Contact: Julie Willmot
(609) 278-7137

TRENTON, N.J. -The First Annual Visual Arts Exhibit of The Mercer County Teen Arts Festival featuring works from dozens of local middle and high school students will open this Friday, July 11, at the Erdman Art Gallery in the Princeton Theological Seminary.

The exhibit features student artworks selected by guest artists during the May 16 Teen Arts Festival at Mercer County Community College. The Visual Arts Exhibit at the Erdman Gallery is new this year to a Countywide tour for student artwork, which was also displayed on June 21 and 22 at the "Art All Night" Celebration in Millyard Park in Trenton.

"The Visual Arts Exhibit at the Erdman Gallery is another venue through which we can share the considerable artistic talents of our young people in Mercer County," said Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes. "This exhibit is open for a limited time, so I encourage anyone who appreciates art to view this collection."

The exhibit includes 31 selected works from students who attend Crockett Middle School in Hamilton, Trenton Catholic Academy in Hamilton, Daylight/Twilight High School in Trenton, and John Witherspoon Middle School in Princeton. The exhibit, designed and installed by Jennifer Concha, will be on display from July 11 through September 6.

The Erdman Art Gallery at Princeton Theological Seminary is located in the Center of Continuing Education's Erdman Center at 20 Library Place in Princeton, New Jersey. The gallery is in its eighth year of operation and continues to display a wide variety of artwork by local and national visual artists. Erdman Gallery is accessible and open to the public during regular gallery hours, which are Monday through Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Sunday from 2:30 to 9:00 p.m.

For more information about the Erdman Gallery and directions, please call the Center of Continuing Education at (609) 497-7990 or (800) 622-6767, extension 7990, or visit www.ptsem.edu/CE/erdmanartgallery.php.  For more information about the Mercer County Teen Arts Festival, please call (609) 989-6899 or visit www.nj.gov/counties/mercer/commissions/cultural/teen.html.

The Mercer County Teen Arts Festival is a one-day event held annually on the West Windsor Campus of Mercer County Community College. The Festival is a comprehensive "arts in education" program open to all Mercer County public, private, parochial, and home-school students in middle and high school, grades six through twelve, or ages 13 to 19. This year, seventeen schools participated, including around 1,300 students.

The focus of the festival is not on competition but on participation in performance and critiquing seminars, masterclasses and workshops in art, dance, drama, vocal and instrumental music, film and creative writing. The program aims to help students develop perceptual, intellectual and technical skills; gain cultural awareness and understanding; develop personal aesthetic values; and learn self discipline, critical thinking, and problem solving through analyzing, interpreting and making judgments.

The artwork selected for the Countywide tour, which ends with a display at the Arts Showcase on October 25 at the Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, was chosen by approximately 40 guest artists at the Teen Arts Festival. The guest artists are professionals in a variety of disciplines, including visual art, communications, film and video, dance, drama, vocal and instrumental music, and creative writing. The guest artists work and teach locally in the arts disciplines and are also commonly instructors at Mercer County Community College.