PURCHASE, N.Y. – Manhattanville College welcomed back three alumni from the art department to display their work in the first showcase of the school year.
Joyce Chan (class of 2001), Christopher Manning (’05), and Alexander Doolan (’11) all said they were thrilled to participate in the Studio Art Alumni Show, which runs till Oct. 12 in the Brownson Gallery. During the opening reception Wednesday night, they fielded questions about their artwork from fellow alumni, family, friends and current Manhattanville students.
“I think it’s a fantastic experience to come back and be part of a community again – to see the evolution of the campus, the programs and the professors,” said Manning, who is now an exhibitions assistant at a Ritchfield, Conn., art museum. “Just to be in the art department again feels natural. I did a lot of work in this gallery – had my first few shows here.”
Tim Ross, the gallery director and exhibit curator, was glad to have the practicing artists return because of their effect on the current art students. Chan and Manning each completed graduate school, while Doolan is currently at Brooklyn College.
“It’s particularly good for the students who are here now so that they can see that there is a transition outside of school,” Ross said. That sentiment was shared by Jim Frank, associate professor and chair of studio art.
“It’s a teaching opportunity to show current students what people that have graduated are doing,” he said. “It’s also an alumni building opportunity to come back and honor what our alumni are doing.”
Chan, who used material from her parents’ Chinese restaurant in some of her artwork, was thankful to her “really supportive and great” former professors. She is now a part-time attendant at the Noguchi Museum and would like to teach “a little bit more.”
The most recent graduate, Doolan, said it was flattering that Manhattanville asked him to display his artwork.
“They were a great faculty for me. They let me do my thing, and I don’t think that I would have gotten to the point where I’m at now without help from them,” said Doolan, whose bright and colorful paintings concentrate on “people pretending to be other things in different environments” such as a pig or hammerhead. He added that his humorous work is done out of affection for his audience.