From the beginning, the Commission has been committed to recognizing and supporting the gifted artists who live in this region. One if its earliest initiatives was an annual Mercer County Artist exhibit, which began in 1972 - shortly after the Commission was started. An important element of this show has been the Mercer County Purchase Awards. Each year, artwork was selected for purchase. This work became a part of Mercer County's Permanent Art Collection.
In the 1980s, when a biennial Mercer County Photography exhibition was added to Commission programming, Purchase Award opportunities were also made a part of these shows. Today the collection contains more than 360 works of art by outstanding artists who lived, worked or were attending school in Mercer County. That work is stored and displayed throughout the McDade Administration Building on South Broad Street in Trenton.
L-R: Ilse Johnson vase; Arlene Milgram "Behind the Blue"; Samuel Vovsi, "Sycamores on Black"; Al Aronson, "Waterfall"