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Memorial Art Show Presents Works from Local Artists

By Maia Somma ’24

Mercersburg’s annual Nancy Horton Heefner Memorial Art Show is on exhibit in the Burgin Center for the Arts’ Cofrin Gallery through September 21. The exhibition is a nonjuried event, generously sponsored by the Mercersburg Historical Society. A reception will be held Sunday, September 17, from 1 to 4 p.m. Mercersburg students, faculty, and local art enthusiasts are welcome to attend.

The reception is open to the public, and will offer light refreshments as well as a gathering of many artists and members of the Mercersburg Academy, greater Mercersburg community, and surrounding areas. Visitors should contact the Office of Campus Safety using instructions at the front door to be admitted to the building. The Burgin Center for the Arts is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1 to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Sydney Caretti, arts faculty member and the school’s director of galleries, is curator of the show, which features works of local artists who were encouraged to submit works created in recent years.

“It's an eclectic and well-rounded collection of talent and vision–abstract to representational, primitive to formal. The artists' ages span years, which makes the exhibit, as a whole, so flavorful and rich,” Caretti said, noting that in planning for the art show, she collaborated with Mercersburg resident Joan McCullough. “She is a sparkling gem of Franklin County!”

The show is in honor of Nancy Horton Heefner who was an artist, author, and teacher at Mercersburg Academy. For 22 years, she taught art history, drawing, and ceramics at the Academy and was head of the art department for seven years, retiring in 1994. 

Heefner earned a degree in fine arts from Wilson College and did postgraduate work at Alfred University in New York and San Francisco State University. She was also a member of the Mercersburg Women’s Club and vice president of the Mercersburg Historical Society. She passed away in 2001. 

Her husband, Tom ’57, is a former member of the school’s Alumni Council and continues to stay involved with the school, Caretti said. “A bright bonus for me is being connected to the handsome and charismatic Tom Heefner, Nancy’s widower, who is equal parts Academy and community.”

Every year, Mercersburg hosts the Nancy Horton Heefner show along with two visiting artists, two student art shows, and the senior exhibit at the end of the school year. This year, Mercersburg will welcome visiting artists Ju Yun from Virginia and Melissa Small Cooper from New York.

Photo by Sean Qin ’25