Hidden Treasures at Lamont Gallery

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Jean Chase Farnum, Milky Way along Acadia’s Ocean Path Park Loop Road, 2019, Photograph

Hidden Treasures 5
Works by Phillips Exeter Academy Employees

November 5-December 14, 2019

Hidden Treasures 5 celebrated the creative work of our Phillips Exeter Academy colleagues, across media and across departments. This semi-annual exhibition had its fifth iteration in November 2019 and it was one of our most dynamic group of makers yet. There were over 50 participants who came from a variety of departments including Dining Services, Campus Safety, College Counseling, the Academy Library, and faculty from the Math, Science, and Athletics departments, among others. We are always excited for this exhibition since it helps us see Exeter employees in a different light outside of our normal roles on campus and gives us the opportunity to celebrate each other’s creative endeavors.

Here are some reflections from a few of the Hidden Treasures 5 participants.


Tad Nishimura, who works in the Academy Library, has participated in Hidden Treasures for a number of years. She creates intricate beaded jewelry and started the Beading Interest group so adults on campus could learn more about the art form.

 “The Hidden Treasures exhibit has always been my favorite show to see all my co-workers and what they like to do for fun.  Every year, I am taken by surprise to see so much talent.  This year, the most special and satisfying was to see the hidden talents of my colleagues in our Beading Interest Group.  For the past two years, the Beading Interest Group on campus has met as a way to de-stress making handmade paper and polymer clay beads and using different techniques to make their own jewelry. I was excited to see my colleagues’ faces when they saw their handmade jewelry beautifully displayed by the gallery staff, and the many wonderful comments they received on their work before and after the show.” 

Tom Simpson, Sightlines (detail), 2019, Digital photograph

Tom Simpson teaches in the Religion Department. This was his first year submitting photographs to the exhibition.

“The Hidden Treasures exhibit offers such an incredible range of opportunities to get to know our colleagues on a deeper level. It gives us a glimpse of things that really matter to us and bring us joy, in ways that might not always be obvious in our ordinary, daily interactions at work. It reminds us of the inner depth and complexity of each human being.”

Stephanie Jackman, 603, 2019, Embroidery thread on cotton blend fabric

Stephanie Jackman is relatively new to PEA and has worked for the Exeter Summer department for a little over a year. She jumped right in to join us in the exhibition with her fun embroidery pieces.

“What I enjoyed most about Hidden Treasures was the incredible diversity in subject matter and mediums used. From a model boat to a stained-glass lamp shade to horticultural installations, this exhibit wasn’t a ‘typical art exhibit’ by any means. I especially enjoyed seeing the works from employees who aren’t formal art faculty at PEA, because you don’t typically think of these employees in an artistic light. The show was very creative and the displays were absolutely gorgeous.”

Cary Wendell, Cats at Rest, 2019, Acrylic on canvas

Cary Wendell, the Designer and Technical Director for the Theater and Dance department, is also a painter. He has participated in many Hidden Treasures exhibitions.

“I always look forward to taking part in and seeing the wonderful creations of my colleagues in the Hidden Treasures exhibit. As with any other exhibition opportunity I run across, it acts as a stimulus to finish works in progress and get them to a state of readiness to hang on the wall. Even putting a title to a painting is fun. This year’s show was particularly impressive. The number of skilled photographers is impressive. I particularly liked talking with Jean Farnum about her series of photos of a blackbird landing on the back of a deer. Her long exposure photo of a night sky and tide rolling in was also breathtaking. There were so many works in other media that caught my eye – from prints, paintings, sculpture, glass jewelry, to Fermin’s cartoons in Spanish. I went back a second time to make sure I hadn’t missed anything. Hidden Treasures really captures the spirit of the exhibit. I’m glad I could participate.”

Dido Nydick, Tah-Dah, 2019, Digital, Giclee print on paper

Dido Nydick, who teaches yoga for Athletics, joined us for the first time with her playful digital drawings of birds.

“At first, it felt daunting to come out from my studio and put my work on display for the first time; during the show and in the aftermath, countless times I would hear that my work delighted, amused, was respected. Such a reaction was more than I expected. I felt validated and it is an honor to know that I am part of a vibrant community of creativity that dwells beneath the sameness of daily life.”


– Stacey Durand, Gallery Manager

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