Celebrating 40 years of Webster fine arts


On top of celebrating 100 years of operation, Webster University is celebrating something else. This year celebrates 40 years of the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Webster.

To celebrate this milestone, the Department of Art, Design and Art History (DADAH) is presenting, “40@100, A DADAH Reunion.” This show, at the Cecille R. Hunt Gallery in the Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts, displays 42 pieces of work from various Bachelor of Fine Arts alumni. On display are paintings, photos, sculptures, media and beading.

The gallery opened on September 25th and will run until October 24th. The show is open to anyone, free of charge. The gallery can be viewed Tuesday through Saturday between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.

The art department began with the birth of the institute, Loretto College for Women, 100 years ago. The first students had the opportunity to study art, music, dance, drama and home economics.

The university, then called Webster College, created the B.F.A in several emphasis areas in 1975. Students today can study drawing, acting, dance, costume design, scene painting and a number of other fine arts areas through DADAH at Webster University.

Artists like Gary Passanise, a current professor in the art department, and the late John Hilgert, photographer and former assistant professor at Webster University, have artwork displayed in “40@100.” Other alumni from Webster’s entire history like Sister Jeanne Dueber, class of 1962, and Joshua Grant Welker, class of 2015, are represented.

Jeff Hughes, Professor of Art History and Criticism, is the director and the primary curator of the exhibit. He also wrote a catalog about the history of the art program at Webster. He reached out to those alumni who are still working in the fine arts fields and brought their pieces to the gallery.

“The exhibition is really to show our appreciation to hundreds of alumni over the years,” Hughes said, “We have about 35 graduates a year and this has gone on for 100 years, so the 40 that were chosen are a really small slice.”
Students are encouraged to stop by the Cecille R. Hunt Gallery and view this celebration show. Maps are available for guiding viewers around the room and information is given about each artist. Webster continues to celebrate 100 years of operation, 40 years of the B.F.A and the future that will come in all areas of study.

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