“Third Thursdays,” the free popular 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 19 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

The event, curated by Heather Palecek and Habiyb Shu’Aib, will feature work by Aaron Turner and Wendel White. Hosted by the 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.

“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,” Professor Chovan-Dalton said.

The first artist featured is Aaron Turner, 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 identity, history, and blackness as material and abstraction.

Turner initially 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.” More about Aaron Turner can be found at https://www.aaronturner.studio.

“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 the United States with a global audience reach.

The second artist is Wendel White. Born in Newark, White 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 in the northern states.

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