Building Bridges and Belonging


Building Bridges and Belonging

An exhibition of creative work by UMass Staff

Student Union Art Gallery

October 17 - November 4, 2022



Beginning in the summer of 2022, the Building Bridges Worker Artist group put out a call for creative work to fellow staff members inviting them to respond to the prompt, “What does belonging mean to you?”

The resulting exhibition “Building Bridges and Belonging” was on display from October 17 - November 4, 2022 at the Student Union Art Gallery and featured the creative work of more than 30 UMass staff members, present and past. Our closing receptions covered all working shifts, including those workers who keep campus going overnight: Thursday, Nov. 3 from 4 to 6 p.m.; Friday, Nov. 4 from 6 to 7 a.m., and from noon to 2 p.m. The exhibition included sculpture, painting, pastels, woodcarving, stitching, handmade fishing flys, books, a video game and much more. The diversity of responses was remarkable as were the reflections provided by many of the contributing artists.

The theme of belonging is complicated and explored through personal, family and global histories as well as contemporary experiences here on campus and beyond. To support the evolution of this creative work, Building Bridges hosted a series of discussion sessions where participating staff members discussed the prompt, offered each other support and considered ways to illuminate the theme of belonging in their creative work.

And in the spirit of belonging, general submissions were welcomed in order to acknowledge that not everyone may have the time and space to complete something new. Furthermore, the exhibition included one of the Building Bridges Art Installation towers, work from retired staff as well as deceased members of our Worker Voice and Visibility programming, dating back to the early 1990s.

Featuring 32 UMass Staff Artists: Aman Chuwan, Andrew Humpel, Carey Kelly, Carol Landry, Chelsea Reilly, CL Dukes, Collin Glasgow, David Wilson, David Nguyen, Dede Beach, Donna Vanasse, Frank Aronson, Hoa Le, Jennifer Jacobson, Katie Sadler, Lisa Korpiewski, Malini Sinha, Mara Martins, Matt Thornton, Michelle St. Martin, Midori Tabery, Myles Sanders, Nicolas (Nick) Scarrci, Owen Reese, Paul Papierski, Sally Prasch, Sara Littlecrow Russell, Sarah Jarman, Thoun Siv, Virginia McLaurin, Wayne Gagnon and Yessica Claros de Funes.

Participating artists work across campus in many different departments including: Advancement, College of Natural Science, College of Nursing, College of Engineering, Dining, Facilities and Campus Services, Human Research Protection Office, Human Resources, IT, Institute for Applied Life Sciences, Physics, Registrar, Student Engagement and Student Affairs and Campus Life.

Exhibition Events


 Gelli Printing Workshop 

Monday, October 17 from 4:30 - 6:30



Thursday, November 3rd from 4:00 - 6:00 PM

Friday, November 4th from 6:00 - 7:00 AM and 12:00 - 2:00 PM




What does belonging mean to you?

Join us for a Building Bridges exhibition of creative work by dozens of UMass staff members at the Student Union Art Gallery.

As a part of our Building Bridges Public Art and Engagement work here on campus, we draw on the power of solidarity and creative experience to bring people together and create a bridge across difference.

We know that a sense of belonging is at the heart of strong relationships and communities. It is connected to our individual and collective health and wellbeing.

During the last several months, dozens of UMass staff members have responded to this call for creative work to address the theme of “belonging”.

We invite you to see their work, hear their reflections and to consider your own sense of belonging here on campus and beyond.




For more information and to get involved

Contact Jacob Carter

413-545-1826 or

The Building Bridges Public Art and Engagement Initiative is a collaboration among:

The Partnership for Worker Education, Human Resources; The Office of Equity and Inclusion, and Civic Engagement and Service-Learning