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MCCC Graphic Design and Photography Student Dominic Guarino Wins Award for Photograph Titled The Rancher

Purchased photograph will remain in Mercer County's permanent collection

by Marcya Roberts


West Windsor – Dominic Guarino, graphic design and photography student at Mercer County Community College, has won a Mercer County Division of Culture and Heritage Purchase Award for “The Rancher”   —- a photograph Guarino took that represents his grandfather’s collection of midwestern artifacts.

The unique photograph was displayed as part of a biennial exhibition that took place October 15 through November 27 at the Trenton City Museum at Ellarslie. The show is a co-sponsored project of the Mercer County Culture and Heritage Division and Trenton City Museum. Seventy-two artists participated in the exhibit and seven artists in addition to Guarino were presented with the award.

Guarino, who began at MCCC in 2021 as a graphic design major, took a random photography class one semester which uncovered his penchant for taking photos.

After enrolling in the class, Guarino starting taking photography much more seriously as an art form.

“Professor Michael Chovan-Dalton inspired me to stay with photography so I plan to graduate with a degree in graphic design and one in photography,” said Guarino.

Guarino was surprised when his piece was selected.

“I didn’t expect to even get into the show, let alone have my work purchased,” said Guarino.

Guarino’s experience at MCCC has helped him to expand his interests in ways he never imagined.

“I have been able to use the resources at Mercer to pursue additional creative endeavors,” said Guarino. “I've learned practical tools and techniques, but being at the college has also helped me learn a lot about myself.”

After Mercer County Community College, Guarino hopes to further his degree.  

Guarino said, “I think Mercer is definitely preparing me for my next move. My advice to incoming students is to try new things — don’t put yourself in a box.”

For more information about photography at Mercer County Community College please visit this link:  

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Established in 1966, Mercer County Community College is a publicly supported comprehensive institution that provides opportunities for higher education through an open-door admission policy. The scenic 292-acre West Windsor Campus was opened in 1972 to serve the needs of Mercer County residents. MCCC’s James Kerney Campus, located in downtown Trenton, serves as an educational and cultural hub for city residents that meets the changing needs of thousands of students and community members seeking educational fulfillment and personal and career growth.

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Graphic design and photography student Dominic Guarino took home a Mercer County Division of Culture and Heritage Purchase Award for his work “The Rancher,”  an image Guarino captured that represents his grandfather’s collection of midwestern artifacts . (Photo by Marcy Roberts)


the rancher

“The Rancher” by Dominic Guarino on display at the Trenton City Museum at Ellarslie. (Photo courtesy of Dominic Guarino)