Inaugural President’s Purchase Prize Awarded To “The Paint Chip”

Sara Staup '23 was looking for inspiration.

“I was in a time crunch, but I needed another piece for my Art, Joy, Life exhibit,” said the art and global studies double major. “I was looking around my room for things to put in resin, and I saw my palette, with all the colors I used to make all the other paintings.”

That inspired piece, a series of paint chips cast in a block of clear resin, was President Darren Reisberg’s selection for the inaugural President’s Purchase Prize.

Hartwick College President Darren Reisberg and Sara Staup '23, recipient of the inaugural President’s Purchase Prize

“As I was looking through the Senior Thesis Show, I found myself looking at Sara’s piece the longest. This small square contained a year’s timeline, multiple works, multiple events. And that made me reflect on my own journey in my first year here, from the big events to the blink-and-you-miss-it moments.”

Darren Reisberg


In painting and mixed media, Art, Joy, Life documented a year in Sara’s life, from a collection of miniature toys to a painting of a Valentine’s Day gift, all inspired by a small doll her mother gave her, embroidered with the words “Art” “Joy,” and “Life.”

In addition to a $500 prize, the award also comes with a featured placement – the President’s office, where it will be hung for a year. The award was one of two new art prizes dedicated to fostering and displaying Hartwick student talent. The first, the Academic Affairs Purchase Prize, was awarded to “Mom’s Garden” by Melanie Mohn ’24 and will be displayed in the Academic Affairs office.

“This work is too good to leave us,” said Reisberg. “We love to see it every day around our campus.”

During the College’s recent Honors Convocation, Staup, a soccer player, also received the Jaune Quick-To-See Smith Award, given to a senior whose painting and multimedia work has been outstanding in experimentation and visual strength.

Staup also received the Outstanding Senior Thesis award.

Following the year in the President’s office, “The Paint Chip” will be added to the extensive Alumni Collection, which features hundreds of paintings, prints, sculptures and other works of art from Hartwick alumni.

An exhibition of works from the Alumni Collection is set to open in the Foreman Gallery this summer.

May 25, 2023
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