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Raritan Valley Community College to host contemporary art exhibition featuring work by two arts & design faculty members

BRANCHBURG TOWNSHIP, NJ (Somerset County) – Raritan Valley Community College’s Arts & Design department will present Ideas in Form, an exhibition showcasing the work of Arts & Design Faculty members James Adkins and Bill Macholdt, January 18-February 17, in the Art Gallery at the College’s Branchburg campus located at 118 Lamington Road.

The show is being coordinated by RVCC Associate Professor and Art Gallery Director Darren McManus. The reception and artists’ talk will be held Friday, January 27, from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. The event is free of charge and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

Working across the disciplines of drawing, sculpture and sculptural ceramics, the work featured in Ideas in Form, although aesthetically distinct, is unified by a technical proficiency resulting in a mastery of form.

James Adkins holds a BFA and MFA, both in Sculpture, from the Maryland Institute College of Art and the New York Academy of Art, respectively. Through archetypal narratives and naturalistic forms, his work seeks to examine our shared human experience: our emotions, intellect, frailties and impermanence. His studio practice is rooted primarily in sculpture, both in the round and relief, but it also includes drawing. Adkins’ process is influenced from both the Classical tradition and the drama of the Baroque as he strives to make work that is immediately visually engaging while fostering deeper examination and contemplation.

Ever seeking to further develop his skills, in spring 2022 Adkins was awarded a fellowship at the Newington-Cropsey Foundation Academy of Art, which provides space and materials for artists to explore carving in both wood and stone. Previously, he received grants and awards from the National Sculpture Society, Hudson Valley Art Association, and the Tri State Sculptors’ Association. He teaches visual art in several schools in the NY/NJ area and delivers an ongoing series of lectures at the Visual Arts Center of NJ.

Bill Macholdt holds an MFA in Visual Art/Sculpture from Bennington College in Bennington, VT. Macholdt has taught as an adjunct professor in the Arts & Design department at RVCC since 2001. He also has taught at several other New Jersey institutions, including Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University and William Paterson University. Macholdt has shown his work nationally and in galleries and museums throughout the New York, New Jersey, and Philadelphia area. He is the recipient of a 2021 New Jersey Council on the Arts Individual Artists Fellowship Award in ceramics, an award he also received in 2009.

For Ideas in Form, Macholdt has chosen work that reflects his studio practice over a broad span of years, focusing on his relationship with the formal aspects of ceramic sculpture. His pieces are created out of a deep interaction and interplay with many aspects of process, with a large reliance upon an improvisational approach to the manipulation of materials and subsequent ideas. Forms often arrive in the absence of any preconceived regard for meaning or interpretation. Finished pieces are allowed to be what they are and what they need to be, which hopefully allows for the entrance and freedom of the viewer to find their own place within the work.

Gallery hours for the exhibition are Mondays, 3:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.; Tuesdays, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.; Wednesdays, 3:00 – 8:00 p.m.; Thursdays, 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.; and Fridays, 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. For further information, contact Arts & Design at 908-218-8876.

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Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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