On the evening of June 3, 2023, the Galleries at Moore were filled with generations of Moore alumni, along with their families, friends and members of the Moore community, as they gathered to celebrate the opening of this year’s alumni invitational exhibition and to honor the 2023 Fitzgibbon Alumni Prize winner and Distinguished Alumni Award recipients.
Following opening remarks in Graham Auditorium by President Cathy Young and Alumni Council President Mary Jennings ’88, the evening’s honorees took to the stage. The Distinguished Alumni Awards recognize the professional achievements of Moore alumni, their commitment to the College, and their accomplishments in the field of visual arts.
The 2023 awardees were Ann Marie Miller ’75, an Art Education alum, and Darla Jackson ’03, a Fine Arts alum who majored in Sculpture. Both are widely accomplished in their respective professional and creative paths: Miller is director of advocacy and public policy for the ArtPride NJ Foundation and served as its executive director for 20 years, and Jackson is a prolific sculptor, assistant professor of sculpture at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and founder of the Philadelphia Sculpture Gym.
This occasion also marked the first year of the Fitzgibbon Endowed Alumni Prize, established in honor of Cecelia Fitzgibbon, who served as Moore’s 10th president from 2012–2022. Moore alumni were invited to submit an original essay in response to the prompt, “What Moore means to me," to be eligible for a monetary prize. The inaugural honor went to Veronica Hicks MA ’13, Art Education with an Emphasis in Special Populations. Hicks, an art teacher, arts-based researcher and comics author, read from her inspiring and moving essay, closing with a rousing sentiment that elicited cheers from the crowd:
“At Moore, We exceed my ancestors’ wildest dreams with technicolor force. We don’t cradle democracy, we catalyze it to rise to the challenges we face. We won’t waiver from our dreams, we hold them hard. We tied them tightly here, knitted together in our nation’s very heart of independence. We will not forego or falter in our freedom. We still rise. We still sing. The bell of liberty rings in us. I am Moore. You are Moore. We are Moore, together.”
Following the award ceremony, attendees strolled the Galleries and took in the alumni artwork on display in By Design: 2023 Alumni Invitational Exhibition. The exhibition celebrates the work of Moore graduates in design-based fields, including Fashion Design, Graphic Design, Illustration and Textile Design. The exhibition features work from Niarus Benjamin Walker ’93, Jean Broden ’83, Mary Jo Brown ’83, Erin Daniels ’93, Diane Deery ’93, Renee Derr ’03, Michelle "Shell" Kennedy ’83, Suzanne Kopko ’93, Rachel Lopez Cerrato ’13, Kathy Mueller ’03, Andrea Pinkowitz ’73, and Jessica Robles ’03.
By Design: 2023 Alumni Invitational Exhibition runs through September 1, 2023.
Photos by Dave Rizzio.