A landmark retirement, in more ways than one – 50,000 more, in fact!
In the spotlight was "Journey and Transformation: The Careers of David Stabley & Keith Vanderlin," showcasing the ceramics, wood sculptures and photography of two talented art educators. The exhibit is on display on the third floor of The Madigan Library through May 6.
Stabley and Vanderlin each delivered an artist's talk, sharing their journeys and appreciation for their families, friends and workplace. Both reflected on the experimental environment in which they've had the pleasure of teaching – and learning alongside students and colleagues. Although retiring at the end of the current academic year, neither plan to "fully" retire, citing too much energy and inspiration to slow down their artistic explorations. (And Stabley will continue to teach at the college in an adjunct capacity.)
Arriving to honor her former faculty members, 2016 graphic design graduate Jamie L. Mahoney was surprised to learn she was the 50,000th visitor to The Gallery at Penn College. Gallery Director Penny Griffin Lutz shared the happy news and a Le Jeune Chef gift card with the alumna.
"It’s fun to take the time during a milestone like this to ponder the many shows the gallery has presented and the artists that have visited campus," Lutz said. "The Gallery at Penn College has hosted over 100 exhibitions in just under 16 years. The first solo show in the new Madigan Library in 2006 featured the sculptures of David Hostetler; over 1,000 people viewed his work. Our current exhibit, 'Golden Legacy: Original Art from 75 Years of Golden Books' has had over 900 visitors to date (with a few days left to view); it’s been a great show to both introduce or reintroduce the gallery to visitors after two challenging years."
Offering her perspective on the gallery and its milestone, Mahoney said, "I have always loved The Gallery at Penn College. The space is gorgeous and the exhibits are always fascinating. Arts and technology have a symbiotic relationship. Therefore, I believe it is important to have exposure to art exhibits on campus, especially at a technical school. I’m honored to be the 50,000th visitor at the gallery, especially since I am a 2016 Penn College grad from the graphic design program."
Mahoney is the graphic designer for the James V. Brown Library, in Williamsport, and the North Central Library District, comprised of 44 libraries in 11 counties. She also operates her own art and design business, Stone Root Studio.
"Golden Legacy" is on display in the main gallery through March 30. Two student exhibitions will conclude the Spring 2022 semester: "Architecture & Sustainable Design: Senior Capstone Projects," April 8-15, and "Graphic Design 2022: Senior Portfolio Exhibition," April 26 through May 6.
The Gallery at Penn College is open 2 to 8 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays, and 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays. (The gallery is closed on Saturdays.) Prior to visiting, guests should view the college’s Continuity of Operations Plan page for current guidelines related to the pandemic.
For more about The Gallery at Penn College, email or call 570-320-2445.
– Photos by Cindy Davis Meixel, writer/photo editor
Stabley offered art mugs for $100 donations to The Cupboard, the campus food pantry, and Vanderlin created a photo print for the benefit.
A large vessel form (coil constructed and soda fired stoneware) crafted by Stabley, with one of Vanderlin’s photo prints in the background
Vanderlin’s “Guardian Figure #3” print (center) is bookended by Stabley’s carved pine masks with mixed-media additions.
Eye-catching details in a Stabley ceramic piece
“Journey and Transformation” awaits exploration in the gallery lobby through May 6. (Through the glass doors, the “Golden Legacy” exhibit is available for viewing through March 30, and then two consecutive Penn College student exhibits will finish out the Spring 2022 semester.)
A wall of Vanderlin’s digital prints entices visitors.
Vanderlin’s versatility as an artist extends from photography to woodworking, as evidenced by this black walnut sculpture.
The gallery’s glass offers a pleasing backdrop to another of Stabley’s large vessel forms (this one with a red “sold” sticker).
Black walnut is shaped into another Vanderlin creation (foreground), with the artist’s collage of student artwork framed in the background.
A whimsical Stabley creature (“3 Legged Figure”) appears to point the way to a library elevator.
Stabley greets a former ceramics student and retired Penn College General Services employee, Gary T. Pandolfi (’83, plumbing and heating, and ’93, heating, ventilation & air conditioning technology). Pandolfi took a ceramics class with Stabley in 2012 and continues to explore the art form in his retirement.
Stabley’s sister, Linda, snaps a keepsake of her brother’s artistry.
Early in the reception, artists and guests mingle. Traditionally, gallery receptions offer refreshments in the lobby, but with artwork encompassing the space, the sweet treats and nonalcoholic beverages were tucked into a side room normally used for the college's Archives and Special Collections.
Stabley discusses his artistic process with a visitor.
Retired graphic design professor Pat Murphy (left) enjoys revisiting campus to support his longtime colleague, Vanderlin.
Lutz introduces the artists and announces the 50,000th visitor.
A large crowd fills the gallery lobby for the artists’ talks.
The audience applauds Vanderlin’s 33 years of service to the college.
Stabley describes his artist’s journey – one shared extensively with his wife, Deborah, a part-time ceramics faculty member at the college.
Ever the educator, Vanderlin rolls a supply cart into the lobby at the start of his talk (much to the amusement of guests).
Vanderlin’s homemade nametag complete with his high school portrait
Comparing a camera’s aperture to an individual’s eye, the photographer encourages audience members to hold their thumbs at arms' length ...
... and attempt to focus on just the thumb in order to understand that, the larger the aperture, the blurrier the background.
Accoutrements of an artist
During his demonstration, Vanderlin receives assistance from two of his young granddaughters.
An image of the gallery lobby that Vanderlin captured with the simplicity of an oatmeal container (viewable on the pedestal) is shared as part of his “lecture” on “painting” with light.
A special evening for the Stabley family: Dave and Deb (right) are joined by Dave’s sister, Linda, and father, Jere, both of whom traveled from the Lancaster area.