Paintings from the Peace Corps Experience – Event Recap

An exhibit of oil and watercolor paintings by Nancie Gunkelman were the focus of attention at the Zimmerli art library, Rutgers campus, New Brunswick on Saturday, March 7th.

IMG_8297 ppl and watercolors

The event was presented by Rutgers University in cooperation with the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of New Jersey. The exhibit took place as part of a celebration of National Peace Corps Week which commemorates the establishment of the Peace Corps on March 1, 1961. While the exhibit is in place until March 28th, the reception on Saturday was widely attended by the public including library patrons and staff, Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, family and friends. 

IMG_8302 x exhibit title board

Rutgers art librarian Megan Lotts noted “It has been delightful having Nancie’s paintings in the Art Library this month. We have had many interested students and many of them are shocked when I tell them they are not photos they are paintings! But what makes this exhibit even more special to me is that we were able to draw in a new crowd of individuals and that we are able to help share the amazing work the Peace Corps! Art is a very powerful tool when it comes to education and kudos to Nancie for really hitting the nail on the head with this one!”

IMG_8299 x woman & artwork on pillar

Mabel Smith Douglass Library director Kayo Denda attended the event and added ‘It was magnificent to see Nancie’s art work on display. The paintings bring to life the people she encountered during your Peace Corps years along with their livelihood. Every detail, such as the texture of fabric or the design of their clothing, the vegetation in the landscape, or the food they were cooking, collectively capture not only their lives, but the deep reverence and love she has for her subjects. It was very moving.’

To see more photos from the event, visit our Flickr page!

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