(TRENTON, NJ) -- "Third Thursdays," the free monthly photography presentation and artist talk series at Mercer County Community College's (MCCC’s) James Kerney Campus Gallery (JKCG) at 137 North Broad Street in Trenton, will take place May 19th from 6:30pm to 7:30pm. The event, curated by Heather Palecek and Habiyb Shu'Aib, will feature work by Aaron Turner and Wendel White. Hosted by Director of the JKC Gallery, Michael Chovan-Dalton, the talk will take place live and on the Zoom conferencing platform. All are invited to register at jkcgallery.online.
Professor Chovan-Dalton remarked, “This will be the final Third Thursdays for this semester at JKC Gallery and I am pleased to present two artists who have shared their work with us in a solo show. We look forward to welcoming Wendel White and Aaron Turner on May 19.”
About the Artists:
Aaron Turner is a photographer and educator currently based in Arkansas. Turner focuses on photography as a transformative process to understand the ideas of home and resilience in the Arkansas and Mississippi Deltas. He also creates still-life photography in the studio environment on the topics of identity, history, blackness as material and abstraction.
Turner originally pursued a career as a photojournalist working for newspapers but was eventually drawn to photography as an art form.
“I got immersed in this field due to my high level of curiosity and the desire to look at the world and environments around me differently,” Turner said. “I began to study art as my desire for what I wanted to use the camera for became broader and broader, and my interest became more of a conceptual approach.”
On May 19 Turner will speak about a series of photographs that reflects the transformative process of resilience and understanding home along with his “Black Alchemy” project which is Turner's lens through which he “filters the world.”
He said, “It's about the role of the black artist within the studio environment, the history and formalities of abstraction, and the complexities of identity.”
Turner received his M.A. from Ohio University and an M.F.A from Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University. He was a 2018 Light Work Artists-in-Residence at Syracuse University, 2019 EnFoco Photography Fellow, a 2020 Visual Studies Workshop Project Space Artists-in-Residence, a 2020 Artist 360 Mid-America Arts alliance Grant Recipient, the 2021 Houston Center for Photography Fellowship Recipient, a 2021 Creators Lab Photo Fund recipient from Google’s Creator Labs & the Aperture Foundation, and 2022 Darryl Chappell Foundation photographer-in-residence at Ogden Museum of Southern Art.
Wendel White was born in Newark and grew up in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. His most recent projects include Red Summer; Manifest; Schools for the Colored; Village of Peace: An African American Community in Israel; and Small Towns, Black Lives among others. The recent Schools for the Colored exhibit at JKC Gallery integrated black and white images with digital media to depict the racially segregated school buildings and landscapes that existed in the northern states.
White has received numerous awards and fellowships including a 2021 Robert Gardner Fellow in Photography, Peabody Museum of Archeology & Ethnography, Harvard University; and a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship in Photography. His work is represented in museum and corporate collections across the country including The Museum of Fine Art, Houston, Texas; the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, Illinois and the Archive of Documentary Arts, Rubenstein Library at Duke University, North Carolina.
For more information about registration and attending in person or online, please visit JKCGallery.online.
“Third Thursdays” artist talks were started by Heather Palacek and Habiyb Shu’Aib as a platform for artists to showcase their work to the Trenton and the regional community. The events quickly reached an audience from New York to Philadelphia. With the introduction of hybrid virtual and in-person shows, JKC Gallery now features artists from across and beyond United States with a global audience reach.
Located at 137 North Broad Street in Trenton, New Jersey, Mercer County Community College’s JKC Gallery is a gallery for photography and lens-based work from international and regional artists.
IMAGE: JKC Gallery, Wendel White, Aaron Turner.