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Art Show Brings Recent Alums to Campus

January 8, 2024—Winsor alums Chloe Macaulay '21 and Brigid O'Connor '22—both dedicated artists during their time at Winsor—returned to campus for an art show and a reception celebrating their artistic journey and evolution. 

In their respective junior years, Macaulay and O’Connor were both recipients of the Linda Alles ’71 Memorial Award, which is given to a junior whose artistic endeavors best exemplify Ms. Alles’s appreciation of nature, passion for truth, and delight in the world around her. Since leaving Winsor, they have continued to create inspiring art. Macaulay is a painting major at the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, while O’Connor is a sophomore at Georgetown University in the College of Arts and Sciences double majoring in both studio art and justice and peace studies, with a minor in Arabic language.

“One of the great pleasures in working with students like Chloe Macaulay and Brigid O'Connor while they were at Winsor is that both of them have continued to share their artistic journeys with me,” shared Visual Arts Department Head and Eleanor Thomas Nelson '49 Chair in Fine Arts Sara Macaulay. 

O’Connor—who engages in printmaking and pen-and-ink drawings but concentrates in painting—is not planning to pursue fine arts professionally. For her, art creates connection and keeps her involved with arts-related on-campus clubs. For example, she volunteers at the Georgetown University gallery and is the “resident creator” for the school’s intersectional feminist magazine. “I am so grateful to have the opportunity to celebrate my love for art while continuing to pursue my other academic interests,” she explained in her artist statement. The works showcased at Winsor span three semesters of college art classes: watercolor and ink, figure drawing, and oil painting. 

Acknowledging that painting is a highly interdisciplinary practice, Macaulay found inspiration in an article on the philosophy of medicine and summer travel in Greece to create a body of work that operates in four stages: first “Metamorphosis: The Creation of the Language,” second “The Space,” third “The Isolation,” and lastly, “Detachment: The Little Guy.” In an artist statement that accompanied the pieces she explained, “I was at a pivotal point in my medical journey. I was one blood test away from moving from ‘rare disease’ to ‘medical mystery.’” The series explores the deep feeling, isolation, and loneliness associated with chronic pain and illness. Her art creates a world of idealism, a safe place to live freely and be understood deeply, a world where one’s state of being can reach true peace.

As their teacher, Ms. Macaulay shared, “I have loved seeing how they have grown and developed as artists beyond Winsor, and thought that the Winsor community would be similarly inspired.” The entire Winsor community was invited to the reception. Attendees enjoyed light bites while they strolled through the showcase.