More than 300 patrons joined with over 200 visual and performing arts students from Lehigh University to celebrate the fifth anniversary of Zoellner Arts Center.
Palette, a brunch with the arts, brought together music ensembles, dramatic scenes, and the visual arts in a dynamic exploration of expression that took place between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 21.
While guests sampled a varied brunch that included roasted vegetables, penne pasta and chocolate-covered strawberries, they moved from venue to venue to take in an equally diverse menu of events.
From a video presentation highlighting the visual arts at Lehigh to a scene from Shakespeare's Macbeth to performances by the LU Philharmonic plus student artistic displays, the event provided a true glimpse into the stimulating and varied arts scene at the university, organizers said.
"Many people commented on how much they enjoyed taking in all the activities and witnessing the exemplary talent and skill displayed by Lehigh students. In fact, one patron remarked that they didn't want Palette to end!" said Susan Vengrove, director of development for the arts at Lehigh.
Kate Besterman, assistant development director for Zoellner Arts Center, echoed Vengrove’s observations, noting that "the arts are thriving here at Lehigh. From performances to sculpture to design to mixed media, from the stage to the galleries, important work is created every day," Besterman says.
Annelise Preslan, a 5th year Presidential scholar with a double major in chemical engineering and anthropology, spoke to the Baker Hall audience after a performance by the Lehigh University Philharmonic to express her appreciation of the creative opportunities she found at Lehigh. Preslan arrived at Lehigh during Zoellner's first year, and noted how the Center’s growth paralleled her own growth as an artist.
"I've had an amazing experience here at Lehigh," she said. "This wonderful building gave us an opportunity to flourish, and we'll be better engineers, business moguls, parents and people because we had this added dimension."
Zoellner Managing Director Elizabeth Scofield said that the arts play a significant role in the educational experience of a vast audience of Lehigh students.
"A grown-up has to be a fully integrated person, with sports, academics and the arts," she said. "Here at Lehigh, 22 percent of the student body are involved in the arts. It's our hope that all Lehigh students understand and embrace the notion that a well-educated adult is a multi-faceted adult, with broad interests and accomplishments, one who can navigate many waters."
For more information about supporting the performing and visual arts at Lehigh, please contact the Arts Development office at 610-758-5322.