Among the many events occurring during alumni weekend, the reception for the Alumni Art Show was held in the Galleria Lobby of the Baker Center for the Arts on Saturday Sept. 22. The Alumni Art show celebrated and highlighted work by nine Muhlenberg Alumni: Shari Bodofsky ’18, KeriLyn C. Burrows ’72, Hannah Cascio ’15, Jonathan Dale ’73, Scott Fruchter ’72, Joe Kloss ’68, Martha Knouss ’68, Heidi E. Reuter ’03 and Susan Sellers Stanewick ’68. Their works represented an array of media, including glass, wood, acrylic, linocut, digital print and watercolor.
The alumni artwork was neatly displayed across a white brick wall, with a small display case housing the wooden and glass pieces centered in front of the rest of the exhibit. People began to trickle into the reception at a little past three, and within fifteen minutes the show was well attended by students, professors and alumni crowding around the featured pieces.
Barbara Parente, a Muhlenberg alum (and former writer for the Weekly), was at Muhlenberg for her 50th class reunion. “I think that the artwork is varied and beautiful,” said Parente.
“I am very proud of all of the talent of all the classes, particularly my class, sixty-eight,”
she added as she gestured toward the watercolor painting of goats by Susan Sellers Stanewick ‘68. She had been admiring the painting for quite some time alongside a large group of fellow alumni from her class.
Reception attendees were as varied as the artwork themselves: Muhlenberg professors chatted about the artwork with alumni, recent graduates caught up with one another off to the side and pairs of students discussed the details of the pieces. Alumni here for their 50th class reunion pondered and conversed about the pieces alongside current Muhlenberg students. “Well, it has been wonderful to reconnect with people,” said Parente, “and it has also been a bonus to be able to talk to present students and to just hear about what they’re doing and to hear about their dreams. It’s nice to have that connection.”
A recent graduate, Shari Bodofsky ‘18, stood beaming next to her acrylic painting during most of the reception. “I have been here [the alumni art show] as a student so it’s really nice to be back here on the other side of it,” she said. “ I remember being a student and seeing everyone’s art and being like, ‘Wow, maybe someday I’ll put something in that.’”
Bodofsky started her piece when she was still a student at Muhlenberg, working on it for several months and then finishing it over the summer. When asked how her piece was selected, Bodofsky replied, “I still get the Muhlenberg alumni email, and, when I saw that they were having the show, I just sent in my piece and heard back from them.” Now her piece has been hung in the galleria, alongside the work of other talented alumni, for all to observe.
“Art’s always been a big part of my life,” Bodofsky said. “I’m actually a medical student now, and to me art is that opportunity to reflect and express everything in a way that makes sense to me, in a way that’s taking a moment out of life and stopping and thinking about it and being purposeful. I get a lot of response from people who are like ‘oh, you’re in medical school, you probably don’t have time to paint.’ Well, it’s a part of who I am and how I feel, so it’s important to me.”
Those who attended the reception admired not only the artwork, but the school’s commitment to its students as well. “I think it’s really cool that the school hosts alumni art, as it gives them a place where they definitely have a chance to show off their work,” remarked current Muhlenberg student Ryan Johnson ‘21. “It’s nice that the school still continues to show support to its students who have graduated.”
The alumni art show concluded on Sept. 24, but there are still several free exhibitions displayed in the Martin Art gallery for students, staff and the community to enjoy.