The student news site of Peddie School

The Peddie News

The student news site of Peddie School

The Peddie News

The student news site of Peddie School

The Peddie News

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Recycle, Repair, Reimagine: The Peddie Employee Art Exhibit 2023

Chloé Cheng ʼ27
Artworks from the Peddie Employee Art Exhibit are displayed in the Donna L. Sands ʼ82 Exhibition Hall.

This year’s Peddie Employee Art Exhibit opened on Wednesday, December 6, with the theme ‘Recycle, Repair, Reimagine.’ The objective of the showcase was to commemorate the creativity and artistic efforts of Peddie faculty and staff, who reused and repurposed items of their choosing to produce meaningful art pieces. Featured artists included Joyce Chen, Paul Watkins, Jesse Facey, Bronwynn Woodsworth and Glenn Houskeeper, to name a few. (All artists are listed at the end of this article).


Many students attended the exhibit, making their way through the Peddie Arts Center’s Mariboe Gallery and Donna L. Sands ʼ82 Exhibition Hall to view the diverse compositions constructed in a multitude of different mediums. Among the works were a collection of fascinating photographs by Craig Wallace Dale, masterfully redesigned fishing rods by Pete McClellan, poignant poetry by Yuto Iwaizumi and an intricate gingerbread farm by Julie Heymach. Other artists used a variety of materials and techniques for their pieces, from thread and fabric to mixed media to papier-mâché. 


Through all of these diverse pieces, there was a common thread: each artist strived to give new life to something, whether it was a worn object, a household item or even an idea that was interpreted in a new way. Alan Michaels applauded this innovative process, writing in his artist’s statement, “[…] solutions to problems are often in and around us. It can be important to view items and ideas with an open mind and to recognize them for potential uses as much as for their originally intended purpose.”


This point of view is especially significant in today’s world, where an endless desire for advancement and new things inherently leads to the accumulation of waste. Items and practices go out of style increasingly quickly, so finding new ways to think about and utilize them saves energy and resources and maximizes their true lifespan.


Some pieces were built around that mindset, but others tackled topics that, while also related to the recycling and rehabilitation theme, also took a slightly different approach. A few artworks were made in honor of lost loved ones or discussed reconnection and relationship-building. Still, other pieces pay respect to unique heritages and cultures, ‘reimagining’ personal traditions and values as art forms.


Another thing that was reimagined was artist David Medalla’s ‘A Stitch in Time.’ ‘A Stitch in Time’ is a group of audience-collaborative installations based on stitching something onto cloth; it symbolizes coming together, restoring spirit and “repairing” things weakened in hard times. Peddie’s take on ‘A Stitch in Time’ sits in the Mariboe Gallery: a long sheet of canvas held up like a hammock in between benches, with a row of vibrant thread colors strung overhead, invites you to enjoy the creative unity. Members of the community are encouraged to stop by and stitch something of their choice – a poem, saying, illustration, photograph, small memento, etc. – onto the fabric. Several students and staff already participated in the activity during the exhibit’s opening night and had a fun, relaxing time.

Peddie’s take on David Medalla’s ‘A Stitch in Time’ in the Mariboe Gallery (Chloé Cheng ʼ27)

But the best part of the exhibit, along with the engaging artworks and the introspective motif of sustainability, was the fact that the Peddie community was able to celebrate the talent of these individuals, all of whom proudly shared their artistic endeavors. Sanai Parrish ʼ26 praised the art show, commenting on how it was “really refreshing to see a faculty view […] it was really cool to see how they could use different types of artwork to create something really cool and beautiful.”


2023 Employee Art Exhibit Participants:

Joyce Chen, arts teacher

Craig Wallace Dale, visual arts teacher

Jesse Facey, language teacher

Julie Heymach, chef

Glenn Houskeeper, groundskeeper

Trish Hulick, nurse

Yuto Iwaizumi, language teacher

Danielle Kelley, math teacher

Rachael Klaiss, science teacher

Pete McClellan, history teacher

Paul Meidhof, security

Alan Michaels, arts department chair

Karen Serach, librarian

Madelaine Shellaby, arts teacher

Taina Spicer, arts teacher

Megan Sweeney, marketing communications manager

Amanda Vos Strache, history teacher

Cathy Watkins, director of visual arts

Paul Watkins, history teacher

Bronywynn Woodsworth, math teacher

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