Julie Willmot
(609) 278-7137

TRENTON, N.J.—The Mercer County Culture & Heritage Commission will celebrate its 40th Anniversary with an opening of an exhibition of works from the County’s extensive art collection on July 9.

The opening of the exhibit, titled “The First Forty”, will run from 6 to 9 p.m. on July 9 at Artworks, 19 Everett Alley in Trenton, and will feature live music by the David Adolf Quartet. The event is sponsored by the Mercer County Division of Culture and Heritage and the County Culture & Heritage Commission. The exhibit runs through July 31, 2010.

“Since 1970, Mercer County has been devoted to sustaining and developing its diverse arts community,” said County Executive Brian M. Hughes. “And for the past four decades, the Culture and Heritage Commission has undertaken a tremendous service for our residents in promoting public interest in the performing and visual arts, local history and the culture and traditions of our community. I invite all residents to help us mark this special occasion.”

The philosophy and function of the Mercer County Cultural and Heritage Commission is to enrich the lives of the residents of Mercer County through the promotion of arts programming; promotion of public interest and understanding of historic and cultural matters; and for the administration of the local Arts Program Grants through a State/County Block Grant Partnership with the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment of the Arts.

Mercer County was the first county government in New Jersey to recognize the importance of being a patron of the arts. In 1971 the Mercer County Cultural and Heritage Commission, on the recommendation of Howard Goldstein, Chairman of the Commission, instituted a program that would give recognition to outstanding Mercer County artists. The Commission sponsored a juried exhibition of paintings, drawings, prints and sculpture to be held annually at what was then Trenton State College, now, The College of New Jersey. Additional recognition to the exhibiting artists was given through the presentation of purchase and merit awards. The jurors selected the merit awards and the Commission with the consultation of the jurors selected the purchase awards.

Through July 31, gallery hours are: Tuesdays, noon-8 p.m.; Thursdays, 4-8 p.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. For directions to Artworks, please visit www.artworkstrenton.org or call (609) 394-9436.