The Chapel Art Center offers multiple art exhibitions and associated events each academic year, which are open to the campus and general public. View the list of our past exhibitions.

2022-2023 Exhibitions

The Chapel Art Center opens its new season with a small, introductory exhibit of rather disparate works we might call markers, or indicators, of the variety of works contained in the permanent collection. This is part one of three phases in a year-long exhibition intended to recognize both the origins and the growth of the collection over the years, as the director reflects on twenty-five years at the gallery.

A similar exhibit was held here in 2014-15 called Reverie, Realizing a Collection, as Saint Anselm College celebrated its quasquicentennial (the 125th anniversary of its founding.)

Over the years, the collection has grown considerably in its scope and direction. An intentional focus on certain core groupings, such as women modernists, New England landscapes, religious works, or American furniture, has helped to expand the variety of genres and set new goals for improving both the quality and selection of works. What is more, as friends and patrons of the gallery have increased, donors often initiate a new vein of interest by way of a gift. All in all, even when we consider the very spontaneous way the collection may have developed early on, it has always been motivated by a most genuine and earnest desire to have art embedded within the liberal arts learning experience.  

Dilecta is a word to suggest something “beloved” or “dear.” As the collection continues to grow, it will help to “consider the abundance,” to deepen our appreciation for our cultural history, both at the Chapel Art Center and at Saint Anselm College. We will rediscover the richness of the collection, and by extension, the rich variety of learning to be had in the environment we create.

2020-2021 Exhibitions

Since its founding in 2002, there have been two major exhibitions devoted to the MacDonald Collection: Introducing The MacDonald Collection in 2010, and The Sacred and the Ordinary, Examining Works from the MacDonald Collection in 2017. Founded for the acquisition of religious works and domestic scenes, the Chapel Art Center has been able to secure important works reflecting mysteries of Catholic faith, and make connections to everyday faith and family life. The motivation for collecting and combining works such as these stems from a collaboration between the donor, Mr. Hugh MacIsaac, and the Chapel Art Center. It was our desire to complement the values he treasured with the mission of Saint Anselm College.

This exhibition is intended to take a new and perhaps playful step towards broader and more diverse conversations, to further the MacDonald Collection’s import and meaning.

In Conversation is a carefully selected group of works, strategically aligned and thoughtfully juxtaposed. Some fit clearly into the MacDonald Collection category, and some do not. Some works, coupled in a seemingly disparate relationship, will stimulate reflection and invite new commentary.

Ultimately, we hope to gain new insights and arrive at some interesting conclusions. As a “meaningful core,” The MacDonald Collection is growing as a very valuable witness to what the Chapel Art Center offers as its own center of education. Our hope is this variegated array of mingled works from the MacDonald Collection and other works within the permanent collection can enrich our community and visitors with renewed vigor and promise.

2018-2019 Exhibitions

The Chapel Art Center is delighted to present A Moment of Time: Sculpture by Nick Hollibaugh, featuring a body of work by Massachusetts-based artist Nick Hollibaugh. Working in wood and paint, Hollibaugh creates forms and assemblages that engage with our understanding of memory, landscape, and structure. Meticulous in their execution and poetic in their simplicity, these built arrangements blur the line between painting and sculpture.

Born and raised in Indiana, many of Hollibaugh’s sculptural works evoke the farm structures and barns of his youth. The artist’s largest works are paradoxically both inviting and imposing, recalling expansive open spaces and enclosed domestic interiors in equal measure. Horizontal bands of wood painted in subtly shifting colors recall a sky viewed across flat farmland, while the familiar shape of a pitched roof, paired with Hollibaugh’s precise craftsmanship, reference the simple lines of Shaker barns and furniture.

In smaller, more intimate works, pieces of found wood are commingled with bits of mirror and nest-like assemblages of narrow sticks. Drawing from his experience as a furniture designer, Hollibaugh exerts precise control over shadow, color, and dimension, arranging each element in accordance with a mysterious, dreamlike logic.

Nick Hollibaugh earned a BFA from the Herron School of Art at Indiana University and an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife and two daughters. Hollibaugh is represented by Cade Tompkins Projects of Providence, Rhode Island.

2017-2018 Exhibitions

The Chapel Art Center is pleased to present a pair of exhibitions drawn from our Permanent Collection.

Preparing a Place: Women Modernists from the Chapel Art Center Permanent Collection

In the 19th and 20th centuries, female artists established a long overdue presence on the American art scene, enrolling in art schools, teaching, and exhibiting in landmark exhibitions of modernist art. In celebration of the legacy of these women modernists, the Chapel Art Center is pleased to present a selection of artworks by ground-breaking female artists from our Permanent Collection.

Featuring paintings, works on paper, and sculpture dating from the early 20th century to the present day, Preparing a Place highlights the work of women who pushed the field forward in their respective media, achieving professional success and recognition in the process.

Farm to Table: The Lucille Davison Collection of Ceramic Cow Creamers

An eccentric piece of tableware first popularized in Britain in the 18th century, the cow creamer is an object of playfulness married to functionality. Its whimsical form points to the intersection between Georgian romanticizing of a pastoral, agrarian life and the rising popularity of tea and coffee among the British upper and middle classes—and the various accessories necessary to enjoy it with fashionable company.

The group of cow creamers on view at the Chapel Art Center was generously donated by the late Lucille Davison, whose father assembled the collection over a period of several decades. It reflects over a century's worth of styles and regional peculiarities and includes examples from several notable centers of English ceramic production, including Staffordshire, Sunderland, Derbyshire, and Swansea, as well as American examples from the Norton and Fenton Potteries in Bennington, Vermont.

2016-2017 Exhibitions

The brilliant work of artist Anne Connell is featured in the current exhibition at the Alva de Mars Megan Chapel Art Center, on view October 20-December 10, 2016. A public Opening Reception will be held Thursday, October 20 from 6-8 p.m. All are invited to join gallery staff for a first glimpse at this exciting exhbition, with drinks and light refreshements and live music by Joe Deleault. The artist will be in attendance.

The Silent Heart: Modern Illuminations by Anne Connellon view October 21-December 10, 2016, features a selection of 24 paintings and works on paper by the Portland, Oregon-based painter Anne Connell. A consummate contemporary master, Connell utilizes a variety of methods and media to create intimately scaled and carefully conceived works, often incorporating techniques associated with Renaissance masters - including finely-wrought silverpoint drawing and the delicate application of gold leaf.Though her paintings make allusion to specific motifs and imagery drawn from the Italian Renaissance, in her skillful hands these symbols are transmuted and recontextualized, presented as surreal views into a fictional world full of wit and mystery. 

The notion for the exhibition title "the Silent Heart" is rooted in monastic tradition, referring to the preeminently quiet interiority one must embrace to readily contemplate meaning. Anne Connell's glowing, dream-like compositions are remarkable for their rare ability to capture the mind and still the heart.The Silent Heart: Modern Illuminations by Anne Connell marks the Chapel Art Center's first international loan exhibition, and the first major exhibition to take place since the gallery's reopening after a year-long renovation. 

The exhibition was conceived and presented in collaboration with Stephen Ongpin Fine Art of London, known internationally as foremost among dealers of Master Drawings. Paintings in the exhibition are on loan from several private collections in the United Kingdom and the United States.

An Artist Talk is scheduled for Friday, October 21 at 12:30 p.m. Anne Connell will meet visitors and speak about her work and her artistic practice. A light reception will follow. In addition, the Chapel Art Center will present a series of public gallery talks, concerts, and lectures in conjunction with the exhibition. Artist website:

2014-2015 Exhibitions

A year-long exhibition on view from September 26 through April 30, 2015

In celebration of Saint Anselm College's 125th anniversary, the Chapel Art Center presents a year-long exhibition reflecting over a century of creating, collecting, and appreciating art on the Saint Anselm campus. The exhibition traces the beginnings of the arts at Saint Anselm as far back as 1893 when Father Bonaventure Ostendarp opened the Studio of Christian Art, a workshop dedicated to producing decorative murals and liturgical art for Catholic churches across the United States. In the early twentieth century the Studio of Christian Art was overseen by Father Raphael Pfisterer, who also designed and painted the exquisite ceiling murals in the college's chapel - the same space which, since 1967, has served as the Chapel Art Center's gallery and exhibition space.

In the course of forty-seven years the Chapel Art Center has hosted over two hundred and fifty exhibitions of work by artists of national and international renown, in addition to countless lectures, concerts, gallery tours, and artist demonstrations. In recent years the gallery has placed an increased focus on building a strong and vibrant permanent collection, now numbering at close to four hundred artworks ranging from fifteenth-century drawings by Italian renaissance masters to recent works by contemporary New England artists. Reverie: Realizing a Collection will provide an overview of this rich history of artistic creation and cultural programs at Saint Anselm College.

2013-2014 Exhibitions

Sandy Wadlington
Pastels, Drawings and Color Woodcuts
September 27 - December 7, 2013

The Chapel Art Center is very pleased to host this exhibition of works by Sandy Wadlington.  As a New England-based artist with formidable artistic roots (she is a descendant of the pioneer American landscape painter Alvan Fisher), Wadlington has marked her own path with the hands-on media of pastel, caran d'ache, and color woodcuts.

Her versatility makes for a remarkable range of visual effects.  Suffused with light and a quality of naturalism, her works are utterly faithful to the American landscape tradition. Modernist in their patterned simplicity, they also capture the stirring sensations of passing moments. Always gentle and serene, they bear the watchfulness of an artist at home with the vast beauty of her surroundings.

This is the third in a series of landscape exhibitions covering a range of traditions and styles, which has allowed us to explore the enduring traditions as well as the more innovative practices associated with American landscape painting.  Reflections of the Day presents a most pleasing selection of purely contemporary scenes, affirming the ever-present appeal of the artist's point of view.

Sandy Wadlington is represented by McGowan Fine Art, Concord, N.H.

2012-2013 Exhibitions

The Chapel Art Center is very pleased to host this exhibition of landscape paintings by Lauren Sansaricq.  This is the first of a series of "suites" the Chapel Art Center will present as it celebrates its 45th anniversary. The Glimmer of Light continues our focus in the recent past on American landscape, New Hampshire-based artists, and emerging artists.

As a particularly ambitious young painter working in the Hudson River School tradition, Lauren's paintings reveal both the subtle intimacies of observing nature, as well as the bold grandeur of the expansive view.  Her deft handling of the medium embraces all the challenges of being immersed in the scene, with a true devotion and purity of intent. As the artist has generously stated: "My hope is for the be able to imagine even more about the place than I have painted..."

These works represent a youthful call to refreshment and beauty. They speak silently of the resounding messages of nature. They contain a uniquely charming confluence of her personal lessons from masters in the past, reverently executed in the present, with an enduring look for the future. 

Lauren Sansaricq is represented by Hawthorne Fine Art, New York.

2011-2012 Exhibitions

Opening Reception - Thursday, September 22 at 6 p.m.
Exhibit continues through Sunday, October 23, 2011

Gallery will be closed Saturday, October 8.

This exhibition is organized in collaboration with New England Galleries of Andover, Massachusetts.

Pulitzer Prize Recipient and Poet Laurean Maxine Kumin

Wednesday, October 12, 7 p.m., NHIOP Auditorium

The Alva de Mars Megan Chapel Art Center and the New Hampshire Institute of Politics are pleased to welcome Pulitzer Prize recipient and Poet Laureate Maxine Kumin, who will speak as part of the NHIOP Bookmark Series and Night of the Poet program. Kumin will read a variety of selections from her collection of poems, including her latest publication Where I Live: New and Selected Poems 1990-2010. At the conclusion of the program, there will be a book sale and signing with the poet.

Kumin has published numerous books of poetry, and is also the author of a memoir, Inside the Halo and Beyond: The Anatomy of a Recovery (W. W. Norton, 2000); four novels; a collection of short stories; more than twenty children's books; and five books of essays. She has received the Aiken Taylor Award for Modern Poetry, an American Academy of Arts and Letters award, the Sarah Joseph Hale Award, the Levinson Prize, a National Endowment for the Arts grant, the Eunice Tietjens Memorial Prize from Poetry, and fellowships from The Academy of American Poets, and the National Council on the Arts. In addition, she has served as Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress and Poet Laureate of New Hampshire, and is a former Chancellor of The Academy of American Poets.

Prior to the poetry reading the exhibit, Hills in Echo Charles Curtis Allen, N.A. American Painter, will be on view in the gallery at the Alva de Mars Megan Chapel Art Center.

2010-2011 Exhibitions

Opening Reception: Thursday, September 16 at 6 p.m.
Exhibition continues through Saturday, October 30

2009-2010 Exhibitions

A Figural Presence embarks upon a new way of learning at the Chapel Art Center, with selections of significant contemporary American figurative works of art. This special exhibition sought to engender the power of poetic regard through dialogue about these paintings, drawings, and sculpture.  

This project was supported in part by an award from The National Endowment for the Arts.

Associated Events

A Figural Presence is a special exhibition, which sought to combine learning with the experience of beauty through the study of contemporary American figural works of art in painting, drawing, and sculpture. These accompanying programs and events were part of an interdisciplinary dialogue among curators, faculty, poets, musicians, and other special guests. See pictures from the events on our Flickr site.


Session 1: What is Poetic Regard?
September 29, 2009
Introductory remarks by Iain MacLellan, O.S.B., Director, Curator

Session 2: Keynote Lecture
October 1, 2009
John O'Hern, Guest Curator, former Executive Director and Curator of the Arnot Art Museum, Senior Editor of American Art Collector and Western Art Collector

Session 3: Elements of Poetic Regard
October 20, 2009
Facilitated by Jessica Pappathan, Assistant Curator

Session 4: A Conferral of Ideas
November 17, 2009


Visiting Artist: Michael Bergt, Painter and Sculptor
October 1, 2009
Painter and sculptor Michael Bergt demonstrated and taught his technique, and discussed his long career as a figurative artist.

Premiere Performance: Sonata No. 5 by Dianne Goolkasian Rahbee and George Lopez, Piano
November 12, 2009
A program entitled Centuries of Sonata, featuring representative piano sonatas of the Classical through modern styles, will culminate with the premiere of internationally recognized composer Dianne Goolkasian Rahbee's work, Sonata No. 5. This sonata was commissioned by the Chapel Art Center expressly for A Figural Presence.The

Night of the Poet F.D. Reeve, Poet, Novelist, and Critic
November 19, 2009
Award winning poet F.D. Reeve read his newly composed work A Girl and Two Doves, commissioned in conjunction with A Figural Presence.


This project is supported in part by an award from The National Endowment for the Arts.

2008-2009 Exhibitions

The Chapel Art Center presented the works of renowned New Hampshire Living Treasure award recipient Karl Drerup. A leading figure in 20th century enameling, Drerup was also a painter, ceramist, and engraver. This exhibition explored the process of Drerup's life and work, with an emphasis on how his work evolved from its graphic stage into the three dimensionality of his remarkable enamels. The anticipated result is to see a melding of all his artistic intentions, while noting the most distinguishing features of his life and work along the way.

Karl Drerup's work courtesy of McGowan Fine Art in Concord, N.H.

Associated Events

Karl Drerup: An Artist's Journey
September 11, 2008
Jane L. Port, Independent Scholar and Curator of American Decorative Arts discussed the life and work of Karl Drerup.

Learning Lunch Workshop: Enameling Art of Patience
September. 25, 2008
John Spurling, Enamelist and Juried Member of the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen discussed and demonstrated the enamel process.

2007-2008 Exhibitions

The Chapel Art Center was host to this beautiful and dramatic traveling exhibition, in collaboration with other campus constituencies. The exhibition provided a powerful occasion for paying attention to the facts and experiences of incarceration in the United States.

The exhibition included the work of incarcerated mothers and artists from around the country and provided an opportunity to educate visitors searching for information and decent solutions to a major and growing problem in U.S. society.