Alumna returns to honor mentor, Professor Emeritus of Art Manuel Bromberg, at rededication ceremony

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Frances Sutherland ’63 (Art Education) ’67g (Art Education) praises Professor Emeritus of Art Manuel Bromberg for inspiring her life’s work as an artist and teacher.

“Professor Bromberg went beyond subject and composition and had his students think about ideas,” said Sutherland. “He showed me a new way of thinking as an artist and teacher that filtered into every aspect of my work thereafter.”

Sutherland taught art education at New Paltz High School for nearly 30 years before her retirement. She now works as a local artist combining Asian and Western styles, a direct reflection of her college education and Bromberg’s impact.

Sutherland’s latest collection is currently on display at the Town of Esopus Library in Port Ewen, a range of paintings titled “Selections at 75.”

“This work is the direct result of Bromberg’s influence and his teachings on Bonnard,” said Sutherland of the French Impressionist painter and printmaker. “Both taught me how we think of ourselves and how we act on those assumptions; this work reflects this idea.”

Sutherland has remained in contact with her mentor and friend in the 53 years since her graduation. The two also share a former student, Josephine Bloodgood ’89 (Painting) who keeps them all connected through her work as curator with the Woodstock Art Association and Museum and now as interim executive director and curator at the Huguenot Street Historical Society of New Paltz.

“These people have been a part of my education and my personal life,” said Sutherland. “We share an interconnectedness as a result of the New Paltz experience and continue to work together all these years later.”

To honor Bromberg’s contributions to the College, Sutherland was one of many alumni, including Bloodgood, who joined the professor during a rededication ceremony in May.

Bromberg’s sculpture, titled “Cliffside,” which adorns the outer southern wall of the Humanities building, was the focus at the event. The ceremony included the unveiling of a new plaque that noted the date of the sculpture’s installation (1970), the name of its creator and the name of the man in whose honor it was originally dedicated: Martin Luther King Jr.

“Being in the presence of Bromberg and my former high school student Josephine Bloodgood exemplifies this professor’s powerful and lasting influence and our continued friendship based on a love of art,” said Sutherland. “This was truly a moment for our three generations to discuss the significance of art and SUNY New Paltz in our lives.”