Decade of Distinction: Reception and pop-up book workshop to mark 10th anniversary of Pauly Friedman Art Gallery

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Based on the statistic that the Pauly Friedman Art Gallery at Misericordia University has logged more than 50,000 visitors to 73 exhibitions since it opened in 2009, there is little doubt the gallery has made a definitive mark on the regional arts community. The campus will celebrate the gallery’s 10th anniversary and success with a paper art and pop-up book workshop, as well as a special reception on Friday, March 15.

The anniversary reception is from 5-7 p.m. in Sandy and Marlene Insalaco Hall. The Soyka Fund for the Humanities and the Sandra Dyczewski Maffei Endowment Fund are sponsoring the free event that is open to the public.

In collaboration with the reception, a paper-engineering workshop featuring paper artist Colette Fu of Philadelphia will be held from 2-5 p.m. in Alden Trust Room 219 of Insalaco Hall. Fu will introduce the basics of paper engineering and demonstrate how pop-up structures are created. Fu’s award-winning pop-up books are in the collections of the Library of Congress and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Participants will go home with a simple piece of pop-up art. Participants with some skill in paper art are welcome to try more complex techniques. Advanced students should bring digitally printed matte photos or laser prints, no larger than 8.5-by-11 inches in size.

The workshop will be limited to the first 20 participants who register. The registration fee is $40. Registration deadline is Monday, March 4. The event was made possible by the generous support of the Barbara Soyka Fund for the Humanities and the Sandra Dyczewski Maffei Endowment.

To register for the reception or workshop, please contact Alexandra Isaac at or 570-674-8422. In the event the university is closed due to inclement weather, the snow date for both events is March 22.

Currently on display in the Friedman Art Gallery is the contemporary Chinese exhibition, “Emerging Dimensions: Works by Li Hongbo and Cai Dongdong.” Paper sculptor Li Hongbo carves through blocks of thousands of sheets of paper to create elastic sculptures that can stretch across the gallery. Cai Dongdong, a former documentary photographer, adds ready-made objects such as mirrors to his photographs to challenge the belief that photographs portray reality.

The 2,700-square-foot Pauly Friedman Art Gallery was dedicated on May 3, 2009 in honor of the late Pauly Friedman, who with her family, are among the university’s most dedicated benefactors. Carrying on a successful tradition of showcasing art on the campus, the university’s long-standing MacDonald Art Gallery, named after Marquis George MacDonald, was relocated within the Friedman Gallery.

Brian J. Benedetti, gallery director, and Dona Posatko, curator, oversaw the Friedman Art Gallery’s grand opening on Aug. 22, 2009 with the highly acclaimed exhibit, “Guiding Light,” featuring extraordinary glass sculptures by legendary artist Christopher Ries. Benedetti served as gallery director until his retirement in 2015. Posatko was appointed gallery director in 2016 and held the post until she retired in 2017. Current director Lalaine Little took the reins in January 2018.

“It’s wonderful to see how the Pauly Friedman Art Gallery and the adjoining MacDonald Art Gallery have built and retained a loyal following over the years,” said Little. “True to our academic mission, we have had great success tying exhibitions to various academic programs and bringing in speakers to expand upon the learning that takes place in the classroom. With each exhibition, we tap into a new audience which provides more opportunities for the community to engage with Misericordia and for our students to engage with the community.”

Among the many notable exhibits over the past 10 years is the “Mary Wilson Supremes’ Collection: The Gowns That Created a Musical Style & Legacy,” an exhibition in 2011 that featured 50 original gowns worn by the Motown icons. Wilson was on hand for the exhibit’s opening and later performed on campus in collaboration with the display. An impressive array of 323 Norman Rockwell Saturday Evening Post covers attracted hundreds of visitors to the Friedman Gallery in 2013. The works of Pablo Picasso (2014), Ansel Adams (2016) and Auguste Rodin (2017) also proved to be widely popular, as was a visit by Tibetan monks who created a sand mandala inside the gallery in 2015.

Sponsored by Misericordia’s Medical and Health Humanities Program in 2017, “Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race” was an exhibition on loan from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum that addressed ethical atrocities in medicine during and since the Holocaust. More recently, the “America’s Road: The Journey of Route 66” exhibition attracted more than 1,000 visitors who participated in a virtual cross country journey captured through signs, music and narratives in 2018.

For additional information about exhibits at the Friedman and MacDonald art galleries, please contact Little at or call 570-674-6250. Gallery hours are available at