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Mario Moore’s exhibit featuring black campus staff members opens

Moore exhibit

Howard Sutphin, a chef in the dining hall shared between Rockefeller and Mathey Colleges, poses in front of a portrait that includes him. The work Several Lifetimes was painted by the artist Mario Moore and can be seen in Mathey College.

Photo Credit: Leo Vassallo / The Daily Princetonian

On Sept. 19, the Lewis Center for the Arts unveiled a new exhibit, “The Work of Several Lifetimes,“ by Mario Moore, a renowned artist and a 2018-2019 Hodder Fellow. The featured works, the culmination of Moore’s year-long fellowship, render visible the black men and women working blue collar jobs at the University. 

Moore is a guest lecturer in the University’s visual arts program. Born in Detroit, he attended the College for Creative Studies as an undergraduate and received a master’s from the Yale University School of Art. Moore’s work is displayed at the Detroit Institute of Art as well as the Studio Museum in New York City. 


“We are so thrilled to have had Mario Moore here for a year as an art fellow, and we are so excited to have him teach a class this spring,” said Martha Friedman, the director of the program in visual arts. “The show is magnificent.”

The exhibition’s opening attracted faculty as well as students.

Also present were the members of Princeton’s staff depicted in Moore’s portraits. Howard Sutphin, a chef who works in the Rockefeller-Mathey dining hall, could be spotted in an orange-striped tie, posing for pictures beside his likeness.

“This is absolutely wonderful. I mean, I’m just a regular person,” he said between greetings and camera flashes. “You see that, I’ve got another one over there!”

Students at the exhibit found the portraits moving.

“It’s great to see the campus workers honored and respected for all they do for us,” Jessica Fielding ’21 said.


Yezekiel Williams ’21 was similarly enthusiastic. 

“I like the positive light that is cast on deserving members of the Princeton community,” Williams said. “There is a lot of warmth communicated through the bold colors used.”

Williams noted that the art “showcases the unspoken power of people of color on Princeton’s campus.”

“The Work of Several Lifetimes” will be on view at the Hurley Gallery, in the Lewis Arts complex, until Nov. 17. 

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