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Thagaste Gallery Exhibits “Reflections of the Past: Photographs and Artifacts from Merrimack College”

Meghan Barrasso ‘19

Staff Writer

The latest exhibit at the Rogers Center for the Arts, “Reflections of the Past: Photographs and Artifacts from Merrimack College,” was on display at the Thagaste Gallery from Aug. 15 through the Oct. 21. This exhibit displayed photographs and artifacts from Merrimack College’s past and present.

“Reflections of the Past: Photographs and Artifacts from Merrimack College” focused on reflecting on Merrimack’s origins, showing who Merrimack is as a community and how we got where we are today.

“One thing that was particularly important to me was to illustrate how our Augustinian and Catholic foundation has become part of the fabric of the college,” said the Director of the Rogers Center for the Arts, Richard Piatt.

Images and artifacts were chosen by Piatt and Kevin Salemme, the Director of Media Instructional Services.

The exhibit was split into two parts, “Part One: Origins” and “Part Two: The Start of a New Millennium.” Part One included artifacts that were loaned by the President’s Office, such as Lowell Sun newspaper articles about Merrimack from the year 1951, a presidential plate given to members of the Presidential Council from 1992, a 1969 Pewter Cup won by the Merrimack College College Bowl Team and a 1949 Merrimack beanie that was once traditionally worn by male freshmen for school spirit and class identification.

“Part One: Origins” images also included a photograph of the first ever gymnasium from 1948, Merrimack’s first ever president, the first commencement that took place outside of Cushing Hall in 1951, pictures of students involved in clubs as well as images from the televised “General Electric College Bowl.”

Part Two of the “Reflections of the Past” exhibit included pictures of Merrimack’s first ever Women’s Division I Hockey team, service trips, expeditions and study abroad opportunities that students have taken advantage of, photographs of Merrimack’s band and jazz ensemble from 2017, Flo-Rida with students after his Spring concert performance in 2018 and a photograph of actor and Merrimack alum Charlie Day with students from 2015.

“When I look at the exhibit, I enjoy thinking about the people who created the college, exploring how the local landscape has changed,” Piatt said. He hopes students can imagine themselves as part of the fabric that makes up Merrimack.

The mission of the Rogers Center is to “awaken hearts, minds and spirits to the complexities of life through communal engagement with the arts.” It is home to two art galleries, the McCoy Gallery and the Thagaste Gallery. These galleries provide opportunities for not only professional artists but also for students and local community members to share their work.

The Thagaste Gallery is open to the general public Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m. The Thagaste Gallery was named after a small North African town where St. Augustine was born and later established as a small community dedicated to prayer and good works.