"Portraits" Shows the Many Faces of Emotion at SJU Gallery

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

by James Sanders '13

PHILADELPHIA (September 12, 2012) – If the heart and mind joined forces, how would that moment be reflected on an individual face? Find out at Saint Joseph's University Gallery when photographer Peter Miraglia's "Portraits" premieres. The exhibit will run Oct. 1 thru Nov. 2, but will be closed during fall break, Oct. 15 and 16. An artist's reception is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 5, from 6–8 p.m. The gallery is located on the second floor of Merion Hall on the James J. Maguire '58 Campus.

"Portraits" is a series based on different subjects of diverse ethnic backgrounds. Each of the photos in Miraglia's collection has an expression that seems to begin at drama and end at angst. "This new work represents a kind of psychological theater – the narrative of the heart and the mind," Miraglia says. "It stages what is imagined and what is real."

Miraglia's exhibit poses questions about the expression and the emotion playing on each face, giving the spectator insight into one's sense of reality.

"His series has a contemplative overture that resembles a self-examination therapy session. Each photograph's rich contrast and deep background divulges no contextual clues, allowing the viewer to conjure the rest of the mysterious storyline," says Associate Gallery Director Jeanne Bracy.

The portraits in the exhibit were created with little overt direction from Miraglia, who says that nevertheless, there was an intense collaboration between himself and his subjects. Sessions focused on eliciting sincerity. "We worked for hours at a time in my photographic studio, mostly silent - waiting, feeling and looking inside. We were separate and we were one," says Miraglia.

Miraglia graduated from the University of Rochester with a B.A. in Fine Arts and Photography, with additional studies at the Rochester Institute of Technology. His work has been exhibited at venues all over the world including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, California Museum of Photography, the Alternative Museum (New York), Marcuse Pfeifer Gallery (New York), and Les Rencontres d'Arles in France. He has been awarded many prestigious fellowships and awards, including from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. He was awarded the first prize for The Photo Review National Competition.

Saint Joseph's University Gallery is located in Merion Hall on the James J. Maguire '58 Campus at 376 Latches Lane in Lower Merion, Pa. A campus map may be viewed at sju.edu/map. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. For more information, call 610-660-1840, or visit the gallery website at http://www.sju.edu/gallery.

Media Contact

Patricia Allen, Senior Associate Director of University Communications, 610-660-3240, patricia.allen@sju.edu


Founded in 1851 in the Jesuit tradition of academic excellence, Saint Joseph’s University is a top-ranked Catholic University that provides a rigorous, student-centered education. With a total enrollment of 8,500 undergraduate and graduate students, SJU offers a wide-array of academic programs designed so that each graduate enters the world with a competitive resume and global perspective. This is achieved through intense academic study led by thought-leading faculty scholars, a comprehensive campus experience and robust study abroad, service-learning, internship and co-op programs. Upon graduation, nearly 100 percent of students are employed, pursuing advanced degrees or volunteering in prestigious service programs. A member of the Atlantic 10 Conference, SJU offers 20 Division I intercollegiate men’s and women’s sports. SJU alumni – over 60,000 strong - provide a powerful network that spans the globe.

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