This article was originally published in the April 2017 Trenton Downtowner.
Mercer County Community College’s downtown Trenton Hall — located at 137 North Broad Street and across from the James Kerney Campus — officially opens as a downtown arts center on Wednesday, April 12.
Included in the ceremonies is a 12:30 p.m. ribbon cutting ceremony and dedication that officially opens the building designed by Trenton architects Clarke Caton Hintz.
Scheduled at 1 p.m. is the dedication of a gift painting for permanent display by Mel Leipzig. The painting — “Fashion Design, MCCC, Trenton Campus” — depicts one of the first fashion classes held in the then unfinished building.
In addition to being a nationally known artist, the 81-year-old Trenton-based Leipzig was a MCCC art instructor for 45 years, retiring in 2013.
At 1:15 p.m., the college hosts a Trenton Hall open house featuring tours, demonstrations, and refreshments provided by MCCC’s Career Training Institute.
A series of art-related events start at 4 p.m. with Leipzig conducting a talk about his painting and work in the building’s Community Hall.
Following at 5 p.m. is the opening of New Jersey photographer Wendel White’s “School for the Colored” in the new Gallery at the James Kerney Campus — one specializing in photography exhibitions.
The photographs depict buildings and landscapes associated with the system of racially segregated schools established at the southern boundaries of the northern United States and represent the duality of racial distinction within American culture, says White, who will conduct a gallery tour at 6:30 p.m.
The April 12 dedication ceremonies also includes an 11:30 a.m. “Moving Forward Bus Tour of Trenton Development.” Sponsored by the organization Greater Trenton, the tour leaves from Trenton Hall and stops at Thomas Edison State University’s recently completed Glen Cairn Hall on West State Street, Roebling Lofts at the former Roebling Steel Factory, and the new New Jersey Realtors headquarters on South Broad Street. RSVPs for the bus tour are requested. The contact is Shana Siplin at (609) 771-1770 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
‘School for the Colored,” on view through May 4, marks the start of a continuing series of exhibitions organized by gallery director, photographer, and MCCC photography and digital program coordinator Michael Chovan-Dalton.
Coming in June is an exhibition involving regional photographers. It will be followed in September by “It’s Not About The Game,” Trenton-area photographer Aubrey J. Kauffman’s series examining the design and architecture of urban athletic fields and courts.
The schedule continues in October with a show curated by Efreh Zelony-Mindell, a New York-based painter, curator, and writer who “elects work that pulls apart obvious, or expected assumptions of gender in an attempt to better understand, redefine and ultimately reclaim what ‘queer’ is”; and a November exhibition by New York photographer Kathy Shorr whose work has been published in Popular Photography, Newsweek, French Photo, Camera Austria, Photo Review, On Seeing, New York Observer, and the Village Voice and exhibited in International Photo-Journalism Festival, in Perpignan, France.
Trenton Hall Opening, 137 North Broad Street, Trenton, Wednesday, April 12, 11:30 a.m. “Moving Forward Bus Tour of Trenton Development,” sponsored by Greater Trenton, 12:30 p.m. Ribbon Cutting, 1 p.m. presentation of painting by Mel Leipzig, 1:15 p.m. open house, 4 p.m. artist talk by Mel Leipzig, 5 p.m. opening of Wendel White’s photography exhibition “School for the Colored,” and 6:30 p.m. gallery talk by White. Free. For more information, go to www.mccc.edu/trentonhall.shtml.
Gallery at the James Kerney Campus, Trenton Hall, 137 North Broad Street, Trenton. Mondays, 10 a.m. to noon; Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, 10 a.m. to noon and 3 to 6 p.m.; and Saturdays, noon to 5 p.m. Free. www.mccc.edu/community_gallery_jkc.shtml.