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Batcave and Beyond

DATE: Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Exhibition celebrates work and inspiration of late HCC professor Alix Hegeler

Alix Hegeler Untitled

A sign on the door identifies Room 317 in the Fine & Performing Arts Building at Holyoke Community College as the "Graphics Studio." But HCC art students who have studied printmaking there through the years know it better as "The Batcave" ­- lair of the late HCC Visual Art professor Alix Hegeler.

Hegeler, a painter, printmaker, and collage artist from Sunderland, died in October after a brief battle with cancer. Now through May 9, the Taber Art Gallery at HCC is presenting "The Batcave and Beyond," an exhibition of Hegeler's artwork alongside the artwork of the students she inspired.  

"Alix's passing is a deep loss for me as well as the school," said Taber director Amy Johnquest. "She was a fierce, beautiful soul who cared deeply about her work, and in particular, the welfare of her students. The walls of art she curated from her classes for the annual student art shows were always outstanding and meticulous. I was fortunate to have her as a friend as well as a colleague. I miss her dearly." 

On Monday, May 9, the gallery will host a closing reception and celebration honoring Hegeler from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. There will be a tent and refreshments set on the plaza outside the gallery on the second floor of the Donahue Building. Announcements will be followed by an open mic at 6 p.m. for anyone who wants to speak.

For "The Batcave and Beyond," the Taber Gallery accepted submissions of artwork from her former students who were either influenced by Hegeler or that were created while they studied with her. 

"After 35 years teaching art at Holyoke Community College, Alix impacted many students," said Johnquest. "Over 30 students submitted work. There are over 80 pieces art in this exhibition, which includes works by Alix as well as artists who were her students."  

Some of those students have already left messages to their former teacher in the gallery guest book:

"Your talented teachings shine through in everyone's work. I wish you could have seen how your teaching has impacted the progress of all your students' work." 

"Alix, I think you would have loved this. We sure loved you. RIP."

The Taber Art Gallery, located of the lobby of the HCC Library on the second floor of the HCC Donahue Building, is free and open to the public Monday through Thursday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. during regular school sessions. For more information, please contact Amy Johnquest, at (413) 552-2614.

PHOTOS: (Thumbnail) Alix Hegeler, by Lourdes Lebron; (Above) Untitled, by Alix Hegeler.