MCCC's James Kerney Campus Gallery Presents Group Exhibit ‘The Figure A Portrait Makes’ July 29 to Aug. 23; Reception Is Aug. 2


Trenton, N.J. – This summer, Mercer County Community College’s (MCCC's) James Kerney Campus Gallery (JKCG) presents contemporary interpretations of the genre of portraiture by ten current and former MCCC Visual Arts students. “The Figure a Portrait Makes” runs from Monday, July 29 through Friday, Aug. 23.

This exhibit features photography by Ramie Ahmed, Timothy Dill, John Labaw, Elizabeth Mayer, Isaiah Mcrae, Julia Pfaar, Regina Ritter, Danielle Rackowski, Zac Santanello, and Grace Spencer.

JKCG is located in MCCC's Trenton Hall, 137 North Broad Street, across the street from the James Kerney Building. The community is invited to a reception with the photographers on Friday, Aug. 2, 3 to 6 p.m., held in conjunction with a concert by students and faculty from Mercer’s Summer Jazz Institute, to be performed outdoors at the campus.

Hours for this show are Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., or by appointment by emailing  

The gallery's director and curator is Michael Chovan-Dalton, Coordinator of the MCCC Photography program. Chovan-Dalton is co-curating this show with Ryann Casey, Adjunct Instructor of Art.

According to Chovan-Dalton, historically, portraiture has been used to represent the power, status, and wealth of an individual or a group through reproduction of their idealized likeness. “Early on in its history, photography imitated this process as best it could with lighting, costume, and scenery but soon photographers began to embrace the more vernacular descriptions that the photographic process could offer,” he said.

Chovan-Dalton notes that photographic portraiture has branched out into environmental portraits, documentary/travel portraits, photojournalism, street photography, self-portraits, and of course, the snapshot. “Photographic portraiture has been used to exoticize, colonialize, demonize, classify, document, heroicize, connect, heal, and memorialize," he said. "It has been a tool for our worst and best impulses.” He adds that the show’s title is based on an essay by Robert Frost.

For more about this and upcoming exhibits, visit

James Kerney Campus Gallery
JKCG on Facebook
Directions to James Kerney Campus

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Portrait by Lizzie Mayer (untitled)

Portrait by Ramie Ahmed (untitled)

Danielle Rackowski's "Depth"