The exhibition, Faces of Vassar: An Appreciation, is artist Bruce Bundock’s tribute to the hardworking people who are behind the scenes of the college’s day-to-day operations.
Showing at the Palmer Gallery in Main Building, Faces of Vassar runs from February 20 – March 13. There will be an opening artist’s reception on Thursday, February 20, 5-7 pm. The gallery is open daily from 11 am – 6 pm and is free of charge.
Educated at the Maryland Institute College of Art, Bundock is a working artist who shows frequently in the Hudson Valley; his paintings are held in public and private collections. In addition to exhibition works and private commissions, he has also designed over 30 postage stamps for Gambia, Lesotho, the Maldive Islands, Antigua and Barbuda, and the British Virgin Islands.
“But like most artists, I have a hyphenated work life,” he says. For Bundock, that’s as museum preparator at the college’s Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, a position that has integrated wonderfully with his background in the fine arts. In his day job he interacts frequently with some of the lesser-known employees of the college, including many tradesmen and facilities staff.
Faces of Vassar features twenty-two acrylic paintings of various Vassar staff: carpenters, electricians, maintenance workers and food services personnel. The idea for the project came to Bundock more than a year ago and he worked from photographs he took of his subjects. Each painting is a close-up portrait of the subject’s face; Bundock sought to “get something into each portrait that really captured the individual.”
Bundock’s goal? “To shine a light on these people,” he explains. “We see them everyday, but in some ways we don’t see them. They make valuable contributions to the college. My show is simply what the title says: an appreciation.”
Palmer Gallery Director Terry Quinn has high praise for Bundock. “It is truly our pleasure to welcome back Bruce Bundock to the Palmer Gallery for this exhibition,” says Quinn. “This remarkable group of beautifully painted portraits of familiar faces in the Vassar community is an invitation to see the person beyond the task.”
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Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential, liberal arts college founded in 1861.