All about ‘Berg’s 11th annual alumni art show

The collection is currently displayed in the main hallway of Seegers Union

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The 11th Annual Alumni Art Show lines the hallways of Seegers Union. Photo by Photo Editor Maddie Cliento '25

Muhlenberg is currently displaying the 11th Annual Alumni Art Show. It will be showcased in the Seegers Union main corridor for the entire fall semester. Gallery Director Jessica Ambler discussed the creative process behind the Annual Alumni Art Show: “We put out an open call to all alumni to submit art for the 11th Annual Alumni Art Show back in the spring and I am immensely grateful to all of the talented alumni who contributed to the show. It hasn’t been held in person in a few years due to COVID, I believe it was held online instead, so this was an exciting opportunity to start showing the work on campus again. In past years, the art was shown in Baker [Center for the Arts (CA)] for a week or two around alumni weekend, however, this year we thought it might be nice to keep the work up for the entirety of [the] fall semester and to show it in Seegers, which is highly trafficked by everyone on campus. I was overwhelmed by the volume and quality of the work submitted, so the challenge wasn’t so much what work to choose but rather how to show all of it so that each work could be highlighted. The exhibition layout was designed by my Lead Gallery Assistant, Lizard Foley ‘24 [who is an] art major and who did an amazing job at organizing the art in a balanced arrangement that flows visually, allowing viewers to appreciate each artist’s work.” 

Participating artists in the Alumni Art Show are exhibiting work in palladium/platinum print on Arches Platine, digital photographs, hand-cut paper, acrylic paint on board, trash with India ink, needlepoint, watercolor, linocut printing and fused glass. This year’s participants are James Cunningham Ph.D. ‘63,  Fred Albright ‘66, Karen (Kangas) Repka ‘70, Jill (Long) Trestle ‘72, Kerilyn Burrows ‘72, Lyle Allan ‘73, Audrey Tiernan ‘77, Mark Schwartz ‘79, Susan Feely Gettlin ‘82,  Leslie (Arndt) Vavaliere ‘86, Monica Sztybel ‘89, Hannah Cascio ‘15 and Chloe Buergenthal ‘21. 

Palladium/platinum printing is a traditional photographic printmaking technique. This is when the prints are exposed by UV light. This technique allows for them to convey detail within shadows along with giving it a crisp appearance. Palladium/platinum printing is a long process, but the results are worth all of the hard work put in. 

Hand-cut paper, also known as paper-cutting, is an art form where the artist cuts outlines or portraits out of paper. Paper cutting originated from numerous cultural backgrounds including Chinese, Japanese, Indonesian, Filipino, Jewish, Mexican, Slavic, Swedish and Swiss. 

Using discarded items as art is known as recycled art. Waste, such as paper, can be transformed into creative pieces. In Cascio’s piece, paper trash was used as the background and India ink was used in the foreground. India ink is made out of lampblack (soot created by burning oil or organic materials) combined with water, which creates a liquid.

Needlepoint is a hand embroidery technique that either covers a fabric or canvas. It is different from tapestry which uses diagonal and small stitches. Needlepoint has a wide variety of stitches and various threads or yarns can be used. 

In linocut printing, an image is cut out or gouged from a sheet of linoleum, which is easier to carve into in comparison to wood. Then, the uncut areas are either inked or printed on. Printing can either happen by rubbing manually with a spoon or by a printing press. 

Fused glass is when a piece of glass is formed after heating two or more pieces of glass together in a kiln. Some examples of the items used for fused glass are jewelry, wall hangings, plates and tiles. Burrows’ fused glass piece is a puffin sitting on a surface. 

The student body has been appreciative of the art show. Megan Block ‘26 stated, “I really enjoy walking down the hallway in Seegers Union and seeing the amazing art pieces. I don’t think Muhlenberg has done this before, or at least while I’ve been here.” 

Fuka Aizawa ‘26 said, “I really like the Alumni Art Show, especially Schwartz’s digital photograph of Sag Harbor Fog, it’s very real.” Colette Cragin ‘25 “love[s] the art show. I think it’s really important to highlight different Alumni’s hard work, and they need to keep showing it here in Seegers Union instead of the CA so that everyone can see it and not just art students. I think that they should have this year round.” 

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