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Three Long-Time MCCC Fine Arts Students Featured at The Present Day Club in Princeton


West Windsor, N.J. – Some community members who take art classes at Mercer County Community College (MCCC) defy all definitions of the traditional student.  They are not especially interested in grades, are likely to take the same classes over and over, and, as retirees, have the chance to enjoy the life of an artist at full tilt.

Three of them, Michele Bouchard of West Windsor, Lynne Faridy of Levittown, Pa., and Concetta (Connie) Maglione of West Windsor are getting due recognition for their prodigious output at an exhibit called “Potpourri” at The Present Day Club in Princeton, on display through April 28.  The show features approximately 40 paintings – Maglione’s flowers, Faridy’s landscapes and Bouchard’s whimsical takes on familiar subjects.

The artists say the exhibit is the result of women in the local arts community nurturing each other. Rena White, another long-time MCCC art student, invited Maglione and fellow student Katja De Ruyter to exhibit with her last year in a show entitled "From Realism to Abstraction." Faridy attended the reception for that show and was invited to do a show. She, in turn, invited Maglione and Bouchard to join her. And "Potpourri" evolved from there.

The exhibit showcases artwork Bouchard, Maglione and Faridy completed as students of the now retired Mel Leipzig, and, in more recent years, under the tutelage of Professor of Fine Arts Kyle Stevenson, who teaches their favorite, Painting II, among his other courses.

“Many of the works on display are the result of class assignments,” Faridy says.

Maglione observes that she finds painting at Mercer an oasis of sorts.  “With painting being such as solitary activity, the class allows us to work beside like-minded people who enjoy painting and creating.  It keeps you motivated.”

Bouchard adds that she studied art in New York City and MCCC’s classes are comparable.  “The art department at Mercer is amazing,” she said.

In the studio at Mercer, from left, artists Michele Bouchard, Connie Maglione and Lynne Faridy.
The artwork on the show's postcard features, from left, landscapes by Lynne Faridy, flowers by Connie Maglione and the world of whimsy by Michele Bouchard.

And the women say it's never too late to learn, even for those who do not consider themselves artistically inclined.

"We have all evolved as artists and have watched our classmates get better as well," Faridy said.

For those interested in viewing the exhibit, The Present Day Club is located at 72 Stockton Street and is open to the public Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 9 a.m.to 4 p.m. Those planning a visit should call in advance at 609-924-1014.

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Glenn Kraft