John Mertz


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John C. Mertz was raised in the small town of Springfield in North-Central New Jersey where he developed an early appreciation of nature and of our historic heritage. An interest in ornamental horticulture attracted him to the then National Agricultural College (now Delaware Valley College) where a stimulating project in biology led him to switch from horticulture to biology as an academic major.

Graduating in the first class in the college to include biology majors, Mertz went on to graduate study at the University of Illinois where he earned his MS and PhD degrees in Zoology. He was so impressed with the level of preparation he had enjoyed in graduate school that he elected to return to his alma mater as a member of the faculty. After a fifteen year stint in various administrative posts, Mertz returned to full-time teaching in biology in 1991.

A self-taught artist, Mertz experimented with watercolors and pen and ink drawings, then acrylics, before settling on oils in the late 1980's. Favorite subjects are historic buildings and settings as well as rural landscapes, in both of which Bucks County abounds. His work has appeared at the Pennridge Jaycees' Gallery in the Park (where he earned a third place ribbon in 1993 and a Best in Show in 1995), and the Tinicum Arts Festival. In 1998 his painting of the fishery at Point Pleasant, New Jersey won him a third place award in the Doylestown Art League's Members' Juried Show.

Mertz has three grown and married children and two grandchildren and he resides with his wife, Margaret, in Plumstead Township. He is an avid gardener and a member of the Board of Directors of the Bucks County Audubon Society.