Kelsey Leuenberger & Monica Rivera

Portraiture is a very old art form going back at least to ancient Egypt, where it flourished from about 5,000 years ago. Before the invention of photography, a painted, sculpted, or drawn portrait was the only way to record the appearance of an individual. Historical portraits, however, are more than just a record of an individual. They have served as political tools, or as a means of conveying an impression about an individual or individuals that serves a political or power motive. Who gets to be represented and revered, passed through the channels of history and power long after they have left the Earth? Who gets to have wall panels written in their name, their lives detailed while their likeness becomes an ingrained commodity and expression of power?

It is with the advent of photography and the broad dissemination of cameras that individuals now can define themselves, how they are represented becomes democratic and idiosyncratic. These snaps play an integral role in defining both who, how we are understood and how we understand others. Portraits or self-portraits reveal aspects of our identity and ways in which we are influenced by family, class, gender, ethnicity, religion, culture, and nationality.

The images that are in Boyden and Moakley represent more than a football team, famous architecture, or the reputation of a specific scholar. These images represent the breadth of the Bridgewater State University community. Kelsey Leuenberger and Monica Rivera; graduates of BSU, have captured the breath of individuality that is found in our students, staff and faculty. These portraits illuminate the identity of those who daily make Bridgewater State University possible.