"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


As Philadelphia's Jesuit, Catholic University, founded by the Society of Jesus in 1851, Saint Joseph's University provides a rigorous, student-centered education rooted in the liberal arts. SJU ranks as a top university in the Northeast, with a Phi Beta Kappa chapter in the College of Arts and Sciences and AACSB accreditation of the  Erivan K. Haub School of Business. The University is also deeply committed to the Jesuit tradition of scholarship and service, earning a place on the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll and the community engagement classification from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. With courses offered on campus and online, SJU prepares its more than 8,000 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students to lead lives of personal excellence, professional success and engaged citizenship.


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