January 25, 2023

Emerging Artists Kick Off Year at Artworks

“CONTEXT IS KING”: Works by Phillip McConnell are on view in the Main Gallery at Artworks Trenton through February 25. An opening reception is on February 3 from 6 to 8 p.m.

Artworks Trenton celebrates the beginning of their 35th season with the opening of a groundbreaking new exhibition featuring the work of Phillip McConnell and Dionne Jackson. The exhibitions presented in 2023 will capture the organization’s commitment to creativity, community, and connection. From now through February 25, McConnell’s show, “Context is King,” will be presented in the Main Gallery alongside Jackson’s show, “Just As I Am,” in the Community Gallery with a 2023 Season Opening Reception on February 3 from 6 to 8 p.m.

McConnell is an emerging artist from Trenton. His focus surrounds the creation of abstract, surrealist digital artwork. “I specialize in an art form called glitch art,” said McConnell. “Glitch art is the anesthetization of digital or analog errors, such as artifacts and other ‘bugs,’ by corrupting digital code. In my work I discuss my experience as a Black creative with the intention to inspire and connect others.”    

With his exhibition, McConnell seeks to explore the relationship between language and meaning, and between context and content. The work in this exhibition will be an amalgamation of two different art forms — poetry, and visual art. Each piece of artwork will be accompanied by a poem, and this exhibition will explore the relationship between art and poetry. “The themes of poetry within this project all explore a journey of self, and inspire an honest discussion on what the world looks like when you are an outlier to your own culture.” said McConnell. 

During the opening reception on February 3 McConnell will present a brief artist talk discussing the themes presented in the work. He will be joined by two local Trenton poets who will perform pieces included in the exhibition.

“Just As I Am” marks a milestone for Dionne Jackson as her first solo presentation. “As a wood carver and environmental artist, I collect wood and tools from my environment to create artwork that represents my culture and my own experiences,” said Jackson. “Each piece of wood has its own story to tell. My goal is to reveal and enhance the marks that are already there. As I see the beauty in these distinctive, raw, unique wood pieces, I am reminded of the beauty within myself and my heritage. What encompasses my work are the ‘4 Rs’: relate, rescue, reveal, and release. I relate to the wood as if they are my family and my ancestors. I notice all the imperfections and marks in the wood, and let the wood tell me what it wants to reveal. The message the wood reveals to me offers insight into my ancestors and my culture. I aim for these pieces to move those who see them to think, feel, and act.”

Artworks Trenton is located at 19 Everett Alley in Trenton. For hours and more information, visit artworkstrenton.org.