by Nancie Gunkelman of Monroe Twp., entitled “West African
Weaver,” oil on canvas.
Africa," a multiple media exhibition, opens at Mercer County
Community College’s ARTWORKS
Gallery in Trenton on Tuesday, Sept. 13. The show, to remain on
view through Saturday, Oct. 15,
features paintings by Nancie Gunkelman, photographs by Diane Levell
and sculpture by J.C. Sarpong.
A reception for the artists will be held Friday, Oct. 14, from 6
to 8 p.m., coinciding with Trenton’s “Second Friday”
events. A gallery talk takes place on Tuesday, Oct. 4, at 7 p.m.
“Those of us who
have not been lucky enough to visit the vast and wondrous continent
of Africa, and to experience first-hand the rich, varied cultures
and daily traditions of its people, find ourselves depending on
a patchwork of images, illusions, and impressions from books, television,
and the news,” says Tricia Fagan, MCCC’s Gallery curator.
“In this show, we are very pleased to offer three unique perspectives
on Africa by three artists who have either come from Africa or who
have spent significant time on the continent.”
Nancie Gunkelman (Monroe
Township, NJ) holds degrees in both fine arts and zoology. Throughout
the 1970s and 80s she spent more than half her time living, working,
and traveling in African countries, including Kenya, Nigeria, and
Sao Tome and Principe. “Inspired by this experience,”
she said, “I have tried to capture in my oil paintings everyday
life in the developing world.” Gunkelman, who studies with
Steve Kennedy at ARTWORKS, is also Commissioner of Monroe Township’s
Cultural Arts Commission.
Photographer and artist Diane Levell (Doylestown, PA) spent the
years between 1981 and 1996 living in Germany and Turkey, and traveling
extensively throughout both Europe and northern Africa. Using a
4” x 5” view camera, Levell sought to capture the people
and their customary practices in countries that include Moroco and
Algiers. “I use a variety of historic photo processes when
developing my work,” she said, “because it seems to
enhance and honor the feel of tradition that colors so much of daily
life in these places.”
J.C. Sarpong (Trenton, NJ) was born in the West African country
of Ghana where he received a BA in sculpture from the University
of Science and Technology. After working for Ghana’s National
Center for Arts and Culture for a few years, he traveled to the
USA on a grant to study bronze casting and fabrication techniques
at the Johnson Atelier in Hamilton. He was a member of the ARTWORKS
faculty in the early 90s, and continues to create bronze sculptures
at his home studio in Trenton. “My work pursues themes common
in the traditional religions, such as music, chieftancy, occupations,
and daily rituals of both the people of Ghana and Africa as a whole,”
he said. His beautiful, figurative bronze statues incorporate symbolic
and conceptual imagery along with the human image.
building is located on Stockton Street between Market and Front
Streets in Trenton, directly across the street from the New Jersey
Department of Motor Vehicles building, just off route 1 south. For
more information call ARTWORKS
at 609-394-9436 between 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Tuesdays or Wednesdays.
9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Wednesday 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Saturday 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
For possible additional hours or to arrange group visits, please
is funded, in part, by the Mercer County Cultural & Heritage
Commission through the NJ State Council on the Arts and the Mercer
County Board of Freeholders.