Celebrating the Arts

The arts have long been important to the Saint Mary’s community. The study and celebration of visual art, literature, theatre, and more, are valued by students, faculty, staff, and alumnae. Chimes, the art and literary magazine on campus, features creative works by Saint Mary's students, consisting of everything from poetry to photography to prose to installation art.

ChimesChimes is as deeply rooted in tradition and history as the College itself. The first issue of Chimes came out in September of 1892. At that time, it was a monthly publication that focused not only on writing and poetry, but also provided Saint Mary's students with College news and information. Chimes’ predecessor was the Rosa Mystica, a publication that featured both stories and poetry, which began in 1859.

Molly Vogele ’19, this year’s editor in chief of Chimes wrote in an editor’s note, “Every day at Saint Mary’s College, writers and artists create powerful, heartfelt, and immensely imaginative work. We are members of a community that never underestimates the value of writing and creating art. There is a sense of seriousness, joy, and extreme dedication when we share our writing and art in workshop and studio settings.”

In 1953, Saint Mary’s became the first Catholic college in the nation to be selected for membership in the National Association Schools for Art. And since then, as the world of art has evolved, the College continues to assess the curriculum and create opportunities for students to hone their craft and carry out their talents in their desired fields.

This year the art department established an Alumnae Exhibition Series, an annual program inviting graduates back to campus to engage with current students. The visiting alumna spends time discussing career choices and professional development, presents a public lecture, and exhibits a current body of work. The culminating event takes place during Reunion Weekend as a gallery reception. This year’s featured alumna was Nancy Murphy Spicer ’79 was the featured alumna for the inaugural exhibition series.

Saint Mary’s students have taken initiative and come together through the arts to celebrate the 175th anniversary. One student began working on a campus mural, depicting the vibrancy of the Saint Mary’s community both past and present. Others have created and published a board book titled My First Words of Saint Mary’s and determined the proceeds would benefit Moreau Nursery and Primary School in Kyarusozi, Uganda run by the Sisters of the Holy Cross.

As a way to preserve and promote the voices and visions of women, the arts express the authenticity of our community and enrich the lives of those around us. The arts have always been an invitation to convey and engage, and at Saint Mary’s, an invitation to discover and dream.