at Mercer County Community College as a professor of Fine Arts and Art History. So what could be more fitting than the college's Gallery hosting a one-man show from June 7-14 of nine of Leipzig's recent paintings of MCCC faculty, staff and students.

Set in offices and other spaces around the campus, the show's featured subjects include Leipzig's fellow faculty members Kyle Stevenson (Fine Arts), Sarah Sweeney (Digital Media Arts), Michael Dalton (Photography), John Monahan (Photography), Barry Levy (Television), Steve Voorhees (Television), Mitch Canter (Radio), Doug Fee and Frank Benowitz (Hotel, Restaurant and Institution Management.)

Leipzig's zest for the details of daily life draws viewers to every corner of these large-scale paintings. "I like all the detail and clutter. I find it beautiful," he says. "I don't like things too clean." Interesting angles and ceilings figure conspicuously into many of the paintings.

MCCC Gallery Curator Tricia Fagan is herself the subject of the biggest painting, which is set in her living room. It captures her singing, accompanied by her husband Wilbo Wright on bass. Details from books on the staircase to a portion of an armchair are squeezed into the painting, along with artists' canvasses wrapped in plastic, oriental rugs and a ceiling fan. An additional painting depicts three students of faculty member Jody Person as they rehearse for a student production of "Peer Gynt" in the college's Studio Theatre.

In his artist's statement Leipzig says, "Over the past 40 years, my paintings have been concerned with the relationship of figures, painted directly from life, to their environment." He notes that he never paints from photos, which "would dilute the intensity of the feeling that I am seeking." Leipzig has always worked with a limited palette; at present, he works in only four colors - dark red, blue, yellow and white.

How does one get on Mel's "to do" list? "They are people who pique my interest. I have to love them," Leipzig says simply.

The Gallery will be open Sunday, June 12, 2-5 p.m., and Tuesday, June 14, 5-8 p.m. More about the MCCC Gallery is available at here.

Benowitz and Fee in the Culinary Lab.


Fagan and Leipzig
Dalton and Leipzig
Leipzig with the Sweeney family
Theatre students in rehearsal for "Peer Gynt."

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