Mercer County Community College’s James Kerney Campus Gallery is just one of the many venues working to make Downtown Trenton the Capital of the arts. Opening on January 24, Trenton’s own C.A. Shofed will have his exhibit Iron and Water on display at the gallery.

“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,” said JKC Gallery Director Michael Shovan-Dalton “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 archaeological 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.”

“Things un-noticed. The ordinary. Things we take for granted. I love to find beauty in objects we pass by every day,” said C.a. Shofed. “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.”     

There will be a reception on January 30th from 5-7 p.m. with an artist talk at 6 p.m.

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To learn more about C.A. Shofed, visit his website at http://www.amphorartworks.com/.

The JKC Gallery is located in Trenton Hall at 137 North Broad Street. To check out hours for the exhibit visit the JKC Gallery website at http://www.mccc.edu/community_gallery_jkc.shtml.