Mercer County Community College’s (MCCC’s) James Kerney Campus Gallery (JKCG) presents “Gary Saretzky Retrospective – 1972 to the Present,” an exhibit that chronicles the work and influences of this well-known Lawrence photographer. The show runs from Wednesday, Nov. 28 through Thursday, Jan. 10. A community reception and artist talk takes place Wednesday, Dec. 5, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The talk begins at 6 p.m.
JKCG is located in MCCC’s Trenton Hall, 137 North Broad Street, across the street from the James Kerney Building. General JKCG hours are: Mondays, 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Tuesdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesdays, 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The gallery’s director and curator is Michael Chovan-Dalton, coordinator of the MCCC Photography program. More information about JKCG and upcoming shows is available on the JKCG website here.
According to Chovan-Dalton, Gary Saretzky has been archiving – both professionally and personally – for most of his life. He was the archivist for Educational Testing Service (ETS) for 25 years and has been Monmouth County’s archivist since 1994.
Since 1972, Saretzky has also been amassing a more personal archive of his life experiences and observations through photography. “His collection reflects various schools of photography through the decades and their inevitable influence on all photographers who are students and teachers of photographic history,” Chovan-Dalton said. “Effused in Saretzky’s work are glimpses of Listette Model, Minor White, and Duane Michals, with an occasional hint of Lee Friedlander or William Klein. This is all to say that Gary Saretzky’s work is the culmination of a lifetime of archiving and a profound desire to preserve the joys and sorrows of living.”
Saretzky’s passion for photography took root at Mercer County Community College when he took a class with William Barksdale in 1972. A long relationship with the college followed. His 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, as well as at 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, the Rider University Art Gallery presented a retrospective of his photographs, 1972-2007.
In addition to his freelance work in photography, Saretzky served as coordinator of the History Internship Programs at Rutgers University from 1994 to 2016. He has published more than 100 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.
Saretzky’s website includes several of his photo series, as well as information about the history of photography and a photography book store. Visit http://www.saretzky.com.