Interpretive Photographs by Guy Ciarcia, 2006
November 13 – December 2, 2015

The Gallery at Plainsboro Public Library is excited to bring back an inventive and intriguing photography exhibit by Guy Ciarcia. Created in 2006 with a grant from the Middlesex County Cultural and Heritage Commission,  Mr. Ciarcia’s show, Totally Trenton, A Modern Look Back,  offers 14 large scale, interpretive photos which illuminate aspects of the city’s rich history and cultural contributions.  An art reception will be held Sunday, November 15, 2 – 4 pm. The exhibit runs November 13 through December 2, 2015.

Balancing the need to document specific topics, with the desire to be experimental, the photographer developed fresh angles  and techniques for his seemingly ordinary subjects:   the Delaware River, the Trenton War Memorial,   Shiloh Baptist Church Choir,  Waterfront Park,  the Barracks, the  offices of The Trentonian, and John Fitch,  inventor of the steam boat.

With the aid of digital technologies, and a lifetime of experience teaching in Trenton, Guy knew where to go, and how to create works that penetrate far beyond snapshots of the real world.   To capture the spirit and pride of the first pro basketball game, played in Trenton on November 7, 1896, Guy contacted High School coach Reggie Murray, who set up a special game for the artist to record.   Splicing, dicing, coloring  and aligning the images, the artist created a composite work which evokes the energy and wonder of the game that Trenton did much to develop and popularize at the turn of the century.

In striking contrast to the intricate design of the basketball picture, are two oversized images, abstract in nature, featuring fundamental elements in Trenton’s industrial heritage: Roebling’s innovative cabling for suspension bridges;  and clay,  the basis for Trenton’s world famous pottery industry, from Lenape times to present day Boehm, Lennox and Cybis. While it is unlikely that these everyday items are prime candidates for interpretive photography,  Ciarcia’s touch creates  strikingly beautiful views of the multi-segmented  rounds of Roebling’s wire in cross section, and the inviting softness of fresh,  ready-to-be-molded clay.

Whether you are viewing this exhibit for the first time, or taking the opportunity to reexamine the images, we are sure you will enjoy this imaginative and timeless tour of Trenton.

Born in 1942 in Union City, New Jersey, Guy Ciarcia is a classically trained artist, who was educated at the Pratt Institute, New York University, and the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence, Italy. His massive body of work spans over fifty years and runs the gamut from painting, murals, photography, film, and digital drawings to sculpture, ceramics, crafts and jewelry.

He has received grants from the Mercer County Cultural Heritage Commission and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.

Early recognition came in the 1960’s as a member of the innovative Smokehouse Painters, a group of painters and sculptors commissioned by the City of New York and funded by the Museum of Modern Art.

He has been an exhibiting artist since 1965 and is credited with shows at Union Carbide, Café Americano and The Jewish Museum in New York, Princeton University, The Ben Shahn Galleries at William Patterson College, The New Jersey State Museum, The Trenton City Museum, The College of New Jersey, The Peddie School, The Williams Collection, The Hillier Group, and ArtWorks, all in New Jersey; the George School and the Philadelphia Museum of Art in Pennsylvania and The Archives of American Art, Smithsonian in Washington D.C.

The Library once again offers warm thanks to the Middlesex County Cultural and Heritage Commission for their support and funding of this project; the Trenton City Museum Board of Trustees for lending exhibit materials and granting photographic privileges; the Shiloh Baptist Church Choir for their performance at the 2006 opening celebration of this show; and Guy Ciarcia, for his innovation and enthusiasm in  creating these photographs to  illuminate the Library’s 2006 TOTALLY TRENTON summer program.
Your efforts have indeed been timeless!