The Mercer Gallery, named in memory of Thomas Mercer, an MCC student, veteran, and artist, is operated by the Art Faculty of the Visual and Performing Arts (VaPA) Department of Monroe Community College (see Gallery Floor Plan).
The Mercer Gallery's schedule of exhibitions and cultural events began in November of 1986. The purpose was to meet an instructional need for a department gallery which would present current, challenging work, not readily available in Rochester; another gallery exhibit area in a context exemplifying excellent curatorial and gallery management practices. We envisioned a gallery which would present art and artists, which could be integrated with the work of our curriculum to serve as an instructional model of contemporary art for our students.
The Mercer Gallery is located in Building 12 on MCC's Brighton Campus - Tel: 585 - 292 2021 - in Rochester, New York. Though the Mercer Gallery is located on a college campus and has enthusiastic attendees from college students and faculty members, its mission is not one of the common campus gallery.
The mission of the Mercer Gallery is to provide aesthetically challenging, original, contemporary artwork which embodies current developments in the visual arts. The gallery and the exhibition schedule is integrated with our curriculum objectives and accessible to the students, faculty, staff and alumni of Monroe Community College and the greater Rochester community. Since it's founding, the gallery has been dedicated to presenting exhibitions that present work not readily exhibited in the upstate New York area. This policy has resulted in the gallery being cited as having ...
"the most original exhibitions of any gallery in upstate New York"
The gallery was cited by dissonant artists of the Red Rider Group of Dresden in their negotiations with the then East German Democratic Republic as ...
"a significant gallery having a major cultural impact in upper New York State"
The gallery sponsored a conference on arts censorship in 1991 which was reported in English magazines and in the United States with a quarter page story in Playboy Magazine.
The Mercer Gallery's reputation as a venue for exhibiting international artists helped gain a presentation grant in the Montage Festival of the Image. The Mercer exhibition in the Montage Festival was reviewed favorably by Vicki Goldberg, photography critic of the New York Times.
The Mercer Gallery presents works of divergent, cultural and aesthetic viewpoints, free of gender, racial, ethnic or national bias. The Gallery promotes an environment for students to participate in academic and cultural activities that foster their education as individuals and members of society and is integral to the college's mission.
The Mercer Gallery is a member of the SUNY Association of Museums and Galleries and The American Association of Museums.