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Alum Tamara Ramos Focuses on Community Building Through Art; Gallery Exhibit Opening Reception Set for Aug. 7


Trenton artist Tamara Ramos ('10) believes that art can change communities. That's the premise at work in her venture, Euphemia Photography, which will host an opening for an exhibit entitled "Art, Freud and the Unconscious," on Saturday, Aug. 7, 6 to 9 p.m. The event will combine art, photography, dance, theater and more, and will be held at the DeRosa Group incubator space, located at 354 South Broad Street, Trenton. A small donation to benefit the Trenton Downtown Association will be requested.

According to Ramos, every artist participating in the exhibit has been asked to base his or her work on the unconscious mind. "The artists are encouraged to push their creativity to the limit without fear of judgment," Ramos says. "We want the community to think, feel, and wonder, to learn a little about philosophy and feel the artists through their work. We want them to leave with a sense of surprise and knowledge of art."

Ramos has pulled a number of MCCC folks into the fold. Among the participants are Assistant Professor Jody Person, coordinator of the MCCC Theatre and Dance Program, who will perform his own theater piece, and MCCC Dance alumni Han Koon Ooi, Ian Reid Conley and Christopher Kess. MCCC Assistant Professor of Psychology Matthew Giobbi will exhibit some of his photographs. A singer and poet will also perform.

This is the second project Ramos has undertaken as owner of Euphemia, named after her late grandmother, who died as a result of domestic violence. The first exhibit, also a group show, benefitted WomanSpace, with each artist dedicating a piece of artwork to this organization whose mission is to prevent domestic violence and help its victims.

Ramos has dubbed her initiative "Gallery on the Go." One of her long-term goals is a physical gallery space. "My vision is to build a place where artists and the community can come together and express themselves in positive ways," she says. Ramos also hopes the gallery will function as a sanctuary for young women "to recognize their self worth, their beauty, and their history through speakers, classes on women's history, and much more," she says.

Alum Tamara Ramos with Assistant Professor Matthew Giobbi
This photo, by Matt Giobbi, is featured in "Art, Freud and the Unconscious," an exhibit hosted by Euphemia, coming to Trenton in August.
Tamara Ramos, far right, as Aunt Juliana in "Hedda Gabler (2008), with Solomon Mason as George Tessman and Deena Jiles as Hedda Tessman.

Ramos' own self-discovery process began at MCCC, where she studied in the late 1990s and returned in 2007 to study art. She recalls being "terrified" to return to the classroom at the age of 27, but says her professors eased the way. "Mercer brought me back and broke me out of my shell," Ramos declares. Her increasing self-assurance was evident in her strong performance as Aunt Juliana in an ambitious student production of Henrik Ibsen's "Hedda Gabler," directed by Person in 2008. "My professors helped me and they pushed me," she says.

Ramos will continue her studies at Thomas Edison State College in the fall to complete her bachelor's degree.

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