Thanking the Alumnae Association for 50 years of successful Starving Artists’ Shows

The Starving Artists’ Show at Mount Mary University celebrated its 50th successful show on Sunday, Sept. 8, thanks to the generous dedication of the Alumnae Association and volunteers.

The devotion of these volunteers – and fortunate weather for all 50 years – has resulted in year upon year of successful shows. The show continues to draw thousands of attendees each year and the entry fees help raise thousands of dollars for Mount Mary student scholarships. And, because of the volunteer planning, organization and staffing from the Alumnae Association, the show continues to grow year after year.

An estimated 5,900 visitors attended this year’s show, which featured over 200 curated artists.

Started by the Alumnae Association in the late 1960s, the first show was a success, raising nearly $3,000 and featuring 48 exhibiting artists. Many of the alumnae from the 1960s haven’t missed a show since.

The longtime volunteers were recognized at a luncheon with President Christine Pharr, Ph.D., and the University Board of Trustees on September 6.

“I am personally grateful to be the chair of the 50th Show; we are celebrating amazing friendships developed over many years and the joy we have in raising funds for women’s education,” said Mary Bock ‘64, chair of the 2019 Starving Artists’ Show.

The proceeds from the earliest Starving Artists’ Shows raised dollars for a variety of projects around campus. About 15 years ago, the Alumnae Association decided to focus primarily on raising money for scholarships with a goal to reach $1 million corpus.

This $1 million goal was achieved in June 2019, just in time for the 50th show.

"The Alumnae Association has worked in close partnership with the University and our office is pleased to support their goal of impactful and lasting support for the institution," said Pamela Owens, Vice President for Alumnae and Donor Relations.

Alumnae Association Chair volunteers for this year’s show included: Mary Ellen Luxem ’68; LaDonna Borth ‘06; Michelle Hawkins ’16; Rachel Connet ’92 & ’08; Karen Cornelius ’87; Diane Davis ’64; Therese Campos ’66; Isabel Maria Piana ‘69 & ’93; Celine Wong ’66; Mary Kallenbach ’63; Nancy Sullivan ’63; Morgen Phillips ’11; Lauren Kenney ’11; and Emily Chapman ‘17.

The next Starving Artists’ Show is set for Sept. 13, 2020. For more information, visit