The Gallery at JKC, Mercer County Community College’s exhibit space in downtown Trenton, is hosting an exhibit that provides a different artistic take on New Jersey’s capital city.
“Beloved Trenton” by photographer Habiyb Ali Shu’Aib will be on display from Monday, June 19 to Monday, July 17. A reception and artist talk is set for Friday, June 23 from 5 to 8 p.m.
Shu’Aib was born and raised in Trenton. His parents gave him a disposable camera at age 9, which ignited his love for photography and photographing the city he calls home. JKC Gallery Director Michael Chovan-Dalton said he was drawn to Shu’Aib’s work for its unique depiction of Trenton.
“He shows us Trenton as home as opposed to Trenton as problems, which is often how photographers depict the city,” Chovan-Dalton said.
Chovan-Dalton added that Shu’Aib’s photographs depict Trenton with honesty, affection, familiarity and curiosity.
“Trenton can be a complicated place to describe because it is a city that struggles with its identity and it is perceived differently by those who only know it through the media, by those who work here but live elsewhere, by those who left here, by those who moved here, and by those who never left,” Chovan-Dalton said, adding that Shu’Aib’s work reads like a journal about the place he grew up. “The viewer, in turn, is given an experience that may reflect our own perceptions of Trenton but also remind us of something familiar and beloved in our own travels,” he said.
Shu’Aib’s work has been featured regularly around the area in recent years, including Trenton’s Art All Night and Art All Day, Trenton 365 Show, Soul of The Message with SAGE Coalition at Casa Cultura Gallery, among others.
The Gallery is located in Trenton Hall at 137 North Broad Street. Gallery hours are Tuesdays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesdays, noon to 6 p.m., and Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, visit www.mccc.edu/JKCgallery.