The Mandeville Gallery celebrates its first general exhibit of works by graduates, “ReView: Five Union Alumni,” with an artists’ reception and gallery tour Thursday, Oct. 4 at 5 p.m. One of the participating artists, Alfred J. Nadel ’56, will give a lecture to the campus community at 11 a.m. in the Nott Memorial.
Both events are free and open to the public.
“There was no art or art history department at Union in the 1950s,” said Nadel, a pre-med student who didn’t start creating art until nearly 30 years after he left Union. “I took some art history courses while I was a resident and practicing surgeon and started painting in 1982. The explosion came in the 1990s when I got my own studio and began to exhibit.”
Nadel’s drawings and mixed media pieces explore the relationship between the human body and the world around it. He is particularly interested in modern culture and the complex fragmenting of our daily lives, which is reflected in the layered, fractured and textured manipulation of the figures in his works.
“It’s important to respect creativity,” said Nadel, whose lecture will focus on paying attention to the creative impulse. The retinal surgeon-turned-artist will also discuss the importance of pursuing creative endeavors and opportunities outside one’s chosen professional field.
In addition to Nadel, “ReView” includes paintings by Stephen Pentak ’73 and Linda Fisher ’87; sculpture and drawings by Chester Urban ’93; and photographs and prints by Nori Lupfer ’03.
Lupfer believes that art is one of the hardest majors to turn into a career.
“I remember being motivated by the work of visiting alumni while at Union,” said Lupfer, who was awarded a Watson Fellowship in 2003 to study “Circuses and Stunts: Photography of Entertainment in Motion.” “These visits helped me gain perspective and direction for working in the art field after graduation.”
The invitation to exhibit in “ReView” also inspired Lupfer, who says she removed prints from storage, set up a studio and took a printmaking internship. She has been showing work ever since.
“It’s easy as an artist to get caught up in the creative process without ever feeling satisfied that a project is completed and ready to display,” Lupfer said. “Rachel Seligman [director and curator of the Mandeville Gallery] helped me put a precedent on ‘finishing’ rather than creating with no end result.”
This renewed focus on “finishing” – taking creative ideas, generating a coherent body of images and working out the logistics of getting art onto the wall, then finding a venue, printing, framing and marketing – spawned opportunities for Lupfer to get her work displayed in other venues. She has a solo show Oct. 5-31 at the Two Rivers Printmaking Studio in White River Junction, Vt.
“ReView” runs through Oct. 14. For more information, visit http://www.union.edu/gallery