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 Norman Mercer  (1916 - 2007)

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Lived/Active: New York/New Jersey      Known for: plastics design, drawing, painting, acrylic construction sculpture

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Biography from Arslonga:
Norman Mercer was born on July 17, 1916 in New York City.  In 1936, the early years of the plastics industry and towards the end of the Depression, Norman Mercer designed plastic handles for stainless steel flatware. Due to his novel designs, he was able to found his own company in 1939, calling it Englishtown Cutlery Ltd., located in Englishtown, NJ. After which success, his firm was contracted to manufacture the pieces, which would be sold throughout the United States. Norman also served on the War Production Board at the request of the Roosevelt Administration- a volunteer position he held for two presidential administrations.

A successful businessman with forty three years of experience in the plastics industry, Norman set his sights on the “yet to be explored realms”[1] of plastics, which accorded “ultra-modern possibilities”[2] in the innovation of art. After his retirement at the age of 62, Norman attended the Parsons School of Design from 1979-1981, where he studied acrylic construction under Professor Allen Dubinsky and drawing and painting under Andrea Zakin.
 
The aesthetics and the technical challenges inherent within the medium, from the alchemical transformation of the powder, the casting of the resin and the final sanding and polishing of sculpture warranted Norman’s complete and total involvement from start to finish.
 
His devoted exploration of and enthusiasm for transparent acrylics allowed for large industry to regularly call on his expertise in the medium. From 1981 to 2007, Norman created unique and one-of-a-kind sculpture in his East Hampton, NY studio; ranging in size from 3.5 inches to 12 feet. Acrylic sculpture were produced in a myriad of colors and familiar shapes such as the cube, square, rhomboid, triangle, spiral, circle, trapezoid and multi-faceted polygons and columns.
 
Throughout his career, Norman exhibited in group and solo shows internationally. His work can be found in public, corporate, and private collections throughout the world.
 
ASSOCIATIONS
Artist Alliance of East Hampton, NY
 
SOME EXHIBITIONS
Butler Museum of Art, Youngstown, OH
Guild Hall, East Hampton, NY
Sculpture Showcase, New Hope, PA
New Orleans Art Association, New Orleans, LA
Pearl Conrad Gallery, Ohio State University, Mansfield, OH
Staller Arts Center, State University of NY, Stony Brook, NY
Hoyt Institute of Art, Newcastle, PA
Arlene Bujese Gallery, East Hampton, NY
Burroughs-Chapin Art Museum, Myrtle Beach, SC
Audubon Artists Juried Exhibition, New York, NY
Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN
Allied Artists of America, New York, NY
Benton Gallery, South Hampton, NY
San Diego Art Institute, San Diego, CA
Vered Art Gallery, East Hampton, NY
Parrish Art Museum, South Hampton, NY

SOME COLLECTIONS
United States Embassy, Luanda, Angola
United States Embassy, Riga, Latvia
Guild Hall, East Hampton, NY
State University of New York at Stony Brook, NY
Hofstra University, Emily Lowe Gallery, Hempstead, NY
Hays & Company, New York, NY
Office Depot, Delray Beach, FL
Arsoa Corporation, Tokyo, Japan
Hytek Microsystems, Carson City, NV
 
AWARDS AND HONORS
Two selected pieces for Art in Embassy program, State Department, Washington, D.C.
Merit Award, Hoyt Institute of Art, Newcastle, PA
Best in Show, Brookhaven Arts & Humanities Council, Brookhaven, NY
First Place Award, San Diego Art Institute, San Diego, CA
Honorable Mention, Audubon Artists, New York, NY
First Place Award for Sculpture, Arts Council of East Islip, East Islip, NY

Sources:
1) Norman Mercer, REFRACTIONS. Exhibition catalogue printed privately 1999.  For Arlene Bujese Gallery? Excerpts from foreword by Rose Slivka.
2) Norman Mercer, REFRACTIONS. Exhibition catalogue printed privately 1999. Excerpts from foreword by Rose Slivka.


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