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Generations Unite During “Passing the Palette” Show at The Gallery at Mercer


WEST WINDSOR – It was a homecoming for some, and first contact for others during an art show at The Gallery at Mercer County Community College (MCCC) featuring area high school art teachers and their pupils during the opening reception for “Passing the Palette: Arts Educators and Their Students.”

More than 200 individuals attended the opening reception, ranging from  young artists in their first show to established art instructors displaying their own works. According to Gallery Director Dylan Wolfe, the show demonstrates to the region the depth of the arts community in Mercer County.

“This was a fantastic opportunity for The Gallery to be a part of fostering connections between the arts, education, and our Mercer community,” Wolfe said.

One of the high school students selected for the show was Ben Reitz, a Lawrence High School senior. While he has shown his work before in local galleries and shows, he was enthusiastic regarding the opportunity to participate in “Passing the Palette.”

“My teacher thought it would be a great experience for me,” Reitz said. “There is a font of information here.”

Teresa Capaccio, a South Brunswick High School senior, said the Gallery show was her first, but she’s confident it won’t be her last.

“This is very exciting,” Capaccio said. “I’ve been passing by (the MCCC campus) since I was five. This is what I want to do.”

It was a different experience for Nicole Backlund, an art instructor at Trenton Central High School West and a Mercer alumnus. In total, six students from the school were showing their work, along with her colleague, art instructor Andy Seabert. Two of Backlund’s own works were part of the show.

“It’s really exciting to be here,” Backlund said. “I brag about Mercer to all of my students.”

"Passing the Pallette," which was on display Nov. 16 through Dec. 8, featured 67 works created by more than 50 artists, including 13 instructors. Participating high schools included Allentown, Hopewell Valley, Lawrence, Robbinsville, South Brunswick, Trenton Central, Trenton West, and West Windsor-Plainsboro south.




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Nicole Backlund, an MCCC alumnus and art instructor at Trenton Central High School West, with MCCC Visual Arts Professor Yevgeniy Fiks, one of her professors.
Ben Reitz
Lawrence High School senior Ben Reitz with his watercolor "The Keep."
Teresa Capaccio
Teresa Marie Capaccio, a senior at South Brunswick High School, Monmouth Junction, with her work "Tucked In."