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Art Gallery


Fall/Winter 2022-2023

Please visit for the latest announcements about limited gallery hours.


Trenton Hall
137 North Broad Street
Trenton, NJ 08608

News Feature: Celebrating Five Years as Part of Trenton Arts Scene



Ara Oshagan | How The World Might Be

October 13 - December 2

Reception and In-Gallery + Virtual Artist Talk
Thursday, October 13 at 6 to 8 p.m.

Register at

 download your invitation (pdf)

JKC gallery is thrilled to present “How The World Might Be,” an exhibition by Los Angeles-based photographer and installation artist Ara Oshagan.

Oshagan was included in the group show “The Road Home” at JKC gallery in 2021 and is interested in diasporic processes and afterlives of physical, cultural and linguistic dislocations. The artist’s own history and identity is entangled in his work as he lives and works directly among disrupted and marginalized communities.

In “How The World Might Be” Oshagan employs photography, film and collage to present a layered and multi-disciplinary vision of “diasporic presence” that intertwines documentary with the constructed, text with image, fact with speculation, personal history with collective history. “How The World Might Be,” entangles past-present-future and imagines the possibility of what was and what might or might not be.

 news announcement - preview

Ara Oshagan - How The World Might Be



Twosday Talks is a monthly artist talk from the JKC Gallery. It is curated and moderated by local artists, Heather Palacek and Habiyb Shu’Aib, and hosted by Michael Chovan-Dalton, Director of the JKC Gallery. The talks were started by Palacek and Shu’Aib as a platform for local artists to showcase their work to the Trenton and larger regional community and quickly reached an audience from New York to Philadelphia. When we moved to virtual talks our shows included artists from across the nation and now our audience is beginning to have a global reach. We look forward to having hybrid shows this Fall with guests and audiences both in-gallery and online.

You can register for our monthly event at

-- Michael Chovan-Dalton, JKC Gallery Director




Being And There

April 11 - May 13

Virtual and In-Person Artist Talk and Reception
Saturday, April 23 at 1 to 3 p.m.

Featuring early black and white photography from the extensive travels circa 1983 to 1994 of New York-based photographer Joseph Lawton.

Describing Lawton as a modern-era wanderer, JKC Gallery Director Michael Chovan-Dalton says, “Joe hitchhiked his way from New York to Colorado to attend college, and soon after he hitchhiked his way through Central America after he discovered photography …. The work in this show is an expression of someone wanting to be part of the greater community, someone who is always moving so he can stop and be there.”

Lawton is the recipient of the Light Works and the Southeast Center for Photography grants. His photographs have been published in The New York Times, Life magazine and Time magazine, and his works are included in public and private collections at Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris, France and Institute of Art and Design, St. Petersburg, Russia among others. Past exhibitions include P.S. 1, Canton Museum and OK Harris Gallery.

 news announcement - preview

Being And There

The Road Home: Migrations, Displacement and Redefining Where We Live

March 1-31

Virtual and In-Person Artist Panels
March 2 at noon and 6:30 p.m.

“A compilation of works from around the globe showcasing the photographers, journalists and visual storytellers who have experienced different forms of identity displacement, this show is a true visual conversation which tells a story through images and words about the struggles of migration,” says JKC Gallery Director, Michael Chovan-Dalton.

The Road Home gives participating artists the option to sell their works to support themselves or to donate the sales to charity. JKC Gallery will make up to three prints of each work as they are sold.

Featured artists include Yshao Lin of Fuzhou, China; Tomas Ayuso, Honduran writer and documentary photojournalist; Rola Khayyat, Lebanese interdisciplinary artist; Spanish/Palestinian independent visual journalist Maysun; Brazilian-born photographer Jennifer Cabral of New Jersey; Spanish fashion designer and photographer Icía Vázquez; journalist and lecturer Fatima Martinez (Bogota, Colombia); Australian/Brazilian photographer/visual storyteller Camilla Martineli from Philadelphia; photographer and installation artist Ara Oshagan.

 news announcement - preview

The Road Home

Homecoming 2021

Featuring the Works of Photography Students Who Graduated During the Pandemic

December 8 - January 29

Virtual and In-Person Reception
December 11 from 5 to 8 p.m.

A FUJIFILM-sponsored collaboration between Booksmart Studio (Eric Kunsman) and Float Photo magazine (Yoav Friedlander and Dana Stirling) along with JKC Gallery Director, Michael Chovan-Dalton and artist, Alanna Airitam, the show celebrates the hard-fought creative triumphs of students around the globe whose final years as undergraduate and graduate students were disrupted by the pandemic.

“Typically, the final year of a student's art program is filled with hope and possibilities,” notes Chovan-Dalton. “And while most institutions did a good job of providing students with alternative modes of learning and interacting, the past two graduating classes have had to settle for limited access to artist visits and delayed or remote thesis exhibitions and graduation ceremonies. 'Homecoming 2021' is our way of helping students continue their momentum forward to a fulfilling life in the arts.”

“The works selected for the exhibit feature graduate artists that span the globe. This show represents as broad a range of talented recent photo graduates as we could fit on these walls. We wanted to be as inclusive as possible, limited mostly by wall and publication space. It is our hope that this work gets into the hands of those who can provide opportunities for these talented graduates.”

 news announcement - preview

Homecoming 2021

Phillip McConnell | Analog Surrealism

November 8 - December 2

Virtual and In-Person Reception
November 8 from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

McConnell is an artist and writer from Trenton who mixes analog photography with digital processes to create work that reflects on the human condition and Phillips’ own personal experiences. Analog Surrealism is a juxtaposition series where McConnell merges different surrealistic concepts of glitch art -- the anesthetization of digital or analog errors, such as artifacts and other bugs -- with aspects of analog photography.

“I create this art by either corrupting digital code/data or by physically manipulating electronic devices,” he said. “Analog photography is any type of photography not taken through a digital medium... Think of a roll of film being analog and SD card being digital. Recent years have seen the trend of digital photography engulf this discipline, making analog photography a lost art. The concept of new ideas replacing the old is something that other artists have sought to embody. My objective is to use an old way of creating art and mix it with my own unique style.”

 news announcement - preview

Analog Surrealism

The Mark and the Memory | Curated by Ryann Casey

June 21 - September 17

Virtual and In-Person Reception
June 21, 2021 from 4 to 6 and 6 to 8 p.m.

The Mark and The Memory will explore the ways the contemporary photograph can document, embrace, and process trauma. From personal narratives to collective responses, the exhibition will examine how the photographic medium uses history, intervention, and self-documentation to address and respond to traumatic experiences.

Dates: The exhibition runs from June 21, 2021 to September 17, 2021, with an opening reception on June 21, 2021 from 4-6 and 6-8pm (2 receptions both virtual and in-person) and a closing Reception on September 14, 2021. The exhibition will include artist interviews, a catalog and a virtual tour.

Participating Artists: Terry Boddie, Renée C. Byer, Chrystofer Davis, Tim Dill, Emily Fuhrmann, Paul Kitagaki Jr., Heidi Kirkpatrick, Hannah Kozak, Bridget Laudien, Diana Markosian, Camilla Martineli, Janelle Smith, Tamara Torres & artists from the Odyssey Project (Nathan Maybee, Chris Veltri, Erica Duncan, Brianna Robinson). The exhibition will be curated by Ryann Casey and will feature an introductory essay by Kate Spiller.

 Closing Reception and Artist Talk Tuesday, September 14
 news announcement - preview

The Mark and the Memory

The Greyscale Economics Project

Brass Rabbit
April 19 – May 22 2021

Virtual and In-Person Reception
April 27 from 4 to 6 and 6 to 8 p.m. (register below)

The gallery is honored to be the first venue to show phase one of The Greyscale Economics Project by Brass Rabbit. This collection of work will give us a glimpse into the world of people who make a living working off the books and frequently with very minimial visibility. While some may choose to be in this system because of the economic advantages or the nature of their unscrupulous activities, others have few if any options and must participate in this economy in order to survive. These more vulnerable populations can be subject to abuse and crime without protection.

Rabbit’s work is both art and data, but most of all it is a chance to learn about the grey areas of our communities.

The Greyscale Economics Project combines data journalism, storytelling, and photography to highlight the stories of individuals who work in non-traditional economies. This project was designed to examine complex issues within American economics and the individuals who have created unusual avenues to bypass them.

 news announcement - preview

Register to attend the reception:

Zoom Link Only:

In-Person Only:

The Greyscale Economics Project

Heather Palecek | Resist Convenience

Our first in-person show since the shutdown. The show will have in-person limited hours and reception as well as a virtual tour and virtual talk during the reception.

Resist Convenience
Heather Palecek

March 1, 2021 – April 1, 2021
Reception and Talk on March 9th from 6-8pm (Virtual + Limited seating through registration)
Gallery Hours and Registration Links will be posted at

 news announcement - preview

Heather Palecek - Resist Convenience

Masked and Creating: Open Call for Current and Former MCCC Students

The Fall Semester Show – Masked and Creating

The JKC Gallery invites current and former MCCC students from any of the visual, performing, and literary arts to submit work for an ongoing virtual show to be featured on the JKC Gallery social media accounts, YouTube Channel (for video and audio), and this website.

The gallery is interested in work you have made during the pandemic that shows your response to our new normal as expressed through your creative practice. That expression can be documentary in nature or conceptually made in the work itself.

We will accept submissions through the end of November and the show will end on January 1st, 2021.

complete details

Masked and Creating

Third Thursdays are Back!

The JKC Gallery is excited to announce that our next Third Thursdays event will feature artists, Cliff Cooper and Sharon Harris. The virtual talk will take place on November 19th from 7:00pm to 8:00pm. You can register for this at

Third Thursdays is a monthly artist talk from the JKC Gallery. This season’s shows will all be virtual. It is moderated by artists, Heather Palacek and Habiyb Shu’Aib, and hosted by Michael Chovan-Dalton, Director of the JKC Gallery. The talks were started by Palacek and Shu’Aib as a platform for local artists to showcase their work to the Trenton and larger regional community and quickly reached an audience from New York City to Philadelphia. This season our virtual shows will have regional artists and artists from across the country.

The Artists for our November Show:

Cliff Cooper is a street photographer from central NJ who focuses on suburbs, beaches, and state fairs.

“It doesn't matter what subject you take on. In the end, whatever you do is going to be a self-portrait that will reveal who you are. If it's arrogant, it's about you, if it’s pretentious, that’s about you. Don't think you can escape yourself by your choice of subject matter.” —William Kentridge

Every memorable photograph is not defined by the obvious parts of the photograph, but rather by that one seemingly small detail that deeply resonates with the viewer, stirring and striking their heart.

This phenomenon is similar to a dream. We will usually not remember our dreams in their entirety, but we may remember small instances or details that stir our emotions. These details may not be part of the main content or “plot” of the dream; they are often less obvious. They are the small but compelling details that allude to an emotional connection within us and get us to open our eyes. It is that emotional connection that makes taking photographs (people, places, things, etc.) such a joy for me. Photography offers a way for me to escape the daily realities of the cold world we live in, and to live within my own lucid dreams.

-Cliff Cooper


Sharon Harris specializes in lens-less pinhole photography.

Pinhole photography enables me to see the world in surprising ways. This art form has the ability to bend reality, to change things. The hope that an image will exceed my imagination is my driving force. Although I conjure up in my mind what I think an image will look like, more often than not, it turns out that it has taken on a life of its own.

My work revolves around the female form in various environments. These environments are usually not on a grand scale but captured in a more intimate setting. The spaces I seek to photograph may include structures that can be transformed by the pinhole evoking a sense of otherworldliness. I use props in much the same way and in collaboration with models we hope to bring forth new possibilities. These figures appear very alone as if they are trapped in their respective realities. Existing in their limbo like space the subjects seem to be unaware of the viewer. It is as if one has happened upon a scene, as if the curtain has been drawn back.

All of my series reflect my desire to capture the unusual. Through the pinhole I have been led to a curious, eccentric, and somewhat strange world.

-Sharon Harris


Learn more about our moderators, Heather Palacek at, and Habiyb Shu’Aib at

 news announcement - preview

Third Thursdays

The Road
Float Photo Magazine

February 24 - March 27, 2020

Reception and Talk on March 12, 2019 from 5:00 – 7:00pm
Talk at 6:00pm

     news announcement - preview

     click to download your invitation (pdf)

The JKC Gallery is pleased to announce the first in a series of guest curator shows. Float Photo Magazine founders Dana Stirling and Yoav Friedlander will curate a group exhibition at the JKC Gallery located at the James Kerney Campus of Mercer County Community College in Trenton New Jersey.

The Road will run from February 24th through March 27th with a reception and talk on March 12th from 5:00-7:00 pm. The talk will be at 6:00pm.

This exhibition will survey the notion of the American Road. The road is an iconic theme that runs in some of the best- and well-known American photographers work such as Stephen Shore, Ed Ruscha, Alec Soth, and many others from both inside and outside the United States. Photographers have traveled these vast landscapes and across thousands of miles to document this country and all that surrounds the road; the landscape, the gas stations, the motels, the diners, the people, and the culture.

Float Photo Magazine was founded by Dana Stirling and Yoav Friedlander in March 2014 with the launch of the first issue “Into the Wild”. Float was created with the goal to share and celebrate the photographic work of versatile roster of contemporary photographers from around the world. From young and emerging to established artists, Float features high quality and creative work with the intention to inspire and push forward our photo community. We offer artists various opportunities and platforms for exposure - Instagram takeovers, book reviews, interviews, curated magazine issues, exhibitions with more to come. Float takes pride in collaborating with many other photo platforms to create a unique, open minded and welcoming space for photographers. And you as well are welcome to join us.

Dana Stirling is a still life and fine art photographer born in Jerusalem, Israel, and based in Queens, NY. She received her MFA from the School of Visual Arts in Photography, Video, and Related Media in 2016 and in addition has a BA from Hadassah College Jerusalem in Photographic Communications (2013).

Yoav Friedlander is a miniature scale model fine artist and photographer. Born 1985 in Israel, Yoav received his BA in Photographic Communications from Hadassah Academic College Jerusalem in 2011 and graduated with an MFA in Photography Video and Related media from the School of Visual Arts NYC in 2014.


The Road

Murder in the 4-0
Dispatches from the Bronx

Photographs by Edwin J. Torres
December 2, 2019 - January 28, 2020

Reception and Talk on December 12, 2019 from 5:00 – 7:00pm

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     click to download your invitation (pdf)

Artist’s Statement

A few years ago I was working on a year-long project with the New York Times documenting how crime persisted in New York City despite record low crime levels. I was tasked with documenting each and every homicide in the neighborhood where I grew up. This wasn't a simple spot news assignment. It was in-depth reporting where we spent time connecting with the families of the victims and made sure their stories were told accurately and with dignity. Regardless, It was a long, dark and heavy year. I witnessed too many tragic moments. My job was to document people at their worst. I did my best to work with compassion and respect.

In those days, I coped with the bad by also documenting the good. Each day I would carry a film camera with me to photograph the more nuanced everyday life. Some were more positive moments and others were ordinary. This was my way of normalizing the fact that society carries on despite hardship. My coping mechanism was also a way for me to engage with the community in a positive way. I would frequent block parties, parks, or a normal scene by a bodega to document the everyday. In this way I worked to empower others and make them laugh or smile.

This show gave me the opportunity to step back and look at both bodies of work as complementary components that depict a very real New York. It calls on the importance of representation in visual storytelling. Where we see one perspective there is always another side. This show for me is about coping and balancing the good and the bad in the pursuit of truth.

Edwin J. Torres (b.1989) is an award-winning photographer preoccupied with telling stories from inner city communities and family life. He graduated from Colby College with a degree in American Studies, which sparked his intellectual curiosity about history, current events, and the representation of culture in media.

Currently, Torres serves as the Deputy Digital Director for the Governor's Office in New Jersey. He lives and works in Trenton and organizes exhibitions at the Roebling Gallery. Before his work in government, Torres was a freelance photojournalist. In 2016, Torres was the lead photographer and contributed reporting in a Pulitzer Prize winning story with ProPublica and the New York Daily News. He is a former member of the Bronx Photo League which is attached to The Bronx Documentary Center (BDC) and published the Jerome Avenue Worker's Project.

His work has been published in the New York Times, Vice, The Atlantic, The New York Daily News, The American Prospect, ProPublica and several other outlets. Edwin currently lives in Trenton, New Jersey. You can follow his work on Instagram @edwintorresphoto.

Statement from the Gallery

Edwin J. Torres was surrounded by tragedy and sadness while working on “Murder in the 4-0” for The New York Times. He helped document some of the darkest moments in the lives of the people, who were victims in their own right, of the murder of their loved ones. The work was emotionally challenging and as a counterbalance to the sadness, Torres began to look for the positive in and around these neighborhoods. He photographed daily life and looked for moments of joy. In the end, he created a more well-rounded portrait of places in which he was originally tasked to cover only loss.

This show is actually two-bodies of work made simultaneously. One was assigned and the other was done for personal reasons. It is a great example of how powerful the photographic document still is in shaping our perception of place and people. It is also a reminder of the responsibility that the documentarian has to sharing a story with accuracy and inclusiveness as well as the responsibility that the audience has to being curious and well informed.

Michael Chovan-Dalton
JKC Gallery Director


Murder in the 4-0

Pequeña Hoguera – Blaze
Verónica Sanchis Bencomo / Cristina Gálvez Martos

October 22 – November 12 2019

Reception: Wednesday, October 23 | 5:00-7:00pm
Artist’s Skype Talk at 6:00pm

Verónica Sanchis Bencomo and Cristina Gálvez Martos met in the fourth grade a little over twenty years ago. As their adult lives took different paths to different places, Verónica went on to study photography and Cristina studied literature, they began to correspond with each other through the mail by sending each other their work. Verónica would send photos and Cristina would send poems and although Verónica was traveling and living in places such as Brighton, Wales, London, New York, and Hong Kong and Cristina was traveling and living in Caracas, Parque del Plata, and Montevideo, their art seemed connected. What they were sending to each other revealed similar experiences and a translation of their lives that seems rooted in their shared identity and friendship.

Michael Chovan-Dalton
JKC Gallery Director

Pequeña Hoguera is a joint photography and poetry project between Verónica Sanchis Bencomo and Cristina Gálvez Martos. We seek, through a dialogue of sensitivities, to create an aesthetic discourse that allows us to define our vital processes.

In an increasingly fragmented world, it becomes difficult to build a coherent and cohesive discourse about who we are, what defines us, where we belong. We are young women, Latin Americans, immigrants. That puts us in some social definition, in a group that, however, keeps radical differences. Those concepts are not enough.

It is in the small narratives, in the most intimate events, where we really find ourselves. Pequeña Hoguera –Blaze refers to transmutation processes, through which we build our encounter with reality. There is a breath, a spark that keeps us growing, that moves us continuously. Even in the coldest periods, small flames feed the inner life. From there arise our images, which find each other in a natural, spontaneous way. We are creators from the individual, but also from the encounter. We do not have a defined physical place. We continue in this trans-geographic adventure. The fanzine we have created together and this itinerant show, which is constantly evolving, are our means of transportation. Verónica Sanchis Bencomo / Cristina Gálvez Martos


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Pequeña Hoguera – Blaze

Kissed & Toothless

September 10 – October 8, 2019

Reception: Wednesday September 18, 5:00-7:00 pm
Artist talk at 6:00pm

Our lives are a series of histories, forever being rekindled, revised, and rewritten. Kissed & Toothless is a visual anthology and a catalogue of existence; it is the negotiation of my personal archive that has slowly accreted. I didn't amass this collection with a specific purpose in mind; these are simply the objects that I’ve preferred in my field of vision for the last decade. Some were acquired as gifts, some by chance, and others through inheritance, but all have been carefully curated with reverence and proclivity. The installations create stories—enigmas become disguised as assertions and truths take on the patina of forgery. The viewer is a voyeur into my world where everything straddles the territory of metaphor, myth, memory, and veracity.

The manner in which my possessions are organized often creates fabricated versions of reality and calls into question our strategies for translating truth into narrative. I write, restructure, and edit my experiences via the configuration of my collection. Sometimes the arrangements settle into a world that isn’t shifting and solidifies in a photograph; other times the compositions continue to fluctuate as they are redefined. Each object is a word, each shelf is a sentence, each wall is a paragraph, and the exhibition is a story.

       Dominica Paige

B.F.A., Pratt Institute; M.F.A., Parsons The New School for Design

Exhibitions include United Photo Industries, 25 CPW, Tyler School of Art, LACDA, Photoville, The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, Aronson Gallery, Mana Contemporary; publications include Conveyor Magazine, Unless You Will, PDN, Monthly Photo.

 Artist's Instagram
 Artist's Website

 news announcement - opening reception
 news announcement - preview

The experience of looking at Dominica Paige’s installation work is like wandering through an estate sale of a home that had only one family for 100 years, but now the family is gone and the only record of their existence are these objects. There’s a sense of family, loss, adventure, and mysticism. It is a 3-dimensional family album that hints at a greater story of the lives of the people who lived in a place, and it is all fiction.

The objects, notes, images, and records that people create, collect, lose, and leave behind are meant to provide for a record of a life lived, but contemporary context and interpretation of evidence can never fully match the essence of who a person was and the stories that they made. Paige’s installation challenges our trust and romantic ideals that we place in the records of our own history.

       Michael Chovan-Dalton
       JKC Gallery Director


 click to download your invitation (pdf)

Kissed & Toothless
Kissed & Toothless

The Figure A Portrait Makes

July 29 – August 23, 2019

Reception: Friday August 2, 3:00-6:00 pm

The JKC Gallery is excited to announce that our summer exhibition will be a group show with 10 current and former students who have taken Visual Arts classes at MCCC.

The Figure A Portrait Makes will feature work by Ramie Ahmed, Timothy Dill, John Labaw, Elizabeth Mayer, Isaiah Mcrae, Julia Pfaar, Regina Ritter, Danielle Rackowski, Zac Santanello, and Grace Spencer. Each artist has been selected for their contemporary interpretation of the genre of portraiture.

The show will run from July 29th through August 23rd. There will be a reception that will be part of MCCC’s Summer Jazz Institute concert on Friday August 2nd from 3:00-6:00pm.

Summer Show Gallery Hours: Tu/We/Th 10:00-2:00 or by Appointment –

Historically, portraiture has been used to represent the power, status, and wealth of an individual or a group through reproduction of their idealized likeness. Photography imitated this process as best it could with lighting, costume, and scenery in its early history but soon photographers began to embrace the more vernacular descriptions that the photographic process could offer. Portraiture in photography branched out into environmental portraits, documentary/travel portraits, photojournalism, street photography, self-portraits, and of course, the snapshot. Portraiture in photography has been used to exoticize, colonialize, demonize, classify, document, heroicize, connect, heal, and memorialize. It has been a tool for our worst and best impulses.

The show’s title is based on an essay Robert Frost wrote as a preface to his 1939 edition of Collected Poems. In it, Frost describes what he believes are the tenets to a successful poem. Below is an excerpt from the essay. If you imagine that Frost is writing about the artist and the portrait instead of the writer and the poem, you can easily make the case that these tenets can also apply to the visual arts.

“The figure a poem makes. It begins in delight and ends in wisdom. The figure is the same as for love. No one can really hold that the ecstasy should be static and stand still in one place. It begins in delight, it inclines to the impulse, it assumes direction with the first line laid down, it runs a course of lucky events, and ends in a clarification of life not necessarily a great clarification, such as sects and cults are founded on, but in a momentary stay against confusion.

No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise for the writer, no surprise for the reader. For me the initial delight is in the surprise of remembering something I didn’t know I knew. I am in a place, in a situation, as if I had materialized from cloud or risen out of the ground. There is a glad recognition of the long lost and the rest follows…”

-Robert Frost

The Figure A Portrait Makes
Co-Curated by:
Ryann Casey, Adjunct Instructor of Art
Michael Chovan-Dalton, Gallery Director


 news announcement - opening reception
 news announcement - preview

 click to download your invitation (pdf)

The Figure A Portrait Makes

Orpheus Looked - Rachel Stern

April 11 – May 9 2019

Reception: Wednesday April 17 5:00-7:00 pm
Artist Talk at 6:00 pm

Rachel Stern's "Orpheus Looked" explores the classical narratives on tragedy and power in a way that allows the viewer to enter and reexamine these tales through the use of contemporary construction. The images and the materials are both garish and luxurious. Stern works with historical and literary moral touchstones which have influenced and guided western culture for much of its history. Her treatment of these stories and events are meant to make us question our acceptance of normative roles, classic beauty, and conventional circumstances.

      Michael Chovan-Dalton
      JKC Gallery Director

As Ovid describes it, "Afraid she was no longer there, and eager to see her, the lover turned his eyes." In that turning of the eyes Orpheus, son of Apollo and Calliope, master of the lyre and the most captivating voice and verse, befell a tragedy of iconic stature. Doubt had lead him to break his deal with Hades and, by his looking, sent his beloved wife back to an eternity in the Underworld. There are different versions of how he died but whenever it happened he had long plead for death’s relief in poignant mourning song which disturbed everything from tree to god. The Muses, always a practical clique, saved his severed head so that it might continue to croon his sad songs for the benefit of us mortals. And as we consider mortality, as verse often inspires, we are reminded that, though the son of a god and a muse, Orpheus was mortal - and Orpheus did look. Inspired by this tragic but comfortingly human pitfall Orpheus Looked is a collection of works by Rachel Stern which explore the idea of tragedy. Responding to stories from literature, mythology and history the works use a politicized understanding of kitsch to create a queer-washed, reimagined narrative of some of our great tragic moments. Using photography, sculpture, and installation works will touch on everything from Greek Mythology to the Oscar Wilde, from The Salem Witch Trials to the French Revolution, and from Lady Macbeth to Mrs. Dalloway. In whole the exhibition will be a critical, vulnerable examination of how our historical accounts of the tragic also reveal a complex and often dark social history (or present).

Rachel Stern is a photographer whose work challenges conventions of beauty and promotes escapist, constructivist fantasy. Her work images a world that might be, built out of the world that is. It is a kitsch paradise, a queer-washed history, and an attempt at hope. She received her BFA in Photography and the History of Art and Visual Culture in 2011 from the Rhode Island School of Design, attended Skowhegan in 2014, and graduated from Columbia University in 2016 with an MFA in Visual Arts. Her work has been featured in BOMB, ArtFCity, Hyperallergic, and Matte Magazine.

      Rachel Stern


 Artist Website

 news announcement - opening reception
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 click to download your invitation (pdf)

Orpheus Looked - Rachel Stern

La Feminista - Tamara Torres

February 28 – April 4 2019

Reception on Wednesday March 6 – 5:00-7:00pm
Artist Talk at 6pm

Tamara Torres' project, "La Feminista. Soy You?" explores what feminism is for different cultures and generations of women. It is an attempt to bridge the different experiences and identities within the feminist movement through dialogue and by posing the most direct question, "What does feminism mean to you?" In our current climate filled with great politicized anger and debate over the harassment and abuse of women, and equity for women in the workplace, Torres examines a foundational element of the current social, economic, and political struggle that can be a source of both strength and division among those seeking to be heard.

      Michael Chovan-Dalton
      JKC Gallery Director

My new project "La Feminista. Soy Yo?" ("The Feminist. Am I?") is a photography and video installation featuring women of different generations amplifying on the word feminism. I am collaborating with grandmothers, mothers, and daughters, from different cultures, locally and around the world, taking their individual portraits and a video of them as I pose the question: What does feminism mean to you? Through this project, I am seeking to document how feminism is regarded by women of different generations and cultures. Personally the word feminism didn't mean much to me as a young Latina. I didn't fully learn about the word and its meaning until my 20s, and I still questioned whether "feminism" was meant for me or only for those women who were already privileged in this world.

My photography, paintings, collage and performance art all offer elucidations of broader cultural movements intertwined with my own personal stories. My art grapples with racism, women’s rights, and injustice in this era. Whether it's my own personal story of perseverance after being born "a statistic," as one teacher told me, doomed by the circumstances of my birth, or telling the stories of those who have faced adversity and discrimination because of their background or culture, my art faces the truth of our common humanity. It is my mission that if my art can change the outlook of one person's mind, that is the first step towards changing a generation

Tamara Torres is a Trenton, NJ native. In her youth she survived abuse, discrimination, homelessness, and in her art she has taken up the cause of abuse disadvantaged and disenfranchised women around the globe. At age 12 a friend gave her a camera and she has been taking photos and using them to in her art ever since. Torre's photo-based collage art has been shown in New York, Chicago, London, and Rome. Torres is a Puerto Rican and her art has recently sought to counter misconceptions of Latino citizens and immigrants. She has recently begun creating and exhibiting abstract paintings.

      Tamara Torres


 Artist Website

 news announcement

 click to download your invitation (pdf)

La Feminista - Tamara Torres

IRON and WATER - C.a. Shofed

January 24 through February 21 2019

Reception on January 30 – 5:00-7:00pm
Artist Talk at 6pm

At the height of industrialization in the Mid-Atlantic and the Northeast of the United States cities and towns flourished if they had just a few strategic resources, such as iron ore or coal, but no resource was more important than having access to a body of water that could power mills, cool down furnaces, fill up steam engines, or transport raw and finished materials. C.a. Shofed's images show us the remnants and the artifacts of the great industrial era that helped build the industrial American city. This is an archeological expedition that is unique to our young country and can only trace back to about 150 years. Many of the sites have been abandoned, repurposed for a new fleeting economy, only to be abandoned again. Some have found new meaning and have been restored, but for those structures left to lie in repose, the wait is silent until the next opportunity arises or until it is time to fall back into the water.

      Michael Chovan-Dalton
      JKC Gallery Director

Things un-noticed. The ordinary. Things we take for granted. I love to find beauty in objects we pass by every day. When I spot an object or subject that meets my criteria I picture the moment I'd like to capture that object in. When that moment arrives, I take the shot. That picture usually takes place in an urban setting or as nature tries to reclaim a man-made object. Not always, but that tends to be what my eye is drawn towards. Things passed over. I've taken what I've learned over the past 7 years as a photographer and apply those lessons, my style to every picture I take.

Sometime after being laid-off and after his second kidney transplant C.a. Shofed decided during his recovery that he would give fine arts photography a go. "I had moved to Trenton, New Jersey and the art scene in my new home town was raw, vibrant and easy to access unlike the small town I grew up in. Trenton's art scene is mature and is just now being discovered by the world outside its borders. Artists like Leon Rainbow and Kasso are leading the charge. In my neighborhood alone, there was an artist with a piece owned and displayed at the MoMA, a documentary filmmaker, a cinematographer, an actor and several musicians. What an amazing place to feed the creative juices!". C.a. Shofed's art has been exhibited and sold in galleries and museums across the globe including Philadelphia, New York, San Diego and many places along within the continental United States and Europe. C.a. Shofed has taken a stab at curating by creating an annual show featuring artists inspired by my home town of Trenton. The highly successful show is called "Common Threads" and has been hosted successfully for the last 6 years at Hopewell Valley Vineyards. The success of Common Threads has led to Shofed curating at the Vineyard on a permanent basis and becoming the curator at Trenton's newest gallery The BSB. "I use the curating opportunity at Hopewell Valley Vineyards to give back to my art community and to pass on what I have learned."

      C.a. Shofed


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IRON and WATER - C.a. Shofed  
IRON and WATER - C.a. Shofed

Gary Saretzky - Retrospective 1972-Present

November 28, 2018 Through January 10, 2019

Reception and Artist Talk
Wednesday, December 5th | 5:00-7:00pm | Talk at 6:00pm

Gary Saretzky has been archiving for most of his life. He was the archivist for ETS (the educational research firm) for 25 years and he has been the Monmouth County Archivist for almost another 25 years, but since 1972 Saretzky has been amassing a more personal archive of his life experiences and observations through photography. His collection also reflects the various schools of photography through the decades and their inevitable influence on all photographers who are students and teachers of photo history. Effused in Saretzky’s work are glimpses of Lisette Model, Minor White, and Duane Michals, but then occasionally there is a hint of Lee Friedlander or William Klein. This is all to say that Gary Saretzky’s work is the culmination of a lifetime of archiving and a profound desire to preserve the joys and sorrows of living.

Gary Saretzky began a serious involvement with photography in 1972, when he took a class with William Barksdale at Mercer County Community College. Subsequent teachers included Peter Bunnell, Eva Rubenstein, Duane Michals, and Charles Harbutt. From 1977 to 2012, he taught photography and the history of photography at MCCC and The College of New Jersey and he continues to lecture regularly under the auspices of the Public Scholars Project of the New Jersey Council for the Humanities. In 2007, he had a retrospective of his photographs, 1972-2007, at the Rider University Art Gallery. His web site, Saretzky Online, includes several series of his photographs, information about the history of photography, and a photography book store. In addition to his free-lance work in photography, Saretzky has been Archivist of Monmouth County since 1994, and served as Coordinator, History Internship Programs, Rutgers University, from 1994 to 2016. He has published more than one hundred articles and reviews on photography and other subjects. Saretzky is profiled in the Macmillan Biographical Encyclopedia of Photographic Artists and Innovators, Who’s Who in American Art, and Who’s Who in America.

Gary Saretzky Retrospective 1972 - Present

 Artist Website

 news announcement

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October 16 through November 13

Reception on October 24th – 5:00-7:00pm
Artist Talk at 6pm

These photographs explore the dramatic potential and complexity of returning home: characters, archetypes, and dreamlike landscapes of 50 miles on a road to nowhere. I'm in the third year of shooting this project. It's the middle of June, and the sun doesn't go down until well after midnight. I drive an old rusted truck that barely gets my gear around, drink too much coffee, and go about visiting old haunts. During the day I drive out the one road, exploring neighborhoods and landscapes. In the evening, I find myself making photographs in the downtown area where I was a bartender for much of my twenties. Life for many Alaskans begins and ends in a bar, or a tired circle of town. Bars for the irreligious, and God fearing folks alike are a social center. Much to the chagrin of locals, my camera and lights are a bright disruption in barrooms and on the street.

Patrice Aphrodite Helmar is a photographer and curator from Juneau, Alaska, who lives and works in New York City. She is a graduate of Columbia University's Visual Arts MFA program, and a current visiting professor at Pratt Institute and Columbia University.

Helmar's work has appeared internationally, including at the Jewish Museum, National Museum of Iceland, Houston Center for Photography, New York Photo Festival, BOSI Contemporary, Fisher Landau Center, Judith Charles Gallery, and the Anchorage Museum.

In 2016, she founded and continues to curate the Marble Hill Camera and Supper Club. The Camera Club is an ongoing discussion about photography modeled after queer family skill share workshops, and began in her home in the Bronx. The Marble Hill Camera Club has outgrown Helmar’s living room, and now takes place at a community hall in Queens.

Helmar was a nominee for the Rema Hort Mann and Gordon Parks Prize, and a recipient of a Rasmuson Foundation Fellowship. Her work is included in public and private collections including the Centre Pompidou Library, Rasmuson Foundation, Juneau Douglas City Museum, Duke University, and the Barnard Zine Library.

 Artist Website

 news announcement

 click to download your invitation (pdf)

Patrice Aphrodite Helmar photos


September 11 through October 4

Reception on September 12 - 5:00-7:00pm
Artist Talk at 6pm

This show is a personal meditation on a post-9/11 New York City by the Brooklyn-based photographer Kai McBride. In a series of black and white silver-gelatin prints, the artist has concentrated on two subjects that were profoundly altered for him following the traumatic events in 2001: the Empire State Building and commercial airplanes in the cityscape.

In 1971 the World Trade Center towers ended the Empire State Building’s four decade reign as the tallest building in the world. Nearly 30 years later, as we witnessed the horror of the twin towers falling, the 102-story building was once again the tallest in New York. McBride’s photographs draw attention to the building’s stature and renewed significance by showing only the Art Deco spire slyly poking above and merging with elements of the buildings in the foreground. “I became more conscious of the E.S.B. and it’s pervasive presence around Manhattan, its newfound vulnerability as a potential target, and especially its iconic hollow mast which I learned had originally been conceived as a dock for airships.”
- Kai McBride.

With three busy regional airports, the constant presence of airplanes in the sky around New York is taken for granted. “I vividly remember the first plane that I heard overhead when they resumed commercial flights after September 11th. I felt compelled to look up and follow its path, which ended in a little jolt as it disappeared behind a building. After having that feeling while watching planes intersect with buildings for several years, I decided to start photographing these moments”, explained McBride. As with the Empire State Building images, these airplane photographs have a humorous quality in their awkward assemblage (architecture and airplane) that adds to their more plaintive connection to the oft repeated imagery of Flight 175 striking the South Tower.

Kai had been working on these two bodies of work separately until it occurred to him that they were stronger when seen together, emphasizing their common source in a loss of innocence and a new awareness of a scar in the skyline.

Kai McBride has shown his work in group exhibitions at the Fayetteville Museum of Art; Black Mountain Center for the Arts; FoCi Art Fair; LeRoy Neiman Gallery; and the traveling Pannaroma exhibition. In October 2015, he had a solo show “Untamed Southern Kudzu: Beset, Entwine, & Cloak” in the Oresman Gallery at Smith College. His first monograph, About Face: Picturing Tampa, was published by SPQR Editions in Fall 2016.

Kai finished high school at North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem, studied film and photography at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and in 2008 received a MFA from Columbia University. McBride is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Columbia University and Manager of the Photography Department Facilities.

 Artist Website

 news announcement

 click to download your invitation (pdf)

Patrice Aphrodite Helmar photos

Ryann Casey - Loss Event

August 1st through September 7th

Closing Reception on September 6th – 5:00-7:00pm
Artist Talk at 6pm

This show is part of an on-going series by Ryann Casey based in the U.S. National Park system, Loss Event utilizes both analog and digital photography, alongside non-silver processes, to explore the intersection of personal loss and environmental degradation through the filter of memory and grief.

Ryann Casey is a Philadelphia/New Jersey based artist, curator, and organizer. Casey has exhibited in and around Philadelphia and NYC while also working as an adjunct Professor of Photography, Art History and Critical Theory in New Jersey and currently teaches Art History and Photography at MCCC. Casey holds a BA in Photography with a minor in Gender Studies from Stockton University and an MFA/MS in Photography and Art History from Pratt Institute.

Ryann’s website is under construction right now but her IG is active:

 news announcement

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Ryann Casey - Loss Event

Niko J. Kallianiotis - America in a Trance

April 12 - May 10

Reception and Artist Talk:
Wednesday, April 18, 5-7:30pm, Talk at 5:30pm

Photographer Niko J. Kallianiotis was born in Greece. But he has spent the last two decades - half his life, now - in Pennsylvania's small towns and big cities, taking photos as he crisscrossed the state.

When he first immigrated to Scranton 20 years ago, he said he came with a fictional idea of America in his mind from the movies: vibrant, prosperous, thrilling. This wasn't exactly what he found. Instead, he discovered that once-thriving towns in Pennsylvania were beginning to struggle. He watched as industry left and casinos rose in its place. More recently, he began to see parallels between the troubled economic situation in his home country and the one in Pennsylvania: a glut of services, but no industry, and rising unemployment because of lack of opportunity. He felt he was chronicling the "fading American dream."

Now, he has turned those photos into a project called "America in a Trance"

- Elizabeth Flock PBS Newshour Read the full interview here.

 Artist Website
 news announcement

Niko J. Kallianiotis makes photographs of places he has lived in the United States both as an insider who has lived here for half of his life and as an outsider who grew up in Greece. His work is both reactionary and commentary. He had witnessed the economic rise and falls in his homeland of Greece and is now a witness to the ongoing struggle to survive in the towns and cities of his new home-state and country. His work explores the social landscape of the places he has lived and visited while exploring his identity in both cultures.

Niko J. Kallianiotis photos

Tony Chirinos - Fighting Cocks

March 5 - March 30

Reception and Artist Talk:
Wednesday, March 21, 5-8pm, Talk at 5:30pm

Growing up, photographer Tony Chirinos often heard stories from his father about his childhood in Cuba, including tales of the cockfighting culture there. As Chirinos got older, he thought back to those stories, and his interest in cockfighting increased further when he read Gabriel García Márquez's novella, No One Writes to the Colonel. When Chirinos had the opportunity to visit St. Andres, Colombia, he was eager to see a fight for himself.

- Jordan G. Teicher,
Read the full article

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Jen Davis - Eleven Years

January 25 - February 22

Reception and Artist Talk:
Wednesday, January 31, 5-8pm, Talk at 5:30pm

"And I always kind of thought about myself in my role in the work as this was me but it was a version of me..." - Jen Davis

Jen Davis explores body image, identity, and relationships through the lens of her camera and the lens of her own journey transforming her body and her perception of who she is. Her work explores the tension between how you see yourself and how others see you. Jen's work is filled with intimacy and a desire to connect with others through the act of photographing. The publication of her book "Eleven Years" helped inform a national conversation about body image.

     Artist Website
     Lenscratch Book Week Review
     Book on Amazon
     news announcement

Jen Davis - Eleven Years

Kathy Shorr - "SHOT"

November 8 - December 6

Reception and Panel Discussion:
Thursday, November 16, 5 to 8 p.m.; Panel Discussion at 5:30 p.m.
Discussion will be with gun violence survivors included in the book "SHOT", moderated by MCCC Professor Alvyn Haywood
Book signing will follow discussion.  arrow recap

Those who die from gun violence can only address the issue as statistics and memories of lives that were. The SHOT project focuses on the living whose lives have been forever changed by the emotional and physical trauma of gun violence. They are present in their portraits, words (survivors write a statement to accompany their photo) and voices (video clips) and are not able to be dismissed as statistics that have passed on but rather as a "force" to reckon with.

SHOT enables us to explore the dialogue about gun violence. A number of the survivors in SHOT are responsible gun owners. It is not meant to be polarizing but rather to connect us to each other and how much we have in common, giving us the opportunity to begin to take an unbiased look at guns in American society. Responsible gun laws are desired by most Americans. - Kathy Shorr

Along with the show will be panel discussion on gun violence which will include survivors who are included in Shorr's new book, SHOT.

 Artist Website
 news announcement

Kathy Shorr - Shot

Aaron Turner - "Arkansas Delta"

October 4 - November 4

Reception and Artist Talk:
Thursday, October 12, 5-8pm, Talk at 5:30pm

Gallery hours during exhibit:
Monday: 10:00am-2:00pm
Wednesday: 10:00am-2:00pm
Thursday: 10:00am-5:00pm

Arkansas Delta
The Arkansas Delta is not only a series of river basins that empty into the Mississippi from the west but also a conglomerate of cultural richness which consists of farming, religion, music, and food to name a few. During the 70s and 80s the fading of sharecropping and technological advancements in farming equipment caused major shifts in farming and other local industries, resulting in people looking elsewhere for work. Photographer Eugene Richards photographed the Delta 40 years ago in the late 60s and early 70s. The landscape of the Arkansas Delta has remained the same but the people who inhabit it have shifted dramatically, through population loss. My project, Home: The Arkansas Delta, looks at complex remnants of the region tradition, population loss, sharecropping, king cotton, my own family and many other topics in between. Growing up in the Arkansas Delta in a small town called West Memphis, and looking back on things, resilience has always been deeply rooted in those around me. My approach to documenting the region is through photography to capture the resilience of people and the region itself, from an insider's perspective. I use photographs as a visual representation to talk about the present and future while comparing it to the past. I want to share the story of my own family within a larger context of the region itself.
-Aaron Turner

M.A. Visual Communications, Ohio University
M.F.A Visual Art Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University
Aaron Turner (b.1990) is a photographer and educator currently based in the Hudson Valley working as Technical Director in the Film and Electronic Arts Department at Bard College, also as an Adjunct Professor at Bard College at Simon's Rock. He uses photography to pursue personal stories of people of color, in two main areas of the U.S., the Arkansas and Mississippi Deltas. Aaron has a strong interest in the role that documentary photography plays in both the art and journalism worlds, and the crossover this creates in contemporary photography

Aaron is also the founder of Photogs of Color which is a social media project dedicated to promoting well and lesser known photographers of color.

 Artist Website
 news announcement

Aaron Turner

Aaron Turner

Aubrey J. Kauffman - "It's Not About the Game"

September 5 - September 29

Reception and Artist Talk:
Wednesday, September 6, 5-8pm, Talk at 5:30pm

Part of Kauffman's series on Urban Studies, these are photographs of athletic fields and courts that are not meant to be experienced as landscapes but as backdrops where events take place. Kauffman examines the design and architecture of these utilitarian and highly regulated spaces and how they interact with their surrounding environment when they are unoccupied.

 Artist Website
 press announcement 1
 press announcement 2

Aubrey J. Kauffman

Beloved Trenton - Habiyb Ali Shu'Aib (beloved1)

June 19 - August 21

Reception and Artist Talk:
Friday, June 23, 5-8pm, Talk at 5:30pm

Gallery hours during exhibit:
Tuesday: 11-4
Wednesday: 12-6
Thursday: 11-4

[press announcement]

The JKC Gallery is pleased to present the work of
Habiyb Ali Shu'Aib (beloved1).

Habiyb Ali Shu'Aib (beloved1) was born and raised in Trenton. At age 9 his parents gave him a disposable camera which began his love of photography and photographing the city he calls home.

Shu'Aib's photographs show us Trenton with honesty and affection. Trenton can be a complicated place to describe because it is a city that struggles with its identity and it is perceived differently by those who only know it through the media, by those who work here but live elsewhere, by those who left here, by those who moved here, and by those who never left.

Shu'Aib's photos are made by someone who is familiar with a place and at the same time endlessly curious about that very same place. His work reads like a journal from someone who is sketching images and taking notes for what will ultimately become a novel of what his life was about in the place he grew up. For the viewer, we are given an experience that may reflect our own perceptions of Trenton but they may also remind us of something familiar and beloved in our own travels.

 Artist Website

Beloved Trenton

Wendel White - "Schools for the Colored"

April 6 - May 4

Artist Talk and Gallery Reception:
Wednesday, April 12, 2017 - 5 to 8 p.m.

[preview]   [overview/details]

These photographs depict the buildings and landscapes that were associated with the system of racially segregated schools established at the southern boundaries of the northern United States. This area, sometimes referred to as "Up-South," encompasses the northern "free" states that bordered the slave states. Schools for the Colored is the representation the duality of racial distinction within American culture. The "veil" (the digital imaging technique of obscuring the landscape surrounding the schools) is a representation of DuBois' concept, informing the visual narrative in these photographs. Some of the images depict sites where the original structure is no longer present. As a placeholder, I have inserted silhouettes of the original building or what I imagine of the appearance of the original building. The architecture and geography of America's educational Apartheid, in the form of a system of "colored schools," within the landscape of southern New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois is the central concern of this project. - Wendel A. White

 Artist Website

Wendel White - Schools for the Colored

CJ Harker - "Trenton Blacksmiths"

February 9 - March 9

Artist Talk and Gallery Reception:
Wednesday, March 8, 2017 - 5 to 8 p.m.

[press announcement]

The Trenton Blacksmith shop has been open and operating in the same modest brick building for nearly 200 years. Many souls have called that building home in one sense or another. Countless stories can be traced through the many corners of the shop or found caught up in the dust and cobwebs. The shop's current master blacksmith, Sasha, is a remarkable individual with an abundance of character who has kept an amazing piece of history living and breathing year after year since 1971. He is always ready with a warm greeting and a willingness to tell his own tales fueled by a full life. Sasha eagerly passes his many years of knowledge and experience along to his students. A diverse group of area residents of all ages, Sasha's pupils include a Trenton school teacher/bladesmith and a neighborhood youth who has been a journeyman blacksmith under Sasha since the age of 10.

CJ Harker is an award-winning and internationally published photographer from Trenton, NJ currently residing in Philadelphia, PA. CJ attended the MCCC Photography & Digital Imaging program before transferring to and earning his BFA in photography from The University of The Arts. He is currently a teaching assistant and resident artist at his alma mater in Philadelphia. Working at craft schools such as Peter's Valley and Penland reinforced CJ's affinity for the photographic object.

CJ works with a combination of digital and analog methods. While his editorial work is generally made using contemporary digital tools, the majority of his personal work is composed of alternative or historic processes. But more often than not there is a degree of overlap between the two, mixing the best of both photographic eras.


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