The Mount Wachusett Community College East Wing Gallery will open two new art exhibitions by local artists Jesse Connor and Tracie Pouliot on October 17. An opening reception will be held on Friday, November 4 from 4:30 to 7 PM and will feature talks by each artist as well as an opportunity to tour the gallery.

Artist Jesse Connor’s exhibition entitled “Far Reaches” includes large scale paintings that borrow from close observation of settings, houses or nature with unusual emotionally charged interpretations of color. Connor lives in western Massachusetts, teaches painting at MWCC and is an active, highly respected artist with many recent exhibitions across the state. He is a dedicated teacher and artist working in acrylic and oils.

Work from “Far Reaches” by Jesse Connor

Work from “Far Reaches” by Jesse Connor

Artist Tracie Pouliot’s exhibition entitled “Oral History Book Series: Chair City Community Workshop” is based on the lives of 14 workers in the last furniture manufacturer in Gardner. Pouliot is a local artist who opened a grant-funded community art center in Gardner to complete the book series project. She first took printmaking in the MWCC Teen Art summer program and fell in love with it. Pouliot then went on to get her bachelor’s degree in printmaking and a Master’s degree in Community Art /Public art before returning to the area as a new adjunct faculty member in the art department, teaching printmaking. Her exhibition was orchestrated in conjunction with a National Endowment for Humanities grant.

Work from “Oral History Book Series: Chair City Community Workshop” by Tracie Pouliot

Work from “Oral History Book Series: Chair City Community Workshop” by Tracie Pouliot

All are welcome to visit the gallery, attend the reception and participate in the free gallery talks. The East Wing Gallery, housed in the Raymond M. LaFontaine Fine Arts Center on the Gardner Campus, is open Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 5 pm. The Gallery will be closed on November 11 in observance of Veterans Day.

With a focus on the nature of work, Mount Wachusett Community College is kicking off its third year of Humanities Project programing with a Poetry Read-Aloud & Pizza Party on Thursday, October 20, from 6 – 8PM in the MWCC Library, Gardner Campus. This event is free and open to the public.

Attendees will have a chance to read their favorite poem from the selected work Kettle Bottom by award-winning author Diane Gilliam Fisher. This book of poems explores the West Virginia Mine Wars and coal mining life from the perspective of those who lived in coal camps, bringing a historical perspective to the theme of work.  Fisher’s poems draw upon her experiences as the child of parents who left the coal country of West Virginia and Kentucky.

Funded through the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Humanities Project strengthens the college’s humanities curriculum; supports collaborative and interdisciplinary teaching and research in the humanities; examines the intersection between the humanities and other academic disciplines; and engages MWCC and the greater community in dialogue of enduring themes from the world’s many cultures and traditions.

For more information and dates for upcoming events, visit

"Resurrection" Oil on linen painting by John Pacheco

“Resurrection,” oil on linen painting by John Pacheco is among the works on display in MWCC’s East Wing Gallery through Oct. 4.

An exhibition of recent abstract paintings by Mount Wachusett Community College Professor John Pacheco is on display in the college’s East Wing Gallery through October 4.

Pacheco’s work is influenced by abstract expressionists and artists that saw spiritualism in the process of painting and the contemplation of color and abstraction.

“Painting abstractly, I can compose using color in ways that my previous attachment to figuration wouldn’t permit. The paintings exist like a piece of music – evocative rather than specific,” Pacheco said about the collection. Titles, such as “Caveman,” “Day at the Beach,” “Resurrection” and “Koi Pond” compensate for the lack of narrative, he said.

Born in Cambridge in 1949, Pacheco earned his MFA in painting from Boston University and a BA from Yale College for studio art. He began his career at MWCC in 1980 and served as Director of the East Wing Gallery from 2004 to 2015. He retired from full-time teaching in 2015, and continues to teach at MWCC as an adjunct instructor.

MWCC’s art department offers art majors and non-majors a comprehensive program that includes painting, drawing, sculpture, ceramics and printmaking. Faculty, all of whom are working professional artists, actively assist students with developing transfer portfolios, college applications and scholarships, and teach basic digital tools required for success. Small classes lead to a close-knit, active and inspired community.

The associate degree in art is a cost effective way to begin a college degree and prepares an art major for transfer to four-year programs at colleges and universities, said Department Chair Thomas Matsuda. Graduates have successfully transferred to Massachusetts College of Art and Design, University of Massachusetts, School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Montserrat College of Art, Maine College of Art, Boston University, Pratt Institute, and others.

The associate degree in art includes the core general requirements for state programs giving the flexibility to transfer into other degrees, and by substituting designated courses it will align with MassTransfer. The college also offers a liberal arts degree with an art concentration that allows students to minor in art.

Comprehensive studios include large gas and electric kilns and an outdoor ceramic firing area, bronze casting, and printing presses. Just outside the studios is the East Wing Gallery. which hosts annual student exhibitions, alumni and professional art exhibitions and houses the permanent collection of student work purchased by the college.

A student organized art club raises funds or trips to local galleries, museums and an annual bus trip to New York City. Students gain practical experience in their field through service learning and volunteer opportunities.

MWCC’s art department is an integral part of the college and community, offering free gallery talks, an artist lectures series, open figure drawing sessions, art student lectures, high school art teacher workshops and a summer youth art program. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Fall Fest welcome back barbecue and activities fair will take place Sept. 14 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on the patio near the South Cafe. Entertainment will be provided by Grupo Fantasia in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. Activities include caricatures, henna tattoos, cotton candy, various novelties and the student club expo, as well as a free barbecue that begins at 12:30. The event is sponsored by the Student Life office, CATS (Campus Activities Team for Students) and the Student Government Association and is open to all MWCC students, faculty and staff.

MWCC offers short-term accelerated programs that students can complete in as little as 2 weeks, as well as 6-week, 1-year, and 2-year options that fit your life and employment needs. All of our programs provide you with support services that help you apply, interview and get a job in a career field with tremendous job growth opportunity. Information sessions are held on most Thursdays from 10 to 11 a.m. at the Devens campus. To register for an upcoming information session, call 978-630-9883.

Orientation sessions for new and transfer students will take place prior to the start of the new academic year. Orientation for evening students will be held at the Gardner campus on Thursday, Aug. 25 at 5:30 p.m. A family and support network orientation will take place evening at 6 p.m. Orientation for day students will take place Thursday, Sept. 1 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Fitness & Wellness Center. A session for student veterans will take place at 10:30 a.m. in the Lion’s Den Student Center.


Mount Wachusett Community College’s Theatre at the Mount continues its2016 season with the Tony Award winning musical, Hairspray. Performances are February 12, 13, 19 and 20 at 8 p.m., and Aug. 21  at 2 p.m. This production will take place at Oakmont Regional High School in Ashburnham , as renovations to the theatre continue.

You can’t stop the beat! Baltimore’s Tracy Turnblad, a big girl with big hair and an even bigger heart, has only one passion — to dance. She wins a spot on the local TV dance program, The Corny Collins Show and, overnight, is transformed from outsider to irrepressible teen celebrity. But can a plus-size trendsetter in dance and fashion vanquish the program’s reigning princess, win the heart of heartthrob Link Larkin, and integrate a television show without denting her ‘do? Only in Hairspray!

Tickets are $22 for adults and $15 for students and may be purchased at the TAM box office at 978 630-9388 or online at

Each summer, nearly 800 children and teenagers from throughout the region participate in Mount Wachusett Community College’s Adventure Academy. This year, the college is offering more than 30 classes and sports programs between June 27 and Aug. 5.

Classes include Legos, beginning veterinary medicine, American Girl, theater, pottery, painting, sculpture, forensic science, dinosaurs, rockets, basketball, soccer and martial arts. A majority of the classes are taught by area elementary school teachers on summer break and incorporate lessons in STEAM (science technology, engineering, art and math) education. MWCC’s Adventure Academy is offered to children ages 5 to 18 and includes all supplies and materials. Lunch is provided for students attending full-day classes.

Among the new offerings this year is an Introduction to the Potter’s Wheel course for teens age 16 and above, adults and art teachers.

For more information and to register, visit, call 978-630-9525 or email



Members of the MWCC community will join dozens of teams at the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life taking place at the college beginning at 6 p.m. on Friday, June 10 and continuing until 6 p.m. on Saturday, June 11. The Relay for Life is the signature fundraiser for the ACS and the Gardner Relay is recognized as the largest in New England and one of the largest in the country.

Mount Wachusett Community College President Daniel M. Asquino, Alumnus of the Year, Gardner Mayor Mark Hawke, and Service Above Self Award recipient, Raymond J. Martino, president and CEO of Simonds International, will be among the speakers during the college’s 51st commencement on Wednesday, May 18 at 6 p.m.  in the Fitness & Wellness Center. MWCC’s Phi Theta Kappa honor society is conducting its 13th annual Project Graduation and will be collecting donations of nonperishable food prior to the ceremony for distribution to local food pantries.