MIDDLESEX COUNTY - Middlesex County College Art Professor N.V. Heller will present “The Darkest Room,” an exhibition of her work. It will run from Nov. 4-Dec. 5 in the Studio Theater Gallery on the College’s main campus in Edison.

An opening reception will be held Thursday, Nov. 7 from 2:30-4:30 p.m. The public is invited.

The gallery is open weekdays from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. and can be viewed by appointment by emailing Heller at NHeller@middlesexcc.edu.

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In her gouache drawings, Heller explores nightmares, time travel, the British royals, loss of sight, murder and mayhem in a series of small works.

“I have focused on the figure-ground relationship and porous boundaries between subject and background, focal point and periphery,” she said. “Elements come forward while maintaining sufficient ambiguity for the viewer to find other images in an active visual field that also functions as subject in my work. Pareidolia, a phenomenon in which the mind responds to visual or sound ambiguity by filling in the blanks and forming patterns or recognizable images from random data, plays a role in determining my images.  By searching the ground in my drawings a viewer may discover imagery in the stains or fissures just as I have, or see altogether different subjects. These images dissolve if the eye moves on or the mind wanders.  This transience within a still image intrigues me.”

Heller holds a master’s of fine arts from Columbia University and has presented and curated numerous exhibitions. She was awarded a National Endowment of the Humanities grant, and grants from the Artist Fellowship, the Puffin Foundation, the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation, and the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, as well as a fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts.