Curator Tricia Fagan often tells visitors to the Gallery at Mercer County Community College not to touch the artwork, because oils from the hand can damage the artwork. Now, she’s throwing caution to the wind in the exhibit As Seen By Hand. The Sculpture Association of New Jersey and three invited artists have assembled a collection of “touchable sculpture” — you can see it at the Gallery through Feb. 19. (An opening reception will be held Jan. 24, 2 to 4 p.m. and a gallery talk will be held Feb. 2 at 7 p.m., with a slide presentation by artist Frances Heinrich on the history of assemblage sculpture.)
The 17 artists here are encouraging visitors to interact, feel and even rearrange the 25 works on display. Visitors can feel the elegant textures of classically influenced works in bronze, plaster and alabaster by artists including Edna Fish, William Kilpatrick and Mira Welnoska. Installation artist Jeff Packard invites viewers to play a few holes of miniature golf in “Café Thou Art,” while Larry Lee invites them to construct their own version of his sanitized-balls-and-mirror piece, “26+1.” Janis Purcell warns visitors that her creatures bite, and Michael Wiley’s “Day to Day” gives them a whole new way to “pump it up.”
Members of the Sculpture Association of NJ in the show are: Hope Carter of Hopewell, Edna Fisher of Cranbury, Frances Heinrich of Princeton, Joy Hutchins of Farmingdale, William Kilpatrick of Highlands, Irene Koldorf of Springfield, Larry Lee of So. Plainfield, Stefanie Mandelbaum of West Windsor, Roger Munch of Morris Plains, Pat Feeney Murrell of So. Plainfield, Jeff Packard of Fairlawn, Janis Purcell of East Windsor, Mira Welnowska of Jackson, and Michael Wiley of Ewing. The three invited artists are: D.J. Haslett of Hamilton, George Olexa of Titusville, and Judy Tobie of Princeton. Ms. Tobie’s work is pictured here.
Founded in 1971, the Sculpture Association of NJ is a collective of professional artists dedicated to promoting excellence in the field of sculpture. Members are juried in, and the criteria for acceptance includes originality, diversity of styles, and professionalism.
The Gallery is located on the second floor of the Communications Building on Mercer’s West Windsor campus at 1200 Old Trenton Road. Gallery hours are: Tuesdays, 9 a.m .to 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Wednesdays, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.; and Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. http://www.mccc.edu/community_gallery; (609) 570-3589.