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SCCC offers Passion for Art and Design

in Fine Arts, Home Page, News

For students with a passion for art and design, Sussex County Community College has five studio arts programs that will bring out the “arts” in those looking to break into the field, and earn their Associate in Fine Arts degree. Additionally, for those intending to go on to a 4-year college, the SCCC programs make it a seamless transition.

Aspiring teachers can enroll in the art education sequence which features classes in 2D and 3D arts, digital and graphic design. The program integrates producing art with classes in art history, visual culture and art criticism. Students can learn philosophies of art and art education theory along with the integration of art with social justice, values and beliefs.

Students in the architecture design sequence take classes in art, art history, theory and technology and do studio work in preparation for transfer to a BFA major in architectural design.

A fashion design program this close to America’s fashion capital in New York City can be an exciting challenge for students. They will produce custom clothing or costumes and besides hands-on classes in design, transfer and implementing patters, students learn about the history of the fashion industry.  This will enable them to leave SCCC with a portfolio ready to take them to a four-year program.

The interior design option includes art history and theory as well as studio work and is also in preparation for transfer to a B.F.A. program.

Photography students have the option of entering straight into professional work or transferring to a fine arts/photography degree program. They learn the traditional chemistry of darkroom and printing methods as well as digital photography. Students also have the benefit of new photography facilities.

Students interested in design can look into the many programs offered under graphic design.

“Our students have many opportunities for work or transfer. SCCC is committed to cultivating students’ talents and interests.”  said Kathleen Peterson, director of marketing.

Enrollment for spring classes begins November 27th.  For questions on getting started, please contact our Admissions Office at 973.300.2223 or email  To apply to SCCC, please visit

SCCC to showcase Contemporary Artist

in Fine Arts, News, Performing Arts

Sussex County Community College’s Art Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of contemporary art by Autumn T. Thomas.  The ‘Suite of Subjective Juncture’ exhibit will be on display from September 11 through October 13. An Opening Reception will be held on Friday, September 22 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in the Art Gallery.

Autumn creates new forms and imagery through the marriage of two contrasting materials; handmade paper and forged metals. The materials become a metaphor for the Black body, speaking to vulnerability and tenacity, respectively. Gallery Coordinator, Kulvinder Kaur Dhew, says, “in her work, the artist attempts to challenge common perceptions and generate a dialogue in order to challenge misconceptions that can lead to racial bias.” Her prints, artists’ books, and installations reference trompe l’oeil – a French term meaning “deceive the eye”, under the auspices of finding a common entry point into the difficult conversation about race relations.

Autumn T. Thomas (b. 1978, Mansfield, OH), lives and works in Philadelphia, PA. She creates artist’s books and interdisciplinary prints that take a critical view of cultural, social, and political issues. She is currently a resident Artist Fellow at Peter’s Valley School of Craft in Layton, New Jersey. A veteran of the US Air Force, Autumn received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Communication from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is a recent graduate from The University of the Arts’ Book Arts + Printmaking Master of Fine Art Program in Philadelphia.

The Art Gallery at Sussex County Community College is open to the community and free of charge, all are welcome.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art Trip

in Fine Arts, News

Saturday April 15 (Leaving at 8:30 am and returning around 5 pm.)

Sussex County Community College (SCCC) continues their series of diverse community events with a trip to The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City scheduled for Saturday, April 15th.

Founded in 1870, “The Met” has become more than just a treasury of rare and beautiful objects, as it presents over 5,000 years’ worth of artwork from all around the globe. It continues to make art come alive in the galleries and among its exhibitions and events, that reveal both new ideas and unexpected connections across time and cultures.

Ticket price covers transportation to and from SCCC. The Museum is by donation. SCCC students pay $20 and SCCC staff, faculty and the community pay $25.  Tickets go on sale Monday, March 20th.  Click here to purchase tickets.

25th Annual Fine Art Students’ Exhibition

in Fine Arts, News, Performing Arts

One of the most anticipated events in the Sussex County Community College calendar, the Annual Fine Art Students’ Exhibition, will be installed from May 6 through June 20. Presented in the Art Gallery in Building C, this year’s exhibit features approximately one hundred works created by current SCCC students who are either art majors or have taken courses in the Department of Fine Arts.

This juried exhibition will highlight works from digital media, design, painting, drawing, sculpture, ceramics and photography. The Opening Reception will be held on Friday, May 6 from 6:00-8:00p.m. It is always well attended and has proven to be a wonderful night. The exhibition offers students an opportunity to showcase their artworks and creative endeavors within a professional event. The public is most welcome and encouraged to come and view works made by aspiring artists, covering a wide range of topics, materials, and methods.

The exhibition, for some of the students, is the culmination of their foundation work that can be a launching point for careers within the Art and Design fields.

During the Opening Reception refreshments will be served. A lively evening is guaranteed.

For more information, call 973-300-2144.

Adjunct Professor Dehnert elected to International Organization

in Fine Arts, Home Page, News

Bruce Dehnert, SCCC adjunct professor, was recently elected as a member of the International Academy of Ceramics (IAC).  Mr. Dehnert was elected in September. The organization is based in Geneva, Switzerland and represents noted artists, gallerists, collectors, and museums in the field of ceramics worldwide. The IAC is a cultural partner in United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Mr. Dehnert, along with three other American ceramicists, will be inducted into the IAC during their conference in Barcelona, Spain in 2016. The selection recognizes Dehnert’s contributions as an artist as well as his teaching, writing, and presence in the international arena of ceramic art.

A studio potter and sculptor for 35 years, Dehnert is originally from Wyoming and moved to New York City in 1986 to teach at Hunter College. In 1991, Dehnert received his MFA in Ceramics from Alfred University. Since that time, Dehnert has taught in New Zealand, on the Island of Borneo and many educational/Art centers in the United States. He is currently an adjunct professor at Sussex County Community College where he teaches ceramics, sculpture and 3-D design. He has been at the College 16 years. Dehnert’s book, Simon Leach: A Pottery Handbook, was a recent bestseller.  Both he and his wife, the British painter, Kulvinder Kaur Dhew, are based in New Jersey where he is Head of Ceramics at Peters Valley School of Craft.

For further information please visit; or


Art Gallery Exhibition of Work and Opening Reception

in Fine Arts, News, The Gallery

Sussex County Community College Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of works by Kulvinder Kaur Dhew and Bruce Dehnert in the Art Gallery on the SCCC Campus. The Art Exhibit will be on display from October 31-November 28. An Opening Reception will be held on Friday, November 7 from 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. and is open to the public.

Both artists are members of the SCCC Fine Arts Department faculty where Ms. Kaur Dhew teaches design classes and Mr. Dehnert teaches ceramics and design. This will be their first duo show at the Gallery.

Dehnert, who is Head of Ceramics at Peters Valley School of Craft, will present figurative sculpture that explores the constructs of narrative in relation to religious belief systems. Modeled in either porcelain or earthenware, his life-sized figures depend upon architectural shapes and motifs for their structure. Kaur Dhew’s paintings employ elements that sample both high and low culture. Her paintings present both abstract and representational themes featuring saturated color.

For further information please visit or

SCCC Presents 23rd Annual AFA Fine Art Students Exhibition

in Fine Arts, News, The Gallery

Sussex County Community College will present the 23rd Annual AFA Fine Art Students Exhibition from May 2 – June 16, 2014 in the Art Gallery in Building C on campus.

The exhibition will feature more than 100 works of art created by the students in the Associate of Fine Arts degree program. Painting, drawing, sculpture, digital fine art and photography are represented among the works selected for this year’s show by a jury of Fine Art faculty members who are also professional artists. Julie McWilliams, Coordinator of the Fine Arts Degree Program, stated “It is important for all artists to see their efforts displayed in a professional gallery setting and to compare their work with their peers.” Gallery Coordinator Douglas Petersen added, “The Fine Art students at SCCC have chosen to commit to a serious study of art. This exhibition reflects the effort they have made throughout the year to produce work with the professional finish expected of an artist. Given the rigorous standards applied to the selection process, it’s considered a high honor to participate in this exhibition.”

The public is invited to the exhibition’s opening reception to be held on Friday May 2 from 6:00b p.m. to 8p.m. in the gallery, located in Building C on the school’s campus in Newton.

SCCC Art Instructor Bruce Dehnert’s Work Appearing at The Dowse Art Museum

in Fine Arts, News, The Gallery

Sussex County Community College art faculty member, Bruce Dehnert’s installation, “Red Room,” is included in a major ceramics survey exhibition at The Dowse Art Museum, Wellington, New Zealand. The exhibition, titled “Slip Cast,” will be presented by the museum from 12 February to 2 June 2014.The exhibition was organized by Senior Curator Emma Bugden.

“Red Room” was produced during Dehnert’s tenure in New Zealand. Morphing from architectural elements to natural flora, the installation is comprised of various vignettes of an idea. As a whole the work is a veritable, movable feast. By using clay, a material that is both elemental and complex at the same time, Dehnert alludes to the poetics of the temporal and permanent nature of things coming together in a somewhat tenuous, organic manner. Each component of the installation is attachable in segments. Hundreds of floral heads slot into stems which in turn arc outward from architectural mounts. The sensuous exploration of porcelain, stoneware, earthenware and glazes combine together to form a unified and dramatic work experienced from many perspectives and imaginary viewpoints. As a total sum of parts, the sculpture has the potential to be installed into many varying kinds of spaces, which in turn is able to express the changing nature and understanding of art itself.

Bruce Dehnert is a three-time Fletcher Challenge International Ceramics Award winner, has received numerous awards including a New Jersey Artist Fellowship, the Settlor Prize in Sculpture, and a Carnegie Premier Award for Works on Paper. He was also a finalist in the Robert Wood Johnson International Figurative Competition. His work is held in a number of museums and collections including The Crocker Museum [California], the Yixing Museum of Ceramic Art [China], The New Dowse Museum [New Zealand] and The White House [Washington, DC].

Dehnert is active as a writer having articles published in numerous journals including, Studio Potter, Ceramics Monthly, and Ceramics: Art and Perception and recently completed a book (Simon Leach’s Pottery Handbook] on Simon Leach for Abrams Publishing of New York.

For further information on Bruce’s work, please visit;

Documentary by SCCC Adjunct Joe Guerriero to Air on PBS

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WNET Channel 13 to Broadcast Curtain of Water

A new documentary by local filmmaker and photographer Joe Guerriero will air on PBS Channel 13 on Saturday, February 1st at 1:00 p.m. Guerriero is also an adjunct instructor at Sussex County Community College where he teaches photography. The film, Curtain of Water (or Telón de agua), is the Fredon photographer’s personal quest to make sense of the United States’ continuing trade embargo of Cuba. Providing an unprecedented look at both sides of a controversial issue that has affected the lives of both Cuban and American citizens, the film is Guerriero’s first full-length documentary. It took almost three years to complete and contains footage and interviews collected during many trips to Cuba, beginning in 1999.

“My relationship with Cuba started when I traveled there as part of a team of photographers taking part in a professional seminar,” said Guerriero. “On that trip, all of us were immediately overwhelmed by the beauty and uniqueness of the country and its people.” During several more photographic trips to the island nation, as he developed a deep connection to the people he met, Guerriero witnessed first-hand the effects of the embargo, still in force 53 years after the Cuban Revolution. “I came to value and respect the Cuban people, not only for their intelligence and insight, but for their perseverance as well,” he said. “My goal in making this film was to provide a glimpse into their lives for those of us here in the United States. I decided to ask questions on both sides of the water and not settle for the easy answers. I wanted to present ideas from several different perspectives and allow my audience to come to their own conclusions.”

The embargo, known in Cuba as the “bloqueo” or blockade, has long been a source of contention for political and moral reasons. It is seen by some as an outdated act of reprisal and by others as a necessary reaction to signal the U.S. rejection of the Cuban Revolution’s Marxist ideology. In this documentary, Guerriero investigates the reasons for the embargo and tries to identify the opposing interests of the two countries, while showing the effects it has on the everyday lives of the Cuban people. The film presents conversations with Cuban exiles and American activists in the U.S., as well as personal reflections from many living in Cuba, in an effort to shed light on the political and human sides of this conflict.

Guerriero began this project by asking his Cuban contacts to put him in touch with some reliable spokespeople who were experts on the matter. That’s how he met Vicente Echerry, a well-known author and former political prisoner in Cuba, now exiled in the U.S. Having lived on both sides of the conflict, Vicente’s strong opinions show a love for the Cuban people, while still supporting the official U.S. policy. The film also features Sandra Levinson, founder and director of the Center for Cuban Studies (an organization dedicated to educating Americans about Cuban Culture) and Geandy Pavon, an artist who grew up in Cuba and moved to the U.S. with his parents. Guerriero also spent time discussing the effects of the embargo with members of Pastors for Peace, a group that has taken its religious ministry into the realm of politics, trying to help everyday Cubans while voicing opposition to the U.S. policy.

The next step was to create a film from all of the footage, something Guerriero had never done before, despite more than 30 years as a photographer. He utilized the services of to obtain funds for production and travel expenses, and assembled a team to work on the film. The production team included Guerriero’s wife Diana, formerly an editor and now an English teacher at Newton High School; Roberto Francesco Musco, a Spanish teacher and interpreter with years of experience in film production; and Drew Oberholtzer, a professional film editor, whose many credits include the National Geographic Channel series Brain Games. There were many setbacks on the way to completion. On one trip to Cuba, Guerriero’s camera equipment was stolen, while on another, his laptop and recording devices were confiscated at the border, and his equipment was damaged by seawater on the Malecon.

After making the film, Guerriero still feels that there are no easy answers to his search to understand the continuing blockade. “Although I have learned that there are many interests at stake in a conflict born of opposing ideologies, I have also come to the conclusion that there is serious doubt as to whether this embargo serves any constructive purpose for either side,” he said. “But, I am sure that the Cuban people — insightful, resourceful, and anxious to find their way in the world– deserve a chance to succeed, and no government, neither their own, nor mine, has the right to hold them back.”

The film will also be aired on WLIW on Sunday Feb 9 at 11:00pm and WNET on Tuesday Feb 9 at 4:30 am.

SCCC Art Gallery to Exhibit Dorota Bakalus Photographs

in Fine Arts, Home Page, News, The Gallery

The Art Gallery at Sussex County Community College will present Rybotcze Katalog, an exhibition of recent photographs by Dorota Bakalus.

The artist photographed the residents of a tiny village in eastern Poland over a five year period to create a collective portrait that reflects a particular moment in time. Through the language of photography, the story of life in the village is shown on the faces of the people. From the expression of indelible memories of war to expectations of a future in the modern world, the photographs resonate with a sense of historical tension.

Dorota Bakalus was born in Poland, studied Architectural Design at Wrocław College and is a graduate of New York Institute of Photography. Bakalus has exhibited her work extensively, concentrating on multiple image constructions based on experimental video pieces she creates. In 2007, she and photographer Douglas Petersen completed a five year project to document the ruins of the Przemyśl Fortress in Poland. Fortress, a book of these photographs, was published in December 2007 by Deerfield Editions.

The show will be on exhibit in the gallery from January 27 to March 7, 2014. The public is invited to meet the artist at the opening reception to be held on Friday, February 7, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

The Art Gallery is located in Building “C” at Sussex County Community College, One College Hill Road, Newton, New Jersey. The gallery is open during school hours, Monday through Friday and on Saturday morning. For more information call 973-300-2144