Windsor, N.J. -- The opening reception of the the "Visual
Arts Student Exhibition" at the college's Gallery
on April 25 was, quite literally, a clear illustration that
the visual arts are alive and well at Mercer County Community
68 artists and more than 130 works on display
now through May 17, the reflects the talents and artistic
visions of MCCC's diverse group of art students. According
to Gallery Director Tricia Fagan, some of those represented
in the show are young people just beginning to spread their
wings as artists, while others are adult students who paint
in addition to other jobs, or who, as retirees, finally have
the time to pursue their art in earnest. The Gallery is located
on the college's West
Windsor campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road.
Student Sam Acuff, of Hamilton, has three paintings in the
show. The 20-year-old began at Mercer in the fall of 2010
with the intention of studying biology. But he quickly changed
his focus to art. "If it's something you are going to
do for the rest of your life, you should have a passion for
it," he says. Acuff's chosen medium is spray paint. "It's
a temporary medium that allows me to expect more from myself
each time." The Nottingham High School graduate says
he often depicts friends in social settings. "These are
people I know. I try to make the work as sincere as possible.
I document a moment in time." Acuff adds that he has
had great instructors, including faculty members Lucas Kelly
and Kyle Stevenson, who have pushed him to work hard and given
him the technical critiques he needs to improve.
A first this year for the student show were prizes awarded
by the Garden State Watercolor Society. Allison Singer, of
West Windsor, won first prize for "Checking the Competition";
Tom Kimball of Chesterfield won second prize for "Lady
with a Big Hat"; and Litza Reyes of Trenton was awarded
third prize for "Fresh Air."
For photographer Beth Gross, of Hamilton, Mercer was her starting
point fresh out of high school, where she earned her associate
degree in Photography in 1982. Now back at MCCC to enhance
her technical skills and earn a degree in Digital Media Arts,
she says, "I love Mercer. The facilities and equipment
are all up to date."
Guadalupe Reyes, of Hamilton, who was prominently featured
in last year's show, returns with three paintings. Her distinctive
style uses bold colors and draws inspiration from her cultural
heritage. In "A New Beginning," which depicts a
serene, noticeably pregnant woman, Reyes incorporates references
to the Mayan calendar and religious figures. Reyes says her
Mercer classes continue to help her improve her art. "I
am taking advantage of really good teachers. I take as many
classes as possible."
Another adult student, Jaime An-Wong, has mostly done sculpture.
At Mercer, she has begun to paint in oils with Professor Mel
Leipzig. "He has really inspired me," she says.
"I'll come to class as long as he is teaching it."
In An-Wong's "Beach Day," her background in sculpture
is hinted at in her addition of 3-dimensional pieces of cloth
in the painting's upper corners.
The exhibit features more than 130 works by 63 of visual and
graphic art students. Three-dimensional works feature wood,
Styrofoam, ceramics and found objects. Two-dimensional works
include oils, watercolor, spray paint, acrylic, printing inks,
mixed media, charcoal, gouache, and photography.
Gallery hours for the exhibit are: Sundays, 11 a.m.
1 p.m., Mondays, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.; Tuesdays, 11 a.m. - 3
p.m.; Wednesdays, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m., Thursdays, 11 a.m. - 3
p.m., and 5 7 p.m. For more information, call the Gallery
at 609-570-3589 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional information on the Gallery, click here.
is supported, in part, by the Mercer County Cultural &
Heritage Commission through a grant funded by the New Jersey
State Council on the Arts/Department of State, and the Mercer
County Board of Chosen Freeholders.
For more photos on Facebook, click here.
For more details about the show, click