The Public Honors College

SMCM Newsroom

“Across the Ages”

June 19, 2014
Press Release #14-043


This alumni weekend, the St. Mary’s College Boyden Gallery reintroduced the alumni art exhibition. “Across the Ages” kicked off with an opening reception on June 13. The gallery and Office of Alumni Relations teamed up to issue a call for entries in the fall and received over 130 submissions. Through a competitive selection, the exhibition featured 43 pieces.  The alumni artists represent diverse careers in medicine, law, policy and education.

“One of the goals of the art and art history program [at St. Mary’s College] is to foster a lifelong love of creating and engaging with art,” said Cristin Cash, associate professor of art history and director of the Boyden Gallery. “This exhibition is proof that we are succeeding at the goal. The alumni are a range of people from all different backgrounds, doing all different things, but what brings them together is that they are still creating art.”

Before studying at both the Corcoran Institute and George Mason University, alumna Bonita Tabakin, who graduated in 1968 with the last class of the St. Mary’s Female Seminary Junior College, represents St. Mary’s long history of producing talented students who devote themselves to lifelong creative thinking. During her time at the junior college, Tabakin studied biology and chemistry as well as art. Influenced by Pablo Picasso, whom she had the privilege of having as a mentor, Tabakin continues to create color-infused pieces of abstract art, shown this past winter at the Smithsonian. Bringing her talents back to her alma mater at the “Across the Ages” exhibition, Tabakin showed a version of her piece entitled “Fresh Air.”

The exhibition was juried by alumnae Kate Pollasch ’10 and Jayme McLellan ’94. Pollasch is currently an academic adviser at the Art Institute of Chicago as well as an independent curator. As a juror, Pollasch said she looked for technique and cultural perspectives. McLellan has been working in the arts for 20 years and recently taught art history at the college. “St. Mary’s gave me an understanding of creative voice, and my experience is the foundation for all I do,” she said.

Pollasch and McLellan chose three recipients for the Juror’s Award for Excellence. Richard McCauley ’93 won for his acrylic on canvas piece, “Fire at the Surface.” McCauley studied art while at St. Mary’s, but currently manages a dental office. Winifred King Thompson ’98, an art major who describes her education at St. Mary’s as “unparalleled,” won for her mixed media and video installation piece, “Confessional.” Thompson will teach at St. Mary’s Ryken High School in the fall. Leslie Day-Cook ’03, an English major, also won for her costume and design piece, “The Snow Queen.”

The exhibition is on display through Aug. 5. Visitors are welcome Wednesdays through Fridays from 12 to 5 p.m. Additionally, Friday evenings during the River Concert Series, the gallery will be open from 5-7 p.m. Select works are available for purchase. For more information, visit the gallery’s website at

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