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Art Gallery


Hours for current exhibit (8/1/18 - 9/7/18)
Tuesdays: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Wednesdays: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Thursdays: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Trenton Hall
137 North Broad Street
Trenton, NJ 08608


FALL 2018


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


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

 click to download your invitation (pdf)

Patrice Aphrodite Helmar photos

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 Listette 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 Saretky’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 Speakers Program 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 onmouth 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

 click to download your invitation (pdf)


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

 click to download your invitation (pdf)

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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